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Book Review - Tarot at a Crossroads: The Unexpected Meeting of Tarot and Psychology


Book Review - Tarot at a Crossroads:
The Unexpected Meeting of Tarot 
and Psychology

By Jeane Slone

Retired Sonoma State University psychology professor Victor Daniels and SSU graduate Kooch N. Daniels have just released their remarkable new book Tarot at a Crossroads: The Unexpected Meeting of Tarot and Psychology.  Whether you’re familiar with the tarot or whether you’d like to explore using the cards in a new way, this deeply insightful book offers you something of value. It draws on the experience that comes from the literally thousands of Tarot readings that Kooch has done, and from Victor’s forty years of teaching psychological knowledge and therapeutic skills at Sonoma State.

A visually beautiful hardcover book, it has 208 color illustrations, and its engaging style draws you right in. Each chapter is illustrated with cards from a different tarot deck, from the earliest printed deck, the Tarot de Marseilles, to widely diverse contemporary decks.

For someone seriously into the tarot, it is far more than “just another book on the Tarot.” It brings in insights from psychology not found in any other published work on the tarot. It addresses the relationship between reader and querent (or client, as you please.) It shows how to uncover thoughts, feelings, and sensations that underlie first reactions to a card. It presents ways of working through both outer conflicts and inner dilemmas to help make your readings more effective. And it also offers divinatory perspectives on every card in the deck that are enriched by psychological groundings.

For psychotherapists, counselors, social workers, and personal coaches it emphasizes that much of our thinking occurs as mental pictures and mind-movies—not just words and phrases. It shows how to use the tarot –and for that matter visual imagery of any kind in your work, introducing a new “representational” approach. You don’t have to know anything about traditional Tarot card interpretations, because the authors explain how to derive meanings from the concerns of the clients, who select images to from a face-up deck. It describes a variety of specific techniques for using visual images effectively. This includes using images to work through issues or foster creativity in relationships with multiple others, such as families or work groups. It also helps population like children, teenagers, and the very shy to discuss their concerns. Methods of using tarot imagery for couples as well as individuals are included.

Tarot At A Crossroads has something of value for all. Even if you don’t do tarot, you may enjoy browsing through the book and reflecting on its wonderful color images and what they evoke in you. 

Come meet the authors of this book at Gaia’s Garden, Feb. 13, Monday 6-8PM.