By Katrina Wynne
I don’t buy a lot of Tarot books these days. Maybe one or two a year. I’ve been working with the Tarot for more than 35 years as a reader and I’ve taught it for more than 20 years. Rarely is a new book put on the market that has information I don’t already know. I’m not being prideful, just honest. When I read the synopsis of Katrina’s work however, I thought, “Now this book might have something new for me!” Unfortunately it didn’t.
An Enormously Challenging Treatise on Psychology & Tarot
Having said that, the lack of informative material for me is only because I also have an extensive background in Jungian psychology (a Master’s degree in the Psychology of Religion), counseling (I was a practicing psychotherapist and counseling instructor for a number of years) and tarot. I could have written the book myself. Hats off to Katrina however, for doing so! This was an enormously challenging teatise to pull together. Rather like trying to stuff a freight train into a rabbit hole.
Katrina has wandered into territory which is daunting in scope. She has condensed volumes of information into one small book written predominantly for the lay person. She has identified the most salient pieces of information that a Tarot Reader would find useful and she’s acted responsibly. Tarot readers are not counselors. There are umpteen aspects of knowledge and experience that lead to the creation of a best practices counselor. People study it for years. Becoming a qualified Jungian therapist can take upwards of ten years. Obviously that’s not what Katrina is aiming for in her book.
The Parameters of Ethical Tarot Reader Conduct
I assume her central intent was to stimulate the reader to ponder the parameters of ethical conduct (much as a psychotherapist must) and how to read the Tarot with a responsible awareness of its power to transform. A tarot reading can have a life-altering impact. Like a psychological tsunami, a reading can alter the way a client thinks about themselves and loved ones; how they feel about their lives and choices, and well… their destiny path. I’ve seen it happen hundreds of times.
As an aspiring or experienced reader, you will be well served to make yourself aware of that. In my advanced workshops, I focus heavily on psychology and ethics. Psychology of women, psychology of psychic reading clients, working with difficult clients, shadow work, permeated my teachings. You really need to know yourself to insure you aren’t tainting your readings with your own wishes, ideas, and prejudices. Katrina provides solid guidelines to help you with this.
Counseling Skills and Awareness as a Tarot Reader
I think An Introduction to Transformative Tarot is a good place to start. She dedicates a chapter each to “Counseling Skills and Awareness” and “Ethics and Responsibilities for Readers” which I think every perspective reader should read and know.
I would put this book on my recommended reading list for anyone studying to become a Tarot reader for others especially. I’d use it to generate class discussions. If you are a part of a tarot study group, I’d highly recommend you put this book on your list of things to do. Thanks to Katrina we all have a nicely written, condensed book to serve this purpose!