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ATS Newsletters

by author


The Boiardo 15th c Poem
Tarot history in brief

quotations from various people

Functions of Readings
What is Tarot?


Med. on XVIIII

Emily E. Auger

Tarot and Other Meditation Decks

L. Atkinson

Orphalese Software review

S. Arwen

Memory & Instinct

Kathy Berkowitz

Waite's Mystical Tradition (Pt 1)
Waite's Mystical Tradition (Pt 2)
Waite's Mystical Tradition (Pt 3)
Waite's Mystical Tradition (Pt 4)

Nina L. Braden

Tarot in Literature

David Brice

Birth of Tarot

Colin Browne

Square & Compasses Tarot

Lee A. Bursten

Journeys in Tarot Creation
Vachetta review


Review: The Lo Scarabeo Story

Ross G. Caldwell

Tarot History

Bonnie Cehovet

Tarology - Poetics of Tarot
Review: Secret of Tarot
The Mystereum Tarot

N. Chishty-Mujahid

Concerning Ghisi’s Laberinto

Craig Conley

A House of Tarot Cards

A.B. Crowther

Rachel Pollack interview

Jean-Michel David

On Paneurythmy and Tarot
Tarot's expression of the numinous
Yarker, Tarot & Arcane Schools
Waite-Smith Sun card
The Fool as Wandering Jew
Tarot as Christian Art
Education through Tarot
Tarot: the vatical & the sacral
Fortuna, Ass & Monkey
Steiner and Tarot
1701 Dodal restored!
Enc. Tarot vol I-IV: review
Christ, World & Sin
Caveat Emptor:
       Visual Tarot

Tarot & AlefBeit
Review: Jean Payen Tarot
Tarot and Freemasonry
I-Ching and Pip Cards
Whither directing your course?
Tarot & the Tree of Life
Ovid, Egypt and Tarot
When the Devil isn't the Devil
Four elements and the suits
Court Cards & MBTI
Certification & Codes
Jean Dodal Marseille
Conference FAQs
Golden Dawn
Kabalah & Tarot
Golden Tarot review
Annual spread
Iraqi Museum
Two Brief TdM reviews
Meditations on the Tarot

Enrique Enriquez

The Joy of Wordplay
J-C. Flornoy interview
Embodied Tarot
Indirect Suggestions
Whispering to the Eye

Mark Filipas

History of Egyptian Decks
Lexicon Theory

Jean-Claude Flornoy

in memorium
from Oral Tradition

Roxanne Flornoy

Children and Tarot
from Oral Tradition

Mary Greer

Killing the Thoth Deck
On the Tarot of the Four Worlds
Egypt, Tarot and Mystery School Initiations

William Haigwood

The Sixties: Counterculture Tarot

Alissa Hall

Parlour Tricks

Kris Hadar

The Tarot

Claas Hoffmann

Crowley-Harris 'Thoth' deck

Michael J. Hurst

Tarot Symbolism review

K. Frank Jensen

Century with the Waite-Smith

Shane Kendal

A Poetry of Tarot

Ken J. Killeen

The Metaphysical Bible

Barbara Klaser

Language of Tarot

E. Koretaka

Cardinal Virtues

Dovid Krafchow

Kabbalistic Tarot

Lisa Larson

Perceptions of Spirituality

Suzan E. Lemont

Therapeutic Tarot Work

Eric K. Lerner

Diloggun and Tarot

N. Levine

Tarot of Prague review

C. Liknaitzky

Journey in Ceramics

Joep van Loon

Tarot Wheel

Karen Mahony


S.J. Mangan

Fool, Alef & Orion

Robert Mealing

Petrarch’s Triumphs
Jean Noblet Tarot
Hunting the "true" Marseille Tarot
Cary Sheet

Fern Mercier

Playing the Fool

C. de Mellet

Inquiries into Tarot

Sophie Nusslé

Fantastic Menagerie

Robert V. O'Neill

Tarot Symbolism
Tower Iconology

Michael Owen

Xultun Tarot

Dan Pelletier

Magic Manga Tarot
the Blank Spot

Robert M. Place

The Fool's Journey

Debra Rosenthal

Looking at the Jacques Vieville

Mjr Tom Schick

Tarot Lovers Calendar

Inna Semetsky

Counseling Reading for Spouses
Learning the language of images
Re-Symbolization of Self
Tarot (dis)contents

Diana Sobolewska

'Bateleur's tale'

Russell Sturgess

Jesus's New Testament

N. Swift

Sufism & Tarot

Arthur E. Waite

Symbols of Tarot

What is the function of a Tarot reading?

Jean-Michel David (ed.)

Two years ago, a variety of answers to the question ‘What is Tarot?’ was presented in this Newsletter (#12). During the December 2005 Melbourne Tarot Café, a similar yet quite distinct question was asked, for which replies were requested in a thread on Aeclectic’s So…

…what is the function of the tarot reading? with the question left undefined allowing its myriad senses play in the replies.

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What is tarot?

For me, it gives insights into my life and what’s happening around me, thus usually helping me to make better decisions for myself.

Except for the occasional grandchild, I don’t read for others, so tarot is useful only in my own life.

Red Emma

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It’s a clear answer, that if you stick to has no ifs ands or buts.


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Coming from a counselling-psych background, I use tarot to help the person explore the psycho-spiritual aspects of their situation to identify strengths and problem areas, and investigate what the person can do to build on those strengths and untangle the problems through increased awareness and action. Thus, for me, the function of a tarot reading is, in effect, to create a counselling environment with a focus on active involvement of the readee.


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I believe it is a process for reflecting on the por-trayed images, then speaking of what such images suggest to our associations and imaginations…an opportunity to talk or think of how an allegory, feeling and image can creatively relate to a situation or question…


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I would say that the function of a tarot reading is to explain and clarify by showing which actions will bring you to your best or desired conclusion.


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To me, the function of a tarot reading is used to give insight on myself, others, and situations I may be in, at the present or past. I also use it to divine the future, so that I may make better choices.


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The tarot reading is a tool to find alternative ways of looking at problems and potential solutions. It allows us to separate ourselves from the questions just enough to gain a new perspective while remaining close enough to feel the crux of the issues.


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The function of a tarot reading is to help a person to get the perspective and insights of any situation and to let them know how their actions or other people actions or inaction’s can help or affect their future.

Tara Deck

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The function of tarot for me is to allow insights into situations and even just life in general that you may not have known or thought of as yet. It helps to solve problems and gain clarity.


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The purpose of the tarot reading is to provide a trigger to jar memories, feelings and ideas loose from the dark recesses of the mind (heart/soul) and to stimulate dialogue with the higher self.


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To me, the function of a tarot reading is to help querents gain insight into their past, present, and future; to assist querents in making difficult choices; and to generally give querents the opportunity to explore issues and questions that they would not feel comfortable talking about in any other context.


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The Tarot can be seen as a kind of algebra of the subconscious, allowing it to be analysed at the conscious level.

From Wikipedia

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I believe The Tarot as with most divination tools. They help keep you focused, on the issues at hand.

Dancing Bear

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The function of Tarot is to enable someone to feel in control of their future thereby giving them a sense of hope.


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The function of the tarot reading is to give one the information one needs to produce the outcomes one desires in life.

Major Tom

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For me, the Tarot provides a framework on which to hang a question, turn it around and even inside out, so that our conscious may look at the question differently and our unconscious may have a voice to express its view on the matter.


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Asking the Tarot is like asking a neutral yet knowing outsider to provide useful insight to a problem or question; it allows us to see the situation from another perspective in order to make our decisions in life.


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For me, Tarot reading provides a means of translating energies present in the querent’s life and universe into a pattern of symbols and images (cards), that can be used for insight, meditation, self-improvement, or other magic!


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The function of Tarot is to help you make decisions and learn about yourself.


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I find that Tarot readings help us to ask ourselves question we would not otherwise ask ourselves. The right ones.


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For me a tarot reading is like taking a snapshot of a situation.

It helps me to see things from different perspectives or just to see the ‘bigger picture’.

A tarot reading helps me to see the options I have and so helps me to make more informed choices and decisions.


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For me the tarot cards are markers or guides to a path. Every person has a different path to lead so every reading is different even if the same cards are used over and over again. The reason for this diversity is because of energy that is prjected into these cards by the reader (if you’re doing it for yourself) or the querent. The energy is reflected in these cards, and the reader has the calling of interpreting them.


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I see tarot as a way of putting thoughts, themes and issues that are in your mind, in all different levels of conciousness, into a physical, visual form. it lets you lay elements of your life and mind out, see how they relate to each other, play with them, analyse them and understand them. Also, tarot’s history and symbolism allows you to see your own issues in a wider context of history and wisdom.


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It gives us more to consider, more options, or confirms our own thoughts… it makes us think.


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A tarot reading is to help us meet whatever happens in the best possible way.


The function of a tarot reading is to help a querent/self alleviate anxieties, achieve goals, and to find meaning in experiences.

Teheuti (Mary)

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A tarot reading is a conversation with the collective unconscious, using the language of symbol and image to access the wisdom of humanity.


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I use a tarot reading (either personal or paid exchange) to get some clarity of the message(s) that the gods are trying to drum into my thick head

peaceful zazen (Tim)

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Voici a miscellany of ingenious thoughts and reflections…all in one sentence

The Tarot Reading puts you in an undefined space-&-time and helps you to redefine ÒyourÓ space-&-time…


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A Snapshot of Where You Are On Your Life Path

That is what I believe is Tarot’s highest purpose. You read the cards to see where your current actions and reactions are taking you along life’s path. A good reading will show you a ÒsnapshotÓ a still frame of where you are, where you have been and where you are going if the current climate and your actions remain the same.

Actions and outlooks can be changed to help arrive at a more positive outcome if the cards show a less than bright future. People can shore up their courage and take comfort in the climax of the 10 to know that it can only get better from there. The outcome card is only the true outcome if you continue to act and react the way you have been. Even if the outcome card reveals a physical reality over which the querent has no control, the knowledge of the event or emotion can make all the difference in the person’s mental state when same comes to call in linear time.

Readers and querants alike can benefit greatly from doing/having regular Tarot readings and recording them. This is one of the most illuminating things you can do with the Tarot – if you do regular readings, after a year you will have an incredibly valuable map to which you can refer to see how you are doing with your progress toward being the best person you can be and ride the tides of life’s changes with a minimum of despair.


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Tarot readings allows us to gain insights into situations, ourselves and others, and encourages responsibility to respond accordingly.

jmd (entry also in Tarotpedia)

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