On Thursday, April 25, the Tarot School hosted the first Tarot and Psychology Conference. I was happy to be there and to partake of what was offered.
Dr. David Van Nuys’ presentation emphasised that psychology and tarot converge in the place of story, meaning, and metaphor, a place where that which is life-affirming and transformative exists. He led us through a brief hypnotic process, then we drew cards to explore any image or concept that came to us during our relaxed state. We were invited to reflect on what psychology might offer to the tarot community and what the tarot might offer to psychology. I enjoyed David’s idea that working with the tarot is like dreamwork, only we say, “Let’s have a dream, right here and now on the table.”
Dr. Elinor Greenberg took us through a process in which we created our own ten-card oracle deck based on something that’s on our mind and a goal connected with that. The pack of cards I ended up creating is called the Oracle of Authentic Purpose. Elinor’s session was essentially about the client being hir own best oracle, drawing upon themes and meanings that are personal and personally relevant and recording them in deck form. These cards act as visual and/or verbal reminders of our constructive goals and helpful inner and outer resources.
Dr. Art Rosengarten was unable to attend due to flu and pneumonia, so Mary K. Greer filled in for him with two days’ notice. Brava! Her presentation/workshop — Intuition and Transference — gave us information about a vast array of psychological concepts, particularly according to Jungian thought, in addition to tarot knowledge and intuitive processes that go into a tarot consultation. She popped some bubbles about intuition, showing us how much of it related to transference, projection, and more. By acting as a “midwife of the soul” rather than as a traditional “reader”, the tarot practitioner can use the psychological concepts as a means to set up conditions for the client to empower hirself.
Overall, my sense of the Tarot and Psychology Conference is that is was about discovering where tarot and psychology meet — the place of story, metaphor, projection, transference, intuition — so we can create time and space wherein the client, whether self or other, becomes hir own best oracle/guide in order to help hir feel better in our presence and to self-actualise beyond the session.
A worthwhile day. I’m thrilled that the Tarot School will host another Tarot and Psychology Conference next year.
More about the three-day Readers Studio that took place afterwards in a new blog post soon!