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Riassunto: The cards have a message for you!

Tarot cards can be extremely useful in helping us to decipher the messages from our subconscious, since the pictures on the cards "speak" the language of the subconscious―the language of symbols and pictures and imagination. Tarot for Self-Discovery is not about learning the Tarot per se; rather it is a book of 47 exercises that will help you use the Tarot cards for personal and spiritual growth. Whether you need help going through a difficult transition in your life, or you want to know the next step on your path, the images on the cards contain messages exclusively for you.

·Contains 47 Tarot exercises for every purpose, including improving relationships and meeting your guardian angel, to healing grief and finding your life purpose
·The exercises personalize the cards for each reader, so they become portals for deeper understanding of the self
·The exercises narrow down the immense data contained in the cards into an experience that is remembered
·For beginners or advanced Tarot readers
·For use with any Tarot deck

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.: HTTP-EQUIV="Content-Type" CONTENT="text/html;CHARSET=ISO-8859-1">ALIGN=CENTER>SIZE=4> one

ALIGN=CENTER>SIZE=4>What is Tarot For?
SIZE=4>Self Discovery

ALIGN=CENTER>ALIGN=CENTER>COLOR=black>

SIZE=4>AAccording to the best current historical assessment, Tarot was invented in northern Italy in the early 1400s as a card game. From those very mundane beginnings, Tarot has come to be used in a wide variety of ways by a wide variety of persons—for meditation; as inspiration for song, poetry, and film; for divination; for role-playing games; and, in some places, still, as a card game. My favorite way to use Tarot is as a tool for self-discovery.

can be used for self-discovery: raindrops falling against a window, shadows falling on a wall, daydreams, animal messengers, spirit guides, synchronicity, fortune cookies, journaling, and more. Tarot is particularly useful for self-discovery because its seventy-eight cards portray many universal symbols and archetypes that work well with our subconscious minds.

like to think of Tarot cards as a bridge connecting the conscious mind to the subconscious mind. Our subconscious minds have much to tell us, but they cannot speak directly to our conscious minds. Instead, they use dreams, hunches, and feelings. Tarot cards work very well to help us listen to and understand our subconscious. The subconscious mind does not communicate in complete sentences. Instead it uses pictures, images, fragments, representations, substitutions, and transferred references. Tarot cards can be extremely useful in helping us to decipher the messages from our subconscious since, the pictures on the cards speak in the language of the subconscious—the language of symbols and pictures and imagination.

ALIGN=CENTER>SIZE=4>What Is Self Discovery?

is all very well and good to say that Tarot cards are excellent tools for self-discovery, but what exactly do I mean by self-discovery? Many people have a feeling that self-discovery is about warm, fuzzy feelings of self-love, self-acceptance, and healthy self-esteem. This is definitely one part of self-discovery. However, it is not the whole picture. Often, our conscious minds will suppress self-knowledge because it is painful or negative. For instance, I was talking to a friend, saying, "Remember when you got your hand caught in the car door?" Becky replied, "I sure do. You're the one who shut the door on my hand!" I had remembered that she had gotten hurt, but I had forgotten that I was the one who was the instrument of her pain. After she reminded me, I was able to play back the experience in my mind, and I realized that I had indeed shut a car door on my friend's hand, but that I had suppressed the part of the incident that was personally painful. After dealing with the pain and guilt that I felt, I was able to have a more accurate memory.

we are unable to deal with a flaw or weakness in our personality, and we will either suppress or deny that knowledge. If we are to move on and grow, it is necessary to see our faults and flaws and to recognize them honestly. This can be extremely painful, extremely difficult, and many of us will need or want some help to deal with some of these issues—a friend, a counselor, or a therapist.

Some of us have a tendency to deny our flaws and faults and to attribute all of our failures to fate or to others. Others of us have a tendency to blame ourselves for everything—the failures not only in our own lives but in the lives of those around us. Some of us flipflop between both of these tendencies, sometimes falling to one side, sometimes to the other. Neither tendency is healthy; both are extremes are to be avoided. The truth is in the middle.

me, self-discovery is about discovering the truth in the middle and about learning to live life in balance. Sometimes self-discovery is painful, showing me my flaws, weaknesses, and mistakes. Sometimes self-discovery is full of joy and thanksgiving, showing me blessings and gifts and strengths that I had ignored or believed nonexistent.

I really throw sand in a boy's face when I was six? Yes, I did. Can I apologize to him? No, I do not remember his name or know where to find him. Do I feel guilty over this action from my childhood? Yes. There are countless incidents from my past that have often wracked me with guilt and pain and sorrow. Can I learn to accept this guilt, release it, and move on to areas of my life where I can make a positive difference? Yes. Indeed, not only can I, but I must, if I am to grow.

can see that to me, self-discovery is closely linked to growth. If I merely take self knowledge and do nothing, then I run the danger of falling into negativity or egotism. I find that it is also important to balance the type of self-knowledge that I'm working on. If I'm tending toward depression and low self-esteem, then I work on ego-boosting self-knowledge. If I am feeling strong and positive about myself, then I'm in a good place to deal with some of my faults and flaws.

metaphysical teachers suggest to their students that they keep a journal where they write their positive qualities on one side of the journal and their negative qualities on the other side. The goal is to keep both sides in balance. Some of us tend to dwell on the positive, others on the negative. Both are necessary, for truth resides in the middle.

is frequently contradictory. My journal frequently reveals this by expressing on one side, “I am lazy,” and on another side, “I am hard-working.” Both are true. Sometimes I am lazy, and sometimes I am hard-working. Like Emerson, I contradict myself gladly.

is difficult. It often takes great work, great effort. It takes time. It takes energy. It often takes brutal honesty, whether this is in acknowledging our talents or in admitting our faults, in giving validity to our hopes and dreams, and in giving voice to our unspoken fears.

again, balance is the keynote. Self-discovery must be balanced to keep our growth moving forward. Just as plants need both the coolness of night and the heat of day, the dryness of earth and the moisture of water, so do we need various elements and in healthy amounts. Sunlight is good, but too much sunlight leads to sunburn and heat stroke. Rain is good, but too much rain leads to flooding and root rot. Too much of a good thing becomes a bad thing in our own lives as well as in the life of a plant.

is my belief that the Tarot is basically amoral, like most tools. That is, it can be used positively or used negatively, depending on the intent of the user. A hammer can be used to build a home, or a hammer can be used to inflict pain. The choice is not the hammer's but the user's. Tarot can be used to enlighten, or, unfortunately, in the hands of manipulative and power-obsessed persons, it can be used to frighten and control.

its own, Tarot is neutral, except perhaps in one regard. There seems to be an inherent message of balance in the cards themselves. Over and over, the cards suggest that it is the middle way that we should seek, that extremes can be useful, but that living in an extreme state for a prolonged time is not healthy. Over and over, the cards show a central figure sitting or standing between two extremes: a white or black pillar, a man or a woman, a pair of sphinxes, twin towers, and more. Over and over, masculine is balanced with feminine, action is balanced with inaction, solar is balanced with lunar, light is balanced with dark, and Tarot makes no judgments against male or female, action or inaction, solar or lunar, or light or dark. The only judgment seems to be that both are needed, both are necessary, both are valuable.

teaches us not only this lesson about the duality of life; it also teaches us the lesson of balance with the four classical elements of air, fire, water, and earth. Water is not better than fire, nor earth than air. All four elements are necessary. All four have valuable lessons for us. All four have gifts and challenges for us.

if a person were just to look at the deck of Tarot cards, over and over and over, I believe that he or she would learn valuable lessons about the nature of life and about how to live so that his or her life would be a vital life of growth and exploration. It is with this belief that I began to write exercises using the Tarot for self-discovery.

this point I need to be very frank. I did not start writing Tarot for self-discovery exercises to help other people. I started writing them to help myself. I had reached a point in my Tarot studies where I was getting stale. I also had gotten out of touch with many of my old Tarot friends that I had known in a now-defunct computer network. I came up with Tarot for self-discovery as a way of resparking my own passion for Tarot and also reuniting me with my out-of-touch computer friends. I started an email discussion group where I would post an exercise every week or so, and then the members of the list would work the exercises and comment on each other's work. At the outset, I did not intend to write original exercises, but rather to find exercises in various books and websites and to use the exercises of others. It was also my hope that members of the list would aid me in finding exercises to share. My plan succeeded admirably in one area and not at all in another area. It also surprised me in ways that I had no way of foreseeing.

my passion for Tarot was resparked. No, my friends did not flock to join the email list. No, the way that the list was intended to work—as a community with each person commenting on the work of every other person and finding exercises for the group—did not work. However, this is not to say that the experiment was a failure. The experiment just went in directions that thedesigner had no way of predicting.

I disappointed? Yes. Was I pleased? Yes.

ALIGN=CENTER>SIZE=4>The Exercises

first pleasant surprise was that I enjoyed writing original exercises and that I seemed to have a talent for it. People responded to the exercises that I wrote, and I abandoned the idea of looking for pre-existing exercises to use with the group, since my own proved so popular. Most of the earliest exercises were prompted by events in my own life—weddings, sorrows, problems, and disappointments. Later, I began to take requests and to tailor exercises for others based on their needs. Surprisingly, music seems to have inspired many of the exercises. I did not realize how important music was in my life until I had written about twenty of the exercises. As you read through the exercises, you'll be reading, in part, a biography of my life for two years and also a library of the songs that I love.

the exercises vary, a few common elements run through most of them. First, Tarot for self-discovery exercises are about using Tarot for self-discovery and spiritual discovery. They are not really about learning Tarot, although you do learn Tarot if you work through these exercises. Tarot is our tool; self-discovery is our goal. As you work faithfully toward your goal, you get to know your tool very well. For many of the exercises, you can also use other kinds of cards and not just Tarot cards. However, they were designed to be used with Tarot and they seem to work best with Tarot.

for Self Discovery is not a substitute for therapy, either with a private therapist or group therapy. In some ways, however, doing these exercises can be as challenging and enlightening as some forms of therapy. If you work these exercises honestly, you will find that they reveal tough truths about yourself and about life. These exercises are sometimes easy, sometimes difficult, sometimes fun, sometimes thought-provoking, sometimes quick, and sometimes long—although they have much in common, there is much variety here too. The exercises are worthwhile for those who are brave and willing and who make the time to work them. Although I have written all of these exercises, they seem to have developed a life and energy of their own that goes beyond any intention or wisdom of mine.

exercises will not fix problems in your life nor automatically change your life. Working one exercise will not solve your problems and enable you to live happily ever after. However, if you honestly work at a series of exercises and follow through by doing the concrete steps, you will find that your life will improve, that your self-understanding will be enriched, and that you will have blessed yourself in many ways that you had not even dreamed of.

of these exercises have a strong spiritual component as well. They are not a substitute for a personal spiritual practice, although they may certainly enhance your spiritual practice.

exercises may be worked alone, or you may choose to work them with a friend or in a group. If you work them in a group, I do have a few suggestions. I would suggest making clear that working the exercises is not a form of group therapy. Your group should be committed to self-discovery and be prepared for surprises. A Tarot for self-discovery group is not a group for getting strokes or "Oh, you poor dear" comments. It is not a place for seeking sympathy (although you may find sympathy). It is not a place for seeking friendship (although you may find friendship). It is not a place for seeking free counseling (although you may benefit from free counsel that you receive). It is not a place to find a spiritual leader (although spiritual leadership will shine through from your fellow group members).

you work these exercises honestly, you will find that they reveal tough truths. A group working these exercises will not be an easy group to participate in, but it will be worthwhile for those who are brave and willing, and who make the time to work the exercises. Be sure to stress that anything said at a group meeting stays in that meeting. Keep confidences within the group.

can work the exercises in any order that you like. You can begin with any exercise and go from any exercise to any other exercise. I have broken the exercises into three groups: easy exercises, intermediate exercises, and exercises for special occasions or situations, but this division is just a general indication that you may feel free to ignore. Some of the exercises are light and funny. Other exercises are anything but light and funny. If you don't like one exercise, try another. There is a wide variety here, something for everyone. Pick and choose. Have fun.

you really enjoyed an exercise, you can work it more than once. If you feel that you didn't quite "get it," you can also work an exercise again later. I don't recommend working more than a maximum of three exercises per week. Most people will find that one to two exercises per week work best. For others, one to two exercises per month will be best. Some people get so excited about the exercises that they want to do as many as they can, as fast as they can. Quality is more important than quantity. The exercises will be more powerful if you pace yourself. You will be discovering some deep truths, and you’ll need time to assimilate these truths.

time and let the exercises soak in. Mull them over. Meditate on them. Ponder them. Let them go deep inside you. If you do too many too rapidly, it's sort of like coming up too quickly when you’ve been doing deep underwater diving—you'll get the bends.

you're waiting, go back over the exercises that you've already worked and see if you get additional insights. Work on your concrete steps. Remember: Faster is not better.

an aid in your Tarot for self-discovery work, I recommend keeping a journal of your exercise work. If you already have a Tarot journal, you may include these exercises in that jou...

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