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Saturn Celeste

they read fortunes with airs of analytical psychology

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by The crowned one


Here are my thoughts on analytical psychology and tarot, coming from the view point of a poor seer.


Tarot does not need to be validated with psychology, a good readers knows this, tarot stands on its own as it was designed for.


Tarot cards are designed do the opposite of what most people think they would be used for in psychology, they do not do free form.... They are designed to bring up a specific response not a free-form idea. If you are going to use them as a tool to analyze yourself, then you must look at how far you deviate from the specific response the card is meant for, and why you deviate. If I was to use them in some sort of practise I would use black and white marseilles tarot majors and ask the patient to colour the cards for added insight. There is no preconceived assumption about the unconscious material in Jungian psychology, in tarot there must be or the cards have no meaning. Tarot is limited in its scope as a tool for analytical psychology to a quasi sort of archetype interpretation/comparision/trigger.


The Tarot deck contains archetypal symbols that can be related to Jung's analytical psychology, sure but is it the best choice, if you are going to work as a counsellor is it not your job to use the best tools? Jung himself says "it seems as if the set of pictures in Tarot cards were distantly descended from the archetypes of transformation” This is from his collected works, translated by Hull, from the Bollingen series. Distantly related? So for him these are not the archetype images he would choose to use? Or would this be a jump off point a place to start? Tarot is a tiny aspect of analytical psychology, the real work starts after looking at the card. Jung felt that the key to decoding the conditions of neurosis lay burried in the mind and our past: culture and mythology. Working from these idea's he developed the concepts of archetypes, synchronicity, collective unconscious, the two dimensions of personality and man's four basic functions (sensation,thinking, feeling, and intuition).. The card will trigger an idea, and then it's job is done in psychology. I still prefer to read fortunes with them, they are better suited to that for me.

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I pick up a lot of annoyance from the Crowned one in this post.


The summary of Jung strikes me as a bit simplistic, although it is correct on the surface.


As for the Tarot cards vs psychology, since psychology is the study of the soul,

and Tarot is in some ways a way to communicate with the soul,

then one cannot dismiss it outright.


Of course at this point, any resolution of this need to dive pretty deep into Jung,

a lot more deeply than just namedropping some core Jungian concepts.


Firstly we need to establish what Jung though the soul was, then what Jung thought about God,

and how Jung's image of God related to the soul.


These are quite tricky issues, and not something I'm ready to just inject any answer to here.

Problem then is that everyone who does not identify with the Jungian frame, will feel their beliefs belittled.

Yet Jungs ideas are just a theory, and as he himself said,


Psychological truths are not metaphysical insights;

they are habitual modes of thinking, feeling, and behaving

which experience has proved appropriate and useful.

Carl Jung - Aion - page 27


In other words, whatever Jung saw did not prove anything about any divine order beyond this realm.

All it showed was how we in this realm are organized, how we act.

We would act that way with or without a divine order.


When we apply this to Tarot,

we can only say what the experience of Tarot seems to do to your psychological reactions.

We cannot say if some divine order connects to the process, and what the conditions for this are.

Divinity is an issue for belief or doubt, which is where fortune telling comes in.

If one believe that a higher order informs the reading, then that is what one believe.

For all the strong-arming of atheists, their belief of there being nothing to believe in,

is just as much a statement of faith as believing in something.

They have no more reason to do so, no more proof, just the absence of proof.

Of course, they also like to throw out rituals and traditions as well.

Which is fair in my opinion.

Free people should be allowed to adhere to whatever beliefs and traditions one wishes,

as well as let others freely practice their own beliefs and traditions.


Even this is not that simple, but if I haven't convinced you at this point,

then trying to cover all angles and all bases, will be in vain.

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It turns on the intent of the reader. Are they holding themselves out as a reader providing counseling or life coaching to the client? Are they suggesting and advising the client on how they should alter their emotional processing and ways of thinking about something or someone? 


If so, they are providing guidance that most if not all states in the US require a professional license in order to perform (MFT, LCSW, etc). The reason such advice requires a license is because the practitioner is in a position of manipulating the client’s thoughts and such manipulation requires requisite skill and education and must be regulated by the proper licensing authority to avoid injury to the public. 


Unless you’re licensed to analyze someone psychologically, don’t do it. If you do, and the person is hurt/injured, you could be held liable. 

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