Tarot resources for self-reflection and brainstorming
August 20, 2017 10:01 PM   Subscribe

I love tarot decks and their artistry and their imagery, but I don't believe in their powers of divination. I'm looking for more resources on the use of tarot for self-reflection, introspection, brainstorming, etc.

I love love love tarot cards, but don't use them to tell the future. I like using them to basically pick my own brain about how I'm feeling about something, looking for new angles to approach a personal problem that I hadn't previously considered, figuring out things that have been on my mind but only subconsciously, that sort of thing. I'm currently relying mostly on the book that came with my Linestrider Tarot, and the book "The Heart of the Tarot: the two-card layout", which focuses on the first two cards of a traditional Celtic Cross spread and interprets them as "the situation" and "the challenge".

I'm really enjoying the results I've gotten so far, and I'm finding it very useful from a personal growth aspect, but I'd love to read more about this type of tarot reading. I joined a big tarot group on Facebook and while I'm learning a lot about people's interpretations of different cards (and finding a ton of new decks I want to buy!), a lot of the folks in the group are using the cards to tell them when their ex will return to them, or what their dead husband has to say, or if those are really Natalie Holloway's remains that were found. This is definitely not what I'm looking for. Any suggestions for websites, books, etc. that focus less on the divination aspect would be appreciated. Thanks!
posted by skycrashesdown to Grab Bag (11 answers total) 47 users marked this as a favorite
Have you checked out Rachel Pollack's work? If not, 78 Degrees of Wisdom is a great place to start.
posted by holborne at 10:06 PM on August 20, 2017 [4 favorites]

Hit post too soon, sorry. I might also check out Tarot for Yourself by Mary Greer. It's a workbook, so it might be good for what you're looking for.
posted by holborne at 10:08 PM on August 20, 2017 [4 favorites]

You might try the Hexen 2.0 deck, which replaces medieval/early modern icons with images from cybernetics, counterculture, and internet history. Some people find the modern images trigger more prompts for introspection, brainstorming, etc.
posted by seasparrow at 10:14 PM on August 20, 2017 [1 favorite]

For psychology self-work, I liked Tarot for Life when I picked up my deck after a few years of letting it sit. For creative work, I rotate a few decks -- Hermetic, Silicon Dawn, Rider-Waite-Smith -- depending on what I'm doing.

I've found that there's no one way to use either the same reading or one book for self-reflection and brainstorming; I can approach any given sitting starting with the mindset for one or the other, but not both.
posted by cobaltnine at 10:30 PM on August 20, 2017

It's been a while since I read it, but I recall Tarot for Lovers by E.W. Neville took the kind of approach you're looking for. However, I can't find the book and I can't 100% verify that at this point to make sure.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:33 PM on August 20, 2017

Little Red Tarot might have resources for you.
posted by divabat at 12:00 AM on August 21, 2017 [3 favorites]

You might like Jessa Crispin's tarot writing and reading. Here's a review of her book, and here's her tarot-based newsletter.
posted by corvine at 2:58 AM on August 21, 2017 [2 favorites]

Biddy Tarot and The Modern Mystic might have some useful resources that fit the bill. Labyrinthos Academy is also really awesome and has a free app for learning tarot as well as two more apps (Golden Thread Tarot and Luminous Spirit Tarot) for more advanced study/lessons.
posted by helloimjennsco at 6:43 AM on August 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

Absolutely seconding holborne. Mary K. Greer and Rachel Pollack are both amazing authors that will take you in the direction you are looking for.
posted by Vaike at 9:16 AM on August 21, 2017

I can say - having used a few decks over the years - the design can really shift the nature of the reading. For example, compare Rider-Waite to Haindl deck sometime. Rider-Waite almost feels medieval, but Haindl feels more modernist. I quite like the book that accompanies the Handl deck for more interpretive/archetypal definitions of problems - also by Rachel Pollack.

Also check out Brian Eno's Oblique Strategies. No designs, but interesting creative techniques to crack open challenges.
posted by SoundInhabitant at 11:39 AM on August 21, 2017

It's not at all Tarot but looking at Tea and Empathy and how those cards are used may give you some ideas. I'm really not familiar with Tarot at all so if it's inappropriate to use them this way please disregard my comment.
posted by raccoon409 at 3:24 PM on August 21, 2017

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