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Tarot Shadow Work: Using the Dark Symbols to Heal
     

Tarot Shadow Work: Using the Dark Symbols to Heal

by Christine Jette
 

"In Tarot Shadow Work, Christine Jette bravely takes the practice of tarot readings to new depths and places many people fear to go. She shows us how we can use the cards to trigger awareness in ourselves of troubling aspects of our lives and histories, and then go beyond discovery to use the cards as tools for healing. This is part of the work that needs to

Overview

"In Tarot Shadow Work, Christine Jette bravely takes the practice of tarot readings to new depths and places many people fear to go. She shows us how we can use the cards to trigger awareness in ourselves of troubling aspects of our lives and histories, and then go beyond discovery to use the cards as tools for healing. This is part of the work that needs to be done with tarot in this new century."
—Rachel Pollack, author of 78 Degrees of Wisdom and the forthcoming Shining Tribe Tarot

Deep within our psyches, the unconscious holds our forbidden feelings, secret wishes, and creative urges. Over time, these "dark forces" take on a life of their own and form the shadow—a powerful force of unresolved inner conflicts and unexpressed emotions that defies our efforts to control it. The shadow takes its shape from a menagerie of archetypes, each recognizable throughout time and around the world—troubling characters who thrive within our persona. The shadow is sabateur, martyr, victim, addict, sadist, masochist, or tyrant; all the dark figures that prey on the lighter qualities of the human personality.

The shadow also represents those latent talents and positive traits that were banished from us at some time along our life path: artistic, musical, athletic, or creative talents. An undeveloped ability, a dream that has gone unexpressed, a fantasy of what might have been—these too make up the personal shadow, the lost parts of ourselves.

Tarot Shadow Work shows you how to free yourself from the shackles of the shadow's power. Through tarot work, journaling, meditation, creative visualization, and dream work, you will bring the shadow into the light. This book is ideal for those who are in recovery from a serious addiction or illness, as well as any person seeking a deeper understanding of his or her true self.

By exploring the dark and uncharted territory of the unconscious mind, you will work towards understanding and integrating the shadow. No prior knowledge of the tarot is required. You will learn to use the cards as a tool to help you break free from negative patterns and self-destructive behavior.

Once we realize that we are made of both light and darkness, life will start to make sense. When we accept our dual natures, we stop sabotaging our own efforts and learn to be compassionate with others and with ourselves.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781567184082
Publisher:
Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
Publication date:
10/01/2000
Edition description:
1 ED
Pages:
264
Product dimensions:
5.88(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.57(d)

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

The Shadow Knows
There is a shadow lurking in every person's inner life, a psychic darkness sheltering our inner conflicts and unexpressed emotions. It takes its shape from a menagerie of archetypes, each recognizable throughout time and around the world—troubling characters who thrive within our persona. The shadow is the saboteur, martyr, victim, addict, sadist, masochist, or tyrant, all the dark figures that prey on the lighter qualities of the human personality.
The shadow also represents those latent talents and positive traits that were banished from us at some time along our life path: artistic, musical, athletic, or creative talents. An undeveloped ability, a dream that has gone unexpressed, a fantasy of what might have been—these, too, make up the personal shadow, the lost parts of ourselves.
To channel the negative characters in our personality, we first must bring them into our waking consciousness. Tarot Shadow Work will help you come to terms with life's dualities, show you how to embrace the darkness, and teach you how to balance the light with the shadow in your own life. The entire world of the human psyche can be mapped out using the twenty-two cards of the tarot's major ajrcana, with each card tapping into a different quality of our psychology.
Accepting that we are made of both light and darkness, life will start to make sense. When we accept our dual natures, we stop sabotaging our own efforts and learn to be compassionate with others and with ourselves.

Prologue
Dusk

I was raised on a large Ohio farm in a traditional family structure—mother, father, older sister. I met my first dark shadow at the age of fourteen. Its name was anorexia nervosa. Despite the illness, I was valedictorian of my high school class. Graduation day was a happy time. I could not predict the descent into darkness that lay before me.
While in college, I met two more shadows. Their names were alcoholism and drug addiction. Not yet conscious of their power, I was swept into a downward spiral of self-destruction. I found myself in a physically abusive first marriage and here I met the fourth shadow—my willingness to be a victim. I felt controlled by nameless, powerful forces. My life was a frightening place.
After my divorce, I spiraled deeper and was taken to a psychiatric hospital by my family. It was 1983 and I was thirty years old. While hospitalized, I was introduced to psychotherapy and the concept of shadow. The horrible things happening to me had names and I had a personal responsibility to acquaint myself with them. It was up to me to take charge of my own recovery. After years of struggling, I was informed I had a choice. I could choose to live . . . or not. There was no way over, under, or around the shadow. The only path to freedom was through the darkness.
It was slow, painful work, but I discovered the shadow had a purpose. It carried messages about my personal growth. It pointed me to where I had been hurt and what I needed to examine. My life started making sense.
In this book, I define "shadow" as a person's unresolved inner conflicts and unexpressed emotions. Drawing on the experience of my own losses, I began to develop the idea of shadow work using tarot cards.
Tarot Shadow Work is a culmination of that endeavor; using the methods found here, inner conflicts can find resolution, unexpressed emotions can find a voice. Change occurs because of the power of choice. Choice leads to healing and the gift of healing is creative freedom.
The goal of this workbook is acceptance and integration of the shadow, not its rejection. What are the messages carried by your shadow? What is the shadow trying to convey to you about your personal growth? By understanding your own humanity you can extend that insight to others and know compassion.
I hope Tarot Shadow Work opens a new chapter in the story of your life. May it bring peace and healing to all souls in pain.
Christine Jette
Winter, 1999

Meet the Author

Christine Jette (pronounced Jetty) is a registered nurse and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology. She is the Llewellyn author of Tarot Shadow Work, Tarot for the Healing Heart, Tarot for All Seasons and Professional Tarot. Christine lives in the Cincinnati area with her husband and three cats

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