Thursday, 5 October 2017

Holistic Tarot

Circle Network Book Review: Holistic Tarot – An Integrative Approach to Using Tarot for Personal Growth by Benebell Wen published by North Atlantic Books
Licensed Attorney specialising in venture capital and global investments, qualified Tarot Master, Benebell Wen is a member of the American Tarot Association and the Tarot Association of the British Isles. She is a Feng Shui consultant, I Ching practitioner, numerologist and an astrology enthusiast.

As you would expect from such impressive credentials, this book is highly academic but also very practical. I would say it is a comprehensive textbook for those who wish to use tarot for professional purposes. The recommendations for this book come from the echelons of our greatest tarot experts, such as Kat Black Liz Dean, Barbara Moore, Bonnie Cehovet and many more who have written extensively on tarot, some even creating their own decks.  

The picture on the front cover is taken from The Golden Tarot cards by Kat Black, a very evocative and exciting deck. If you are thinking that ‘Holistic Tarot’ is a literal tarot card deck, you will be disappointed! There is no Holistic Tarot deck. The book is titled ‘holistic’ because it encompasses so many aspects of tarot specialisation. The provided black and white scans of the cards are traditional Rider-Waite-Smith so be prepared.  Differences between Tarot de Marseille, the Thoth Deck and Rider-Waite-Smith are shown and the author provides some autobiographical explanation of her tarot journey.  

Upright and reversed meanings are provided for major, minor and court cards and the author sets out the approach of the book and the history of card decks. Methods of choosing a ‘significator’ card (one which represents the seeker) are supplied with information on how to read for others and yourself. Shuffling, cutting, drawing, cleansing information is included with ideas on suitable settings, invokations, philosophy, astrology, numerology, Kabbalah, elements and other correlations, exercises and meditations are provided, card counting and telling time, love and other major considerations are detailed, sample logs and templates supplied. Very useful sample readings are available to help the reader grasp the depth of a potential reading.  

Information on everything you could possibly want to know about, such as, what to do if the reading is negative (no negative cards to be skipped and even positive cards, such as The Nine of Pentacles can have a negative side and visa versa) and useful and inappropriate questions (never talk of death and don’t predict tragedy, such as divorce) but phrase the reading in such a way as to give a warning instead. Sometimes, a seeker’s question might need to be rephrased and information is supplied about how to do this. Ethics are highlighted especially to do no harm, and ensure you, as the reader, are both competent and diligent and pursue your own professional development to the highest level and this includes never giving legal or medical advice.

A Golden Dawn Practice for Second Order Adepts called Opening of the Key is offered and there are many spreads suggested. 1, 2 and 3 card readings and combinations along with Essential Keys, Fixed Term Analysis, Dyadic Cross, the 6 Points, V Formation or Horseshoe, Seven Chakras, the Personality Tree, the Insight, the Celtic Cross, the Tree of Life, the Zodiac, 12 card Specific Question, the Lemniscate, the Six Faiths, Grand Profile Life Assessment, Chai 18-card , Grand Tableau, the Triquetra Outcome Management, Ba Gua, Eden Gray’s, 3 Aces Spread for Yes and No, Inquiries Two-Seeker Love and Relationship, the Rose, the Adjustment Card, the Shadow Card and the Essence Card – could you want more? Lo Shu Squares, a 7 step analytical process, 5 components of Circumstance (from Feng Shui) are given for consideration because any successful outcome depends upon them (force majeure, karma, disposition, education and action).

This is a full course on the tarot. A real tome! If you are keen to learn to read the tarot, Benebell Wen sets out a very thorough method to do this. It’s the Benebell Wen school of tarot reading with a small ‘s’, but her style is exceptional, and if you work through this book, learning all the way, it is likely you will become a brilliant tarot reader!  

Take the four of cups for instancxe which shows a young man who has withdrawn into himself due to a lack of contentment. He has four cups offering him many blessings. However, he feels bored stale and empty. He is unable to entertain himself and craves drama and stimulation even at great cost to himself. Life is full of dissatisfaction and complaint. Everything is everyone else’s fault. He needs to reassess his interests, perspectives and ambitions for the future and be thankful for his circumstances. This can also apply to women too. If this is you or someone you know, write down where you would like to be in one year, five years and ten years time. Work towards these goals. If you need help, ask for it. The meaning of this card is to find new opportunities and revitalise your life.

There are free study guides on the website Visit:

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