Transformative Tarot Counseling™ / Transformative Tarot Consulting™ (TTC) is the high art of reading cards for yourself or others. It is the process by which transformational magic can occur. My background in counseling, hypnotherapy, and psychotherapeutic training has taught me dynamic and meaningful ways to work with Tarot clients, accessing their magical process as we reveal the core of their being. This is the heart of what is taught through my Transformative Tarot Counseling™ / Transformative Tarot Consulting™ Certification Program.
Those of you who know my work with Tarot are familiar with my “transformative consulting” style, based on my experience as a professional counselor, with sound ethical values for honoring my clients’ life, personal power, and process. TTC distinguishes itself from typical tarot readings by its ability to go more deeply and profoundly into the Querent’s life.
Transformation and change is what defines life. If we are not changing, we not only stagnate, but we die, no longer a vital life force. In the I Ching –Book of Changes, ancient Taoist wisdom teaches us that the only constant is change.
Transformation and change represent the most essential message and method of Tarot. As living beings, we evolve, learning life’s lessons as we move through time. In order to raise our awareness and receive the Tarot’s guidance for this journey, it helps to go beyond what we already know about each Tarot card.
Those of you who have experienced counseling or are trained in counseling skills may know that the job of the counselor is not to give advice or direct clients on what to do, but, rather, to assist clients in uncovering issues and to support them in finding their power. For example, if a counselor told the client in the middle of discussing a relationship issue, “Just break up”, in most cases the client would resist this directive, plus it just isn’t useful information. If it were that easy, the client would not have come in for counseling in the first place. Directives and predictions do not support clients to choose changes they may need to make or empower personal decision-making.
This is the approach in TTC. Rather than reporting the interpretation of the cards in the layout for the Querent, a process that only feeds the mind, the Querent and reader are engaged in full awareness, with the Querent discovering more personally derived meaning and guidance.
How can I support what is most alive in you?
This is the question that goes through my mind and heart as I work with a client or student in consulting or Tarot. I have no interest in predicting the future or telling someone what decision to make, for I believe this is disempowering to clients and their relationship to their life’s journey. I’m looking for the guidance that comes from Querents, through their awareness, conscious or subconscious, that knows where they are on their journey and what next step they choose to make.
This being said, I believe there is a reading style and reader for every Querent. All styles have their place in this world. My unique offering to clients and students through TTC is a more modern way of looking at the relationship between the clients, cards, and guidance.
One of the main contrasts between predictive and counseling styles is whether the reading is “prescriptive” or “descriptive”. Like it sounds, prescriptive is when readers report their interpretation of the cards and prescribe a particular meaning or action based…if "VII The Chariot" appears in the reading, you will be traveling, etc.
Descriptive readers share or reveal information based on the cards, without imposing their personal interpretation of what it means to the client. Ultimately, only the client can determine how useful the information is and how to apply it.
Another dimension involves “leading” versus “following” the client. Following clients, or one’s self, in a reading is more challenging for readers to grasp. It is easy to lead clients with your interpretation of the cards and what you think they mean, while clients follow your advice as a greater truth than their own.
A more challenging approach is listening to, “following” clients, involving them in the reading process, engaging clients in their own intuitive relationship with the cards, and then supporting them to discover their own solutions, actions, meaning. The reader takes a back seat to Querent and the cards while allowing the client’s wisdom to shine, supported by the reader’s experienced guidance in the process. By the way, this also means clients work more in the reading and are not passive recipients. This may not be the most popular position for those hoping to leave the responsibility of their decisions or actions with some third party, such as the reader.
Most readings feed the intellect, an experience from the neck up, but do not necessarily involve the body-mind-emotion-spirit. The goal of a Transformative Tarot Counselor™ / Transformative Tarot Consultant™ is to provide a safe and professional environment to afford clients the opportunity to go as deeply into their process as they choose to go.
Another special skill utilized to allow a more meaningful Tarot reading is DreamWork awareness, the ability of the reader to identify the various dream-like parts in the cards, as well as in the Querent, and to bring them out in a dynamic, visceral way.
For more details on what goes into a transformational reading, please read my web article “The Alchemy of Tarot”. I also recommend that you read my article on “ Tarot Counseling vs. Predictive Readings”.
“Transformative Tarot Counseling™ / Transformative Tarot Consulting™” is not meant to take the place of a professional counseling session. It does approach clients with the same respect for the complexity of life issues and/or spiritual concerns. All professionals are trained to know when an issue is beyond their "Scope of Practice", and are prepared to make referrals to qualified resources. This is also emphasized in the professional training involved with my Transformative Tarot Counseling™ / Transformative Tarot Consulting™ Certification Program.
"Voyager Tarot" by James Wanless
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