Tarot for the Healing Heart
Tarot for the Healing Heart: Using Inner Wisdom to Heal Body and Mind presents Tarot as a tool for healing through card meditations, visualisations and psychological techniques.
By Christine Jette
Book - Published by Llewellyn
Review by Bonnie Cehovet
For me, this is one of those books that I love to hate. It irritated me right from the start - constant referrals to "physical, mental, emotional and spiritual" realms of healing, constant reminders that the tool of Tarot is not a replacement for traditional medical treatment/therapy, and the recurring statement: "I expect healing, and I am thankful for it."
Let's take a look at this. I too believe that we heal on all of these realms - physical, mental, emotional and spiritual, and that to have a complete healing we need to heal on all levels. I am an expert on not allowing myself to do that - for many years I would acknowledge the hurtful areas in my life, heal myself to the point that I could function on a day to day basis, and call it a done deal. Because of this manner of functioning, I kept having to revisit and reheal my problem areas. I eventually learned this lesson, but I do think that mentioning this once or twice, then simply referring to "healing on all planes" would have been sufficient. But this is Ms Jette's book, and not mine. And she is actually being a wonderful teacher for me, because I have allowed her to take me off of my center.
Ms Jette has a nursing background, which explains why so much of the healing in this book references physical, as opposed to emotional and/or psychological healing. Not that the latter are not included, but the emphasis is placed on physical healing. (And yes, physical symptoms often do manifest as symptoms, and not causes, when we are dealing with deep seated issues.) I also have a medical background (more years than I will admit to as a medical technologist), and throughout this book my most fervent wish was that it was more oriented to the Tarot.
When we look at the statement: "I expect healing, and I am thankful for it.", we see an affirmation that is used in healing situations. My thought here is that we are becoming too attached to the outcome, the expectation of the healing. It sounds as if we are warning the Universe of what we expect from it. My personal manner here would be to reword the phrase to something close to: "I open myself to healing, and I am thankful for it." Again, this is my perspective, and my button that was pushed. It certainly did not stop me from reading the book, and taking what seemed right for me away with me.
Off my podium and into the world of healing! Ms Jette has given the world a wonderful resource to heal itself with. In spite of my irritation with the presentation of the material, Ms Jette has presented a well thought out process for adapting the Tarot as a healing tool. And she has presented it on a level that one need not know anything about the Tarot to work with her system.
Ms Jette addresses the actions that we can take to create the most positive healing atmosphere around us. One of the ways that we can do this is to create sacred space around us. Sacred space is the "safe place" that we create around us, that which we honor within and around ourselves, and that which we ask others to honor.
Tarot is presented as a system that is actually an extension of ourselves, in that it reflects our beliefs and our personal imagery. Journaling is presented as a tool of healing - a way of recalling and examining the hurts in our lives that bring us into dis-ease. The power of dreams, and the tools of centering ourselves and working with our guides and angels are introduced as options that are available to us to facilitate our healing.
In Part Two, we begin to take a look at what dis-ease is in our lives. We are lead to begin to accept ourselves as we are, and to choose to heal in the now, as opposed to healing "in the future". Ms Jette presents the first of several different meditations that will allow us to become comfortable with ourselves. Several Tarot Spreads allow us to work with the Tarot and with the cause of our dis-ease. In this manner, we get a totally different look at our pasts, our present - and at the future that we can create for ourselves.
We are encouraged to view ourselves as wounded, rather than defective. Wounds can heal and be integrated into the whole being, whereas by their very nature defects need to be cut out and/or replaced. Through her Tarot spreads, Ms Jette encourages us to acknowledge our fears, to face them and release them.
In Part Three, we take a look at how our lifestyles affect our health and our ability to heal. We attract into our lives what we pay the most attention to. When we work at placing health in our lives - that is what we draw to us. There is a wonderful spread presented here that involves working with the four Aces from the Tarot deck. Aces represent the full potential of their suit, while each suit represents a specific element. Working with the Aces allows us to work with the full potential of each suit, with the full potential of our Physical, Mental, Emotional and Spiritual selves. We learn to connect with the Healer within, and to recognize our cycles of healing.
Part Four was for me the most interesting, most intense part of this book. Here Ms Jette has taken each of the 72 cards of the Tarot and defined then as to Life Lessons (the energy of the card when it is not in balance), Life Wisdom (the energy of the card when it is in balance), actions that we can take to support our healing process, and the "how" of connecting with our inner wisdom. Whether you follow the spreads in the book, or whether you take the Tarot as defined in "Tarot For The Healing Heart", or whether you apply the definitions in this book to the spreads of your own choosing, you will learn about yourself, and you will heal - to the extent that you wish to heal.
If you are willing to work with this book, you will learn a lot about yourself, and have a whole new understanding of the Tarot, and what it can do for you. It acted as a teacher for me - it irritated me, and made me pay attention. It made me learn. See what it can do for you.
Bonnie Cehovet is Certified Tarot Grand Master, a professional Tarot reader with over ten years experience, a Reiki Master/Teacher and a writer. Bonnie has served in various capacities with the American Tarot Association, is co-founder of the World Tarot Network, and Vice President (as well as Director of Certification) for the American Board For Tarot Certification. She has had articles appear in the 2004 and 2005 Llewellyn Tarot Reader.