Integral Tarot: Decoding the Essence
Integral Tarot: Decoding the Essence is a teaching tool for beginners, based on the Thoth Tarot. It's designed to help you understand the cards and integrate them into your life.
By Suzanne Wagner
Book - 212 pages - Published by Strong Winds Publications
Review by Bonnie Cehovet
"Integral Tarot" is one of a series of teaching tools from author/teacher Suzanne Wagner that also include Integral Tarot Meditation CD Set (a two CD meditation set), the book "Integral Numerology", and the Integral CD Treasure Chest (a seven CD version of the "Integral Tarot" book. An important note with Wagner's Tarot work is that it is founded on the Thoth Tarot (by Aleister Crowley and Lady Frieda Harris).
The Tarot history section begins in the 1100's with the Knights Templar, their connection with the Cathar's, the crusades, and their return from the crusades, bringing with them the Ancient Egyptian Book of Angels, which evolved into the game of Tarot. The Minor Arcana aspect of the game of Tarot is said to have been passed down from the Islamic world, while the Major Arcana is seen as carrying information from the ancient mystery schools.
In her introduction, Wagner advises the student to get to know a card by looking at it and noting whether they experience a positive association or a negative one. The next thing is to ask the questions "What does it mean?", and "How do I translate that information?".
Wagner defines the Journey of the Fool as perhaps the journey that we are on as we move in and out of life's experiences. Each Trump is an archetype, and an aspect of the student. What a reading does is present the reader with a multi-dimensional outline of the person they are reading for. Wagner also notes that Tarot speaks to each of us through our own experiences and reference points. We need to become aware of the pattern that speak to each of us specifically.
Wagner begins the section on the Trumps by showing the flow of the Trumps - how the energy of each card builds on the ones before it, and how they all work together to tell the story. Each Trump is presented with its planetary association, its associated Angel, Christian allegory, astrological significance, physical, emotional and spiritual levels, interpretation, reversed meaning, questions to ask, Yes-No position, Body aspect, Path, Self Help, other archetypes, stones (crystal association) and quotes.
The Court cards are presented with Angelic association, Astrological significance, positive qualities, negative qualities, interpretation, reversed meaning, quotes, other archetypes and Yes-No position.
The Pips (numbered cards) are presented with Angelic association, Astrological significance, interpretation, reversed meaning, questions to ask, Yes-No position, quotes, and Affirmation.
There is a separate catalog at the end of the book that addresses the symbology and imagery of each of the 80 cards (there are three Magus (Magicians) in this deck). Following this is a listing of Yes, No, and Maybe cards; listing of cards dealing with timing, health, death, legal issues, long term potential, pregnancy, school and change. At the end of the book is a section entitled "The Tarot Bottom Line", where upright and reversed definitions are given for each of the 80 cards.
The aim of this book is to be able to understand the energy of the cards, and to integrate that energy into your life. The book is a stunning success!
© Bonnie Cehovet
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.