Author: Alison Cross
Kaizen is a Japanese term that derives from the business world.
“Kaizen” literally means “change for the better” and as a
business philosophy it has come to represent a philosophy based
on small changes that lead to overall continual improvement. Not
a bad philosophy or life, is it!
This is what we at Tarot Kaizen seek to do with our Tarot deck:
through small daily exercises we will work towards
incorporating the symbolism and meaning of a new deck into
our Tarot knowledge.
(from the book)
In her introduction, Cross talks about decks that we as Tarot readers/aficionados tend to collect. We love our decks, but once we have them we may not, for whatever reason, work with them. She set up the Facebook group Tarot Kaizen to show people how to move their decks into the working deck category. The group itself has been running or about five years, but only runs once or twice a year. To that end, Cross collected all of the daily exercises used in the group into this e-book, so that individuals can begin this work any time they want to, whether a group is running or not.
This book contains over 100 daily exercises – it is suggested that the exercises be worked with on Monday – Friday, taking weekends off. On Monday – Thursday a new card will be worked with every day. On Friday Cross provides the reader with a 3-5 card spread so that they can work with the cards as they learn them, and that they have an opportunity to work with cards that they have not yet studied. Friday is also a review day, in that the reader determines which cards they like, which ones they are ambivalent about, and which ones they do not like. I love the advice that Cross gives he reader at the end of their studies, if they do not like the deck they have been working with, they should set it aside (as opposed to selling it). In a few months time, take another look at the deck. You may find that it has grown on you!
What do you need you work with the Tarot Kaizen system? Time, this e-book, a Tarot deck, and a Tarot journal. (I will also add “the commitment to follow through”.)
I was pleasantly surprised to see that for some of the exercises the reader is required to write a Haiku! I have limited experience with Haiku’s, so I am really looking forward to this! Links are provided to show how this is done.
Okay – Here’s a concept that is completely new to me – Pidgin Tarot! What the heck? Pidgin is a combination of words, sounds, and body language from multiple languages and cultures. It is used to form a relationship between different pieces of information – in the case of the Tarot, it is usually associations made for numbers and Tarot suits. What Cross has done is thrown together keywords for the numbers and keywords for the suits. This allows the reader to apply the same principles to any deck. Yes!
I love how the exercises begin – with a “Flick Through” of the deck (come on – we all do this with a new/new to us deck!). An interesting thought presented here is that if the reader is not quite sure which deck they want to use in the exercise, to do the Flick Through with multiple decks, in order to see which one they really want to work with.
The exercises are short, with simple, easy to follow instructions. Divide you cards into three piles: attract, repel, and meh. Interview your deck. Establish the themes and systems within your deck for the Major Arcana. Establish the themes and quaternities (sets of four, such as the seasons). Determine your birth card. (I use the dual Birth Card system, which can be applied here.) Putting together the energy of a Court Card with the energy of the Suit. What does the Empress mean to you? Write a Haiku.
Cross has a writing style that is very personable. You feel like she is in the room, egging you on (ummm Encouraging you!). You feel like you are in a very special space, doing magical work that is important to you, and getting to know yourself and your cards.
I am using this system to get to know my newest deck, the Third Edition of the Daniloff Tarot. It will be interesting, because this deck has extra cards, so I will be making up some of my own exercises!
Tarot Kaizen is a very special tool to add to your Tarot resources! How far you can go with it depends only on how far you are willing to go, how far you are willing to open your thinking about the Tarot, and your willingness to keep a commitment to doing the work.
© March 2017 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission of the author.