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Review: Journaling the Tarot

Journaling the Tarot –
a little book of big questions

 

Author: Andy Matzner
Create Space
2018
ISBN # 978-1987796889

 

How do we accept …that we are not our history,
but our unfolding journey?
James Hollis (From the book.)

 

Andy Matzner is a licensed clinical social worker and psychotherapist. He also teaches as an adjunct professor at Virginia Western Community College and Hollins University. He chooses to use the Tarot to empower himself and his clients, and is the author of several books, including “The Tarot Activity Book: A collection of creative and therapeutic ideas for the cards”.

 “Journaling the Tarot” is a 175 page book that presents two pages of questions that can be asked of each of the 78 cards of the Tarot. The questions are excellent, and easy to work with. My quibble here is that while Matzner has a page entitled “Instructions” at the beginning of the book, the page is blank. Individuals that are familiar with the Tarot, and familiar with journaling, would not need instructions. However, those that are new to the Tarot, or new to journaling, would benefit from even brief instructions.

I really cannot do a review here, so I will simply share representative questions from all levels of the Tarot (Major Arcana and Minor Arcana, including Pips, the numbered cards, and the Court Cards).

 

“The important thing is to never stop questioning.”
Albert Einstein (From the book.)

 

Major Arcana: The Fool

What message have you been ignoring?
What are you willing to risk for a better life?

Major Arcana: The World

How present are you in your daily life? What can you do to develop your ability to remain in the “here and now”?
What next chapter needs to begin in your life? How can you best proceed?

Minor Arcana: Ace of Wands

Who or what is currently inspiring you?
What price are you willing to pay to manifest your creative spirit?

Minor Arcana: Six of Cups

How are you sharing your joy with others?
On whom or what are you wasting your energy? What is the best next step for you?

Minor Arcana: Page of Wands

What are you enthusiastic about?
What is something that you’ve always wanted to learn (even if it has no practical applications).

Minor Arcana: Knight of Cups

What does it mean to “live fully”?
When you feel depressed, what can you do to feel better?

Minor Arcana: Queen of Swords

What are you tolerating in your life? Why? Is there something you need to do about it?
About what do you need to take the high road? Why?

Minor Arcana: King of Pentacles

Of what are you proud? Why?
How did you remain true to yourself?

This is an excellent tool for self-discovery, taking journaling to a whole new level!

 

© May 2018 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission of the author.

 

 
2 Comments

Posted by on May 10, 2018 in Tarot

 

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Review – The Tarot Activity Book

The Tarot Activity Book

Author: Andy Matzner
Independently Published
2013
ISBN #978-14827-2288-0

Tarot Activity Book

“The meaning of life is to find your gift;

The purpose of life is to give it away.”

Unknown

To fully appreciate this work, we have to take a look at Andy Matzner’s background. He is a licensed clinical social worker, psychotherapist, and Tarot card reader. And a very accomplished writer! Put all of this together, and what do we have? An amazing book that takes the imagery of the Tarot into the real world, combining it with venues such as writing, journaling, and arts and crafts. The common denominator – creativity! We are accessing our creative center to stimulate our imagination, and to help us understand ourselves (and those around us) better. Matzner notes that the cards of the Tarot are natural be tools for developing self-awareness and personal transformation.

“At the center of your being you have the answer;

You know who you are and you know who you want.”

Lao Tzu

This is a book filled with incredibly deep exercises that help the reader to understand themselves better, recognize the obstacles in their life, and work through them. The activities and exercises are divided into three sections: Conversation Starters, Writing & Journaling, and Arts & Crafts. It is all about communications, based primarily on answering a series of questions. This is the very basis of Tarot – how the question is worded determines the answer that we received.

Matzner begins with a series of questions (before the reader even begins using the book), meant to deeper the overall experience. The reader is asked to ask themselves questions, such as:

  1. What is your reason for choosing this particular activity or exercise at this time?
  2. What special meaning might this activity have for you?
  3. What preparations do you need to make for the activity?

Tarot decks are discussed, along with different types of arts and crafts materials that might be needed.

“Conversation Starters” covers ways in which to begin a dialogue, whether with yourself or with others.  Some of the topics presented her include Relationships, The Hero’s Path, Self-development, Pain Management, and Free Association. For instance, Free Association asks the reader to pick a card at random from their deck, and place it face down. When the reader is ready, they turn the card over and write down whatever word or phrase comes to them.

“The word question is derived from the Latin quaerere “to seek”, which is the same root

as the word for quest. A creative life is a continued quest, and good

questions are useful guides.”

Paul Kaufman

“Writing & Journaling” uses the Tarot to explore our inner world, and our creative ability. One of the activities  in this section helps the reader create well thought out questions. Matzner suggests that a well thought out question can: challenge assumptions, shift one’s perspective, stimulate self-reflection, stir a hidden part of one’s soul, provoke change, generate energy, and create more questions. Other topics in this section include Inner Child dialogues, Letter To Parents, Facing Your Inner Critic, Soul Card, Finding Compassion, Healing Symbol, and Trauma Stand-In. Each topic is formatted for Objective, Background, and Process.

“Art is a way to experience emotions and to express them.

The very nature of engaging in the artistic process is

therapeutic and symbolic. And so the journey that you take of

creating something from nothing is sacred, ans is just as

important as the final product. Your instincts and feelings

should inspire and guide you through your creative process.”

Andy Matzner

“Arts & Crafts” features projects that act as therapy for encouraging self-discovery, fostering personal growth, and promoting healing. The format is the same as the previous chapter: Objective, Background, and Process. Topics include Expressive Art, Tarot Totem, the Portal, Walking Beside The Shadow, Strength, Higher Power, Vision Board, Interpretive Study, Visual Gratitude Journal, the Meaning Of Life, Tarot Mandala, Boundary Lines, and more.

This book can be used on an individual basis, with clients, students, and within a group setting. Matzner also notes that this material can be useful for mental health professionals, or art teachers who use the expressive arts in their practice. It is not a book that one reads straight through (although you certainly can do this). It is much more fun to go through and choose the exercises that will most benefit you or your client, and g oon from there. Quite the reference – keep it close at hand!

© 2002-2013 Bonnie Cehovet

All material on this site is copyright by Bonnie Cehovet, and may not be

reproduced in any format without written permission.

 
6 Comments

Posted by on March 30, 2013 in Tarot

 

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