Panel Discussion -- "Tarot Present" -- Psychological Trends in Tarot
Report by Diane Wilkes

The panel discussion dealt with the question: Psychobabble or Fortune Telling: Are they our only options? I paraphrase a bit, but the consensus seemed to be that empowering the client was the goal, and that a reader should first empower the querent by telling him or her his philosophy and practice of tarot reading prior to a reading.

There were also debates on the use (or misuse) of the term "archetype." Rachel Pollack spoke eloquently on the notion that we are, as readers, service providers and should answer the querents' questions instead of trying to teach them how to rephrase them more aptly or foisting our judgments upon them. She added that she does explain that the tarot isn't always conducive to answering yes-no questions.

Wald Amberstone of the Tarot School was the last to speak and he brought down the house. He said that he rarely reads for others professionally because, even though he gives excellent readings, he has few repeat customers. He explained that while he's extremely accurate, he doesn't much care about the person he's reading for, doesn't have a lot of interest in their issues, and is unlikely to hold the individual's hand, and so is not universally worshipped as a reader. This is a shortened and imprecise version of his actual statement, and loses much in the translation.

Panel members included Mary K. Greer, Rachel Pollack, Isabel Radow Kliegman, Tad Mann, Art Rosengarten, Wald Amberstone, Dwariko von Sommaruga, Isha Lerner, Lon Milo Duquette, and me. Because I was participating and drinking some of the very fine wine provided by Lo Scarabeo, I can't bring my sword of intellect fully to bear here. However, I will share a line I planned to use that I didn't: "I'm on this panel because I put the "psycho" in psychological." For lack of an appropriate moment, I withheld the witticism, but I'm sharing it with you now because it just seems too good to waste.

Report 2002 Diane Wilkes