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Julie Gillentine opens anew an ancient doorway to the soul
on February 28, 2004
La vida es sueño-life is a dream, said Spanish playwright Pedro Calderon de la Barca. If that is so, then what are our dreams?
In "Tarot and Dream Interpretation," Julie Gillentine makes an original contribution to dream analysis that puts the intuition and reason of the dreamer-independent of psychoanalytic theory- right in the center of the process.
Gillentine asserts that, if the dream is an inner "oracle" of the dreamer's self and its relationships, then its symbolic meaning may be directly accessed and understood through the synchronistic process of meditating on Tarot cards.
For many persons, accustomed to viewing the Tarot as a spurious form of gypsy fortune-telling, such a proposition may justifiably provoke skepticism.
Yet for the reader seeking to assume greater responsibility for understanding his or her own dream life, Gillentine opens a doorway to seeing the Tarot in a new light.
In an initial overview, Gillentine reminds the reader that dreams may have mental, physical or spiritual significance, and classifies dream symbols as to their respective levels of meaning: universal, cultural and personal.
In the latter part of the book, she provides a basic outline of the Tarot cards, their distinctive symbolism, and their meanings, informed by her many years of study of the cabala and its allied art, astrology. She also has complied a comprehensive glossary of various meanings for dream images.
In between, Gillentine urges her readers to keep a dream journal, and presents her original dream-recording chart, which enables the dreamer to quickly identify key symbols and the feelings they evoked in the dream. This dream-keeping chart will benefit anyone desirous to quickly identify and reflect upon most the important elements of their dreams.
Gillentine's background as a psychology major in her undergraduate studies shines through in the chapter that recounts vivid dreams of her own, or of members of a dream group to which she belongs.
Her descriptions of the dreams convey the fluidic nature of dreamtime thinking itself. Through illustrating how dreams help readers answer significant personal questions and confront issues of growth, this section is an excellent encouragement to dream big and meaningfully but analyze carefully and thoughtfully.
This writer had to try the Tarot spreads Gillentine mentions in order to write an effective review. Suffice it to say that, while I was certainly familiar with the Tarot, this was the first time I had asked a question about a specific dream. After shuffling the deck and pulling out cards at random in the "Pyramid of Consciousness" spread, I received a reading that was stunning in summing up the major issues of my life at this time, while pointing me in a positive direction.
"Tarot and Dream Interpretation" is a tool-book for the dream artisan in all of us, a highly practical, effectively written guide to entering into an active relationship with one's own subconscious mind and the symbols it uses to speak.
Not sure if it's for you? Take out your cards and ask the question.