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Tarot as a Way of Life: A Jungian Approach to the Tarot Paperback – May 1, 2007


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Tarot as a Way of Life: A Jungian Approach to the Tarot + The Jungian Tarot and Its Archetypal Imagery (Jungian Tarot Trilogy) + The Jungian Tarot Deck
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Product Details

  • Series: Jungian Approach to the Tarot
  • Paperback: 286 pages
  • Publisher: Red Wheel / Weiser (May 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 087728878X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0877288787
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #163,679 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Much more than a "how-to" guide for memorizing the meanings of the tarot cards, Tarot as a Way of Life reveals how the major and minor arcana represent the day-to-day and lifetime process of individuation. With a marvelous comparison of the symbolic differences between decks, Karen Hamaker-Zondag explains why it's important to choose a deck that speaks to you. While most guides to the tarot approach the cards only as a method of divination, Tarot as a Way of Life delves into the tarot's illustrations as a manifestation of the life process and explains how this deck of cards can affect you.

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Dutch

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

210 of 211 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 22, 1998
Format: Paperback
This is a book that not only tells you what the Tarot cards mean--in plain English--but also gives a concise, credible explanation for why each card means what she says it means. She draws heavily on Jungian psychology in her interpretation of the Major Arcana, and on numerology (filtered through folklore and mythology) for the Minor Arcana, but in both cases she refers directly to what's actually on the cards--helping the reader see them as a coherent symbolic system, not just mysterious pictures. (She mostly uses the Rider-Waite deck, but gives an extended justification for her choice, comparing it symbolically with other popular decks.) I don't know that I necessarily agree with every one of her interpretations--but that's actually one of the book's great strengths. After reading it, I felt that I understood enough of what was going on in the Tarot to begin to have my own opinions. Hamaker-Zondag, who's a noted astrologer, includes a chapter on attempts to combine Tarot and astrology--and concludes that it may not be possible. She also includes straightforward, common-sense advice on how to conduct a reading and lay out the cards--instructions that are far more helpful than those in other Tarot books I've read. The one thing I don't like about this book is the title. It sounds like it's inviting you to join a cult. It's really one of the most feet-on-the-ground introductions you're likely to find.
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96 of 102 people found the following review helpful By Dianne Foster HALL OF FAME on January 3, 2002
Format: Paperback
I believe each person who discovers the Tarot is a seeker of wisdom and knows there is a Power greater than ourselves. The Tarot reflects the combined wisdom of humans who have sought an understanding of the Will of the Divine or as Joseph Campbell has said it the Will of "the thing that stands behind."
My own path originated in a diverse religious upbringing, winded through an academic setting filled with various social science perspectives, encompassed therapy, developmental workshops, spiritual retreats, etc., and came to rest in a 12-step program. After all these experiences, I recogize the Tarot as a cumulative human effort that places a face on the sum of my experiences. I too started as "the fool" and discoved the world.
A knowledge of Jungian psychology will help one understand and appreciate Karen Hamaker Zondag's TAROT AS A WAY OF LIFE. If you've taken a Myers-Briggs personality test, read Joseph Campbell's works on 'The Hero' or seen the Moyers-Campbell interviews, are familiar with T.S. Elliot's poem 'The Wasteland', or ever been in a 12-step program, you've been exposed to Jungian concepts.
Using Jungian concepts, Zondag explains how the Tarot deck can help the individual develop and use an organizing principle for living. Each of the cards of the Major Arcana represents some aspect of life that occurs for every conscious human being. Zondag divides the cards of the Major Arcana into three components: the basic drives; the construction of the ego; and the integration of the consciousness and unconsciousness. Zondag uses illustrations from several sets of Tarot cards to show why she prefers the Waite Tarot Deck illustrated by Pamela Coleman Smith over others.
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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 27, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book took my Tarot work to a whole new level.
Don't let the title throw you -- you don't need to be a psych major to understand the ideas presented in this book. The author relates the path laid out in the Major Arcana to life, so everyone should be able to relate.
This book is also a good reference. The book contains discussion of each major and minor arcana card, combining the symbolism of the suit with the card's number, and tying that into the image. As an advanced beginner, this was helpful, since it took me beyond associating keywords with cards, to using my intuition in my interpretation. After checking it out from the library for the third time, I knew this was one that I should own.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Aracelis Clemente on December 1, 2011
Format: Paperback
I am half way through reading this book and so far I find the information to be clearly presented, well organized, easily understood, very flexible/applicable to various decks, little to no biases and very informative. I highly reccomend this book for anyone interested in learning more about tarot.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jill May on February 7, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm what you might call an intermediate tarot apprentice, so I've been reading several tarot books lately. This is by far the best book I've encountered for someone with a proficient level who is seeking a deeper understanding. Whether or not you're familiar with C.G. Jung's work, you'll find this book insightful and invaluable on your journey of self-discovery.

Hamaker-Zondag illustrates the importance of visual symbols as the language of the unconscious, thus arguing it is inefficient to disregard the artwork with your nose buried in the book. She compares the imagery of 6 different decks as an example. She explains the Jungian archetypal significance for numbers, which was MOST illuminating. She also gives well-balanced meanings for each of the cards, after having so thoroughly explained why such meanings are associated with each card.

I highly recommend this book. (But perhaps not so much for beginners).
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