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Spectrums of Possibility: When Psychology Meets Tarot Paperback – 1 May 2000


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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Paragon House Publishers (1 May 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1557787840
  • ISBN-13: 978-1557787842
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 1.8 x 22.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 503,666 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"This book is a wonderful support document for the power of Tarot as a counseling tool. Mr. Rosengarten writes in a very clear and casual style which makes complex concepts understand-able to the lay person. This book is a valuable companion to the core books.... Somewhat technical at times, the author's "every-day" references and context clarify within the body of the work, making frequent trips to a dictionary unnecessary. There were a few sections that were theoretically over my head, but their content was not necessary to follow these document to it's logical conclusion. Bravo!"--Errol McLendon, Taroist, Chicago, IL "In this outstanding, groundbreaking work, Art Rosengarten, a licensed clinical psychologist, sets the stage for a new integration of psychology and Tarot.... Cutting across methodologies, theories, and statistics, Tarot emphasizes the "heartbeat of experience..".Rosengarten does an excellent job of defining terms and explaining techniques so that they make sense to the lay reader. He also uses exciting real-life examples and stories to make his methods crystal clear and demonstrate their practicality.... This book is truly innovative and exciting, by a therapist and tarot reader possessing a compassionate and poetic soul that radiates through each word he writes."--Mary K. Greer, TAROT Newsletter, Summer 2000 "This is a book that challenges the thinking of both practicing clinical psychologist and practicing Tarot readers...this work is based on solid clinical training and the author's own extensive research and practical clinical experience. The author has developed a Spectrum of Possibility for each card in the Tarot deck. These spectra are not the cut and dried "card meanings..".but rich shades of psychological meaning...the author explains the Jungian Theory of Synchronicity, that is, the notion of acausality. This is the most lucid and uncomplicated exposition of this important and oft misunderstood subject. This is a "must read" for clinicians who are looking for new approaches to old problems and for Tarotists looking for a work with more depth and meaning than yet another description of the archetypal images of the Major Arcana."--Linda Gail Walters, Student of Tarot, San Diego, CA "Rosengarten's remarkable work spans the abyss that yawns between psychology and mysticism, and does so without diminishment to art or science."--Lon Milo DuQuette, Author of Tarot Of Ceremonial Magick "Were I still in practice, I would test for myself the integration of Tarot (and other mantic methods) into analysis, something this book has given me courage to attempt."--James A. Hall, MD, Author of Jungian Dream Interpretation

About the Author

Dr. Arthur Rosengarten is a licensed clinical psychologist, Diplomate of the American Psychotherpy Association, and a professional Tarot reader and teacher with twenty-five years of experience in both disciplines. He is currently in private practice in Encinitas, California.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By International Acclaim on 8 Jan 2008
Format: Paperback
With scant few exceptions, the Tarot's inherent ability as a powerful and practical tool in the psychotherapeutic realm has gone on relatively unrecognized in the publishing world. Rarer still is a work devoted specifically and solely to this fascinating topic. So the publication of Tarot and Psychology: Spectrums of Possibility by Arthur Rosengarten, Ph.D. (Paragon House/2000) is an unquestionably notable event. Happily, Dr. Rosengarten has provided us with a work marked by characteristics uncommon in any genre. His always-engaging text sparkles throughout with great humanity, warm humor, and profound depth. Furthermore, impressive research findings and extremely sane argument support his what-might-be-considered controversial use of the Tarot selectively in the therapeutic setting. Tarot and Psychology will be of equal value to the Tarot professional seeking wider horizons in which to assist clients, and the psychotherapist open to new techniques with the same valiant goal. With admirable eloquence, the author's thought-provoking approach reveals the significant and even sacred connection between these superficially-divergent subjects. In the role of Virgil-like guide, Dr. Rosengarten leads the reader on an awe-inspiring journey through the portal between the two and into an underground composed of the psyche, heart, and soul. For those daring enough to accept this challenge, the potential rewards are wondrous indeed. -Michael Orlando Yaccarino, Certified Professional Tarot Reader
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Miss W. Merrymoon on 25 April 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Dr. Arthur Rosengarten is a psychologist and tarot reader of many years standing, during which time he has taught many students of both disciplines and written numerous articles. The author's stated intention in writing this book is to make Tarot relevant to "those who desired greater spirituality in their lives, including the benefits of psychological insight and depth, without the baggage of affiliation that invariably accompanies any single set of beliefs" (p.5). His hope is that a clinician such as himself offering an in-depth explanation of the Tarot might tempt other such people to consider seriously the value of Tarot as a therapeutic agent. And finally, to encourage Tarotists etc. to see the benefits of understanding Tarot from a psychologist's perspective, thus opening another area for exploration (see p.6). All of which is summed up much more succinctly by Rosengarten towards the end of his book, "our mission, as stated from the outset, has been to blend the strange bedfellows of Psychology and Tarot, to get them to lie down together, as it were, without competing for the remote control" (p.242). In order to accomplish his intentions, the author has divided the book into three sections. Section One, 'The Tarot of Psychology' examining how, why, when and under what circumstances Tarot can be seen and understood as a tool having psychotherapeutic value. This section includes some mini case studies to illustrate such possibilities. Section Two, 'The Psychology of Tarot', addresses the issues of how, why, when and under what circumstances psychology can enrich the Tarot's contribution towards the healing of the wounds of humanity. This is examined in-depth through an exploration of 'The Fool's Journey' (p.153).Read more ›
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A. J. Peck on 11 Jun 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Sorry disappointed in this. I bought this because of the previous reviews but found it a hard read. If you like text books then fine.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 14 reviews
63 of 65 people found the following review helpful
Complex and rewarding...... 25 Jun 2002
By Dianne Foster - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
TAROT AND PSYCHOLOGY: Spectrums of Possibility, by Arthur Rosengarten, is a complex but well-written book. Rosengarten is a Jungian psychologist who has written a book primarily for fellow clinicians. However, Tarot readers of any persuasion will probably find the book informative and interesting.
Rosengarten suggests psychoanalysis is based more on art than science, and as an art form Tarot can play a role. He says his method involving the use of Tarot cards is both effective and pragmatic. In his own practice, he has found Tarot can play a role in facilitating quality ananysis within time constraints (managed care). To support his claims of the effectiveness of his methods, he presents the results of some empirical work he conducted using Tarot with a purposive sample of adults in domestic violence treatment programs. He says his work can be replicated and is thus subject to empirical review.
Either Rosengarten's writing is incredibly clear, or I was in the right place at the right time, or both, but based on my reading of this book, I think I may finally understand what Jung meant by synchronicity. Rosengarten suggests each of the Tarot cards has a spectrum of meanings and that each of these meanings is augmented when viewed in conjunction with other cards (and their meanings) in a particular spread. The synchronic view contrasts with a linear interpretation of the Major Arcana of the Tarot cards which some see as representative of the stages of personality development or journey of the soul.
As nearly as I can tell, Rosengarten is suggesting that when one engages in a Tarot reading, a "higher power" takes over and a path to enlightment is opened. Having experienced the Transcendent I have to agree with him. However, whether your view is diachronic or synchronic I think you will find Rosengarten's book intriguing.
50 of 51 people found the following review helpful
Doctor Rosengarten Advises Use of Tarot in Counseling 5 Feb 2002
By "firerizing" - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I purchased this book and somehow had overlooked the fact that Ph.D was behind his name. I was so surprised to find a Tarot book that delves so deeply into the many uses of Tarot and that a psychologist would recommend them!!
One of the most impressive comments I must make regarding this book is how easy it was to read. I have found in the past, that when one reads a book by a doctor, that they tend to use "big" words to prove they are educated enough to hold a degree.
Dr. Rosengarten, however, does not.
Each card is explained in full details but not so much as a card, but as a possibility for growth and needs. But if you are a professional reader and want to truly be able to go beyond predictive tarot readings, I suggest this book as your first purchase.
30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
A Tarotist Perspective 2 May 2000
By Errol McLendon - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is a wonderful support document for the power of Tarot as a counseling tool. Mr. Rosengarten writes in a very clear and casual style which makes complex concepts understandable to the lay person. This book is a valuable companion to the core books which have been in my library since my studies began (many of them referenced by Mr. Rosengarten). Somewhat technical at times, the author's "every-day" references and context clarify within the body of the work, making frequent trips to a dictionary unnecessary. There were a few sections that were theoretically over my head, but their content was not necessary to follow these document to it's logical conclusion. Bravo!
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Revealing New Vistas 8 Jan 2008
By International Acclaim - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
With scant few exceptions, the Tarot's inherent ability as a powerful and practical tool in the psychotherapeutic realm has gone on relatively unrecognized in the publishing world. Rarer still is a work devoted specifically and solely to this fascinating topic. So the publication of Tarot and Psychology: Spectrums of Possibility by Arthur Rosengarten, Ph.D. (Paragon House/2000) is an unquestionably notable event. Happily, Dr. Rosengarten has provided us with a work marked by characteristics uncommon in any genre. His always-engaging text sparkles throughout with great humanity, warm humor, and profound depth. Furthermore, impressive research findings and extremely sane argument support his what-might-be-considered controversial use of the Tarot selectively in the therapeutic setting. Tarot and Psychology will be of equal value to the Tarot professional seeking wider horizons in which to assist clients, and the psychotherapist open to new techniques with the same valiant goal. With admirable eloquence, the author's thought-provoking approach reveals the significant and even sacred connection between these superficially-divergent subjects. In the role of Virgil-like guide, Dr. Rosengarten leads the reader on an awe-inspiring journey through the portal between the two and into an underground composed of the psyche, heart, and soul. For those daring enough to accept this challenge, the potential rewards are wondrous indeed. -Michael Orlando Yaccarino, Certified Professional Tarot Reader
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Let's say - two and a half stars 19 May 2014
By Pete - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This might not be such an awful book as the rating I'm giving it implies ... but the presentation of the subject is kind of heavy handed, the writing style rather convoluted, and gives the feeling that the author is struggling to maintain his professional pose as a psychologist - which he is doing not bad at all - also when talking about the Tarot that is in essence just a pastime. Anyone who is taking the Tarot seriously "as is", that is, who is wanting to see in the Tarot "higher truths" of whatever (human psyche perhaps? or the Universe on the whole? maybe even further beyond black holes ...) is most likely running the risk of being psycho-logically/-analytically marked as, I would presume, a neurotic ("What is the Tarot / the big Other telling me?") or a psychotic ("I know what the Tarot is telling me!"), or whatever is there in store, and who should know that better than a PhD psychologist? And it shows. The author tries to be academical, but somehow always runs out of breath after a few paragraphs and thus interrupting his stream of thought leaving most of his reasoning hanging in the air. One bad example, quote:
"Tarot's purient world of psychical ideals interacting with an outside intervention of random selection may be seen to recreate nothing less natural than the undisturbed perfection of a virgin forest's ecosystem. Curiously, the occult dictum, "As above, so below" (later to be reframed by Goethe "as without, so within"), thus finds today a postmodern ally in deep ecology and "green" psychology. As without, so within." (p. 103)
And then follows the next paragraph leaving any reasonable linking to the previous one out of sight:
"In 'Psychology and Religion' Jung notes: "The symbol always ranks below the level of the mystery it seeks to describe." If the iridescent diamond holds the great mystery we seek, then its sparkling shape and color are merely means to this end." etc.
Such is the writing style throughout the book, somewhat stiff and lumbering.

There's also Appendix A containing cards' interpretations in form of phrases and proverbs, but despite the invigorating touch of the proverbs (e.g. for 8 of Swords: "When an elephant is in trouble even a frog will kick him") there's nothing exciting here, mostly just clichéd, "heard one heard them all" gypsy-style cum New Age-style fancy.
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