22 January 2010

Anger management and the Tarot

Extract from a book attempting to apply a system of Tarot card interpretations to psychology

The man who, to become superior like the sphinx, has struggled with his destiny at the tenth level of consciousness of the wheel of fortune has learned a great deal in this conflict ... He had to learn to imagine himself in the place of his opponent, thereby adopting and accepting the standpoint of the other person. Suddenly the whole matter appeared to him in an entirely different light ... As a consequence of this, everyone around him admired him for his imperturbable composure and began to emulate it. People again came to seek his advice in all kinds of matters. [Part of interpretation of card no. 11, entitled ‘Power’] *

It should not be supposed that I find the psychology advocated in books on the Tarot more comprehensible than that advocated in modern society at large. In fact, I quote this extract because of its similarity to what is likely to be heard in "anger management" classes.

In practice I find, and always have found, that my lack of acceptance of my social position, as well as my attempts to work towards remedying it, arouses anger in those to whom I express it, and apparently a wish to reject my own experience of my position. There is certainly no sign of a willingness to imagine themselves in my place, since I am angrily told that I should be able to think and feel about it quite differently from the ways I do.

For my part, I am quite unable to think myself into the position of those who are angry and morally indignant at me, as I cannot imagine myself, at any time in my life, having such reactions towards someone who complained of their position and of the difficulties which they experienced in attempting to ameliorate it.

* Elisabeth Haich, The Wisdom of the Tarot, Unwin, 1975, pp.91-92