Tarot Shadow Work: Using the Dark Symbols to Heal by Christine Jette 
Review by Valerie Sim-Behi

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This is part of a larger article on Tarot and the Shaman

"Confronting the Shadow"

This book is a novel and refreshing look at the Jungian concept of the shadow and shadow-work as a means to self-healing. Some people may not understand what is meant by ‘shadow work’. To give an over-simplified explanation it refers to looking at the dark spots, the ‘forbidden zones’, those ‘internal demons’ we all have within ourselves, in order to acknowledge, face, and finally move away from, those former shadows. Only by such confrontation can one progress into the healing phase.

Those who say, "I walk only in the light and my soul contains no shadows" will not be helped by this book. You can not release that which you refuse to acknowledge and name. But those who realize that mortality is full of shadows will find this book refreshing and helpful.

Christine Jette's book functions as a guidebook to facilitate one on the journey to embrace and release that shadow part of ourselves that has previously been a silent but heavy burden.

Shadow work is especially necessary for the Shaman. When journeying for others, it is necessary for safety's sake to not carry any excess personal baggage. Especially helpful is the section called Into the Light which covers aspects of the shadow such as: denial, projection, regression, somatization, rationalization, and repression. Exercises for moving forward into healing and growth are also found in this section.

The Star Guides section is important because it defines the shadow and shadow gifts for each of the major arcana. Both sections have helpful star-shaped spreads for working through this process consciously with the cards.

I can not recommend this book highly enough. It is a valuable tool for self-exploration and self-healing. This book contains no preaching, no patronization, and no biases. This is a multi-cultural, multi-spiritual tool for doing shadow work in order to heal.

I use this book with many different Tarot decks, but have found it to be especially illuminating when used with the Light and Shadow Tarot reviewed earlier. 

Tarot Shadow Work by Christine Jette
Publisher: Llewellyn Worldwide 
ISBN#: 1-56718-408-1

If you would like to purchase this book, click here.

Valerie Sim-Behi is the founder and moderator of Comparative Tarot, an email list devoted to studying cards of different decks  in comparison to each other.   She has worked with the tarot for over 30 years.  Valerie created a spread that will appear in the book accompanying the Victoria-Regina Tarot by Sarah Ovenall, and has written various articles, including one on the Comparative Tarot method that will be published in Llewellyn's Tarot Calendar 2002.  You can visit Valerie at the Comparative Tarot websiteValerie wants to offer special thanks to Leah Pugh, Scanner Goddess for this series.

Review © 2001 by Valerie Sim-Behi
Page © 2001 by Diane Wilkes









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