“Colouring in the archetypal images will stimulate your imagination unconsciously. As the divinatory meanings start to unfold automatically, the images will soon start to feel like old friends.” –Juliet Sharman-Burke
The Tarot Workbook was created for tarot readers eager to increase their knowledge of the cards and improve their ability to read them. This fun book features 78 blank card images for you to color in any way you desire: crayons, markers, colored pencils, etc. While the blank images are based on the Sharman-Caselli deck, the Tarot Workbook can be used with any set of Tarot cards.
By engaging the archetypal symbols and themes directly—through coloring the images and choosing a personalized color scheme—we approach the cards in a less intellectual, more intuitive way. According to Sharman-Burke, this is exactly the approach needed to unlock the secrets of Tarot.
The author takes a few pages to describe the Minor Arcana, the four elements, the symbolism of numbers 1 (Ace) through 10, Court Cards and the Major Arcana. Although she doesn’t spend much time on theory, what she does share is packed with solid, helpful insights.
The Tarot Workbook features a coloring exercise and a personal association exercise designed so readers can form a more intuitive, personalized rapport with the Tarot. For example, with the Ace of Pentacles, Sharman-Burke asks us to think about the earth and all aspects of the earthy element—and to consider the different types of flowers and what they may represent (e.g. roses for passion, lilies for purity). She then encourages us to reflect on our own experience with matters of finance—what money means to us, how we use it, and how we would apply this to the Ace of Pentacles as a symbol of new beginnings.
On the left side of the book is a brief overview of the card meaning and several comments by students of Sharman-Burke. It’s interesting to read how individuals of varying age and life experience interpret the cards. On the right side of the page is the blank image to color with about nine lines to record your impressions. The author divides this area into three parts:
1.What this means in my life 2.Readings in which it was significant 3.Reading record sheet
I didn’t find the last two helpful, so I just whited out the text so I could have a blank paragraph to write what I wanted to. To the left and right of the card are white spaces dedicated to Name, Place, Date, and Time. Sharman-Burke doesn’t explain what these are for, however. I got out the liquid paper, again, and just made them blank rectangles in which to write associations and key words.
The front and back covers of the book feature glossy flaps depicting the entire Sharman-Caselli deck in full color. However, readers are encouraged to formulate their own color schemes and “bank” of card associations.
The Tarot Workbook by Juliet Sharman-Burke provides an engaging, hands-on study which is perfect for kinesthetic (physical) learners or those wishing to approach learning the Tarot in a more intuitive, creative manner. By familiarizing yourself with card images in this way, a stream of information bypasses the critical, rational mind and bubbles into consciousness. Whether coming from the archetypal collective of the unconscious or personal experience, these associations become more solidified in the psyche of the reader.
I’m really enjoying coloring the card images and writing commentaries on each card based on events from my life and from other symbolic, mystical disciplines. It's interesting to see how new meanings rise to the surface by the act of choosing particular colors and taking them time to color each card image.
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