Tarot & Dream Interpretation
Sarah C. Costello, CPTR
CPTR, has been studying the Tarot since 1999. She actively reads on the
Free Tarot Network, Free Reading Network, and privately. She considers
herself a student of the Tarot and is also a mentor. She reads with many
decks. Her favorite is The New Palladini.
looking at a tarot card, have you ever remembered a scene from one of your
dreams? If so, Julie Gillentine's book Tarot & Dream Interpretation,
where she links the symbolism of dreams with the symbolism of the Tarot,
will interest you. Gillentine who has studied metaphysics for 25 years
asks, "Where do we begin to blend these two ancient disciplines, bridging
the language of Tarot and dreams?"
Gillentine breaks her book down into three parts. Part One, titled: "Tarot
and Dream Principles," includes a brief history of dream and of the Tarot.
It explains what a dream is, how to record it, and what to do with a dream
once you've recorded it.
Part One is my favorite part of this book. A section in chapter one,
"Dreamers Through Time," gives examples of famous dreamers through
history. Among those included are: Tutmosis IV of Egypt, Joseph (of the
coat of many colors), John (author of the biblical Apocalypse), Joseph
(Mary's husband), Abraham Lincoln, and Edgar Cayce.
Beneath the paws of the Great Sphinx of Egypt is a stone monument that
figures prominently in one of Tutmosis's dreams. The story goes that when
the Sphinx was still buried under the sand, Prince Tutmosis had a dream in
which the monument spoke to him. "Compelled by the voice in his dream, the
prince awoke and ordered workers to free the massive statue from the tons
of sand surrounding its enormous body. Tutmosis was soon crowned pharaoh.
He inscribed the stela of the dream and placed the stone between the
leonine paws of the Great Sphinx, where it remains today." I found this
section fascinating because though we all know that we dream, we tend to
forget that pharaohs were dreaming 2,500 years ago and making decisions
based on their dreams.
Part One also
includes a very specific example of a dream journal. Gillentine divides
the dream into a beginning, middle, and ending scene. She asks you to
consider each of the dream elements as parts of a play and analyze them
accordingly, but does not mention the well-known Jungian concept that
the ending of the dream tells you where to go and what to work on next.
This would have been helpful in creating spreads to understand and work
on the dream.
Part Two covers Tarot and Dream Practices. It includes nine tarot
spreads, ranging from one to six cards, to help you interpret your
dreams. They are followed by examples of how dreams were interpreted
using these tarot spreads.
In Part Three, "Tarot and Dream Interpretations," Gillentine gives
descriptions of the 78 Tarot cards with possible dream interpretations.
She includes a Keyword or Key concept, a Significator, and a Reversed
interpretation for each card. For the Major Arcana and the court cards,
Gillentine provides a description of the card and a Dream Spread
meaning. For example the entry for the Strength card says:
Significator: Inner strength
Reversed: Reckless or unconscious use of force.
She names the card "Kundalini, Serpent power" and also includes the
card's astrological sign, (Leo for Strength), color (yellow) and a list
of symbols (red lion, mountain, and roses). She uses the Lo Scarabeo
version of the Universal Tarot.
Although Gillentine introduces the Major Arcana by saying that universal
archetypes and their meanings are focused for use with dreams, she is
inconsistent in suggesting which mythological figures, which she calls
archetypes, match which Major Arcana cards. Perhaps she thought it
obvious to all, but I would tend to disagree.
In Gillentine's description of the court cards, she gives a brief
description of the aspects of wands, cups, swords, and pentacles and how
they apply to dream interpretation. She also offers insight on how aces
and princesses (pages) correlate. However, she does not include insight
on princes (knights), queens, and kings and their correlations.
The Minor Arcana cards are divided numerically, rather than by suit and
each is preceded by an explanation of the numbers of the Minor Arcana
(1-10). For instance, the number eight is described as holding the
meaning that "opposite forms of expression are effects of a single
cause. Eight implies the ebb and
flow and the flux and reflux of a single breath-like motion, like the tides
of the ocean. Eight corresponds with Hod, Splendor, and the Sphere of
Mercury on the Tree of Life. Meanings of the number eight include
vibration, rhythm, involution and evolution, and resurrection."
Part Three also includes a dictionary of symbols intended to correlate
with dreams and the Tarot although they seem to pertain more to dreams
than symbols on Tarot cards.
Tarot & Dream Interpretation (ISBN 0-7387-0220-X) is published
by Llewellyn Publications. It is available at Amazon.com and at your