This and That 3

Toni Gilbert, Transpersonal Counselor

Hi everyone,

Time sure seems to travel fast when you are busy. I try to put the skids on the ole “doing” thing but somehow things find me and beg to be done. Then, I am sure that there are things that would be bad karma to ignore. So, what’s a person going to do? My summer was filled with family, and friends, as well as canning and freezing of our garden harvest and tending to my pets…the flowers. Life is good and I am blessed.

The following a list of what I’ve been up professionally that might be of interest to you.

New Articles on Toni

TGrandmother Moonhere are two new articles on the “published articles” section of my web site Grandmother Moon which is about an evening of self-care when the full moon inspired me to meditate and visualize healing. Lewis took the above photograph from inside our two person tub, the night of my experience with the moon. I left that part out of the story.

The second article is about the therapeutic effects of the Breitenbush experience. It is aptly entitled Forest Immersion Experience: Mother Nature Promotes Introspection and Healing. This article was the inspiration of my co-author Lynn Keegan, PhD, RN AHN-BC FAAN a founder of the American Holistic Nurses Association. She visits our holistic organization in Oregon from time to time and has fallen in love with the Breitenbush experience.

Lynn will be our guest speaker this year at the Oregon Holistic Nurses Association (see dates below). She is the author of numerous books in holistic nursing . This year she will be discussing her newest book and interest, The Golden Room: A practical guide for death with dignity.

My New Book

Abby Wilson 1910I’m still hard at work on the new book about my family that has the tentative title of Images of Our Time: A history and pictures of a pioneer family.  I just finished restoring about 300 pictures that my grandmother, Lilly Wilson Curtis, took as professional photographer at the turn of the last century. She was a teacher and a photographer before she married my grandfather. In those years, you either had a profession or you married and had a family. She chose my grandfather (luckily) but she had her camera ready during their homesteading years and beyond. It is a treasure trove of images for our family and I think others will enjoy it too. I ‘m working on the text and it is all falling in line with a flow of synchronistic happenings…coming together in a magical way. So, it will be completed soon. The picture at the right is my grandmother’s sister, Abby.

My Published Books

Archetypal MandalaGaining Archetypal Vision and Messages from the Archetypes  The main aim of these books is to educate caregivers to the potential of learning to counsel with the archetypal images of Tarot cards (and other modalities that use the human archetypes.) For instance, I believe that Tarot cards can help provide a therapist or counselor with a pictorial assessment of the client’s state of mind. The cards illustrate the emotional investment a client holds and indicates various ways to help him or her to access inner levels of consciousness for insights and solutions.

How does that work? Basically, each of us has the same energetic structure that, not only gives us life but, also informs us on how to respond to life. There are many models of how this energetic structure is configured but the Freud/Jungian sits well with my experience: The conscious mind and the id take care of the world we see out there; the earthly level.  On one hand, the unconscious mind is a personal reservoir of experience unique to each individual. It is the structure of the psyche that autonomously organizes personal experience. Then there is the collective unconscious, also a part of the unconscious mind. It has a universal and impersonal nature. These levels of consciousness are identical in all healthy individuals. The collective unconscious accumulates and organizes personal experiences in similar ways, but it does not develop individually. Rather it is inherited, consisting of pre-existent energies known as archetypes.

If you know yourself at deep transpersonal archetypal levels, you can guide others to find these other dimensions of themselves. Using the archetypes is a transpersonal journey of great importance to your growth, development, and overall well-being.

During the counseling session, I am deeply involved in the process of active listening, becoming receptive to intuitive impressions and honoring the sacred by focusing my awareness on the synchronistic collaboration between spirit, self and other. I also have faith in the flow and trust that the creative process will unfold for the benefit of the client….and it does.

Oregon Holistic Nurses Association

Lotus budOn another note, the Oregon Holistic Nurses Association is holding its annual conference and retreat at Breitenbush Hot Springs in October.

Yours truly is heading up the Fundraising: In addition to a book sale and auction, I will be there with my cards giving Archetypal Tarot Counseling™ sessions to benefit the organization.

All holistic practitioners are welcome. Breitenbush is truly a healing place but it is also a place of teaching and a place of rest. Take your pick.

Book Review

Jesus of Nazareth ZealotI like to study religions not only for their historical perspective but for the perennial wisdom that runs through every one of the wisdom traditions. So, when the book Zealot: The life and times of Jesus of Nazareth by Reza Aslan came out, it was a must read. The fact that the author is an internationally acclaimed scholar of religion was even better. Someone who actually puts in the time to study religions is, not only credible but, much better at explaining all the events in a way that is grounded in the reality of their research into historic data banks. Of course, I take in the fact that they are writing from their perspective/interpretation and are not necessarily bearers of the “right” truth of the actual events.

The book did not disappoint me. The first few chapters described the times that Jesus lived; the landscape, the people, and the culture. It was very much like today, with the various factions fighting for their beliefs. The fundamentalists clung to olden beliefs as if those truths were the only right ones and the more liberal factions espoused a new vision of truth. Both archetypal sides had people who were passionate about what they believed to be true. Such people are known as Zealots because they pursue their path with zeal…or conviction.  Of course “zealot” is an archetype and as such would have different levels of consciousness or development.

The author’s portrait of Jesus and others are vivid and believable.  As the story unfolds the history of the region is interwoven with the characters of the New Testament or the Hebrew Bible. For example, The author tells us that Jesus’ brother James, was a good and just man, who went to great lengths to keep Jesus’ teachings pure after his death. Paul, a major player in the formation of the Christian religion, saw things differently and added a few touches to help people understand the story…. or for political reasons.

All in all it is a darn good read and I recommend it to everyone….Christian and non-Christian.


Lastly, I find beautiful images on the internet. Sometimes they have a photographer’s name and sometimes not. If you are an author of an image posted here, let me know so I can give you credit. A big THANK YOU to all of the artists, for you improve our world with your art.


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This and That

This and That 2
by Toni Gilbert

Life is good here in the Mid-Willamette Valley; the sun is shining, the birds are calling to their mates and there is a mighty flurry in the oak and cottonwood trees surround our property.

Lewis built our chickens a big pen with lots of grass inside so that they won’t scratch around in my flowerbeds. It can be quite disheartening to see the damage they do but, what can I say, they don’t have a clue about flowers. At this time of early spring, with no flowers up, I do occasionally allow them into my space because there are all kinds of baby slugs and newborn bugs. I figure it is just another way they earn their keep.

My brother, Tom Gilbert, is staying with us to recuperate from liver cancer. So far, so good, the most recent test shows no evidence of his cancer. I give him energy work, Tarot counseling and good meals complete with multi-vitamins and supplements along with a good dose of D3. He is reading one of Dean Sluyter’s books “The Zen Commandments” and a couple other equally enlightening books. He is learning to rest when his body feels tired and is noticing his guilt when he does. He is also out in Nature working in my very large yard.

The grandchildren are growing at an enormous rate and I feel that our time together is going too fast.  My grown children, complete with their challenges, are physically strong and mentally and spiritually healthy. Who could ask for more?

Workshop Offering

If you are thinking of getting certified in Tarot Counseling, now is the time to get signed up for my Archetypal Tarot Counseling(TM) course It is three years long and is focused upon the use of Tarot cards in wellness counseling. You need not be a nurse to benefit from this perspective. We meet physically three times. We begin at the end of June. This year we will meet in the Temple of Claire and then will meet for the next 2 years at Breitenbush .

Also free on the workshop page: A print out of a chart that compares the Chakra system with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

My Book in Progress

My great-grandparents on both sides of my family pioneered in the Oregon/Washington territories. Currently, I’m working on a coffee table book of my maternal grandmother’s photos. My grandmother was a professional photographer and a teacher before she married at 27. After which she stayed home…but had her camera. She left a treasure trove of photographs from homestead life. This one is of my uncle Lewis who was born in 1912. I have been working with Photoshop to restore the hundred year old photos. It is a fun project and I expect to have the pictures and the text done by the end of this year. Then I will check with my current publisher Schiffer Books and we shall see…..

Bay Area Tarot Symposium

It was good to see new and old friends at the Bay Area Tarot Symposium. I was so impressed with the line-up of speakers that I wrote the article San Francisco Bay Area Tarot symposium: An Intuitive art Comes of Age for Perspective, magazine The Associations Humanistic & Transpersonal Psychology October/November 2012.

This article is about the maturation of the Bay Area Tarot Symposium and of Tarot as an intuitive art. It is also a call for Tarot cards to be recognized as a profound tool with which to move our consciousness toward a more transpersonal vision in mental, physical, and spiritual health. If you are interested in giving Tarot reading or counseling a try, there is a sidebar that lists a few top tarotists and contact information.

You might also be interested in my article Astrology, Tarot and Maslow: Using the Esoteric Arts for Self-Development for Perspective magazine of the Associations Humanistic and Transpersonal Psychology.

In this article I use the Christine Payne Towler’s New Moon Tarotology system, Maslow’s pyramid and my evaluation method for the archetypes in counseling. The use of these esoteric tools together with an intuitive interpretive process gives you an idea of how to use the archetypal energies that are available to us at any given time.

Holistic Nursing

I’m really proud of our fledgling Oregon Holistic Nursing Association, an organization that I helped birth into being. Please join us at our 7th annual retreat and conference October 13-16 at Breitenbush Hot Springs The theme this year will be “Facilitating Conscious Transitions Through Holistic Practice. ” For more information and registration, please go to the events section of our web site: You don’t need to be a nurse to attend, all holistic practitioners are welcome.

My personal site (#43) and the Oregon Holistic Nurses Association web site (#34) were mentioned in Best Nursing Sites of 2012. Both, I and Deonne Wright the current OHNA director, had a hand in developing site. Go to the sites and click onto the blue logo to see who else is there.

I’m seeing more of an easy interest in the use of Tarot images in wellness counseling. I have promoted its use for over 10 years to holistic nursing, humanistic and transpersonal psychology and the alternative community. It was rough going at first and, in the nursing world, sometimes my requests for an interview or presentation were ignored. However, the like minds in the profession kept me going. So far this year, I was invited to do a radio interview with holistic nurse Elizabeth Scala (see Radio) and next, on the third Saturday in May, I will present “Using Archetypal Symbols as a Therapeutic Tool” to the AHNA Oregon Chapter of holistic nurses at Portland Community College. One of the challenges of holistic nursing is to demonstrate the change you want to see in the world.


Two new radio shows are up on my personal site at click on “radio”. They are Tarot Works Radio Show with Jeanne Fiorini where we discuss the body/mind connection, archetypes, healing, and personal potential. And my first nursing radio show Living Sublime Wellness Radio Show with Elizabeth Scala.

And a third special offer from Global Spiritual Studies my book “Messages from the Archetypes” and a radio interview not offered on my web site. This one is with Linda Marson skyping me all the way from Australia. Check it out on


Many years ago, I wrote poetry as a healing exercise when I was working through childhood issues and gaining spiritual perspectives. Lately, I have been publishing them through the newsletter of the Oregon Holistic Nurses Association. You may see some of them by going to the web site and clicking onto the newsletters. I will share one with you here. I wrote this in my journal after observing and being taught about Zen by my small furry guru.

Ode to the Cat
Oh, to be like the cat.
She cares not for where
She’s going
Or what happens to her.
The cat cares nothing for where
She’s been.
She lives in the moment
And is her own best friend.
Toni Gilbert, 1978

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Book Review: Dreaming the Soul Back Home: Shamanic Dreaming for Healing and Becoming Whole. Author: Robert Moss

By Toni Gilbert, ASN, MA, ATC

Dreaming - The Soul Back HomeThere are many paths to enlightenment. One such path is the inner journey, the dreamer’s journey, a journey that consists of levels of consciousness beyond what we know as waking reality. These levels of consciousness contain the images of fierce and gentle creatures, young and old selves, past and parallel lives as well as a multitude of abstract multisensory experiences.  In this great little book, the author Robert Moss teaches the reader to use the mysterious dreamtime. He touches on recognizing symbols and synchronicity and leads us through the dreamer’s world, showing how to connect the dots between our inner imagery and our life stories.

In the introduction Robert Moss reminds us that we are more than our body and brain. He shows by examples that we have stories going on in our heads during our current circumstances and that those stories guide us in our life.  He says that somewhere along the line of living, we forget our life’s purpose and get lost. It is then that we run into all kinds of trouble. Because bad things happen to us, we lose our vital essence and we may feel bad and want to die. It is during the tough times that a part of us may actually succeed in dying. This is what is known to shamans as soul loss and to the mental health professionals as dissociation. From a lifetime of independent scholarship and experience and a quarter of a century of dedicated practice, the author gives the reader an antidote to this problem.

Robert Moss begins by giving us the history and practice of shamanism. Basically, the shaman is a spiritual practitioner who has mastered the art of journeying beyond the body to communicate with spirits and souls of both the living and the departed. He/she does this to facilitate their healing. Typically the shaman are dreamers, who receive their calling from dreams and become frequent travelers to the Dream time. For instance, they may use their dreaming to diagnose a patient and select appropriate treatment. Moss describes the Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung as a shaman of the West and goes into detail about how Jung used information from the unconscious mind to craft a depth psychology in which dreaming is central.

Moss provides us with a history of dreams and perspectives from several cultures from the Old English and Scottish to the Hawaiian. As a plus, the author writes about, Carol, his dream partner of twenty years and tells how they work and dream together.

There is a section on understanding soul loss. Briefly, he says at our interior, we have a multitude of selves and we must build helpful bridges between them in our self-healing. Dreams reveal these selves that are aspects of psyche that may have been dormant or missing from waking consciousness. The dream itself is your doorway into a past situation that caused the soul loss. Reentry into the dream is important to reclaiming your vital energy and becoming whole.

The author helps the reader learn to use techniques and images of the tree in raising consciousness and in grounding. The use of projection of the animal spirits is also covered, illustrating the power of transfiguration in the reshaping of our energy bodies into animal bodies for the purpose of using their instincts for life learning. One chapter is all about horses in our dreams. There is a discussion about the condition of a horse in a dream as symbolic to the state of our bodies and our vital energy.

Moss’ book discusses soul loss in terms of trauma in early childhood. Another chapter’s theme is how to find and talk to the lost inner child ensuring that they return to your body in present time. There are tips on how to welcome the lost part home and how to use dreams after the recovery. The author tells of inner guides and mentors, which come to our aid during the dreaming.

The author describes how to use ritual and dreams in deep ancestral healing; healing all the family across multiple generations. The author states that our ancestors live in our bodies and that their templates may control our habits and behaviors unless we recognize and break the pattern or mold. The goal is to cherish soul connections to wise ancestors, and even have relationships with them, but we must start by clearing unhealthy legacies and energy attachments.

Part of the book is devoted to entering a secret library, a portal, from dream or memory that will allow you to move in your imagination to a place where you can access any kind of information that interests you, and any subject that attracts your attention. You may even be able to look in your “Book of Life”, the book that will help you know more of who you are, including your connection with personalities and sacred contracts in other lives, past and future. The reader will also learn how to use Tarot cards to trigger images of past lives and to “free our imagination and expand our understanding of the many aspects of the self.”

Then there is information on Dream Archaeology, which involves melding the best tools of analysis and scholarship with the experiential techniques of active dreaming. Moss claims that we can enter the life situation of personalities in the past or future who may be related to us in various ways—as ancestors or descendants, our larger spiritual families and as embodied aspects of ourselves living in other places and times. Moss claims that we embark on these journeys of the imagination “becoming more than we ever were before, embodying more of the Greater Self.” He ends with a discussion on “spiritual enthronement” and says that growing the soul requires courage and an open heart to take the creator’s leap and bring something new into our lives and our worlds.

Throughout the book there are multiple meditation exercises. For example, there is a journey to the cave of the animals and one about birds that is used for time travel. The chapters also include many stories to entertain and teach the reader. Not only does this book deliver, but it is easy to read and the stories and meditation exercises illustrate the author’s dreaming processes. This book is a “must read” for the intermediate student of the inner realms, the experienced practitioner looking for more.

Toni Gilbert, ASN, MA, ATC is a transpersonal counselor with a background in holistic nursing. As a professional with a formal education in nursing, psychology, and transpersonal studies, she offers clients an array of healing arts techniques to enhance wellness and prevent illness. She is the author of Messages from the Archetypes: Using Tarot for Healing and Spiritual Growth, published by White Cloud Press and Gaining Archetypal Vision:A Guidebook for Using Archetypes in Personal Growth and Healing by Schiffer Books. She has written for national and local publication. You may see her published articles on her personal web site She is also the founding director of the progressive Oregon Holistic Nurses Association  serving California, Oregon and Washington.

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A Night to Remember with James Wanless

The “Voyager” deck by James Wanless was one of my greatest discoveries for wellness counseling with Tarot cards. They have just the right blend of contemporary symbolism for clients to relate to effortlessly. Around 2002, as I was writing my first book “Messages from the Archetypes” I felt the need for professional advice in the area of marketing and publishing and so I phoned Dr. Wanless. He was patient and generous with his knowledge and we became easy friends.  He liked the way I intertwined healing modalities in a Tarot counseling session and heartily endorsed my book. After that, we corresponded primarily through e-mail.

In 2010, we had the opportunity to meet face to face when he came to Portland during his professional rounds. We had lunch and afterward he gave me a Tarot session. As I recall, over lunch we discussed a multitude of subjects that were of interest to each of us. However, during the session, because I was the querant drawing the cards, I am sure that he found out more about me than I knew of him.  However, I had used his Voyager cards for many years by then and, because our work is an extension of our selves, felt like I knew James at a deep level. It was like spending time with an old friend…one whom I had just met…if that makes sense.

Two years later, he was making a run through Oregon and I contacted him to see if we could meet up again. To make a long story short, he had time to make an overnight stop at my place. My husband of over 40 years, Lewis Judy, and I invited him to dinner and gifted him with an over-night stay in the Temple of Claire with breakfast in the morning.

When we saw James drive up, Lewis and I walked out the front door onto the steps to greet him. With his cell phone, James snapped a picture of an unusual sight in the dry summer: over my shoulder and off in the distance there appeared a rainbow. It was a beautiful little rainbow starting at the tree tops, shooting upwards, and disappearing into the clouds. Since I see the symbolism in everything, the moist colorful display held a message. For me, rainbows represent loving feelings and relationships.James & Toni I’ve had more than a few synchronistic experiences with rainbows and because of my particular way of seeing; I immediately thought that maybe the environment was mirroring my feelings of seeing James again.

Lewis, James and I had dinner talking all the while. After a dessert of apricot pie, Lewis stayed in the house to do the dishes (it was his turn). James and I went out to my office-temple where we could look at books, decks, and discuss the state of the world. I showed James my article in Perspective magazine, “Astrology, Tarot, and Maslow” and discussed my latest reviews of my newest book “Gaining Archetypal Vision”, which can be found here.

Toni & JamesWe were talking about the underwear, paint color and art on the wall when Lewis burst in with camera in hand. He began snapping pictures of us from all angles. He got off a number of shots in before I could stop him. I was a little taken aback by his spontaneity and quickly explained to James that “Lewis likes to take pictures.”  I told Lewis, “You should ask permission before you take pictures.” Then, I further explained that Lewis is in the habit of taking candid pictures of family and friends, who aren’t bothered by his creative ritual.

James & Toni DiscussionAfter a short discussion, James agreed to pictures. This brought out the fun-loving child in each of us. First, James thought that he and I should sit closer together. And so we rearranged ourselves a bit and began showing off. In the perfect fool archetype, James grabbed a deck from my table, which happened to be Doreen Virtue’s “Life Purpose” Oracle cards. He chose my card “Infinite Abundance” which stated something about the Universe supporting me as I devote myself to my life purpose. When Lewis felt he had enough pictures he left us…probably to go look at his cache.

When the energy settled down, we began talking about James’ new deck “Sustain Yourself Cards”. He brought the deck out but wouldn’t let me spread it out to look at the pictures. He told me in an honest matter-of-fact way that he didn’t want to just sit and watch me look them over. He found that boring.

I understood that the theme of the deck was based on a philosophy of sustainability. Each Sustain Yourself card is an oracle with a message about Nature and our human survival on this planet. The archetypes are expressed as direction or movement as well as concrete images. Dr. Wanless believes that it is more than necessary, indeed an imperative, that sustainability becomes a dominant lifestyle to ensure our futures and our very survival as a species.

As James held out the large 100 card oracle deck, he told me to “Ask a question of Nature”.

My approach with any deck is from a spiritual perspective because of the synchronicity and flow of intuitive ideas that come from stimulating the archetypes. Toni & James - Deck of CardsI understood that I was about to speak to Nature Itself and so felt honored for the opportunity. With my heart set on the occasion, my query was about how to approach my relationship with grandchildren in a less mother-hen-type way. The card chosen was “Green Road” and “Path”. The image immediately brought to mind that my life was a path with heart and grandchildren were an integral part of that path. My life is my spiritual path and so when the children presented themselves, I accepted with gratitude. This path with the children teaches many things, but at this time, it is teaching me to live more in the present moment.

James said a few things but I was lost in thought and so don’t remember his words. (I understand the present moment to include many dimensions of our consciousness.)  Later, I looked his interpretation up in the book accompanying the cards. The passage “Revere and be one with the earth as your church and temple. Nature is your sanctuary, wisdom guide and inspiration.” I loved this. There were some sentiments about the ecology of pure clean energy and resources…Yes, we work at that.  Then I read, “Seek your natural rhythm, uncontaminated by any toxic mental conditioning.” To me this meant that I should pay attention to what I could control and what I can’t. If I can’t have an effect, then I should not worry about what grandchildren are doing or not doing. Once more, I made the commitment to detach and stay in the Now.

In the morning, as James, Lewis, and I were at our round breakfast table, Sara, our daughter and the children came in to start the day. Sara joined us at the table and the kids found something else to do. The conversation was pleasant with lots of ideas still flowing. Finally, I gave James a two day supply of fresh apricots to take with him as we bid him adieu.

That was Friday morning.

Later, Lewis and I had an avalanche of company and things to do. We entertained until Saturday evening. We were tired but satisfied that we had done our best to work at the higher energies of consciousness (also known as gracious living). I was ready to relax. I sat in my favorite spot in the living room and picked up James’ new oracle deck. After a careful study of the cards, I find they satisfy both the intuitive feminine feelings in imagery but also the masculine linear mind for information.

Exhausted but happy, Lewis and I were looking forward to Sunday because we like to take one day off a week, just to give our multi-dimensional selves a break. I was feeling the energy of the let go, when I drew a card. I was immediately struck with its accuracy.  I laughed and called Lewis, from the other room, to come look at the card. He said, “Just a minute, I will get my glasses.” I told him, “You don’t need your glasses, come look.” He took one look at the card, which was entitled “Nothingness” and “Openness” and the white blank page. He laughed, hugged the card to his breast, rolled his eyes heavenward, and loudly stated, “YEEEESSSS!”

Then, I looked up the Wanless interpretation and related to this: “Give yourself space and call for a time-out, go blank with no agenda, with no plan.” Yes, indeed.


James Wanless James Wanless, PH.D was a distinguished university professor in the Middle East when he experienced a life-threatening disease which led to a spiritual transformation.  He relinquished his academic career and began to share his new found wisdom and inspiration.

James Wanless is a futurist and pioneer of new thinking and recognized for weaving timeless wisdom into modern life with intuitive tools and symbolic systems. He is the noted creator of the best-selling modern classic, “Voyager Tarot” and the author of “Way of the Great Oracle, Strategic Intuition for the 21st Century” “New Age Tarot”

and “Wheel of Tarot.” In addition to his “Sustain Yourself Cards,” he is the author of the classic “Little Stone: Your Friend for Life. James is a master tarot reader with over 30 years’ experience. You may reach Dr. Wanless at

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A Facebook conversation with James Fadiman

A Fool’s Report

As a concerned alumnus, I revisited the web site of the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology (ITP) to see where things were in regards to its transition that includes a name change to Sofia University. Apparently, change was permanent because there it was on the web as Sofia University. On the same page, James Fadiman’s name appeared as the founder of the school. I recognized his name as being one of my Facebook friends as I see his posts on my newsfeed from time to time.  Facebook has a cool feature, a place for sending messages.  With a few clicks, you can contact any of your Facebook friends and leave a message. Like an archetypal fool, I spontaneously contacted Dr. Fadiman to ask about the change. This is how the conversation went:

Dr. Fadiman responded: “Sophia University it is. Already enrollments are up, especially in the PH.D. program which had been slipping as well as most of the masters programs. We have been approached by universities in China and Switzerland for student/faculty trades and close affiliation. It looks like being the “first transpersonal university” was a good decision. How does that sound to you?”

Still in fool mode, I bluntly told him I didn’t like the change and asked: Why a Goddess name? I was also curious as to why the name change would affect enrollment. Dr. Fadiman wasn’t aware of it being a Goddess name and instead told me the name was selected because it was a Greek name meaning wisdom and an Arabic word meaning beauty. He carefully explained that enrollment was up because people would rather attend a University instead of an institute, and because the word institute rarely means a place to get a graduate education. He also reported that the name change was the most trivial part of the expansion and upgrading that was under way. “For openers,” he said, “we are doubling the physical size of the school.” Then he said, “As so many former students were sure that the name change would destroy the school forever, it is nice to see what is actually happening.” and happily wrote “Bob Frager and I see this as finally moving ahead on our larger and original vision.” Lastly, he asked if I was coming to the festivities in October to celebrate the changes. “Bob and I will be doing an event called, Extending the Vision on the 18th of October. The Official event will be on the 19th, both probably in our new Auditorium next door to the current campus.”

“Sophia is the Gnostic Goddess, who is God’s other half.” I complained that I and others had been working hard to get the transpersonal concepts out into the world. Why not change the name to something with the words transpersonal and university in it. But, not one to carry on and stick to my guns when there is nothing more that can be done, I signed “Oh, well, change happens.” Then I told him that I can’t travel much due to the recession and mentioned the Bay Area Tarot Symposium where I will be a presenter.

James wrote back, “Right you are. I always forget that monotheistic Christianity has a few Goddesses’ tucked away in odd corners.” He was sorry I couldn’t attend the schools festivities and thought the conference I was attending sounded great. He continued, “I assure you that the transpersonal is not being lost but actually will no longer confined to “psychology,” a word with a lot of connotation’s about other things. Bob and I never intended it to be limited to psychology, but we had to start somewhere.”

Not one to be deterred easily, I said, “How about the “University of Transpersonal Studies” which, “I” thought was much better suited to the school and its subjects. I continued, “Sophia is not a Goddess tucked away in odd corners…she is quite prominent in history” and corrected, “I believe that Gnostics are Gnostics and not Christian, although, the first Christian church was founded by Gnostics who were going against the grain.” Then I relented, “Well,” I said, “I shouldn’t criticize because I am not there and doing the work.” I felt a final shift of a let go and said, “Good luck on your endeavor.”

James responded, “We are all doing the best we can. Your idea was one of those considered by lots of people and didn’t make the final cut. Let us pray to Sophia for wisdom and let the rest of the work be done by them who are paid to do it.” Then he asked, “Did you do a Tarot spread to see what ITP/Sofia will need from you?” He went on to reminisce about a reading he did for a woman who later became his wife. He said, “Powerful stuff in them little decks” and then admitted that he is “often the Fool flying off that cliff.”

I wrote back that, the little deck was indeed powerful and that I use it in wellness counseling that usually guides people to consult their higher Nature and that it was, indeed, quite empowering. I also said that I knew the Fool archetype well, that is why I ended up as an ITP student. I also took his advice and did a Tarot spread and asked the question suggested. I used “Wizards Tarot” deck by Corrine Kenner.

An hour later, I reported the results of my reading to James:

First card, Past: King of Pentacles a rather grumpy looking King, which I thought was me about the name change (see picture above).

Second card, Present: 4 of Pentacles (reversed). This was me willing to accept the name change and move on.

Third card, Future: Moon of the major arcana. The author’s interpretation was read after I gleaned any intuitive hits from the image on the card. When I read her interpretation, certain things stood out. The woman on the card was called “Professor of Lunar Magic” that embodies the qualities of the maiden, mother and crone. Even though she is ready to give birth, her hair is silver (That’s me. Except for the long lanky sexy look and those shoes would kill my feet.). In her right hand is the talisman for Pisces (my rising sign) representative of intuition and psychic ability. In her left hand is the Hebrew letter goph which means “the back of the head” a reminder, according to the author, that things can be felt and not seen. The interpretation also prompts one to be aware of the shadow side of the moon. A concept that must be kept in mind at all times.

Because my moon is in the 10th house, I felt reminded that, indeed, I’m here, at this place and time, to be a teacher of lunar magic.

This felt incomplete for the question and so I drew the next card: Ace of Cups, which I understand to be the purest aspect of heart.

I wrote to my friend about the spread and then wrote, “I guess what ITP/Sofia needs from me is love.”

Jim liked the reading and the answer and likened my statement to a popular song with a similar refrain: “All We Need is Love”.

He went on to write about his adventures into LSD therapy sessions and his use of the Rider Waite Smith deck. “At the end of the sitting for someone LSD therapy session, when they were about to go home, I’d give them one Tarot card and ask them to tell him about it.” I wondered if he had recorded the reactions of people, on LSD, to the card images. I would love to read about this!

When the conversation felt done, I drew a card from the “Sustain Yourself” deck by James Wanless. I drew “Purification” also entitled “Creative Chaos.” Perfect. The card is about questioning everything and doing things in an un-premeditated and unpredictable way…just like this conversation. The image on the card depicted letters flying off one page and into space….probably the internet where they would compose themselves again on the other end. The accompanying little book counsels the querant to “get out of your mind and follow the spontaneous impulse. Acknowledging your body and its feelings and its crazy wisdom—the genius of the fool.” Somehow there was a spontaneous harmony, a creative chaos to the exchange. I felt listened to and I was ready to move on.


James FadimanJames Fadiman, B.A. (Harvard) M.A., Ph.D. (Stanford) has held a variety of teaching consulting, training, counseling and editorial positions. He has taught in psychology departments at Brandeis and San Francisco State, design engineering at Stanford, and for the past three decades, at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology that he co-founded. He has written textbooks, professional books, a self-help book, a novel, and a series of videos, Drugs: “The Children Are Choosing” for National Public Television. His books have been published in 8 languages. He had had three solo shows of his nature photography. He sits on two non-profit boards as well as having been the president of several small natural resource companies. He has been involved in researching psychedelic experience when it was legal and subsequently and recently published “The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide: Safe, Therapeutic, and Sacred Journeys”.

Also see this article about James Fadiman “The Heretic”.

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This and That

Hi everyone,
On a personal level, I’m still enjoying the grandchildren and keeping a watchful eye on them. They keep me on my toes. It is a real balancing act living in close proximity to several close relatives. However, in spite of their outside influences, we have been able to keep the harmony within the family situation pretty well. We have continual contact with clear respectful communications and occasionally gathering for a meal….a Ten of Cups type moment in time.

Garden and flower beds are planted and sprouting. Our weather system is cooperating with sun and rain. It is a lovely to see all the greenery and the air is so clean and fresh…especially in the morning. I love the fog drifting over the green fields. Nature is so perfect it seems surreal sometimes.

Lewis and I put in an outside gardening station with running water and a new bench that he made to my specs. We put an old rusty tin roof overhang on our garden shed to shield some things from the weather. Our neighbor, master potter, Glenn Burris had a pile of tin in his yard that was the perfect amount of rustiness. Another neighbor, Francis a plumber, gave us a nice deep utility sink, plus another neighbor, Phil, traded a cement slab (the floor) for some wood. A Ten of Pentacles situation for our project….

Now, if we could figure out a way to let the chickens run free without getting into the garden and the flower beds. Open for ideas….

Book Project
My great-grandparents on both sides of my family pioneered in the Oregon/Washington territories. Currently, I’m working on a coffee table book of my maternal grandmother’s photos. My grandmother was a professional photographer and a teacher before she married at 27. After which she stayed home…but had her camera. She left a treasure trove of photographs from homestead life.

Horse BuggyBecause I feel a strong responsibility to tell their story, I took a Photoshop class from the local college to understand how to repair olden photos. As I work on the photos, I get to know them at a deep level, which is quite an experience. I slated this year to search out more photos and information from my cousins who reside all over Oregon. My Aunt Charity, who is 94 years old, wrote a ten page memoir that will add to the text quite nicely. Next year, I will write the entire text and the following year get feedback on the writing and make changes. And then publish. The Knight of Pentacles, Queen of Swords and the Queen of Cups archetypes combining their skills here.

Archetypal Tarot Counseling Phase I
officeThe workshop at Breitenbush was a small intimate group, which was quite magical. It was an intelligent group of several nurses and a legal secretary. The archetype of camaraderie was present and we learned as we taught each other. You can see our group’s continuing conversations on the Facebook page “Archetypal Tarot Counseling”.

For next year, I’m changing things a bit and having the classes at my office-temple that I call The Temple of Claire. (Claire is a French name that means “light” and is also the name of my computer). That would make it much easier for me and I would enjoy it too. Breitenbush is a magical place to be sure. However, my slice of the world is pretty special too. Anyway, change in the works there. Keep an eye on the workshop section of my personal site.

San Francisco
Many of you may be interested in this year’s Bay Area Tarot Symposium (BATS) hosted by Thalassa Terese. More information . I will be a featured speaker; my topic is “The Archetypes and Developmental Psychology”.Gaining Archetypal Vision

Book Reviews
Messages from the Archetypes and Gaining Archetypal Vision sales are going well. You may read reviews here. Of course you can write a review too. If you write to your blog, newsletter, or magazine let me know so that I can add it to the list. You may also go to Amazon and Barnes and Noble to write reviews. I appreciate the thoughtful ones very much.


Arizona Trip
Arizona TripI was in Phoenix, Arizona for a few days, primarily to see my son Ryan and his family. I also tried to tie the trip into a Richard and Roberta Sutphen workshop on advanced past life therapy. Ryan chaffered me through the big city to the workshop address. Interestingly, the room was empty. Ryan talked to the woman at the reception desk. The receptionist was very helpful and made a call to Richard and Roberta’s apartment to see what was up. Roberta was very apologetic and came down to talk to me right away. I thought it was an interesting development and wasn’t too concerned. Apparently, they decided to cancel the workshop and called everyone but me. (Interestingly, they had never canceled a workshop before and so had not had this type of situation.) At the time, Jupiter was in Taurus and I felt the energies were working for me that day…despite the initial circumstances. Ryan and I didn’t get too excited about what “should” happen; we just watched the moments unfold in their perfection.

To make a long story short, they ended up giving me a private session. After we were done with their teaching, I gave them a short Tarot Counseling session. Lovely people, I enjoyed the time very much.

Richard Sutphen is an alternative practitioner, an author of several books and who has taught metaphysics for years. He has a great voice. I recommend his past life regression tapes/CDs. Roberta, was very sweet and interesting. She is also an alternative practitioner, a medium with an interesting formal education. More information:

I joined Facebook a couple of years ago and since then I have decided that it is a worthy enterprise. I love the contacts that I have made and will see some of them this summer at the Bay Area Tarot Symposium. Not only is FB good for me, it’s good for business. The other night, I had the following dream:

I was in Mark Zuckerberg’s office and he kissed me on the lips and gave me a check for $880.00. There were thoughts like this was the founder of Facebook and he was a wealthy man. (I interpreted this to be the money I have made off my Facebook contacts: students and clients as well as other authors, teachers, mediums, pychics, Tarotists, astrologers….lovely and interesting people. I’m not sure about the dollar amount because I don’t know how many books have been sold.) When he kissed me, I pulled back and wondered about his motive. It felt like a working relationship and then he asked me what I was going to do. I told him I would write creatively.

I left his office and I got into a small car, a convertible, placing the check in a folder and carefully locating it in the car where it would be safe (my sense of this is that dreams can be so bizarre that you never know what is going to happen to the things you want to keep. LOL)

At first I drove into a dead end, and then I drove down a hill in a neighborhood with lots of Victorian houses. I was staying with a woman who was in the middle of a remodel. She was busy putting up wall paper and was in no mood for talking. (This is Thalassa Terese who is the hostess for the Bay Area Tarot Symposium (BATS). I will be a speaker there in August). I went back to Mark and then back to my car thinking of the check and trusting myself that I put it in a safe place (This time concern about the check is about trusting myself.). It was a nice dream with a feeling of luck and confidence.

When I e-mailed the dream my dream work partner, Robert Volkmann, he expanded upon it with this: “The number $880 seems to be as much the point of the dream as Mark Zuckerberg, both being symbols of Power. The 88 is the higher octave of 8, the Capricorn Number of Mastery of the Physical plane. Mark Zuckerberg would add the element of Social Media and connectedness to the nature of this Power and Mastery.”

Toni GilbertAnd so, dear friends, live life to the fullest. May the wind always be at your back and remember not to spit into it.

Don’t be shy, I continue to do on-line sessions and love getting your e-mails. Loving kindness to you, Toni

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Archetypal Tarot Counseling™ Phase I: The Workshop Process

Hi everyone, Thought I would give you a little more information about myself and my upcoming workshop at Breitenbush. There is much to teach and I hardly know where to begin. After many years of challenges, I feel as if I finally emerged and bloomed. My developmental challenges continue but I currently have a broader view and so don’t take things as seriously. My philosophical bent is Gnostic in the sense that: I keep an open mind and understand that I don’t actually know much; I believe in a direct participation with the Divine; and consider all perspectives important to the whole of our experience. I have studied the unconscious mind for many years and feel ready to teach others how to explore its treasures. This is the first offering of Archetypal Tarot Counseling™ Phase I. During this course, you will be instructed in my way of using Tarot images in wellness counseling. There are few requirements for Phase I and I expect it to be relaxing and fun. To become thoroughly instructed and trained to this method, I give a few take home assignments that are exacting but fun and informative. Learning how to see yourself in the cards is an enjoyable, insightful and mystical journey.

Archetypal Tarot Counseling™ Phase I workshop begins April 15th through the 18th 2012. Students flying into the Eugene or Portland airports will need to rent a car for the 2 hour drive to Breitenbush Hot Springs. One hour of freeway driving through our beautiful Willamette Valley and then up the mountain for the rest of the scenic drive. If you have never been to Breitenbush be prepared for a therapeutic experience by just being there.
My teaching style is laid back but organized. We will start on time and end on time. I do more holding the space for your experiential learning than I do lecturing. There are no tests, but there will be written assignments. This work is too cutting edge to get continuing education credits; however, the Association of Humanistic Psychology has endorsed this course.

My books “Messages from the Archetypes” and “Gaining Archetypal Vision” are the texts for this three day workshop. Students will be required to have a normal sized Rider Waite deck and one Tarot deck of your choosing. See instructions on choosing a deck: (There are a lot of decks out there and so make sure it is a Tarot deck.) It is best to go to a store that has decks but if that is not possible, you can choose by finding a web site that sells Tarot decks.

By the end of this first phase, students will: know how to see themselves in the cards; begin using a Jungian vocabulary; and have a beginning understanding how to counsel others using the archetypal imagery of the cards. You will also be able to read for yourself and practice on friends and family.

The next two phases will also take place at Breitenbush the following two years at about the same time. This entire process will take three years. In addition to learning to be a tarotist, you will learn a great deal about wellness counseling, dream interpretation, guided imagery and psychology in general. During the year, you will have e-mail and phone mentoring by me. A certificate is issued upon the completion of each phase, however you will not be certified to counsel others until you have completed Phase III. At that time you will be able to use the credentials ATC after your name.

Because, my three year students will be taught to use the cards with illness, injury and life crisis issues, they need to have knowledge of the health care industry and a working vocabulary in which to communicate with doctors and nurses that the client may be associated with. For that reason, the second phase requirement is that they have 3 college courses in psychology: Psychology 101 an overview of the field; Developmental Psychology, theories on how we grow and develop; and Abnormal Psychology to be able to recognize symptoms of mental illness. If you already have 9 credits in psychology, we will look at what you have. If you can find a class on Mind-body Psychology that would be a good one to take too but is not required. On top of that, I will teach from a Jungian type of perspective and give lots of vocabulary and experientials…like guided imagery. I see all of this as essential in using the cards to help people with their issues. I believe that a tarotist, working in wellness, should be able to communicate using psychological words and concepts.

Please come to the Phase I workshop with the following: 2 Tarot decks, my books Messages from the Archetypes, Gaining Archetypal Vision, two blank journals and a notebook to take notes.

Looking forward to Being with you, Toni

Osho Zen Tarot

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Tarot, Birth Cards, and You: Keys to Empowering Yourself

Book Review
Tarot, Birth Cards, and You: Keys to Empowering Yourself

Bonnie Cehovet’s birth card system forms a frame of reference to study opportunities and challenges that you will face during your life. At the beginning of the book, the reader uses numerology to add up the numbers of his/her birthday to arrive at a life-time symbol—the birth card. This birth card is the symbol of our personal expression in the world—our personality.

Once you add up your birth number, you then use the book to find the Major Arcana that is your birth card. Next, the author suggests tools, like affirmations and visualizations to further your understanding of this major archetype in your life’s path.

The entire concept was familiar, but I had not explored it to any deep degree. This time, I was looking forward to the opportunity to use this tool to receive insights, and learn more about myself at deeper levels. Tools like birth cards help us have clearer understanding of our life’s journey. As I understand development, the final challenge begins as we lay dying and so, we are never too old to use this type of tool.

At 64, I have become comfortable with who I am and spend less time exploring the depths for nuggets of wisdom. However, as I held the book in my hands, I was excited at the prospect of the learning which archetype represented my personal journey. Which of the archetypes of transformation would it be?

My birth card turned out to be Temperance, number 14 of the Major Arcana. Well, this caught my attention! Temperance is the cover card on my newest book “Gaining Archetypal Vision”. What a coincidence. But wait. Was it?

As I see the world, it is full of synchronicities big and small. If the meaningful coincidence is big enough to catch my attention, I use it as a sign for something. In this case, it symbolically signaled that I should pursue this path of investigation. Also important on an exploratory path, I always listen to how I feel. If it feels good to pursue this path—I go for it and if it doesn’t feel right—I stop.

I felt right about the path and after the synchronicity; my curiosity was piqued even more. I began reading the author’s interpretations and a couple of sentences stood out from the rest. “Healing through the insight brought by Spirit. Healing is occurring on both the physical and the spiritual levels.” One of the main focuses of my life has been on healing the mind, body and spirit. Healing myself first, and then offering what I know to facilitate the healing of others.

I didn’t relate to any of the questions for Temperance, probably due to the fact that I have passed my second Saturn return and have integrated my life’s experiences to a good degree. What I mean is that I am fairly well healed. But, I needed a question. So, I closed my eyes in search of one from my inner self. The question came to me: “In what part of my life do I need to bring healing?” Immediately, I was reminded of my current personal challenge (Challenges are never ending.).

I related to all the affirmations but changed the wording of the last one to read: I see the Divine in all things.

Then, I read about journeying, I decided to give that a try too. In my office-temple, I sat down in my recliner, and placed my book with the Temperance cover card before me. Over a cup of hot tea, I contemplated the image of Aphrodite in the imagery of the Temperance card. When I was all warm inside from the tea, I leaned back and closed my eyes.

After first blessing the four directions and feeling gratitude for my life in this time and space, I waited for imagery to appear in my mind’s eye. The first mental impression was of a different Tarot card that depicted an angel pouring water from a silver cup into a gold one. I immediately understood. To me, this indicated that a developmental journey was in process, and that during this process, I would continue to grow at the upper levels of my archetypes. The water pouring from the cup represented all the emotions that push our development from a lower level of consciousness (silver), to a higher one (gold). This was a new insight. From now on, when I say I’m in my golden years, it will have a broader meaning.

As I finished contemplating this message, another image appeared from the depth of my imagination. Aphrodite returned with her vessel of water and began pouring it out over my chest. The healing stream went directly to a spot below my sternum. It was then that I realized the tea had given me heart-burn. Well, that was neat. You just never know what will happen during imagery sessions. Never-the-less, the lesson of the water as healing was not lost.

Ah, yes, the lessons of Temperance are many. And I would say that this archetype of balance and integration, with its many levels, has been prominent in my life and will continue to be. The birthing process is on-going.

I added up the numerology a bit further and the Hierophant was Temperance’s companion card. As I read the interpretation for the pair, I easily related to the “tone” these archetypes place on my life: “The path that the individual walks is one that addresses the lessons of choice and personal growth.” Yep, that’s me. I agree with the rest of the paragraph too.

Well, that was fun. Next I am going to look up the birth cards for my family and friends and see what that brings.

All in all, Ms. Cehovet’s book delivers an easily accessible tool for growth and development for anyone. This book is easy to follow and use and it works. You can explore other decks, or you can use the beautiful Tarot images by Karyn Easton that are included. Like any study of the archetypes, it can take you further in your ability to walk your life’s path with grace and consciousness.

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Archetypal Tarot Counseling (TM) Phase I

Archetypal Tarot Counseling™ Phase I
Where and when: Breitenbush Hot Springs, Oregon—April 15th till 18th 2012

Hi Everyone, After a few long cosmic detours, I am finally getting back to my Tarot Counseling workshops!
This three phase certificate program explores contemporary and historical information relevant to the use of Tarot cards in wellness counseling. Tarot is a centuries old system of cards that anyone can use for identifying mind-body issues and emotional states. The wellness counselor teaches people about holistic health, that includes how to make use of your mind-body connection and multiple levels of consciousness.
Phase I: This workshop begins with three days of self-development using the archetypes of Tarot. After reviewing a brief history, you will begin the study the artistic symbols found on the cards. By the end of the workshop you will: understand how the upper and lower levels of the archetypes represent innate forces in the lives of all people; know the principles of dream interpretation and how it is used in the counseling process; and learn to use your intellect and intuition to realize your own gifts and talents.
The course design makes for a creative and interactive experience. Participants will give readings to each other and observe demonstrations by the workshop leader. Course work for the certificate includes after workshop mentoring by certified ATC readers and counselors.
Phase II: Counseling Others, Phase III: Professional Tarot Counseling (dates TBA)
More information/application: click “workshops”
Breitenbush Hot Springs, Oregon:
Hope to see some of you with me! Be well, my friends, Toni

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Toni Gilbert


Global Spiritual Studies presents:
Introduction to Health as Expanding Consciousness
This is the first of a series of webinars on transpersonal psychology with Toni Gilbert, a holistic nurse and transpersonal counselor. Toni’s expertise in the healing arts includes guided imagery, therapeutic touch, meditation, Archetypal Tarot Counseling™ and dream interpretation.
An understanding of developmental psychology extends our knowledge of how consciousness expands and grows, and how we develop ourselves. This is a necessary component to help clients understand what their next steps might be.
In this first session, Toni discusses growth and developmental steps and how our consciousness expands to include more insights as we mature into self-actualizing beings. Notes and a bibliography for further reading are included in the price of this webinar.
Only 23 places are available in the “virtual” room, so register now to ensure you have the opportunity to ask questions and participate in the discussion.
The webinar will be recorded for later sale, and participants in the live session will have free access to the recording.
Time: Wednesday 25 May: 6pm – 6.50pm USA Pacific time
Cost: AUD $14.99. The recording will be available for AUD $10.99
Toni on Jerry Pippin Radio
Here is a free pre-recorded interview on the Jerry Pippin Show. It is less than 30 minutes and gives you an update on what is going on in Toni’s life as well as her thoughts about her upcoming book “Gaining Archetypal Vision” and the new webinar series.

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