Association for Tarot Studies 2003 — 2013

Association closes in its tenth year

Many of our readers have already heard: the Association decided to close. This was not due to any lack of interest from various quarters – in fact, the interest continues to ripple through the international tarot community.

The Association for Tarot Studies was an international tarot society registered (A 0044941 T) in Victoria, Australia, had a small but vibrant membership from various parts of the world. The ATS encouraged, and was joined by those with a keen interest in tarot studies and research.

It is fair to state that though many of the undertakings of the Association was carried by a small group of people, some of its central tasks remained my own responsibility and work. Since 2011, due to different and demanding workloads, my time has been extremely limited and the attention the Association needs has not been met.

I registered ‘Tarot Studies’ both as a domain name and used it as the title for various undertakings, such as the Newsletters, over a year prior to the formation of the Association. In fact, part of the reason to use the title ‘Association for Tarot Studies’ was a reflection of the already existent ‘Tarot Studies Newsletter’ and the already established (in a rather limited way) website.

In light of this, it will be possible for the Newsletter to continue – though it will not, at this stage, be a monthly one, and will be under a related title with ‘Tarot Studies’ (used prior to its ‘re-branding’ of the Association). My own interest, passion and engagement with tarot has certainly not waned, quite the contrary.

With regards publications, Frank Jensen’s book is nearing its end-of-stock, and the original files have been returned to him for updates to what we all envision will be a second edition. Robert O’Neill’s Tarot Symbolism will, as originally requested by him, soon be again available under a fourhares imprint. My own book, Reading the Marseille Tarot, will of course also continue to be available.

It’s been a wonderful ten years of Association, and the regular Tarot Café (also began prior to the Association), the establishment of regular Conferences, and quality publications, have all contributed to heightening and furthering understanding of tarot. And for that, I am grateful to all who have, in no matter in how small a manner, contributed!

Jean-Michel David



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What is the function of a Tarot reading?

Two years ago, a variety of answers to the question ‘What is Tarot?’ was presented in this Newsletter (#12). During the December 2005 Melbourne Tarot Café, a similar yet quite distinct question was asked, for which replies were requested in a thread on Aeclectic’s So…

…what is the function of the tarot reading? with the question left undefined allowing its myriad senses play in the replies.

The function of tarot for me is to allow insights into situations and even just life in general that you may not have known or thought of as yet. It helps to solve problems and gain clarity.


The purpose of the tarot reading is to provide a trigger to jar memories, feelings and ideas loose from the dark recesses of the mind (heart/soul) and to stimulate dialogue with the higher self.


To me, the function of a tarot reading is to help querents gain insight into their past, present, and future; to assist querents in making difficult choices; and to generally give querents the opportunity to explore issues and questions that they would not feel comfortable talking about in any other context.


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