At our recent NCRSS Sandplay Salon, each person selected a card from a deck of Tarot or animal cards. Then we introduced ourselves and associated to the symbols in our hand. This opened up perceptive interaction as the group related to the symbols, noticed synchronicities and reflected on their journeys toward certification in sandplay therapy.
My experience inspired more exploration of the Tarot and one card in particular. The Chariot is the 7th card in the Major Arcana and represents the principle of change. Although the image varies in different decks, the central form is a person in a vehicle, led by creatures such as horses, sphinxes, and fish. Above is a celestial sky with crescent moon and stars. The person wears a crown and sometimes holds the wheel of fortune, symbolic of making choices. The Charioteer holds the reins, initiating and guiding the pace of change, moving from immobility to supersonic speed.
Angeles Arrien writes in the Tarot Handbook that “change is for the purpose of reminding us who we really are.” Questions arise: what changes do we welcome or search for? What changes come hard and are resisted? When do we get lost or found in the process of navigating change? These questions are on my mind in the context of my personal life, as a citizen of this country and the world, as a therapist and as the President of NCRSS whose term ends this year.
The topic of change was at the heart of our recent NCRSS Board meeting as we discussed the future of sandplay therapy and sandplay organizations here, nationally and internationally. Much has changed since the mid 1960’s when Dora Kalff began teaching Sandspiel through lectures with her case studies. We have become an international community of sandplay therapists that has grown over the years. Now in 2019, we see virtual worlds created by technology influencing our play, learning, communication and therapeutic sessions. How does sandplay continue to develop and be relevant with these and other changes?
NCRSS Board members agree that our priority is outreach, education and support for the next generation of sandplay therapists. This includes active mentoring for those seeking certification, which was the purpose of the Sandplay Salon last month. Without more certified sandplay therapists and teaching members, we cannot carry on the trainings needed to educate new sandplay therapists. We will continue offering Salons for members and reorganizing our education program in the coming year, encouraging therapists who work in diverse communities and keeping our training fees affordable.
To face and navigate change, NCRSS seriously needs and heartily welcomes your participation to maintain and guide our collective chariot. Look for more specific information about volunteer and leadership opportunities coming soon or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to talk about your interests, skills and ideas for our sandplay organization.
Climb aboard and be a Charioteer of Change.
- Ellen Searle LeBel
Illustration above by Cathy McClelland