Daily Archives: April 25, 2011

Personality Tarot Spread

Over the past couple of weeks, during classes, I have been thinking and developing a spread. This spread is designed to allow you to look into the personality of someone, and the various parts that make it up.

This spread is divided into two dichotomies (much like the Tarot itself). The first dichotomy is that of the public and conscious aspects of your personality – the parts of you that others see and that you are aware of, that you allow to escape and be seen by the outside world – and the unconscious and hidden aspects of your personality – those things about yourself that you hide or don’t know yourself. This dichotomy is represented by the division between upper and lower cards; the upper three cards are all aspects of your public and conscious personality, and the lower three are all aspects of your private and unconscious personality.

The second dichotomy looks at what I think are two important aspects of your personality, as embodied by the two questions the Vorlons and the Shadows ask in Babylon 5 – “Who are you?” and “What do you want?” As such, the left three cards all deal with identity, and how you are perceived by others, yourself, as well as how your past has influenced this identity. The right three cards represent your desire and your fears (for what is a fear but the desire that something won’t happen?) – what you say you want, what you really want, and what you hope will happen in the future; your goals.

The center cards are just the defining aspect of your personality, and like many Tarot spreads, are the most important aspects of your character and personality. The central cards also serve as the center of a Celtic Cross-based design; with the topmost and bottom-most cards representing what they do in the Celtic Cross, the left and right cards representing past and future like in the Celtic Cross spread, and the central cards also serving the same purpose.

The ten cards in this spread serve to help one look into what forms the personality of a particular person – their thoughts and concerns, their hopes and fears, their own and others’ sense of their identity, and qualities that describe them. It looks at the goals of the person, and the influences that the past has had on them. The layout of the spread is a circle, signifying the idea of completion, and also resembles a wheel, representing the idea that one’s personality is always changing and moving forward (as such, it is important to remember that this spread only helps on understand one’s personality at the present moment; personalities can and do change). The circular form also resembles a face, with each section of the face revealing a different aspect of their personality.

Below is an image of the spread, and below a brief explanation of the meaning of each card:

Personality Tarot Spread Layout
1. Central Characteristic: This card represents the most important part of someone’s personality; it is the card that best describes and sums up the the personality of the entire person. It is both the primary factor and the summary of the rest of the spread.

2. Influencing Characterstic: This card is the second most important aspect of someone’s personality, and influences, mitigates, or complements the Central Characteristic; in many ways it also the secondary characteristic of a person, and provides a second dimension to one’s personality, adding depth to it.

3. Influence of Past: This card sums up the influences that past events have had on one’s personality; memory is an important part of our personality, our desires, and our own identity. This card represents and shows the influence that this memory has had on a personality.

4. Goals of the Future: This card represents what one are striving to accomplish; another aspect of one’s personality is their drive, and what makes them motivated: that motivation and drive is represented by this card, which shows the thing that the person is striving to achieve, and their most important desire for the future.

5. Unconscious Thoughts and Motives: This card represents the unconscious thoughts and concerns of a person, and also represents this person’s motives. It answers the questions of “why do they do this?” as well as those of “what are they really thinking?”  This is their unconscious drive (rather than the conscious drive of Card 4), and represents the deepest aspects of their personality, hidden from themselves. This card also serves as the synthesis of cards 8 and 10.

6. Conscious Thoughts and Concerns: This card represents the person’s conscious thought. It helps one examine what the most important things are to this person, and represents their most pressing concerns, and what is most important to them at this time. This card also serves as the synthesis of cards 7 and 9.

7. Public Face: This card is the public aspect of one’s identity; this is how others perceive this person, and how their environment (including other people) affects them and notices them. This card is similar to Card 8 (second from the bottom of the Staff) on the Celtic Cross. This card represents how they want others to see them as well.

8. Private Face: This card represents the concept of self-identity and self-image, and shows how a person really thinks of themselves. This might line up with one’s public face, but often is at least slightly different. This card is similar to Card 7 (bottom of the Staff) of the Celtic Cross spread. This card shows how this person really feels about himself, and what they think their own identity is.

9. Public Desire: This card represents what one says they want; it is the stated hopes and fears of a person. This is what the person wants others to think they want and what they want others to think they are afraid of; this card represents those desires made public.

10. Private Desire: This card represents one’s true hopes and fears; their heart’s desire or their deepest, secret fear. These are the desires that people keep repressed and hidden – sometimes even from themselves – for various reasons. These are the inner passions and repressed terrors that often motivate people’s actions unconsciously.


Posted by on April 25, 2011 in Philosophical Musings


Three of Swords: Sorrow


Sorrow: Betrayal, Inner Turmoil, and Loneliness

The Three of Swords. Sorrow. Sadness. Secrecy. Heartbreak. Betrayal. Loneliness. Inner turmoil. Chaos. Disillusionment. Perversion. The Three of Swords corresponds to the Sefirot of Binah; stability, the birthing ground, and the plane. Binah is where the energy of the Suit begins to take form and gain potential. In most of the suits, this position is positive, bu the Three of Swords has a distinctly negative connotation. In many ways, the Three of Swords is like Geburah (chaos of motion) come early. In the realm of the abstract, corruption and morally evil things come to the fore much more readily than in the realm of the physical: and so when the pure ideas of Swords finally reach the place where they can be born, they suffer negativity much more quickly. The abstract does not mix well with any notion of the material, and its potential, while great, is easily sullied by perversions of the mind.

And so, then, we have Sorrow. The abstract ideals of the mind, when realized, often fall far short of reality, and so then we give ourselves in to sorrow. Binah represents also duality, and when this duality is combined with the energy of Swords and its principles, is not what one expects; so the duality is betrayed, and heartbreak comes to the fore. This card is the sorrow that comes with the realization that the world is not perfect. Life is imperfect, and often brings despair. That is what this card stands for; the sadness that results from the realization that great principles cannot be applied effectively to the realities of the world, and so its potential is thwarted.

The duality betrayed leads not only to heartbreak, but to loneliness and secrecy as well; in this way this card represents the feelings one has when one’s ideal notions of a relationship are shattered. There is a sense of betrayal that accompanies the Three of Swords as well; the world (or other person) has wronged you somehow, and not lived up to your expectations; the Peace has been shattered, and Sorrow has taken its place. No more is there the inner tranquility and calm of the Two of Swords; the inner spirit is now in turmoil, and the calm has become grief.

The Rider-Waite illustration shows a heart being pierced by three swords, while rain pours down from dark clouds. This artwork very clearly illustrates the idea of heartbreak and betrayal, as well as sadness and dreariness. The Thoth art shows three swords, not crossed to defend the peace as in the Two of Swords, but rather all points at the same target: a flower. The flower of peace is being threatened, and the geometrical designs of the Two of Swords are now less regular and more curved. Dark stormclouds loom in the background. The flower is wilting and losing its petals; it is dying slowly. This card strongly gives off the idea that the universe has betrayed the ideals of peace; the world is imperfect.

In a reading, this card asks you to examine the roles of loneliness, sorrow, heartbreak, and other dismal states of mind in your life. Does it seem like the world is out to get you? Do things never go right? Are you in anguish inside? How have secrets been affecting you? Reversed, it asks you to look for this card in ways you might not expect; it reinforces the idea of Inner turmoil, maybe hidden from the outside. Is someone’s sorrow contained within them? Is your own sorrow hidden from yourself?

Leave a comment

Posted by on April 25, 2011 in Uncategorized


Doctor Who Season Premiere!

I watched it, and I was thrilled. It was a fantastic episode, and the Silence are fantastic aliens – they’re not Weeping Angels, but their concept is better than the Vashta Nerada, Moffat’s other big creation. Stephen Moffat is a superb writer, and he delivered a superb, funny, terrifying, and thought-provoking episode; I can’t wait to see part two! “The Impossible Astronaut” ended on quite a cliffhanger…

Leave a comment

Posted by on April 25, 2011 in Watchings


Two of Swords: Peace


Peace: Inner Tranquility, Putting Aside Differences and Conflict to Improve the Future, and Blocking Emotions

The Two of Swords. Peace. Calm. Inner Tranquility. Putting Aside Differences. Avoiding Conflict. Blocking Emotions. The Two of Swords corresponds to the Sefirot of Chokmah; the first manifestation of the seed of Kether, and the original harmony and power of creation. It is the energy and idea of the Suit of Swords given original harmonious form; it is the first appearance of logic and abstract thought and ideals. What better way to express abstract ideals of truth and justice than through the idea of Peace? By putting aside differences and avoiding conflict, thinkers can come together and help build the world, making it a better place. Peace allows for thought to grow, and is the result of the application of the principles associated with the Suit of Swords.

The card’s association with inner tranquility also is the representative card of the philosopher and thinker; those individuals who commonly exemplify the Suit of Swords. These logical thinkers must block out the influence of their emotions of their thought is to be true, and so often this tranquility is emotionless. This card embodies the mental state – the abstract ideas – associated with the suit of Swords with regards to oneself, and so is the mental harmony of Swords: that is, Peace.

The Rider-Waite illustration shows a woman sitting on a stone bench, blindfolded and holding two swords across her chest defensively. She is blocking herself from others, and is focused on herself and not her environment, as is seen from the blindfold. She is peaceful and calm, and also alone – she does not let her surroundings disturb her sense of calm. Behind her is the sea, which is also extremely calm. The Thoth art shows two crossed swords piercing the center of a flower and keeping it suspended and stable, while not actually breaking or destroying it; the background shows many angular geometrical patterns, emphasizing the stability and logicality of it all. Below and above this central motif are smaller swords. This card emphasizes the idea of calmness and tranquility, and self-examination and lack of conflict; the swords are not locked together to fight, but to make peace.

In a reading, this card asks you to examine your own mental state; are you calm internally? Are you blocking your emotions? It also asks you to look at your environment; is it free of conflict? Should you put aside your differences and work together with someone else to build a better future? Reversed, this card’s energies are present but hidden or twisted in some way; does a particularly rambunctious individual actually know internally where he stands? Is the banter and apparent conflict at your workplace really actually signs of putting aside differences and peace and well-being?

Leave a comment

Posted by on April 25, 2011 in Uncategorized