tarot_scholar: An image of Norman Rockwell's interpretation of Rosie the Riveter (Rosie)


I started this in November. Now it's march and today marks the halfway point. Even with skipping some prompts and combining others, I'm still (obviously) lagging quite a bit! It doesn't help that even with extra time and thought, the "Shadow Work Spread" reading doesn't make any damn sense.


So what advice does my Inner Child have for me )
tarot_scholar: An image of Norman Rockwell's interpretation of Rosie the Riveter (Rosie)
So I had a nice long post ready to go, and then I made the mistake of checking it in the visual editor. Somehow it doesn't like LJ-cuts and ate half the entry. Then I accidentally navigated away from the page (trying to go back and see if it would "remember" what it ate) and that just lost the whole thing.

Sigh.

Anyway, some errant Googling led me to discover that a Thing happened on Instagram called "Shadow Work October." It seemed interesting, but when I found it October was more than halfway over, so I put it off to November. The whole thing seems to be organized by Instagram user @mnomquah so you can go and peruse her feed if you want. Here's the original image she posted with all of the prompts:



I'm not going to do all of these, but I would like to try a lot, if only to have a reason to handle my cards more. Since the mandala bit isn't really important to me personally, my first day of the challenge is day 2, the hero's journey.

Now, there are a lot of spreads based on Joseph Campbell's idea of the monomyth—Tarot nerds are also huge Campbell nerds, more often than not—but the spread I used was one given by the aforementioned @mnomquah, and it seems to be a spread of her own creation. Here is the layout:



And with commentary:

1) The Hero - Who are you at the beginning of your journey?
2) The Quest - What is the conscious purpose of your journey?
3) Refusal of the Call - The reason why you're afraid of to seek out what you desire
4) The Guide - Who/what will guide you on your journey
5) Road of Trials - The lessons for you to learn; what you need to go through
6) The Dragon - Your greatest obstacle to overcome
7) Death - What you have to leave behind?
8) New Knowledge - What new wisdom and power you will obtain on your journey?
9) Boon - What you will take back with you to share with others
10) The Hero Returned - Who you come back as from the journey?

Here's how it turned out. )
tarot_scholar: An image of Norman Rockwell's interpretation of Rosie the Riveter (Rosie)
I admit to having a fascination with the number 3 and its multiples. That's why I tend to look at the minor arcana in sets of three: Ace-2-3, 4-5-6, and 7-8-9. Some systems see 9 as completion and 10 as "too much"/degradation; other systems see 9 as incomplete and unstable and 10 as perfection. Over the years I've developed a slight preference for the former approach. In my scheme, the 10s are something like the mirror versions of the Aces. (The stark contrast between the "natural conclusions" of the Cups and Pentacles suits [overwhelmingly positive] and the Wands and Swords suits [unpleasant to say the least] is interesting and speaks to the nature of will, but I'll come to that another day. Or never!)

I have, at the moment, no literature to back up my intuitions. I haven't started digging yet. But I present: a pictorial defense. I mean that, if you look at the 3s, 6s, and 9s of each suit, they are among the clearest and strongest images (or at least within the RWS tradition) outside of the Aces. They all seem to embody something specific and distinct about their element. The previous two cards, to my intuition, lead up to "ah-hah" moment or triumph (or failure) in the final card of each triad.

The Swords. )

You can create similar stories for the rest of the suits and they all seem to follow a similar rhythm. You can use your own deck and see how well this miniature narratives stack up, but the images I had in mind were Colman-Smith's art; I don't know if this narrative model works well with, say, the Thoth deck.

CUPS

Emotions/sensitivity -> love -> joyous union/celebration

Disillusionment -> total loss -> redemption through (re)union, sharing, nostalgia

Delusions and daydreams -> left behind in the process of maturity -> a deeper, self-sufficient joy


WANDS

Inspiration -> planning -> implementation

Success stability -> the struggle to maintain success and stability -> victory

Defending one's "establishment" -> fighting every possible battle -> Pyrrhic victory


PENTACLES

Windfall/seed money -> juggling different investments -> proper discipline and success along a specific track

Greedy success -> downfall and lesson to be learned -> redemption and generous success

Expanding plans -> developing those plans to the next level -> the next level

Note that in all of the narratives, the 7s are a bit weird. They don't feel like natural introductions but rather in media res beginnings. I think this says something about the chaotic and confusing nature of all of the 7 cards. Likewise, the conflict or transmutation provided in all of the miniature stories by the 2s, 5s, and 8s showcases their combative nature. (Even with the 2 of Cups, there is an element of "combat": the dance of getting to know another person, flirtation, and attraction.)

That said, I don't think this triad model works at all in the majors. Aside from a few logical categories that have a lot of overlap, I mostly see each trump as a category and story/biography unto itself.
tarot_scholar: An image of Norman Rockwell's interpretation of Rosie the Riveter (Rosie)
Generally speaking, I don't have cards that follow me around. Recently, however, I've been seeing the 9 of Pentacles, the 10 of Swords, and Justice.

I hesitate as to theorize why this is. Those cards together can be either redemption or devastation.





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