tarot_scholar: An image of Norman Rockwell's interpretation of Rosie the Riveter (Rosie)
I kind of dislike the gender binary implied by talking about masucline and feminine sides. I recognize the reference to Jung, and I have a semi-competent understanding of what he means with animus/anima; I just don't think it's appropriate to place it here stripped of context. (A Jungian spread would have been perfect for this challenge! Missed opportunity tbh.)

I've never really had conflicting feelings over my biological sex or gender identity but I've been watching the discussion around trans identities unfold and really skyrocket the last five years and it's been really educational, enlightening, and occasionally heartbreaking. Needless to say, much as dualism can be appealing, I'm casting these question in a slightly different light: boldness and patience. Am I too bold/patient, or not enough? How can I better channel these two conflicting qualities to achieve what I want?
The readings: )

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.


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


Inspiration -> planning -> implementation

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

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


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)
An LJ friend elsewhere put out the call for readings from her reading-type friends. I stepped up to the challenge and developed an original 11-card spread based on her current situation. In particular, she wanted to know about the general energy/environment surrounding her and her family (husband, three sons) and what she can/needs to do to improve it, as life is pretty stressful at the moment.

I was inspired by the layout of a spread I saw many moons ago on Aeclectic. Its original purpose was to help a querent stuck between two choices; obviously that isn't really applying here. I also drew from the layout and content of the classic Celtic Cross spread.

Each pair of crosses at the top represent an individual: the querent (far left), her husband (far right), and their two oldest sons (middle). The youngest son is only an infant a few months old at the time of this writing—not an age where I think Tarot is an appropriate or useful descriptor of behavior or inner psychology.

The first card of each cross "covers" the person in the traditional Celtic Cross sense: describes themselves, their general situation/mood/etc. The second card "crosses" the individual and describes the root of their largest or most pressing issue/problem.

The bottom row of individual cards constitute the advice specific to the querent. From left to right: keep doing this, stop doing this, and try doing this.

The rest of this post is taken directly from the message I sent to the querent, reproduced here with her permission.

The reading. )


tarot_scholar: A black mystical-looking sigil on a white background. (Default)

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