A Case Study: Family Differences

The querent in this case has experienced long-standing – although veiled – disdain from her siblings over religious differences. They are either born-again fundamentalists or Catholic in their beliefs, and the querent is an unaffiliated spiritual free-thinker. Before the reading, we discussed the fact that the conservative energy of the Hierophant – with its rigid  traditional mindset – is obviously at work in the situation. We used the Thoth deck with reversals, and the “Family Life” segment of my “Square of Life” Lifeworks Spread. The querent’s customary Significator is the Queen of Swords.

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Card 2A: The Querent and Her Siblings – Current Status

2 of Swords (Peace): The situation has reached an impasse. Neither side is likely to change its stance, although there was some early sparring that has since subsided as their positions became firmly established. The main issue at present is that the querent occasionally feels unfairly neglected and sometimes excluded by her siblings from social events shared by the “godly” families.

Card 2B: Where the Querent is Going in the Situation

The Lovers: The querent has decided to take the path of love rather than that of antagonism, and has refrained from confrontational arguments with her siblings over the religious beliefs that appear to be the source of her exclusion.

Card 2C: What Holds the Querent Back

9 of Cups (Happiness): A positive card in a challenging position; the suggestion is that stoic complacency may be a deterrent to constructive dialogue in the matter. But the fact that her siblings have no tolerance for critical examination of their ideas creates a vacuum that the querent fills with her own certainty in the virtue of her spiritual self-sufficiency. This is a placid card that won’t bestir itself in the pursuit of idealistic impulses, however compelling in the eyes of the querent. There is no advantage to “rocking the boat.”

Card 2D: How It Works Out

The Hierophant: This is the crux of the matter right here, since we had supposed that entrenched dogmatic thinking was at the heart of it from the very beginning. This is a “signature” card that validates the entire reading. It implies that there is no room for debate and no common ground from which to proceed.

Last Card: Consequences for the Querent:

8 of Swords (Interference), reversed: The querent cannot expect satisfaction from the defensive, “circle the wagons” posture assumed by her siblings, and is better off remaining aloof from any attempts to secure engagement in their affairs. She needs to go her own way, since such access, if not precisely blocked, is at most begrudgingly granted.

Note that, if the “Last Card” is obtained by quintessence, it becomes the Emperor, reinforcing the idea of an authoritarian, patriarchal God as symbolized by the Hierophant, who is an ambassador or messenger for that deity.

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