This was too juicy an opportunity not to try out on myself, so here is a test reading for the “My Tarot Persona” spread. I used the Thoth deck for the esoteric line and the CBD (Conver Ben-Dov) Tarot de Marseille for the exoteric line.
The 10 of Wands in the Fire position is telling me that I’m pushing too hard to make my mark; Saturn in Sagittarius implies resistance to spiritual inspiration, however thoughtful and well-intentioned. At the other end of the line, in the Earth position, the 4 of Wands offers Crowley’s advice for Venus in Aries: “One cannot establish one’s work without tact and gentleness.” I’m reminded of the words that cartoonist Walt Kelly put in the mouth of Pogo:
The Lovers in the Water position also encourages a more conciliatory approach in trying to attract a wider audience for my work. Playing the curmudgeon will only take one so far before backlash sets in. Trying to inspire rather than goad seems like the way of wisdom.
The 2 of Disks in the Air position acknowledges that I am constantly pushing the envelope of critical thought in applying esoteric principles to my work. This card embodies Crowley’s formula “Change = Stability, Stability = Change” and there are four iterations of the Number 4 (entrenched stability) in this spread. Standing still is not an option for me.
The 4 of Wands in the Earth position indicates completion in laying the groundwork for my current esoteric initiative (this blog) which I put in motion back in July of 2017. I’m closing in on 500 posts and 100 followers, but am starting to run out of fresh ideas. Crowley’s last words on this card were ” . . . there is no intention to increase the scope of the original Will. But this limitation bears in itself the seeds of disorder.” It looks like “grow or die” time.
The Emperor as the “avatar” card seconds the advice of the 4 of Wands. He is thoroughly established as an authority figure but needs new fields of conquest to reinvigorate his creative vision. This strikes me as a cautionary note along the lines of Terry Pratchett’s line from Monstrous Regiment: “The presence of those seeking the truth is infinitely to be preferred to those who think they’ve found it.” As we will see later, the Hermit may be the antidote to this risk of complacency.
Interestingly, the Emperor appears again as the very first (Fire) card in the “exoteric” line. This is telling me that continuing my present course of action is a recipe for stagnation in the outer world of tarot culture. The Emperor badly needs a wake-up call if he’s going to get off his butt and keep advancing.
The Knight of Coins in the Water position seems to be warning against a creative “hardening of the arteries.” This is generally a very good card for “getting things done” (Yoav Ben-Dov describes it as ” a productive expression of creativity”), but its horizons can be diminished by lack of imagination. Crowley’s observation “He constantly seeks new uses for common things” must be taken to heart if expansion is to be achieved.
The Tower in the Air position is the 2 of Disks on steroids: not only is it “change,” it is radical and sweeping change. It portends a paradigm shift, but at present I can’t see what that might be. Maybe WordPress will make changes to their business model that pull the rug out from under small-time bloggers like me. I’m already facing a rate increase when I renew, but this seems much more drastic than that. I could be hunting for a new provider.
The 4 of Cups in the Earth position is entirely too comfortable for my liking. As a relentless experimenter, I see it as “one big yawn.” Yoav Ben-Dov talks about “a sense of belonging” and “Commitment to a group at the price of giving up personal interests.” Maybe my audience will be swept along on the tide of the “next big thing” ( I hear the “Law of Attraction” barking at my heels) and I will be left talking to an empty room.
The Hermit as the “avatar” card is a sobering reminder that I could soon be back on the road of solitary discovery, muttering to myself as I go. If this is the only way to motivate the Emperor, so be it. But I hope it doesn’t come to that; I’m having too much fun doing this.