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Heroine's Journey Tarot Spread

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Heroine's Journey Tarot Spread

Postby Xiao Rong » Fri Aug 08, 2014 9:01 am

The Heroine's Journey Spread

I decided to create this Tarot spread as a way to represent the Monomyth, which I feel like is a recurrent pattern in our lives and a helpful way to understand changes and transitions in our lives. I like to use this reading in response to specific issues, particularly for major shifts in our lives.

-------2
--9--------3
8----1/10----4
--7--------5
-------6

** Card #10 lays on top of Card #1

1. The Hero/ine: Represents your current state before the journey.

2. The Quest: Represents what you seek, or the Call to Adventure. This could represent why you need to go on a journey, or external pressures that may be forcing you to go on the journey. One thing to note is that what you seek is not always what you return with, or what you find may be different from what you expected. I like, for example, how Taran from the Chronicles of Prydain was a naive young man who sought adventure and danger, which he found aplenty. The series ends with him discovering that what he wants is peace and prosperity for his kingdom.

3. Refusal of the Call: Naturally, we all feel some trepidation or anxiety to some degree or another about accepting the quest and going on this adventure. This card represents what is stopping you from going through the process.

4. The Guide: The Hero/ine is never alone in the quest. I think it is important to keep your interpretation of this card quite open. A few times I have seen it quite unambiguously refer to a deity, but it can also represent people in your life or, more abstractly, a particular lesson to keep in mind that will guide you through.

5. Road of Trials: This can represent any number of a series of challenges along your way. Again, I like to keep this open-ended; it can represent the actual challenges you face, or provide clues as to how to confront those challenges.

6. The Dragon: This is sort of the "Devil" of the Major Arcana; the greatest challenge to the hero. This may represent WHAT the dragon is, or it may provide clues on how to defeat the dragon. The traditional Hero/ine's journey is about slaying the beast to rescue the princess. In truth, there are many ways to defeat the dragon. In Carol Pearson's typology of 12 heroic archetypes, each has a different way of defeating their personal dragon. For instance, the Lover might choose to love the dragon, and in so removing the danger, or the Ruler will find a constructive use for the dragon. As mentioned before, being open to non-traditional methods of defeating the dragon will be helpful in interpreting this card.

7. Death: When we defeat the dragon, something changes within us. This card doesn't represent actual death (as we frequently say when working with the Tarot), but represents the things we shed and leave behind to make room for the new.

8. New Knowledge Gained: Speaking of the new, I include this card to represent a new insight, understanding, or piece of wisdom that will help us reclaim our lives.

9. The Boon: The Hero/ine returns with a boon, some kind of gift that will benefit both themselves and their community. Again, this may be quite different from the Quest, what the Hero/ine originally sought.

10. The Hero/ine Returned: The Hero/ine returns, quite changed from her experiences. This card overlays the first card, and I typically like to compare and contrast the Hero/ine before and after the journey (Cards #1 and 10).


Extra Dimensions of Analysis

Since this spread is shaped like a circle, you could potentially draw further insights from

1. The Quest vs. the Dragon (Cards #2 & 6)
2. The Refusal of the Call vs. Death (Cards #3 & 7) -- Did the Death card validate the concerns laid out in the Refusal of the Call?
3. The Guide vs. New Knowledge (Cards #4 & 8) -- Was the New Knowledge Gained related to the lessons of the Guide?

(#5 & 9 don't seem quite as symmetrical, unfortunately).

My other thought was that, theoretically, you could layer this Hero/ine's Journey spread indefinitely. As we go on multiple journeys throughout our lives, you could lay the cards out once, and then repeat the reading later, overlaying the cards over the first reading. That way, you could do interesting things like compare the Quest or the Dragon over time for additional patterns. (although I guess you should do the reading once, take notes, re-shuffle the cards, and then do the pattern again).
~ Xiao Rong ~ 小蓉 ~ Little Lotus ~
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Re: Heroine's Journey Tarot Spread

Postby Aderyn » Fri Aug 08, 2014 9:34 am

Thank you for sharing this! This spread definitely appeals to me, I love that the journey is being described step by step.
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Re: Heroine's Journey Tarot Spread

Postby SnowCat » Sat Aug 09, 2014 10:08 pm

5 and 9 aren't symmetrical, but they remind me of the way cardiac telemetry or a defibrillator will connect across the ventricles and atria of the heart. I'm sure there's a metaphysical allegory for that, but my brain won't move out of medical mode to identify it. Vacation is less than two months away now. I am sooooo ready!

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Re: Heroine's Journey Tarot Spread

Postby Xiao Rong » Sat Aug 09, 2014 11:24 pm

Thanks Aderyn!

Yeah, I agree that it could still be related in some way (love the defibrillator analogy -- was a CPR instructor for 5 years, so totally resonates with me!) Maybe it has to do with the way that the Hero/ine experiences new things on her journey and they teach her values or give her new wisdom that she brings with her back into the world.
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Re: Heroine's Journey Tarot Spread

Postby SnowCat » Sun Aug 10, 2014 3:51 pm

I'm just glad you at least understood what I was getting at. I was afraid I'd get a very large "HUH?' I guess an electrical arc would be another analogy, or a lightning strike. Somebody's trying to tell me something. I get these wild analogies when someone's trying to get my attention.

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Re: Heroine's Journey Tarot Spread

Postby Nightwatcher » Fri Oct 24, 2014 8:24 pm

I did this spread just now with the Major Arcana (I only have a Major Arcana deck but the artist is doing the Minor Arcana right now) and... well cookies this deck obviously wanted to be with me; it knew EXACTLY the journey I am taking right now. Not only that, but 2 of the 3 cards that connect with me the most (The Moon and the Empress) showed up as the Death and the Boon positions.

Just... wow, you guys REALLY wanted me to buy you huh? (I'm a bit flabbergasted right now if you can't tell.)
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Re: Heroine's Journey Tarot Spread

Postby Xiao Rong » Fri Oct 24, 2014 9:40 pm

Wow! Glad the spread worked for you, Nightwatcher!
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