The Judgement Arcana, in tarot, is associated with realizing one’s calling, gaining a deep understanding of life and a feeling of acceptance and absolution.
Tell me your least favorite food. What about your least favorite TV show? Least favorite doting aunt? When you have experienced something and decided that it’s not right for you, congratulations. You are one step closer to finding out who you really are.
There is a flip side to thing to this assessment, and it’s thinking you dislike something without experiencing it. I don’t think I would like to be a dancer. I could never perform on stage as a singer. What, me give a talk in front of an auditorium of listeners? Preposterous.
Why do we think we dislike things before trying it?
In tarot readings, the Emperor symbolizes the desire to control one’s surroundings, and its appearance could suggest that one is trying too hard to achieve this, possibly causing trouble for others; some elements in life are just not controllable.
@natashakuhn really hits home on this in several of her posts, honing in on the theme that our personality is marketed towards us, and not the other way around, which desperately forces us to fit in and find acceptance: [quote=”natashakuhn, post:299, topic:27487”] In my opinion this is our greatest mistake humans have made. We have put so much trust and power in the market that we have completely forgotten who we are. We are confused, and lost. Today we are looking to find ourselves in the AI, and technology that the market is suggesting is our next savior. [/quote] [quote=”natashakuhn, post:252, topic:27487”] I want to know how you weed out your own truth in times where our identity is marketed to us. [/quote]
The Tower Arcana is commonly associated to overly arrogant, prejudiced and authoritarian organizations, which walk to their own ironic demise. Furthermore, it is also more generically used as an omen of doom and disaster. It can be seen as the worst card of the deck, as it rarely has a positive meaning.
When I think about what it means to be your true self, I think about how modern-day society is built on a house of cards filled with deceit (more on this on my post about power). We play nice with each other because it’s convenient to do so, but what about times where it’s NOT convenient… say, like the beginning of a pandemic? :upside_down_face: At our worst and at our most primal, humanity’s colors always flaunt with no shame: all I care about is my own survival. It is a system built to crumble, or pride preceding the fall as @assia.k outlines in her post: [quote=”assia.k, post:626, topic:26928”] We are molly-coddled society nowadays with all its conveniences, medical advances (as a result of the knowledge intelligence) and recreational privileges. It’s great, I’m happy I’m here today. But personally, I would die in the woods if stranded. I have no survival skills, don’t know any trees or plants. I can’t even make a fire. I didn’t do scouts or guides, things like this were not encouraged for me (and I had no interest) as education was priority. I’m now embarrassed by this as I feel that potentially life-saving skills are missing from my identity. In this context, I don’t feel more intelligent than my ancestors, just luckier. [/quote]
But what about humanity at it’s best?
In the face of disaster lies the opportunity for renewal. The Hanged Man Arcana is associated with self-sacrifice for the sake of enlightenment, the bindings that makes one free, paradoxes and hanging between heaven and earth.
In times of crisis, a select few appear, sacrificing everything corporeal about them in the process. They surpass their own primal instincts of self-preservation to adhere to a higher calling and upright morality to help others, which is so unusual that we have a name for these kinds of people: martyrs. The angels that hang between heaven and earth.
The Fool Arcana does not mean that it can be taken lightly. The Fool is number zero. It is the void from which all other things begin. The Fool represents innocence, divine inspiration, madness, freedom, spontaneity, inexperience, chaos and creativity.
What does it mean to have the ability to become anything?
Reverse that question, and what is asked becomes more grim: what is stopping me from becoming even one thing?
One of life’s greatest blessings is the freedom to pursue one’s goals. The Chariot Arcana is a symbol of victory, conquest, self-assertion, self-confidence, control, war, and command.
The opening song of Persona 4 is aptly named Pursuing My True Self. The privilege granted to the main character of Persona 4 (and what I suspect is the reason why 89% of all main characters in popular eastern media are high-schoolers) is the abundance of time granted by youth coupled with the absence of “adult responsibilities”, such as paying bills or supporting a family. High-schoolers quite literally have their whole lives ahead of them, and truly embody the virtue of having the freedom to pursue one’s goals. While you are a high-schooler, you still have hope for the future. But once the first step to adulthood is taken, it’s all over. Why? @DerekDodds has one answer: [quote=”DerekDodds, post:144, topic:26972”] Every artist I know wants to be more creative, yet few understand that imagination ignites creativity. When I first started this journey to understand imagination I had no idea where it would lead me. Like my artist friends, I also want more creativity in my life and yet I didn’t know why. Then I read the following quote by Ursula Leguin and I started to understand that there might be something that needed to be set free, “the creative adult is the child who survived.” [/quote]
The Fool is the inner high-schooler who survived.
The silent voice within one’s heart whispers the most profound wisdom. The Priestess Arcana is a symbol of hidden knowledge or other untapped power, wisdom, female mystery and patience when it appears in tarot readings.
To round out the last question, here is a refresher:
The idea of multiple personas: who is the real you? How can we find out through virtual reality experiences?
The plot device where the characters of Persona 4 can explore their inner demons and personalities is called the TV World. It is a world teeming with monsters fueled by the negative emotions of the real world, and quickly becomes a death sentence to those who are uncertain about their own existence. From personal introspection on the idea of “the true self”, I am inclined to believe we are more than just one personality. We are constructed from several instances derived from various interactions and experiences in the world, and the masks we wear base themselves on what is the most appropriate in a given circumstance.
“I think everyone has multiple sides to them. You don’t have to force yourself to decide on just one.”
- Yukiko Amagi, wielder of the Priestess Arcana
To be absolutely blunt, the reason I posed this question is that I’m still searching for a satisfactory answer. Because no such TV World can exist in our current reality, the next best technology to leverage is virtual reality. Still in its infancy but lauden with use cases we can’t even fathom yet, I’m intrigued to see what happens at Backside of the TV. We know what we see and consume, but what happens after that experience? What kind of people will we learn to become?
@sabweld @michellebasey @susanmclachlan @sydneydobersteinlarock @ParisaR