Biography Spread Reading with the World Spirit Tarot - Reading by Diane Wilkes
In the Biography Spread, cards are separated into three piles (Major Arcana, Court Cards, Minor Arcana). Cards are selected from each pile as indicated.
Card One: Life Theme (Major Arcana) - The Hanged Man
The querent is quietly self-sacrificing, which is one way of looking at this card in a general way. This specific version is somewhat unique. The book that comes with the deck talks about this card as one of the visionary, mystic, and shaman. Because of the vibrant, jewel-like colors that are applied in a positively surreal way--the blue-skinned figure against a purply-pink sky with exploding stars, and the Hanged One's hair drifting and becoming one with the watery pool below--this card speaks of a Neptunian merging with the Muse and an ever-flowing creativity and imagination. The Hanged Man's body is not even slightly limp--it is taut and at-one with the moment. Since the querent is a writer, this bodes quite well for his dreams, if he can stay focused and present, and move from the creative mode into taking care of business. He may benefit from consistently approaching both his writing and life itself with alternating, even opposing, perspectives.
Card Two: Life Challenge (Major Arcana) - The Star
More exploding stars in this card's sky indicate that energy and creativity are in high gear. Yet unlike most versions of the Star, the woman has neither foot on ground or in water. She is dancing a jette above the pool, pouring out her nourishing elixir on rock and water, but none of it touches her. Along with the Hanged Man, this card strikes a warning that creativity without a strong connection to the earth could flow into an ebbing tidepool. There seems to be much concentrated joy in the act of creating--these cards combined could be summed up in the phrase "art for art's sake." The challenge is to direct and funnel that vision into something that literally sustains and nourishes him.
Card Three: Raison d'etre (Major Arcana) - The Chariot Reversed
An interesting thing about this version of the Chariot is its seeming lack of movement. It looks as though both the rider and the carriage zebras are taking a well-deserved rest, stopping to reflect on the journey already taken. There is an unusual air of complacency in the World Spirit Chariot. For this position, this card can indicate the importance of attaining goals and the value of appreciating those accomplishments, stopping to smell the roses (or letting your zebras gambol and graze). The fact that this card came up reversed suggests that there might be an imbalance--either in being overly directed or too self-indulgent in reveling in past glories. Self-mastery, in either case, is the life lesson to be learned.
Cards Four and Five: Childhood -- who the individual was and what went on (Court Card)(Minor Arcana) - Seeker (Knight) of Pentacles/Ace of Wands
As a child, the querent was searching, even striving, for security. The pumpkin patch landscape conjures an image of Peanut's Linus clutching his security blanket. Linus is a good example of the Hanged Man archetype, the gentle truth-teller who sees things differently than others. He frequently sacrifices himself in his exchanges with his sister, Lucy, always with a philosophic, "que sera, sera" attitude. You may recall that the Hanged Man was the querent's Life Theme card. In conjunction with the Seeker of Pentacles, you can imagine a dreamy child who worked diligently to attain a safe environment.
Interestingly enough, the "what went on" card is the Ace of Wands. This says that this period of activity was marked with the potential for new inspiration and wonderment--natural enough for a childhood card. The keyword for this card is "Creativity"--and clearly, this child was creative from the very beginning.
Cards Six and Seven: Adolescence -- who the individual was and what went on (Court Card)(Minor Arcana) - Sage (King) of Wands/Six of Cups
In adolescence, the querent was unusually mature for his age. Again, we get a wands card for creativity. He holds his wand of creativity in an active position--the pen is at the ready. In both the Seeker of Pentacles and the Sage of Wands, a sun shines down upon the card characters, and specifically, the Sage of Wands rides upon a camel. Turns out he grew up in the Middle East! Both cards indicate a remarkable degree of perseverence.
Adolescence was clearly a time of nostalgia for the querent. Despite his maturity, he had a childlike innocence that probably marked him as different from other teenagers. There is also a sense in this particular version of this Six of Cups of great romanticism. His relationships with the opposite sex were no doubt highly idealized.
Cards Eight and Nine: Adulthood 21-40 -- who the individual was and what went on (Court Card)(Minor Arcana) - Sibyl (Queen) of Wands/Eight of Pentacles
The querent is not yet 40, so these cards speak to his immediate past, present and near future. The Sibyl (Queen) of Wands is the mate of the King. If we think of the Kings as outer mastery and the Queens as inner mastery, the querent has moved from being more externally-directed into someone who has developed an internal creative compass. He now knows who he is, as well as what he wants to achieve. The cat that sits by his throne speaks of that sense of inner-knowing and confidence, as well as his extreme fondness for felines. His writing has become deeper, emphasizing soul over style.
The Eight of Pentacles is a sure sign of craftsmanship, and the querent has been working in a job that requires writing, but doesn't allow him the complete creative freedom he desires. This is accentuated by the man overseeing the man crafting the pentacles--he dislikes any kind of supervision. Yet the steady routine helps to ground the querent, enabling him to spend consistent hours working on his personal writing at his home. The small girl who watches represents home life--she looks as if she is his daughter. Usually, in the Eight of Pentacles, the man works alone, but these two extra persons in the card represent both the work and home environment. As in the Queen of Wands card, a cat sits cozily by the querent.
Cards Ten and Eleven: Adulthood 40-? -- who the individual was and what went on (Court Card)(Minor Arcana) - Seer (Princess) of Cups Reversed/Four of Cups
The querent is moving towards a more emotional period in his life, with two cup cards in these positions. The Seer of Cups is dedicated to Pixie Smith--which indicates that the querent is moving towards fulfilling his goals as an artist whose work will help him achieve immortality. The psychic undertones of this card indicate he will be moving even more towards developing his intuitive, inner aspects, which can only add to the quality of his writing. The reversal says that this might cause some internal conflict--he may want to ignore these aspects of himself, which could lead to emotional strife.
The activity card is the Four of Cups. The querent has a tendency to isolate himself from the outer world. Career success would allow him to remove himself even more, because he would quit his job if he could support himself on his free-lance writing. This card is a warning not to give in to hermit-like tendencies, because it could lead to depression and mood swings. This card also indicates that powerful imagination (the largest, most glowing cup is the one he visualizes) that he can use in his writing. A little mouse appears in this card, which is a counterpoint to the cat that appeared in the earlier Adult cards. This concerns me--the hunter becomes the hunted. All of the cards (including Card 12) show someone whose waters of creativity and depth offer the capacity for great success--but also the possibility of going under, getting drowned by that sensitivity and emotion.
Looking at all of the pair cards, one suit is missing--Swords. As the air element is the one associated with Mercury and writing, I found it odd that no Swords cards emerged in this reading. It seems salient that only one Pentacles card appeared as well. The balance of elements is quite imbalanced--there is enormous drive, passion, and emotion, but detachment (Swords/Air) and grounding (Pentacles/Earth) need to be assiduously cultivated if the querent's dreams are to take root in reality.
Card Twelve: Crowning Achievement (Major Arcana) - The Moon
There's no payoff in the querent denying the depth and creativity he has--the Majors that have come up in this spread insist that these qualities are so strong they would overwhelm the average person. The Moon only reiterates the messages of the Hanged Man, the Star, and all the water cards. The querent can only gain from dream work and listening to the deep currents within him. If he doesn't pay attention to his lunar side, it will emerge in the shadows, in uncontrollable, unpleasant ways.
Spread, reading and page © 2001 Diane Wilkes
Images © 2001 Llewellyn Publications