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Friday, July 14, 2017

The Mary-El Tarot Answers: Who Am I?

The Who asked the question best in their song: “Who are you? Who who, who who?” I decided to combine this idea with a popular meme that uses humor to illustrate categories such as “what my friends think I do,” “what society thinks I do,” and “what I really do.”

Here are the positions I am using:
(1) Who I think I am
(2) Who my friends think I am
(3) Who my family thinks I am
(4) Who my colleagues think I am
(5) Who my spouse thinks I am
(6) Who I really am

I am arranging the cards as follows:


The Mary-El Tarot by Marie White (Schiffer) was looking sort of lonely and put-out over on my shelf, so I’m going to work with her today. To read my review of this deck, click HERE.

This should be interesting.

(1) Who I think I am


I know that I can get bogged down by what I perceive as my failures and shortcomings, my own negativity, anxiety, and pessimism. This card shows someone riding a white horse, a symbol of ultimately overcoming and rising above the burdens in my life, many of which I have taken on myself. At heart, I do believe that I am one who can see above and beyond my past and current problems, difficulties, disappointments, and bad choices/decisions. I do have the ability to recognize and tap into the divine spark or life force and energy available to me, and to reach my potential. I like the quotation from Rumi that Marie Claire uses in connection with this card: “Burdens are the foundations of ease and bitter things the forerunners of pleasure.”

(2) Who my friends think I am


Looking at this one way, I could say that my friends think I am “one step above or beyond” who I think I am (with the Page of Wands being the card that follows the Ten of Wands). They see me as perhaps having progressed farther than I myself can see. Marie Claire describes the Page of Wands as “initiators of spirit.” Inspired by Joan of Arc, this Page of Wands represents divine inspiration, faith, enthusiasm, and a great heart. As number 11 it can be associated with Key 11, Strength. It is not a card of physical strength but strength of heart and faith. My friends think I am someone who follows her heart.

(3) Who my family thinks I am


Awwww, this made me a little bit teary-eyed. Who wouldn’t want their family to think of them as “The Sun”? (The fact that my father used to sing the song "You Are My Sunshine" to me contributes to my emotional response.) In the Mary-El Tarot, The Sun is a symbol for God but also represents the full potential of a human realized. I doubt my family thinks of me in quite those terms, but I am fine with the more down-to-earth keywords such as happiness, joy, creativity, energy and vigor, glowing, shining, good luck, celebration, enthusiasm, and success.

(4) Who my colleagues think I am


This is quite appropriate, I think. When I worked in an office setting, surrounded by people, I did socialize and interact with them, of course, but I also greatly valued time I could spend alone, focused on whatever project I needed to finish. I do not like to be interrupted by the telephone or by someone asking me questions or interrupting me when I am concentrating. I keep to myself in many ways. My colleagues these days are “virtual” for the most part, that is, we work together or work on the same kinds of tasks while communicating via the internet or email. I love this. It suits my somewhat reclusive personality perfectly. People have told me they don’t feel they know me, which fits with The Hermit’s tendency toward solitude and self-containment. Often I conceal or disguise things about myself – not in an attempt to deceive but in an attempt to preserve my privacy. I am fairly sure that my colleagues in the past and present have picked up on this about me. The other chief quality I associate with The Hermit is knowledge or wisdom and experience, which The Hermit can use to guide others along a path, as a mentor. I feel my colleagues of the past and present have seen me that way as well.

(5) Who my spouse thinks I am


Boom, we get to the spouse and right away the suit of Cups shows up. The title given to the Five of Cups in the Mary-El Tarot is “The Guarded Heart.” On the card we see a pure white unicorn guarding a well in the garden of paradise. This card is about a wounded heart and the need to release pain. It incorporates the qualities of compassion, kindness, and empathy. My spouse said at one time that I am one of the kindest, most compassionate people he has ever known. He is also aware of the heart-wounds I have suffered and the fact that I tend to hide or deny the power those wounds have in my life. I think it is fair to say that he thinks I am someone who needs to deal with heartache and emotional challenges in a different way than I do.

(6) Who I really am


Wow. In the Mary-El Tarot, the Knight of Wands is the power of transformation and transmutation. The type of animal shown on the card is not meant to be clearly determined. It is intended to be ambiguous. Is it a wolf, rat, bat, bear, panther, human? Here there is darkness and the possibility that the holy flame could be turned into something destructive if a different goal is not actively pursued. It seems that I am someone who needs to be cautioned to use my energy and power for good rather than something malignant. One of the reversed meanings of this card in this deck is “alienation,” and that sounds like a caution as well. The reclusive nature of The Hermit, if taken to extreme, can create alienation on many levels. I also note that we are going "up" one more step in the suit of Wands, from the Ten (Who I think I am) to the Page (Who my friends think I am) and now to the Knight (Who I really am).

The predominance of Fire in this reading is interesting, given that my natal Sun is in Sagittarius. The Ten of Wands even depicts a person with a bow and arrow riding a horse – a very Sagittarian image. The Hermit is linked by the Golden Dawn with the sign Virgo, my rising sign. I can't help noticing the striking contrast between the bright, fiery cards in the first three positions and the deep, dark image on the last card. The Knight does have the lightning bolt in his hand/paw, though, doesn't he?

All in all, this turned out to be a thought-provoking, emotionally engaging reading. I would expect no less from the Mary-El.


  1. I thought I had replied to this any here's hoping this is not a double : - Very interesting reading I especially think the friends one rings true and pin point this element of the reading " having progressed farther than I myself can see. "

    1. Thank you, Helen! I look forward to reading your posts on your new blog!


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~ Zanna