The following is a reading I did for an actor friend of mine (shared with her permission, of course). She was in the world premier of a new play, and was having trouble getting into the character she was playing. The only background information I was given was that the character had been raised by her grandparents after her mother abandoned her. The play is called “We are the Levinsons” and the character’s name is Sara.
Delving into a Character Spread
Using the Astrological Oracle, I did a quick pull of cards for Sara’s basic astrology (sun/moon/rising sign) and another sign card came flying out, so I pulled a planet to go with it (Mars in Scorpio). Here’s the breakdown of Sara’s astrology:
Sun in Aries:
The sun is the development of a coherent, operational self-image. It’s about how we strengthen and clarify our self-image (how we want to see ourselves), and it’s the unconscious biases that shape our view of the world. Aries is the pioneer, daredevil, survivor. Sara makes snap decisions with little to no regard for the outcome or the fallout. It’s not that she doesn’t care about the feelings of others, it’s just that she makes a move before truly thinking through where that move will lead. She sees this as decisive. She’s full of fiery passion, enthusiasm, and an independent spirit. She wants to be seen as someone who is strong and assertive, who knows what she wants and is willing to do what it takes to get it. Everything she does is about trying to shape herself into this image.
Moon in Gemini:
The moon is who we are on a soul level, how we seek joy and happiness, how we handle our emotions (or don’t). Gemini is the teacher, storyteller, journalist. Sara is a keen observer of human nature. She picks up on subtle signals in others–a look, a gesture, a tone of voice. She dissects personalities, she figures people out like a puzzle. And when she’s cracked someone’s code, they lose interest for her as a project, and she’s ready to move on to the next puzzle. She collects this data with scientific detachment, but with emotional underpinnings; she spots weakness in others in order to use it against them when she feels that she’s up against a wall, in order to feel that she has the upper hand emotionally. This is NOT intentional or malicious. She gathers information, but doesn’t consciously process it.
The ascendant (rising sign) is the workable mask we show the world. No one is simply what they appear to be. We all have many masks, many facets of our personality–many of which are contradictory or in a lesser form of conflict with one another. You may be a people-pleaser, but also be very outspoken about issues close to your heart. The rising sign is the parts of your personality that mesh well enough together to become a persona that is comfortable for everyday use. This is how you are comfortable being seen by others. Pisces is the dreamer, the poet, the shapeshifter. A little flaky, a little artsy, a little out-there, Pisces is afloat on the sea of emotions. Everything touches them deeply; there can be difficulty separating others’ feelings from their own. And there is little to no ability to understand where these feelings come from, why she feels the way she feels. She’s very emotional, but doesn’t take the time to genuinely feel her emotions, to analyze and understand them.
Mars in Scorpio:
Mars is a go-getter. Scorpio is a waiter. Mars wants to rush in and get things done. Scorpio wants to wait and feel out the best moment to make a move. Sara is caught in the crossfire of wanting SOMETHING, but being terribly unsure of what that something is. She’s unconsciously waiting for that aha moment, that sign that this is the time, this is the thing, this is IT. But the waiting makes her feel insecure. That not knowing leads to a feeling of lack of control. And control is key to both Mars and Scorpio. She lacks the ability to see a healthy way to gain control. She grabs at control in any way that falls in her path, and her desperation for that control means that she is willing to hurt others, to hurt herself in the long run, in order to feel that she has some semblance of control.
And now, the Tarot portion…
1.) The energy Sara consciously carries: Knight of Wands
This brings up a lot of the Sun in Aries stuff–adventurer, revolutionary, spontaneous, enthusiastic, vital, charming, clever. It’s also evasive, absent (emotionally), alienated, remote. Someone who starts things with great fervour, but can’t finish them because of the lack of a steady level of energy. A quick flash of enthusiasm, followed by a frustration with lack of results. I’ve heard it described as “just and scorning meanness”. She’s angry. And she has every right to be angry. And she lashes out as a result of that anger, she falls victim to knee-jerk reactions. Her anger is justification enough for her. She feels no need to explore the intricacies of her emotions.
2.) The energy Sara unconsciously carries: Ace of Swords
This one goes hand-in-hand with the Moon in Gemini, as well as Mars in Scorpio–divided, weighing both sides of a situation, unable to move forward because her energy is pent up in decision-making. She’s angry with her mother, but also knows logically that her mother may have answers she’s looking for (the big one would be “why?”). Sara wants these answers, but her anger and pride prevent her from asking. She also enjoys the righteousness of being the victim, having her mother be the bad guy is comforting because it means she doesn’t have to explore her own feelings, or face the intricacies of the situation.
3.) Your block to Sara’s energy: Queen of Swords, reversed
You don’t like Sara very much. She seems deceitful, fanatical, treacherous. The thing is to keep in mind that she’s not just a caricature, she’s a human being with flaws. She’s suffered deep disappointments, she has frustrated ambitions, soured ideals, abilities that have been sacrificed or unused. Her meanness is a result of self-deception and thick emotional walls. She controls her grief and resists sorrow by keeping people at a distance. Try imagining Sara as a child. Try imagining Sara’s reaction to a small emotional disappointment (a forgotten birthday, a crush who doesn’t like her back, etc.). Try imagining how coming from a place of expecting disappointment shades how you see the world.
4.) How to unblock it: the Lovers, reversed
In the book Tarot Reversals, Mary K. Greer says of this card: “A conflict between devotion to another person or to your higher self could have you stymied.” You take on a lot of a character when you portray them. This lets you explore your own emotional landscape and learn about yourself and about how others feel and react in accordance with their feelings. But you don’t like Sara. And you don’t want her invading your headspace. This is shadow work. This is going into parts of yourself that aren’t comfortable or fun, parts that you’d rather leave unexplored. But shadow work is so rewarding in the end! Facing the ugliness, the pain, the anger and grief is important because it shows you that these things hold less power when confronted. It’s denying these things that gives them power. Look at some highly emotionally charged moments of your life and see how Sara would look at them. Imagine expecting disappointment, abandonment, loss. How would Sara have handled your relationship issues? Your career issues? You don’t have to agree with how she would handle things, you just have to try to see why she would do what she would do in a given situation.
5.) What energy of yours to bring to Sara: Queen of Cups, reversed
I see this mostly as “open vessel.” An open vessel can be filled, but it can be easily emptied once full. This is about the flow of emotion. Taking on a character, learning from it, and releasing it once the play is over. You have the ability to see things from multiple points of view, to understand how someone might react in a certain fashion given past experiences, given that person’s history. Use that. And be open to exploring it deeply, personally. Know that whatever you uncover is a learning experience, not a revelation about who you truly are. And know that you can let it go when you’re done learning from it. Be open to feeling uncomfortable things, knowing that these feelings are a facsimile of emotion, a distorted reflection. You use what you have, what you know, what you do feel, to gain insight. And then you release it knowing that these feelings don’t belong to you here and now. Come from a place of compassion, a place of openness and understanding. Sara is a person in pain and the best way to help her through that pain is to allow it to surface, to be seen. Sara is also doing a lot of shadow work. Give her permission to work through it. Give yourself permission to help her and then to walk away.