21 Ways To Read A Tarot Card -- Step NINETEEN


Since some of the group is slowing down with the start of summer-like activities, I've decided to kick off step 19. In the book, this step is mostly concerned about the Adept Level and the instructions for the Apprentice Level is quite short. That said, we do have to engage in some effort for this step.

This step is about Myth & Archetypes. Mary Greer notes that we apply our own personal mythology to the cards we use. Our "mythology" seems to be built upon what we have read and retained, how we understand what we have read, how our experiences have shaped and refined those myths, and how we have envisioned what the myths should be in terms of our dreams, hopes, and fantasy activities. Mary gives some brief examples in the first paragraphs of the book.

I would recommend reading the whole chapter, picking out the sections that interest you. This should provide some background for you task which is:

Find a myth, story, fairy tale, movie or song that in some way fits with your card and what you have previously said about it.

** At what point in your myth-story-tale-movie-song (mstms) does your card enter in?
** What happens in the mstms before and after your card's placement?
** What might these before and after portions of the mstms suggest about motivations and choices?
** How might you re-write the end of the mstms to allow other options?

I think this might require a bit of thought before we start posting. However, I would suggest that if you think of two-or-more mstms than you might want to do this exercise more than once. Dave


This was hard trying to find a blue woman relateing to hope so i had to improvise!
I used E.T. the movie. At first I said it like a joke to my study buddy but it actually made since.
First the entire movie has a lot of Star qualities
Second the part where he used his mind powers to levitate the bike almost looks like the star card,
although not blue s/he was green so its close enough!!

The part I am choosing is when s/he levitates the bike with Elliot on it because he almost gets caught and gets away and you really believe Elliot will make it with ET.

before this part ET dies and Elliot almost dies as well.then the plant comes to life closely followed by ET coming back and he says his people are coming for him

Et has to get to his people or he will be permanent dead the government is after him to prolly dissect him Elliot is almost a goner. the point is to save ET and it shows how close the family and the ET become.

in the end ET points to his heart and says s/he will be right there. if I were to re-wright it I would take Elliot for a ride or come back when he is older and needs ET to help him get through a jam.


Jack and the Beanstock

The tale of Jack and the Beanstock is about a not-so-bright young lad who squanders the family cow for some magical beans. Despite his mother's anguish and tongue-lashing, the beans do indeed exhibit magic properties, growing into a bean-stalk that reaches the clouds above. Jack climbs and brings back a goose that lays golden eggs, among other treasures before encountering a giant which he has to evade and vanquish.

The Fool may have "come in" with the start of the story as he appears well dressed and accessorized (crown and keys) despite being unknowing of the ways of the world or what he is actually doing. The Fool, as represented in the Fey Tarot where he discovers a glowing pumpkin carved with a face, relates to Jack discovering a goose that lays golden eggs on his journey. This is wonderful but he doesn't really realize its value or purpose. Jack's mother did recognize what the goose represented but Jack was guite unaware.

Like any myth or fairy tale, the Fool is likely to discover more surprises on his journey before being jolted awake and galvinized into action to take charge of his situation, a situation that become alarmingly real quite suddenly. That part of the story may be beyond where this card can go by itself but it is enough to consider what else he may discover and what he might do because of these discoveries. What happens after the initial "shock and awe" wears off? What can the Fool uncover about this strange object? What will change for him as a result of this discovery? How will he next proceed?

I believe that this card is bounded by his unrealized "starting" of the journey and the point just before he gains awareness. What lies between these bounds? Two or more discoveries have to be experienced; this enables some level of comparison to occur which leads to some thoughts and perceptions. Then another discovery has to occur which shows any inadequacies in his previous thinking as well as any confirmation of his conclusions. Together, these deficits and successes should birth a level of anticipation and some self-pride in his first "Ah-ha!" moment.

The end of the Fool's present path has to end with meeting another person who may be friend or foe, who may help him or ignore him -- the important point is for him to realize that he is not alone, that the world is now opening up. Discovery is promised, awareness is likely, results can't be forecast. Dave


Real nice job Dave!

I like how Jack started off as the fool but ended his journey as something greater . Kind of shows thereis hope for all us " fools" out there or those of us having a " fool: moment.


Step 19 - Fantastic Menagerie


19:1 Based on what I have discovered about my card I have chosen to show how she fits in with the character of Ellen Gruwell (played by Hillary Swank) in the movie "Freedom Writers." Which is based on the true story of Ms. Gruwell.

* At which stage in the story does your particlar situation come in?
When Ms. Gruwell gets completly cought up in helping the kids, to the point where she takes on a second job to buy them books and without even realizing it is neglecting her husband.

* What happens in the story before and after this point?
BEFORE: Ms. Gruwell is a young teacher in her first teaching assignment and full of altruism and her ability to make a difference in the lives of the inner city kids.
AFTER: The husband leaves her, she is a success in her work and an inspiration and salvation for the inner city kids in her classes.

* What might htese suggest about possible motivations and future choices?
That one must be aware of outcomes certain choice may have, and one must also be willing to live with them. Know what your priorities are, and live with the consequences (good & bad).

* How might you rewrite the end of the movie to allow other options?
I would have had the husband come back and want to try to be more involved her passion for helping the kids. Like her father did, chaperoning the kids on outings, and driving them, etc. Then he could really decide if he could or could not live with her work, and see if he really could support her passion for helping these kids.


The entire movie was a good star thig. you summed it up real conscise how you star played a part. I think if mrs grewal was a ibis it would have lost flavor though.


coyoteblack said:
The entire movie was a good star thig. you summed it up real conscise how you star played a part. I think if mrs grewal was a ibis it would have lost flavor though.
Even if she was running around only wearing flowers??? *LOL*


in that neighberhood where the kids are from? running would be the key word!!


What a great exercise. I really pondered this one for a long time. I looked into all kinds of myths, and nothing quite fit. Coyoteblack and I were even going to write a myth to make something fit *LOL*. But then it hit me that I could use a movie, and I had felt so uplifted by Freedom Writers that I knew it was the one.

I love Jack & The Beanstock for the Fool Dave. I really enjoyed reading what you posted, and I really like how you fit the attire of the fool (keys/crown) and then the lantern into elements of Jack & the Beanstalk.

Coyoteblack, I do think ET is great for your card and what the card means to you. ET gets sick, he recovers, he travels the stars. How much better can it get???


The play should be called . . .

Portia, or the Clever Judge!

I chose the story of Portia in the Merchant of Venice for 4 Wands, since it is often considered a wedding card. The marriage part of the play has a fairytale feel. Brief synopsis:

Portia is the wealthy heiress of an entire island country. Before her father died, he devised the way she will get a husband. Any suitor has to choose a box of gold, silver, or lead. The one who chooses the box that has her picture in it gets to marry her. She has sworn to obey this completely. Since her father was a "holy man," in true fairytale style, he knows the right man will pick the right box.

Bassanio is the right man. We have already seen the wrong men pick the gold and silver, so we know he will pick the lead and win Portia. Along with her picture, there is a verse in the box that reads:

"You who choose not by the view
"Chance as fair and choose as true."

The rest of the story: Minutes after winning Portia, Bassanio finds out that his friend has lost all his ships and owes a pound of flesh to Shylock. Bassanio (and his friend Gratiano) rush off the try to help him. Portia (and her friend Nerissa, engaged to Gratiano) disguise themselves as a judge and his clerk and show up in Venice to judge the case. They settle the case so that Bassanio's friend retains his life and recovers some of his money.

The only reward the judge and clerk will accept are the wedding/engagement rings the ladies had given to the men. When the men get back, they are teased mercilessly for parting with their wedding rings so soon after they were given.

The card shows the end of the story when all the newlyweds (including another friend, Lorenzo, and Jessica, Shylock's daughter) have a big wedding and celebration on the island. Portia is celebrating (1) marrying the right man; (2) being clever enough to save her husband's friend's life; and (3) cleverly getting over on her new husband, just for bragging rights!

What happens next? Happily ever after! Love, friends, home, and plenty!

What's the moral of the story? Besides the perennial, "All that glisters is not gold." -- Your husband doesn't have to know everything you do, but always use your powers (in Portia's case, cleverness and audacity) for the good of all and for the good of your husband and your marriage!

If I could rewrite any of the story, I would rewrite the beginning so that Portia would be the one to devise a clever test for the right husband!

Now, what does this have to do with the 4 of Wands, you ask? It shows the consolidation of energy as a life-line celebration (weddings). And I can certainly see a bit of showing off and self-satisfaction for Portia here! but everything she's done is for the best, so she's allowed to be self-satisfied, especially on her wedding day!

Edited 7/5/07 to add:

I finally got my mind together on how Portia's story fits with the 4 Wands by remembering my college Shakespeare classes! (I think it's very interesting that my son and I had the same Shakespeare professor--17 years apart!)

All Shakespeare comedies end with multiple weddings. They are a symbol of fulfillment and stability and harmony. Everyone has everything she always wanted and what is best for her. And everyone is just where they should be for society to work properly. This fits very well with 4 Wands message of limitation for growth and humans cooperating together and with nature to achieve something.

(Conservatives say marriage is a solid base for society--and maybe it is--stable families, happy people, cared-for and educated children, etc! Just because I agree with that doesn't mean I agree with THEIR idea of what marriage or a stable family is!)