Self Hatred


I originally had a little trouble with this version because, like the Fey, it sees to have a very specific idea about its meaning. I would definately agree that most of the Shadow traits we take on are, at the very core of their being, based on judging oneself or feeling in some way weak. I worked with a queer youth activism group who got their funding from an HIV Outreach grant based on the belief that if queer youth feel empowered and safe they will mae better decisions about drug use and safer sex. Also for the flow of the majors the choice seems to work, internalized homophobia is a stage that nearly everyone goes through to some degree so this helps the card fit into the Fool's journey.

I find the card ever so slightly resrictive as occaisionally I think it's important and beneficial to Dance the Shadow and make use of that perspective. Originally this seemed incompatible with the card. I've come to the conclusion that in the right placement and with the right cards around it this image could be interpreted (I'm stretching a bit) as taking a bite of the apple offered by the serpent. Seeing the idea of the nuclear family as an illusory Eden we've clung to and being willing to reject that old mold and start anew not tied down by previous ideas about what we should want for our own lives.

This interpretation of the card could of course go with a warning that to go too far could mean losing any sense of identity and creating a muddled sense of "heterophobia". I'll have to think about that as it sounds a bit too much like a reading where someone says "Oh the Fool means a chance to act carefree and unconcerend... but not to carefree and unconcerned" I do dislike those.

How have other folks worked with this card?


XV Self Hatred

I received Self-Hatred last week in a reading I did about the condition of my family life. I'm embarassed to say I tolerate my father's terrible habit of yelling and screaming insults at me and my poor mother in his tantrums. It's getting more and more upsetting, but neither of us have ever spoken out for ourselves to reprimand him, and therebye, we have contributed to his behavior and have helped it to become what it has.

I think the teen on Self-Hatred is looking at the picture of the happy, nuclear family with feelings of inadequecy and a sense that he has "failed." He doesn't have what the picture says he should have, and he feels out of place.

I've always linked the Devil, trump XV, with being caught in a negative, unhealthy situation, where one feels lost, trapped, and oppressed, but where steps can be taken to liberate oneself. The boy on Self-Hatred can free himself from society's stereotypes, and come into acceptance with himself. He's caught in a negative, unhealthy mind set. He's face-to-face with the picture, which makes me wonder if he is facing his Shadow, confronting it, about to say "You will not undermine my life anymore; I will be true to myself," and thus lead to the Revelation of the next Trump.


As I work with the deck, there are a few times when I've simply had to accept that some cards in this deck simply won't allow for the same kind of range of meaning as more general decks like the RWS. I think you'll probably find this is true with any "theme" deck. Inevitably, sacrifices need to be made as cards are matched with concepts from the theme.

Horoskope88, please don't blame yourself for your father's behavior. He is the one who is behaving badly and it's not yours or your mother's "fault" in any way. I would say that the Self-Hatred card applies to your father in this case, and not to you. It may be that confronting your father is not necessarily the appropriate or wise thing to do in your particular case. In general, we should certainly take responsibility for our own actions, but we don't need to take responsibility for others' actions.

You might want to get some guidance from someone outside the situation, like a school counselor or a family member.

-- Lee



Dear Lee and everybody

I think this card is one of the best in the deck. I gasped when I first saw it.

[Same with "Revelation." Going through the cards, I didn't even realize which Trump it was supposed to be - and then I saw the lightning - and then (in a flash!) it clicked into place. Stunning.]

The great thing I think the card does is ask, What is the worst thing us gay people have to face and struggle with? What is the one thing that has the power to hurt us the most?

Lee's answer is correct, and the presentation of it is fantastic. Sticks and stones and laws and all the rest can hurt us, sure, but not as badly as the self-hatred we're capable of can.

There are plenty of images that exclude us the way the framed picture in this card does. Thanks to Lee and Antonella for giving us the Priest and the 10 of Cups and so many others that include us.

Lee, um, would you say that by making this deck you were trying to help us "fight the devil" of self hatred?



Sybilant said:
Lee, um, would you say that by making this deck you were trying to help us "fight the devil" of self hatred?

Thanks so much for the kind words. :)

-- Lee

Lady Mary

My daughter (7 years old) wanted to see the Devil card (it's her favorite card of any deck I own). So I showed it to her. But she told me immediately: Put it away, I don't want to see it.
What I could see was that the card had suddenly made her very sad. So we talked about it and the card had made her sad because it shows the family (father, mother, child) and because my ex-husband and I divorced a couple of years ago and we are not this family any more. It was a very easy divorce, without hard feelings or fights, and we're still in good contact, but still, we're not this family any more.
Just wanted to tell this story, as I think this card has so much in it.


dear oh dear

Lady Mary said:
Just wanted to tell this story, as I think this card has so much in it.

Dear oh dear.

A whole lot of people are left out of that picture, aren't they.

Thx for the story, Lady Mary. I hope your daughter found a card she likes better.



The first time I viewed this card I said - what is this card supposed to replace? -OH! The Devil? but then I sat around and thought about it for awhile.

In my view of the Devil, we are chained to ideals that no longer support us, or have failed us, but we keep hanging on. LWB:"unconsciously accepting societal norms." I think that non-gay people don't understand the concept that just about everything you get fed from birth is strictly heterosexual, and when you are heterosexual it just fits right in and doesn't ever bother you. Grow up - find someone of the opposite sex- get married- have children - buy the house with the white picket fence and be sure to have at least one dog. You see it everywhere - it's in books, on TV, at the movies, right next door in that house with the white picket fence and 2.3 children. When you are heterosexual these images get fed to you and become part of your psyche like 1 + 1 = 2.

Now imagine you are not heterosexual. Where are the images to support what you feel- you are attracted to someone of your same gender. You can't hold hands in public without someone screaming "FAGGOTS!" at you. Religions tell you how sick you are and condemn you to horrible places that 'bad people' go. The president of your country wishes you all would just disappear or move to Canada and wants legislation to ban gay people from marrying. Do you think this doesn't have an effect on gay people who just wish the right to live their lives as they see fit? Self-hatred and self-loathing are a big guilt-trip in gay life - "WHY CAN'T I BE NORMAL?" When you are gay the straight world -that you can never be a part of - is one big "NO!" and if you let them get to you you can end up very self-destructive - alcohol and drug use - are all part of self hatred. This card has a very specific idea of what it portrays, and since this is a deck aimed at gay men - a very true image.


What you talked about in your last post is exactly what I liked about this card initially. This card is one of the most poignant expressions of what you described, that I've seen.

But of course, as with the Chariot, lol, the more I read, the harder time I'm having with the card. I agree that it's too specific. I'm having a hard time understanding what it could mean most of the time when it comes up now. It just doesn't seem to fit. Of course, there must be something, I'm just not seeing it.
So I'm wondering... What are some other ways people are reading the card? If "self-hatred" and what's in the LWB doesn't fit at all, do you go to the RWS "Devil" card meaning? Does it depend on the reading/spread itself? or has the card come to have another/more expanded meaning for you?

At the moment, I haven't come up with anything, I tend to forget it's in the place of the Devil card and so don't go to that meaning. I'm going to have to work with it a bit.

Hey, maybe I just don't want to deal with my own self-hatred issues so I don't know how to deal with the card? lol :)


self hatred / devil

If the particular meaning of a particular card doesn't ring for me I generally go to the RWS meaning of the card.

With any new deck ("new" here meaning "since RWS"), I pretty much read any new layers of meaning or imagery in parallel with the RWS meaning. It's like the 'original' RWS card is also there in my mind. What might jump out for me in a given reading could come from the new card, the new LWB, some aspect of the RWS card's meaning or imagery, or some connection between two or more of the above. And yes, sometimes this is confusing, which is why lately I've been sticking with either the Universal Waite or the Kat Black's Golden Tarot.