Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Court cards and personality disorders

Imho, a must-read for all interested in the psychological dimension of Tarot cards!


King of Wands.

3. Forceful, charismatic, bold, communicates enthusiasm, seems to dominate the environment... not a quiet, passive observer... is never a wallflower [Bunning].

4. ...dynamic... a source of ideas [Ops].

5. Active, enthusiastic, source of ideas and leadership, strong willed, commanding, confident in his plans [Ops]. Masterminds new strategies [Bunning]


Note: Hypomania is not a personality disorder itself, merely a mood state present in some disorders. Hypomania is different than mania in that it is not as severe or lacks psychotic features. To me, the Wand King best matches this mood state, and not the accompanying personality disorders within which this mood state is found---i.e., the KoW might represent a hypomanic episode.

Hypomania is a distinct period of elevated, expansive or irritable mood lasting throughout for a period of at least 4 days. During this time, the following is present:

1. Inflated self-esteem or grandiosity.

2. Decreased need for sleep (e.g., feels rested after only 3 hours of sleep).

3. More talkative than usual or pressure to keep talking.

4. Flight of ideas or subjective experience that thoughts are racing.

5. Increase in goal-directed activity (either socially, at work or school, or sexually) or psychomotor agitation.

Actually, I relate to this as the more "fun" times in my life, one after a Tibetan Buddhist retreat, when I came to identify as some kind of bodhisattva, that episode lasting about three weeks, and one after a John of the Cross Lay Carmelite retreat, lasting four weeks, when, sad to say, I identified more with Jesus himself (although little kids loved me, as I got down on the floor to colour with them!): bugger food or sleep; I spent all night writing long discursive poems it would probably embarrass me to see now, and by day even the most mundane chores, like scrubbing the kitchen floor, seemed bliss itself! Actually I live for the recurrence of a "hypomanic" episode: it seemed the ultimate adventure/bliss/samadhi in life! I re-approached this state again in Norway, possibly on my "rebirth" as a neo-Mayan, but concurrent stressors and concerns somewhat mitigated the "bliss" aspect, to tell the truth ;-P In my own Tarot, I called this card "the real king of the jungle", featuring a laughing orang utan, wearing a jauntily lopsided crown, and, as a Monkey, I also love how the Voodoo Tarot calls the Fool the World-Egg (what can that suggest but Monkey, *born from a stone egg... irrepressible!*)

My depressive, at times suicidal, episodes seem a thing of the past, but in giving them up, I have unfortunately also given up the hypomania? Although at times I secretly wish it would come back... ;-))

Page of Wands: Bipolar II Disorder.

1. Presence (or history) of
one or more Major Depressive Episodes.

2. Presence (or history) of at
least one Hypomanic Episode.

3. There has never been a
Manic Episode or a Mixed Episode.

4. The mood episodes in
Criteria [1] and [2] are not
better accounted for by
Schizoaffective Disorder and
is not superimposed on
Schizophreniform Disorder,
Delusional Disorder, or
Psychotic Disorder Not
Otherwise Specified.

Associated Features.

1. With hypomania, one may
experience increased
creativity... ideas pour in at
an incredible pace... speech
can be full of jokes, plays on
words and amusing
irrelevancies [Erika
Bukkfalvi Hillard]. Bipolar
creativity and verbal fluency
may be justifiably associated.
Emil Kraepelin (German
psychiatrist) first described
bipolar disorder and noticed
that his patients seemed to
delight in rhymes and puns.
His contemporaries echoed
this observation. [Carmen].

Yikes.com! I also qualified for this one, at least during my hypomanic episodes: hence my preferred clinical self-diagnosis "subclinical bipolar"? (How come poets, of all people with major creative outlets, seem to have the most "mental health issues"?) Mind you, I never found myself so much a rhyming poet, however; Bjorn Erik specialized in that with his deceptively simple, childlike, rhyming, Blakeian quatrains! lol Call this one my "James Joyce complex", i.e. I have occasionally 'channelled' James Joyce, as in Finnegan's Wake, not Ulysses, having read both, and to read Finnegan's Wake, in particular, seems to put your brain through a mental 'gym' of successively solving one cryptic crossword puzzle after another, which seems why most people don't bother! lol Ulysses seems just the mental 'warm-up' required, as we needed a Hayden mass to 'warm up' to approach the Mozart requiem in choral singing! lol I.e. I can even scare myself, at times! B-E seemed much more straightforward (although poetically subtler) when he channelled William Blake! lol But I also credit myself with the psychological/mental feat of having read the entire Blake corpus backwards, and frontwards, and not having them judge me clinically insane! lmao

Makes mental note to self: *stick to painting... Visual artists on the whole, even Vincent, seem to have far less hangups than poets* lol (although I will occasionally lapse into 'poetic mode', as on this blog! lol)

Maybe deep down, I adopt e-prime as a major defence against the "siren song" of this poetic madness? ;-P

Note to self and others: Plato did not like poets either, and wanted to ban them from his republic ;-P

Queen of Cups.

1. Very much affected by surrounding influences [Crowley]. Too much imagination [Ops]. Hypersensitive empath; empathy, (as opposed to sympathy), is more likely to cause a person to over relate events to themselves [Carmen].

2. Gift of vision [Waite]. The QoC is frequently thought of as a psychic [Carmen]. Has a well-developed sixth sense, can have a telepathic bond with another, is a natural medium [Bunning].

3. She is... dreamy, as one who sees a vision in a cup [Waite]. Waite's Cup Queen is identified with the Scarlet Woman in Revelation, who has a "golden cup in her hand full of abominations"---our Queen is pictured with a strange cup, a cup that is different from all the other cups in this suit. We might assume that she is seeing a vision, or even scrying [Hmm, yeh, Carmen, don't we all secretly have our Revelation-based delusions? But ssh, not too loud, the shrinks approach! lol].

4. The Cup Queen may sign her emails with the stereotypical "Love & Light" :) [Thanks, Carmen, that rules this little Queen of Cups out as a stereotypical 'fluffy' New Ager! lol Call me old-fashioned, but I got put off such signatures, by my harsh Q of P's consistent "peace and love" signatures! lol].

5. The Cup Queen is so hypersensitive to emotive stimuli that she may pick up on subtle emotive content that others do not and react to them, causing others to consider her emotional behavior as "inappropriate" [thanks for the emotional validation, Carmen!

1.Too much imagination [Ops]. Has a well-developed sixth sense, can have a telepathic bond with another, is a natural medium [Bunning].

2. Gift of vision, she is... dreamy, as one who sees a vision in a cup [Waite]. Too much imagination [Ops].

Schizotypal Personality Disorder.

4. Odd thinking and speech (e.g., vague, circumstantial, metaphorical, overelaborate, or stereotyped).... Hmm, well that would seem a matter of literary opinion; see my poetry pages, and judge for yourself! lol

Damn, and I always fancied the "schizotypal personality disorder" as my own; see Beatitudes of DSM-IV in my poetry pages, but I guess I seem more Wandsy (Moon and Mercury in Aries) than I thought (sidereal Pisces), and the Voodoo Tarot would also see my strength in either fire or earth, btw! ;-))

And I might have made a great Queen of Swords (i.e. major depressive disorder or PTSD, but see my Goddess cycle (in poetry pages), especially the ending... i.e. my natural feminism would not let me! lol

Knight of Swords.

1. Mercurial personality, erratic behavior [Ops]. Unstable of purpose, he slays as fast as he creates [Crowley] (important here because BPDs commonly hate today those they loved yesterday; it demonstrates "extremes of idealization and devaluation." As such, they commonly destroy the very relationships they "can't live without." -Carmen). Enmity, wrath, war [Waite]. Commands attention, forces a position on others [Bunning].

7. In full course, as if scattering his enemies... defense, enmity, resistance [Waite] (all common response-behaviors to paranoid ideation [Carmen]). Is cold and aloof, is cut off from emotions [Bunning] (dissociative -Carmen).

1. Strength and dash of a young man, impetuous rush into the unknown without fear [Scapini].

2. May defend ideas fanatically... brave, strong, fearless, skillful [Ops]. Elusive and elastic mind supporting various and contradictory opinions... a fanatic [Crowley]. Bravery, skill, capacity, heroic action... conceited fool [Scapini]. Believes he or she is always right, lacks tolerance of other viewpoints, is arrogant [Bunning].

Borderline Personality Disorder.

1. A pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation.

2. Identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self.

3. Impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., sex, substance abuse,). Note: Do not include suicidal or self-mutilating behavior covered in Criterion 5.

4. Affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria [agitation disquiet, restlessness -Carmen], irritability, or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days).

5. Chronic feelings of emptiness.

6. Inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights).

7. Transient, stress-related paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms.

Associated features.

1. Emotional equilibrium in constant jeopardy, unpredictable, impetuous, erratic, impulsive, aggressive, uses their abilities in destructive ways.

2. Borderline pathology can include lack of humility
and a core of omnipotence, conceit, and self-righteousness [Akhtar].

Actually this sounds far more like Bjorn Erik than the King! ;-P

King of Pentacles = dipsomania, or alcohol abuse?

Note: Waite's Pentacle King wears a robe decorated with bunches of grapes, which are a symbol of wine, intoxication, orgy and luxury. Fertility icons such as Bacchus (Roman) and Dionysus (Greek) have bunches of grapes as their symbols. Bacchanalia is the lascivious festival of Bacchus; the celebration became forbidden because of excessive drunkenness, sexual practices and criminality. The Pentacle King's throne is decorated with bull's heads, a male symbol of virility [Yeh, right, Carmen, and you know the real effects of alcohol on male sexual performance, in particular! They only wish they could , but can't get it up when the occasion arises; cf. Shakespeare, "(alcohol) increaseth the desire but taketh away the performance" ;-P]

This ascription seems way off in my books, because, while a real King of Pentacles may well enjoy a little tipple, no way would s/he let it interfere with his/her social/work, not to mention sexual, performance! (In fact, as an aspiring King of Wands, I crave a King of Pentacles as the ideal lover... *sigh*)

A highly superficial reading, imho, based solely on the spurious RW! lol

"What does this mean? It means clearly that normal is not synonymous with "right" or "good". Fortunately, there are other models to choose from."

My point exactly in the Beatitudes of DSM-IV poem ;-))

"The sociocultural theory calls to question current psychiatric practices... many of our best-known artists, writers and geniuses have been labeled 'abnormal'."

All in all, please give me a jolly old King of Wands any day? (What would correspond to an appropriate AT avatar?) The Voodoo Tarot currently (correctly?) identifies me as a Petro Mambo (Queen of Wands), but I shyly, secretly and androgynously aspire to the Houngan... kissed by the bliss of the serpent kiss as the Mambo appears! lol OK, I know what I have to do, I have to seriously get into the drumming thing!! Since, as a Hermit (Beltane spread), I already "march to the beat of a different drum" anyway, and have already knocked one of its knockers off in the noble cause of a previous anti-war demonstration! lol


Blogger Sebastian Aristos said...


Wow ! That was a rather grand blog post. Did you find all this on the Aeclectic Tarot Forum ?


12:39 pm  
Blogger asgif666 said...

No, mythos sent it to me in a link, because I asked about "court cards and personality disorders"...cool, eh? ;-))

4:48 pm  

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