But before we can talk about ourselves to others, we need to have a serious sit-down with ourselves to figure out just what we are actually about. Let's think this as an introduction to our Self.
The spread this week is a dive into the psyche. There is a balance between light and shadow aspects and deals with the following:
- the Self (the parts of us that lie behind the changeable masks we show to others)
- the Persona (the changeable masks we show to others)
- Projection (the positive or negative qualities that we notice in others but are actually reflections of our own attitudes)
The aim here is to get to know ourselves intimately. The phrase "Know Thyself" comes to mind. when we actually understand who we are -- the good, the bad, and the ugly (or awesome!) -- then we are able to release ourselves from the power and influence of others. We learn exactly who we are and where we stand, what our strengths and weaknesses are, and how we can act on this knowledge.
I call this the Me, Myself, and I Spread because it focuses entirely on oneself. The spread alone provides information about the various aspects of the psyche, so it will be us to each person to decide on how to use that knowledge.
Now, on to the Me, Myself, and I Spread!
- Conscious aspect of the Self
- Aspect of the Self in shadow
- Positive aspect of the main persona
- Negative aspect of the main persona
- Projection onto others
So we're dealing with a lot of major issues here.
The Self is represented by both conscious and shadow aspects. The conscious Self is fairly self-explanatory. Then there is the shadow.
While the shadow aspect may be unknown, it is very likely something that one knows about it but consistently represses it from external expression. It's important to acknowledge the shadow aspect once it's revealed. Sometimes, this means allowing the shadow to express itself in a controlled and positive way. For example, if you get ticked off really easily, allow that anger to turn into righteous outrage for important causes.
Sometimes, though, the shadow aspect stems from something or someone we can't control. In these cases, we have to release that thing or person. Especially if it's something from the past, acknowledge that you're a changed person and then say your good-byes to that past situation or person. Then, you can really start healing.
Next, we deal with persona. I call it the "main persona" above because we all have loads of personas that we use every day. For example, at work one might don the persona of "the employee" or "the boss" while at home be "the mother" or "the daughter." Personas change with circumstance.
What we're going to deal with here is the persona you most strongly align and identify with. Hate your job? Then you're definitely not going to be looking at "the employee" persona. Love your family? Then you're probably going to be looking at "the mother" or "the protector" persona. (More specific information about what the "main persona" is will come from the cards themselves.)
Finally, we look at how we project our attitudes onto others. The way we interact with and perceive people is most often a reflection of our Self. Someone's actions or behavior may irritate us, but that's because that behavior is a part of our Self that bothers us. Alternatively, we may look for traits in others that we feel we lack. It's like searching for our complement in others.
If you're into astrology, you can think of the Projection as the Descendant. It's opposite yet intrinsically a part of us. We seek it because we think of it as different, yet it is more similar to us than we think. We may dislike it, yet we are fascinated by it nonetheless.
Anyway! Let's see this spread in action! (I'm just laying out cards here; this isn't a reading for myself... I'm sure that would be emotionally scarring for both you and me!)
There could definitely be some personality conflicts with aspects of the Self. The persona seems to be a good teacher with a penchant for overthinking things... or just being unnecessarily argumentative! The projection might be that this fictitious sitter expects the world from everyone else because s/he either feels like s/he carries the world on his/her shoulders (so why shouldn't everyone else?!).
I hope this spread serves you well! Please do give it a shot. I'm sure you'll find treasures in the depths of your psyche.