When considering how to structure your story, there are a variety of theories to choose from. So far I’ve used a combination of the 3-Act story structure, Vogner’s Hero’s Journey, and some of the legendary Joseph Campbell’s theories.
The Mastering of 2 Worlds is part of Campbell’s description of story theory. This comes after the MC has defeated the Antagonist and the ‘other world,’ or rather, as a result of doing this. Changing Minds describes it as a reflection of spiritual growth for the audience.
If the audience has connected themselves to the MC (which they will do if you’ve done your job right—and I am sure you have!), then they will see themselves reflected in the journey the hero makes, and thus experience an indirect feeling of spiritual growth.
And isn’t tarot just all about spiritual growth?
So this spread looks at the MC, and really melds the idea of story-telling and tarot together.
Mastering the 2 Worlds Spread
For your signifier, choose a card that represents what your MC has become and the character your MC was. You can either use both cards, or you can add the two cards together and reduce to a single digit and use the corresponding Major Arcana Card.
For example, my MC is represented by the 8 of Pentacles, but he evolves to be the King of Wands. The King of Wands, if the numbering of cards continues after the 10 of Wands, is the number 14. Thus I would add 8 and 14 to get 22. There’s no card 22 in the Major Arcana, so I would add the two digits together to get 4. The number 4 corresponds to the Emperor, which I can then use as my signifier.
Card 1: Master of the 2 Worlds
The first card is going to represent your MC as the master of both worlds. This will consider their confidence level, their competence level, their intentions, and any internal or external changes as a result of mastering the old and new world.
Card 2: Complications
No matter how successful something is, there are always going to be ramifications. These might be big or small, but the ramifications are there. These complications are shown in Card 2.
With this card, you have a few options:
- Solve them within the third act—in which case, be sure that the complications are small, or don’t need much energy to sort out.
- Use these complications to continue on the story to a sequel/series.
- Leave them. Not everything needs to be solved (though it’s far more satisfying for the reader if they are).
Card 3: Lessons Learned
Card 3 represents something that your MC has learned from the whole story. This might be the theme itself or something about themselves. Either way, the lesson, personal or communal, must contribute to the spiritual growth of the MC.
Card 4: Lessons Not Learned
Life is cyclical, as is the spiritual journey. A person cannot be left without any lessons yet to learn, and your MC is the same way. Regardless if you have a series in mind, your MC should still, realistically, have some things that they need to learn. This card can help propel the story toward more books, but that is entirely up to you.
Card 5: The Past
Card 5 represents the summary of the MC’s experience that got them to this point. When you consider this card, consider the rest of the story and how it ties in or might connect to this card.
Card 6: The Future
Card 6 represents the next step for your MC. This is where they’re going to take this mastery of these two worlds, and how they’re going to apply it to their daily living and practices/
Card 7: Internal Influences
This card represents how the mastery of the 2 worlds has affected your MC internally. Furthermore, it can also represent the reconciliation or conflict of personal ideals the MC might hold. If, for example, they believed that the main object in life is to always look out for number 1, but their mastery of the 2 worlds involved selflessness, then there are going to be some internal conflicts.
Card 8: External Influences
External influences can indicate the MC’s attitudes towards those around them (friends, family, village, world, AV club, etc.), and how they want to bestow their lessons from their experience on those around them. Or, it can be the community’s view of the MC upon their return. If it’s negative, why is it negative? If it’s positive, how does this connect with the MC’s internal influences?
Card 9: Hopes and Fears
There is a lot that your MC went through, and with that experience is going to develop some new hopes and some fears.
In the standard Celtic Cross spread, I find this card to be represent both hopes and fears. We are fickle creatures, and thus, what we want for ourselves can also be our fears, since often one might find that they do fear success.
Here is the chance to delve into the complications of your MC’s evolution as a result of their journey. What conflicts are they internalizing?
Card 10: The Next Step
Card 10 and Card 6 should be looked at together. This Card represents what the MC has to do now. While Card 6 is a smaller step that they should take, Card 10 represents the next lesson in the cycle that the MC has to move on to.
This idea plays on the idea that we, as spiritual beings, are in a cycle of learning, and even though a lesson has been learned and completed, we still have more to take on. This is what the MC’s next lesson is, and thus, what the direction they need to take.
We’re so close to completing the challenge! How is your project treating you?
Here are some helpful links if you’re finding yourself somewhat stuck so far.