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  • Writer's pictureTero Goldenhill

Reading for Covid Times

Here's a reading I did for the question, "What is the message for all of us, during this Covid-19 situation?".

I used four different decks: the TAT (Thematic Apperception Test), I Ching, Oswald Wirth Majors, and the Redstone Inkblot cards.

Here's the spread:

Let's proceed from left to right, starting with the TAT card.

TAT: Card 12M. "A young man is lying on a couch with his eyes closed. Leaning over him is the gaunt form of an elderly man, his hand stretched out above the face of the reclining figure. (Drawing by Samuel Thal.)" (The TAT Manual by Henry Murray et al., p. 22)

"Eron (1950) found that the most frequent story for this card is moderately sad, with stories rarely happy. The three most frequent themes were hypnotism, religion, and illness or death of the central character... In our experience, this card can be particularly useful in elucidating a patient's possible reaction to psychotherapy, that is, the nature of the relationship that he or she is likely to establish in therapy." (A Practical Guide to the Thematic Apperception Test by Aronow et al., p. 42)

Next, the I Ching card:

I Ching: 17, Sui / Following. Above 'Lake', below 'Thunder'

Thunder in the middle of the lake: Action suspended.

"People who are coerced into cooperation will ultimately resist. To obtain enthusiastic followers, one must adapt to the prevailing needs of the time. Act thoughtfully and in the proper context. Success is likely if one's actions are worthy, but a following should not be expected until those conditions are met." (I Ching 64 Oracle Cards, Instructions by Lunaea Weatherstone, p. 18)

"In the autumn electricity withdraws into the earth again and rests. Here it is the thunder in the middle of the lake that serves as the image - thunder in its winter rest, not thunder in motion... indicates times of darkness and rest." (The I Ching by Wilhelm / Baynes, p. 72)

As an interesting side note, in the Occult Genetic Code System created by Steve Krakowski, the I Ching Kua 17 is linked with the amino acid arginine, which plays an important role in cell division, wound healing, immune function, and the release of hormones in the body.

Then, the tarot card:

Oswald Wirth Tarot 1889: IV The Emperor.

"Firm, positivism, executive power, Saturnian-Martial influence. Good: Right, rigid, certitude, fixed ideas, realization, perseverance, strong willpower, acts on decisions. Powerful protector. Bad: Tenuous opposition, stubborn, hostile prejudice, opinionated, bad government, big risks of failure. Tyranny, absolutism." (Oswald Wirth: The Tarot of the Magicians, p. 173)

And finally, the inkblot:

The Redstone Inkblot Test: Card 5. Exigent, driven, inspiring, visceral.

Possible associations: A strong man, flexing his muscles. A pair of rams at the top, butting with heads lowered. A scorpion. A lobster, shrimp, langoustine. Fallopian tubes.


Interesting mixture of cards, I find. The TAT card seems very appropriate, a "hypnosis" or "sleeping". Days and weeks are blending into one another, a "Groundhog Day" of sorts for many of us. But, to me the image also speaks of waking up. The I Ching mentions both autumn and winter, going in and resting. We are now in spring, which is the opposite. I think this quarantine and isolation would feel easier, had it happened during autumn or winter period. This is now Emperor / Aries time, Fire season. We're ready for action, and yet we can't act - at least in the usual way. The internal Emperor needs to govern and control his / her emotions (water) carefully, balancing everything... otherwise the "thunder" (electrical / mental energy) might cause all sorts of problems. How do we release stress, where's our vent? The Redstone inkblot card seems to indicate action and movement, finally. The text also mentions "rams", a continuation on the Emperor. But also scorpion, which in Tarot would be Death (ending & rebirth). Maybe - hopefully - we'll emerge from this "sleep", having discovered some new internal "muscles", travelling through our own symbolic "Fallopian tubes", giving birth to our new selves. And maybe a new world, too. And maybe an additional dosage of arginine during this pandemic wouldn't hurt...

Possible questions:

-What is the "hypnosis" in my situation, and how does it manifest? How can I wake myself up?

-How can I be more "autumn / winter" (withdrawing / conserving) instead of "spring" (outward / active), and balance these?

-How can I remain in control of myself, resting in my own truth, not letting the outer chaos invade my personal space?

-How can I best use this time to nurture the new life growing within me? What is the seed currently germinating in my psyche, waiting to manifest in the outer world, when the time is ripe?


  • Thematic Apperception Test. Henry A. Murray, M.D. and the Staff of the Harvard Psychological Clinic. Harvard University Press, 1943 / 1971.

  • A Practical Guide to the Thematic Apperception Test: The TAT in Clinical Practice. Edward Aronow, Kim Altman Weiss, and Marvin Reznikoff. Brunner-Routledge, 2001.

  • I Ching - 64 Oracle Cards. Instructions by Lunaea Weatherstone. Lo Scarabeo, 2017.

  • The I Ching or Book of Changes. Richard Wilhelm / Cary F. Baynes. Bollingen Series XIX. Princeton University Press, 1950 / 1990.

  • Oswald Wirth Tarot 1889. The Cartomancer.

  • The Redstone Inkblot Test. Redstone Press, 2010.

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