For my ongoing series of creating characters by use of astrological signs and their corresponding Tarot cards, I'm choosing Scorpio this week. When I wrote my first novel and was working on character, I thought of using astrology to define my protagonist. I wanted the attributes to be accurate to her personality. What sign would provide me with those traits of a woman who would have nightmares of another life time, uncover a psychic side and be plunged into darkness to find her truth? Scorpio.
The sign of Scorpio is the scorpion—a stinging arachnid associated with death, destruction, rebirth and transformation; exactly what my novel (publication date yet to be determined) is about.
Scorpio, in a nutshell, is an intense sign. Scorpios can be very energetic people—determined and hardworking but also jealous, obsessive and secretive, even to holding grudges. Intelligent and attractive, with a tendency toward the romantic, being they have passionate and emotional natures, they thrive in long relationships. But, they can also be self-centered.
Using Scorpio for the parameters of my protagonist’s personality was ideal. I later found out that there were three Tarot cards associated with Scorpio, which provided me confirmation that I had chosen correctly.
As expected, the Death card is one of the Tarot cards associated with Scorpio. My character had to re-enter her past-life death through her nightmares.
The Tower card, another symbol of destruction (a bolt of lightning—like the sting of the scorpion—sudden and painful), was indicative of her death in that past life.
The third card is Judgment. Most religious and mythological traditions speak of undergoing a judgment as one passes from this life to the next. The Judgment card signifies the radical transformation or transition from one phase of existence to another, literally or symbolically.
(To read more about the Greek and Roman mythology of these cards, see Star IQ from which I drew information for this post.)
My protagonist’s violent death in a previous life had to be transformed so she could overcome the trauma of that past life. She needed to release the outworn and useless patterns that hampered full expression in her present life. Unable to let go of that past effecting her in this life, enter the Tower.
The Tower card warns that if we do not make necessary changes in our lives, then outside forces will make them for us. So began the journey of my protagonist, forced to find her truth and achieve freedom from her past. Joseph Campbell describes the hero's journey as a stage of "leaving the known" which defines my character's journey into the depths of the Yucatan jungle.
I hope this example of how I used astrology and the Tarot for charting a character and his/her development gives you ideas of how to develop your own characters.
Do you know any Scorpios that fit this persona? Are you one? Share.