Character Goal, Motivation, and Conflict Spread

I shamelessly stole this thread from Submerina’s blog, the princess and the sea. I’d like to use it for my NaNoWriMo novel (which now has a tentative title: The Eldermaid, btw) but I wanted to use it for my main character in my Big Story (which I’ve slowly started to make progress in, finally).

The deck I’m using for this spread is the Animals Divine Tarot, which I’ve found is particularly suited for character creation and development, but it’s not that great as a traditional tarot deck, hence why, for this reading, I’ll be focusing more on the animals themselves than traditional tarot symbolism.

[1] Character (something you may or may not already know about your character) – Heron (Ten of Swords)

I had a feeling before I drew this card that I would draw a bird for this position. I associate herons with grace and nobility. It was always a treat to see one when I was a child. The heron on the card is rising above the ten swords that surround it. This is interesting to me, because, traditionally, the Ten of Swords is the card of ruin, literally a “things can’t possibly get worse than this” and here is this heron rising above it all. It strikes me as particularly appropriate for my main character. More mundanely, it might also indicate that she takes after one of her mothers, who is a dancer.

[2] Goal (the inner or the outer goal) – Strength (Tara, accompanied by a lion)

To understand others, to not fight against her “beast within” (in this case, the source of her magic, which will kill her or drive her mad if she fights against it).

[3] Motivation (the inner or the outer motivation of the character) – Whale (Ten of Cups)

Family and community, full stop. The love of her mothers (and of her community, especially of her deity) is what drives her, take those away and she….doesn’t really have any other motivations. They’re her life, the sun she revolves around, and she’d do anything for them.

4] Conflict (this card is laid so that it is horizontally across cards 2 and 3 – it is what is directly in front of the character that they must get past) – Queztacoatl (King of Swords)

I’m thinking this is Shemsu’s card (you met hir in one of my Free Fiction Friday posts, the story “Shemsu’s Tale”) who is definitely looming over my protagonist atm.

[5] Goal Change (how the original goal is modified or intensified by the conflict) – Ladybug (Four of Wands)

Yeah, if I were you, protagonist, I’d be feeling as small as a ladybug if I had to deal with grumpypants Shemsu.

[6] Motivation Change (how the original motivation is modified or intensified by the conflict) – Nana Buluku (Queen of Wands)

Interestingly, wiki says that Nana Buluku is an androgynous creator deity who was incorporated into Yoruba tradition as Yemaja (who, IIRC, is associated with the sea, or maybe just water). My feeling is that her original motivation is only going to be that much more intense after meeting with Shemsu (who is, after all, the ruler of her city when its god is away).

[7] Plot Point (situation or decision the character now faces) – Tangorea (Page of Cups)

According to what I’ve managed to dig up on the internet, Tangorea is an ocean deity, which is fitting, because my character’s name means “sea” in their language. I think the page is currently my character, still a child, about to experience love and physical intimacy for the first time (“experimentation” excepted).

Overall, I’d say this was a great reading that gave me a bit more insight into my character (even though it’s basically telling me what I already know, there was new stuff). I’ll definitely be using this one again.


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