At first glance the shadows in the photograph look like two different people, but actually they are shadows of a single mannequin created by two track lights pointed at different angles. One of the essential purposes of an oracle is to act as a mirror of the psyche and confront the inquirer with various aspects of themselves.
Know that there are always blind spots, parts of ourselves we cannot see. Summon the courage to see them. Most human beings are a host of sub-personalities, each of which calls themselves “I” when they take over, though they may have quite different agendas and modus operandi. The process of self-unification usually involves the creation of a central witness self that observes the sub-personalities and is aware of their comings and goings and how they vie for control. The voices in your head are of various kinds — some are nagging, fearful, needy, strident, insistent, arrogant, filled with self-hate, and so forth. The voice of the Self, however, is calm, clear and compassionate. But we may have trouble hearing that calm, quiet voice from the depths when the clamor of competing subpersonalities dominates our inner space.
That’s the short version; here’s a bit more:
We tend to think of ourselves as a single cohesive personality and expect the other to be a single cohesive personality as well. But a single human being can support many personalities. A dramatic example is Multiple Personality Disorder (DID — Disassociative Identity Disorder is another flawed term), which is extremely rare. The familiar example, which is anything but rare, is how different we or the other can think, feel or act based on different moods. A human being is almost always an aggregate of subpersonalities, and each of these personalities calls themselves “I” when they take over. One of the principal goals of individuation is to build up a central witness personality that is aware of the subpersonalities, communicates and empathizes with all of them, but doesn’t allow them to rule unnoticed. A powerful way to build up the witness and reduce fragmentation is to listen attentively to the various voices in your head. Silent meditation is one way to sharpen awareness of the inner voices, but ongoing observation of the the revolving cast of inner voices/subpersonalities is even more effective. Throughout the day, there is an almost continual soundtrack, a voiceover monologue (to use a movie analogy), and the voiceover is usually in your native language. If you’re honest with yourself, you’ll notice that a single personality does not control the voiceover monologue. Listen to both the content of what the inner voices say and their tone. I might, for example, hear a needy, childish voice in my head say, “I want that!” Another voice that sounds like an anxious and irritated parent says, “You know you’re not supposed to have that.” Another voice sounds like a gruff pirate and says, “Aaargh, what the hell, just grab for it!” Still another voice has a wheedling tone and says, “I really shouldn’t, but just this once, and starting tomorrow, I won’t ever again,” and so forth.
Different drives within us can personify into inner characters that become the voices of those drives. One of the essential purposes of an oracle is to act as a mirror of the psyche and confront the inquirer with various aspects of themselves. It takes moral courage to face the multiplicity of selves operating within us.
Depending on the position of this card, it could mean that this is an auspicious time to strengthen your central witness personality and/or a need to be more aware of the many sides of others. A good rule of thumb with relationships is to realize that if you don’t know someone’s shadow, you don’t know the person. Idealization is a state of dangerous blindness that purposefully overlooks various subpersonalities in the other to form a unified but false picture of them. For example, a romantically infatuated person thinks of the beloved as an angel, just as a guru-worshiping person thinks of the guru as a god. Such idealizations will likely become equal and opposite states of bitter disillusionment as they inevitably discover that the idol has feet of clay.
Be wary about listening to (or becoming) inner voices that are not calm and compassionate. The same holds interpersonally. You may have to listen to voices that are nagging, anxious, wheedling, self-pitying, angry, and so forth, but listen to them with calm, compassionate understanding. This empathy may gain you influence over the subpersonality (or the outer person), and it will certainly limit how much those uncentered voices can influence you.
Thomas Jefferson said, “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.” The real freedom is free will, which requires eternal vigilance with our inner process.
See In Search of the Miraculous and The Fourth Way by P.D. Ouspensky
and A Guide to the Perplexed Interdimensional Traveler