Reading for Bane


New week, new reading! This time I chose a character from a new book I was reading (Midnight Falcon is the title), and a spread with one peculiarity: the positions of the cards hold two meanings at the same time. I usually hate this kind of things, so let’s see how it goes!

Dear Iris,

I am a bastard son. My father forced himself upon my mother, and from that day she was shunned by all the villagers and died alone. Nonetheless, I tried to catch my father attention, I wanted him to recognize me. But he never did. He only said two words to me in all my life. Now I have abandoned the hope that he will, one day, acknowledge me. But I am still angry at him. What should I do?



Thank you for allowing me to read for you, Bane. I chose for you the Yin-Yang Spread. It consists of two cards, which will be interpreted in two different ways. They will tell us what you need to release and what you need to hold on to; what you need to consider further about your situation, and what you need to do in order to go on.

I used the Tarot of the Angels cards, which I hope you will like. I drew:


Card 1: 10 of Swords (What you need to release; what you need to consider further)
Card 2: 4 of Swords Rx. (What you need to hold on to; What step you need to take)

The first thing I notice is that they are both swords cards. Swords are the suit of strife, struggle and thought. This seems to indicate that the solution for your problem (and the cause of it) is a mental one, not a practical one. But let’s see the cards more closely.

The 10 of Swords indicates what you should release. I see this as your sense of hopelessness. You not only feel that there is no hope for you to be acknowledged by your father, you also feel that all else is lost. Perhaps you feel more acutely every betrayal (however little) you experienced in your life (see all those swords? They are your hurts) and you do not believe that someone else can show you true love and care. This is not the case. But you will not notice this love until you abandon this sense of deep hopelessness.

The 4 of Swords Rx indicates, instead, what you should hold on to. This card, straight or reversed, indicates a recovery from an illness. Your wounds must heal, and in order to do that you should hold to your sense of peace and acceptance. Surround yourself with people who care about you. Engage activities that makes you feel good and at peace with yourself. Cultivate your inner peace: this is a moment of healing your wounds. You may have noticed that we are also reading the second meaning for this card: “what step you need to take to resolve the situation?”.

I think that your hopelessness is making you kind of isolated from the others. This could be good in a sense, but the 4 of Swords reversed indicates that your withdrawal from people must cease. You should go somewhere new, or go back to your old home. In any case, you should stop putting your life on hold and starting making new plans.

Let’s go back to the first card, the 10 of Swords. This also answers the question: “What do you need to consider further about the situation?”. This makes me think about your father and the card seems to suggest that he is tormenting himself as much as you. You never spoke to him, because he avoids you, so you do not know how he feels and why does he avoid you. Is there no one else you can talk to about that? Your mother, perhaps, or a common friend? Whatever struggle was your father facing, this doesn’t excuse him, and you do not need to forgive him, but perhaps knowing his side of the story could bring you closure.

In short, the cards suggest that you find a new sense of love and family somewhere else, but most of all, that you *believe* it to be possible.

I know many of you don’t know Gemmell’s books. I will summarize Bane’s story briefly. Bane’s father, Connavar, didn’t force himself upon Bane’s mother (Arian). They were each other’s first love and when they met, they simply didn’t resist. Unfortunately, Connavar forgot a date with his wife, Tae, who was killed. Stricken with guilt, Connavar never saw Arian again, nor did he ever approach Bane. This was, for him, his own punishment. He didn’t consider that this would be terrible for Bane, though, who struggled all his life to gain his father acknowledgement and approval. When Arian died of grief, Bane felt abandoned again and left his village. He was angry and, though unconsciously, just wanted to die.
After some events (read the book!), he met Rage, an old gladiator who became for him a new father figure. But Bane recognized this only when it was almost too late. In the end, although not all was resolved between Bane and Connavar, Bane’s sense of hopelessness and emptiness was filled and he could start a new life.

It’s amazing how the cards were perfect for the situation. First, both are sword cards. Bane’s (and Connavar’s) problem is all mental. If Bane could understand that he does deserve love, and can receive it, he wouldn’t need to be tormented for half the book (and, of course, if Connavar could forgive himself, he and Bane wouldn’t have been so tormented at all).
Second, both cards have something peaceful about them. The 10 of swords is a kind of surrender, and it is indeed often seen as an improvement over the 9 of Swords, with its anguish. In the 10, we surrender to whatever is haunting us, and there is something peaceful in that. It’s not a struggle. The 4 of Swords is often considered the “rest” card, or the “recovery” card. But the two are very different. The peace of the 10 can be harsher, more painful: like Bane, we resign in sadness and we lose all hope. The burden of the 9 still weighs upon our shoulders. We are not, yet, at the new beginning.
The 4 of swords, instead, has a caring aura around it. In this deck, it is depicted as a coffin with an angel on it. It looks very, very relaxing. And it fits Bane’s story so well. He spends a great part of the book recovering from some (physical) wound. And he is, emotionally, entombed. He must, at the same time, retain the peace of this “tomb” and get free from it. He cannot rest forever.

Finally, as always, I take notice of the Shadow Card, which is Justice. Another sword/air card. I will not comment it at length, but both the “justice” aspect of the card and the “balance” aspect fit the story so well!


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