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"Find X, tarot card readings" - University of Chicago Extended Essay

bakamanju 3 / 14  
Oct 25, 2010   #1
Critique and comment please~ XD Please and thank you!

Find X

Have you ever wondered about tarot card readings and their significance? They help
answer an important question in life, but it is up to self interpretation whether it is true or not.
Tarot cards are used to help people understand themselves more. It is not to predict one's
future, like the common belief, but more of an adventure to discover answers to the great
unknown. It all starts out with a question. The question is, how can one find "X"?
After shuffling the deck, five cards are chosen out of a deck of twenty-two cards
consisting of the "Major Arcana". The cards are placed in a cross in the order they were
chosen because the position of the card matters in the interpretation. Each card has its own
specific meaning which reveals one's character and identity through their quest to an answer.
Not only do the cards act as a guide to the future, they also tell a story. The Fool, seeker of
knowledge, taker of risks, and story teller of the Tarot, attempts to search for an answer to
life's never ending questions.

As The Fool travels to seek where he currently stands in life, he encounters The
Magician laying out all the possibilities of life in front of him. This card signifies how one
feels a sense of purpose and also the ability to get things done in life. Self-confidence is a
key factor to success. Self confidence is the knowledge learned from experience and able to
use it in everyday society. The Magician allows for one to think on the go when faced with
opposition and challenges. What is most important about this card is how much you believe
in yourself. Everything requires effort to achieve, and the skills that are gained through
experience help people reach high for the goals in their life.

After The Fool's encounter with The Magician, The Fool comes across The Tower that
has been struck by lightning in the past but is slowly being rebuilt in the present. The Tower
card acts by using the element of surprise. Expect the unexpected. That way, one can
become a wiser and stronger person. The Tower's personality reflects the hardships in one's
life and allows them to realize the truth of what is happening. It is the opposite of
conformity and allows for self correcting. Since this card is the second card to be chosen,
the past of this individual has probably faced situations that were not in their favor and
failed many times before achieving success. However, the keyword to this card is
persistence. It is like learning how to walk, no matter how many times you fall; you get up
and try again.

The Fool leaves The Tower and looks up to the sky to see The Star shining a bright path
on the dark path ahead leading towards the future. The Star card acts as the embodiment of
the future. One is filled with optimism as well as inspiration and motivation to do well in the
future no matter what the endeavors are. With a broad and creative mind set, one is able to
see the many possibilities of the future and bring forth various changes in their life. The
future consists of many different roads leading to different outcomes. Everything walks on a
different road and is guided by a star towards the answer they seek in life.

As The Fool continues to go down the brightly lit path, he comes across a tree where he
sits to think. No matter how he sits, he could not think of a reason for his quest, so he
climbed the tree and dangled upside down and saw The Hanged Man. The Hanged Man
reveals itself in this position, but reversed. As it stands up instead of hanging downward, the
reason behind the question is revealed. Change is inevitable and is something that happens
naturally in reality. However, one can limit change to a certain degree and potentially harm
the mind and the soul. The inability to accept one for who they are is a fatal flaw to this card
position. By trusting the abilities and knowledge one already has allows for one to use their
intuition and be able to perceive the world around them from a different perspective.
At the end of the starlit path, The Fool came to realize that the answer has been in front
of him all this time. The choices that are made will depend on what is making the final
decision. The Fool brings forth new beginnings; a journey into unknown territory that brings
forth trials and hardships that needs to be endured. This journey brings experience and
wisdom to those that attempt to tap into their inner potential self. The final decision shall
impact everything that has led up to this moment in time. Their experiences, life, and future
hang on the balance of this important decision. The Fool takes the leap of faith and trusts his
instincts to be the best decision.

What does this story all mean? Who or what is "X"? There are many answers to this
question, but to The Fool, it is simple. "X" is I, The Fool. Each card from the reading
consisted as a part of my subconscious and conscience. The Magician and The Star cards
show the potential for a bright future and ability to think outside the box. Also, by bringing
my dreams to reality, The Star guides the way to and becomes part of the motivating factor
to keep going. The Tower shows the drive that moves my educational lust for knowledge.
No matter what the hardship, learning the mysteries of life will always pull through. I may
fall down, but I get back up to try and try again. The Reversed Hanged Man shows a
weakness that may deter my path to becoming who I want to be. The best solution to
remedy this in my life is to just be myself and be who I am instead of being someone I am
not. Finally, by choosing The Fool, I sign a lifelong contract where I agree to take
responsibility for my actions and decisions that I make in my life. Doing so, shall bring new
adventures and challenges to my life, to your life, and to the life of the community in the
future. I live for the present, remember the past, and look toward the future. This is the real
me you see. The "X" filled with potential and infinite possibilities.
Yoda - / 5  
Oct 29, 2010   #2
Hi Simon!
I don't think you have understood the topic at all. You need to discuss this topic with a teacher
or friend or ....anyone.
Discuss with someone and write another essay,OK.
All the best!
zengrz - / 92  
Oct 31, 2010   #3

I think this is a very creative attempt at this strange but interesting topic. You ought to pat yourself on the back! The way you use Tarot card to draw parallel to your own life is an amazing idea. It is sort of like, "you ask me strange question, I will give you strange answer." This way, you have already 'gain an upper hand' against the topic before the AO started reading your essay!

However, this essay contain some risk because it may not be a real reflection of your personality. So, you talk about the adventures that the characters of the Tarot card have gone through(?), but on what ground can you say that the traits that each characters have is reflected on you? Their life is awesome, but without having gone through the experience that they have, the claim that your life is just as wonderful is not well justified.

I think you can improve the essay by elaborating on the experience when you are first drawn to Tarot card. What did you choose? Did it really reflected your character? If yes, then how? Give some evidence that can bring more insight about yourself, this will make the essay more personal.

Hope to hear more from you.

G L~
OP bakamanju 3 / 14  
Oct 31, 2010   #4
Thank you very much for the answer! I appreciate the formal response! It was definitely a faithful attempt at being creative. I wish I did have room to clarify myself a bit more in this essay, but I couldn't do so since the essay was heading towards 1000 words. Since I wanted to be more of a story, I've made my case. I was also reluctant to remove a few parts (seeing that I already took out a chunk earlier when editing). But you are right, it does lack a bit of personal touch. I will forever be glad to see how this turns out. Thank you again for the comment~! Very much appreciated!
MatWirth 3 / 4  
Nov 7, 2010   #5
I noticed nobody corrected style, is this against the website's regulations? If it is not, I would be glad to try and edit the essay "stylistically".

As far as the concept goes, I thought the definition of X as personal identity was interesting and useful to the purpose of a college essay, but you only mention it in the beginning and end. The message would be stronger if it is clear throughout the essay, and not just explained in the conclusion.

Also, in the essay the words "one", "everything", and "The Fool" are used interchangeably. which is ocnfusing. You should try to stick to one of them, probably "The Fool", which is the metaphorical "you"
OP bakamanju 3 / 14  
Nov 14, 2010   #6
Thank you for the feedback! I can see what you are talking about. I was thinking about incorporating myself throughout as best as possible, however I couldn't think of a way to do that sounding like I'm ranting. But thank you again for correcting style! I'll look into that for my upcoming essays that I still have to write! ^^

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