Whoever looks into the mirror of the water will see first of all his own face. Whoever goes to himself risks a confrontation with himself. The mirror does not flatter, it faithfully shows whatever looks into it; namely, the face we never show to the world because we cover it with the persona, the mask of the actor. But the mirror lies behind the mask and shows the true face.
Halloween is a time of the year when children and adults alike dress up in costumes. We change our appearances with makeup, masks and other things to change our identity. We get to become someone else. We can escape into a world other than our own. Children dress up as superheroes, monsters, princesses and other fantastical identities. Adults get to go wild and let off some steam. To quote Cady from the movie Mean Girls, “Halloween is the one night a year when girls can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it.” Once Halloween is over we take off the costumes, remove the masks and return to our real lives. Some people, however wear masks all year round.
We all wear masks in life, the mask is called the “persona”, we all show different sides of ourselves to people in social interactions based on how we want people to perceive us. The persona is the “social face”. To Carl Jung the Persona is used to impress others and or to hide our true nature.
Persona’s play an important role. We have different masks for certain life situations. Persona’s help us conform to social roles and expectations. Its role playing. However there are horrible situations were if unchecked and not balanced the persona can take over the true self.
People who hide behind a persona for much of the day come off as in-genuine. These people are what we call “phony” or “fakes”. You know what I am talking about, you have people in your family or in the workplace who are such fakes. They wear a mask to everyone, trying to promote an image to everyone. Once they clock out from work the mask comes off they flip a switch and are not the same person you think they were.
The workplace example seems to be a common thing. We all show our best face at work. However there are more extremes to the persona. When someone lives via a persona all day every day, never showing their true self to others this becomes problematic. The reason, the people who interact with that individual never get to know the real, true self of that person. True and honest friendships cannot be created. What happens is the person lives a life that is a lie. A false reality created to protect the true self, the real person behind the persona.
The persona is an old concept, which can be found in the stars of Astrology. The first house of a natal chart is called the “house of self”, this is the home of the Ascendant. The sign that is rising in the horizon at the time of your birth. This is the house of your identify, self image and is the mask we wear when we meet people. In many ways the ascendant reveals what our social mask is. I am a Leo with a Sagittarius ascendent. One trait of a rising Sagittarius is a need to keep up their sense of humor. They manage to find humor in everything. Which is very true for me. I try to find the joke in all things and I refer to humor in times of trouble or discomfort.
in the dream world where anyone could be anything. That may be one reason the figure in the card is blacked out, he could look like anything. The 6 of Wands could also represent the Social Face, the figure on the horse is in the public eye. Everyone is looking at him. This man needs to show the best face he can to keep people liking him. This is a card which represents praise. For someone who wants the praise to never end, he or she needs to keep up a Persona that appeal to society.
Take out your deck and lets do some self-exploration.
Ask the following questions,
What does my social mask look like?
How does my social mask differ to my true self?
What do I use my social mask for?
How can I keep my social mask in balance with my true self?
Live Every Day The Tarot Way