Professor of Transfiguration
Old habits die hard, but the professor of
transfiguration will guide you through the process of self-transformation.
Transfiguration is the card of metamorphosis and
rebirth. In a tarot reading, it often describes the connection between
old endings and new beginnings.
The professor is a master of shapeshifting. He’s
pictured in the process of transforming from human form into the shape
of a Proteus butterfly.
The Proteus butterfly was named for the Greek god
Proteus, who could foretell the future. However, those who wanted
Proteus to divine the future for them had to overpower him first. He
resisted by shapeshifting into a wide range of creatures.
Butterflies are a longstanding symbol of
transformation, because they evolve from an earthbound caterpillar to a
creature of air during a single lifetime.
The professor is wearing black, which symbolizes
the dark mysteries of death, the shadowy world of dreams, and the buried
secrets of the subconscious mind.
Behind the professor, the sun is low on the
horizon. The angle of the sun’s rays seems to surround him with a halo
The skull at the professor’s feet symbolizes our
own transformation from spirit to physical form, and back again.
The two white candles on the floor are a reminder
that energy is never lost or destroyed. As the candles burn and melt
away, the energy they contained is released, and their essence shifts
from one form to another.
The white rose is a symbol of death and rebirth. In
this case, there are four white roses — one each for the realms of
spiritual, emotional, intellectual, and physical life.
The symbol for Scorpio is carved on the left side
of the window frame. Scorpio is ruled by Pluto, the planet of
transformation and the underworld — and the sign is associated with the
transformative power of sex, death, and inheritance.
The Hebrew letter
Nun is carved on the right
side of the window. It means fish. In the Wizards Tarot, fish are
associated with the waters of the unconscious — where we can fish for
answers to great mystery, or simply fish for the information and
inspiration we need to live another day.
Most of us are constantly in the process of remaking
ourselves. We want to shed unhealthy habits and unproductive beliefs, and
replace them with wholesome thoughts and behaviors.
The process of transformation and release, however,
always comes with a price. Sometimes it seems unbearably high: in order to
change, we have to relinquish the comfort and control of our old selves, and
venture into new, unknown territory.
The Transfiguration Spread
Think carefully about a transformation you’d like to
make in your life, and choose two cards to symbolize your life before and
after the change. Lay them on either side of the Transfiguration card, and
read the three cards like a past, present, and future spread. Look for
similarities, differences, and advice.
Transfiguration’s Past Life Spread
For even deeper insight into your personal
transformation, you can use the cards to explore a past life. This spread
can refer to the life you lived as a child or young adult, or it can
describe another incarnation completely.
Lay the cards in a figure-8 shaped lemniscate, which is
a symbol of infinity.
Past life physical description: What did you look
like during your past life?
Past life location: Where did you live?
Past life personality: What kind of person were
Past-life/present-life relationship: Which
relationship have you carried over from a past life to your present? (If
you’d like to see more than one relationship, add another card.)
Past life purpose: What was your soul’s purpose in
a past life?
Past life passion: What did you love about your old
Past life death: How did your old life pass away?
Life lesson: What did you learn from your old life?
An unresolved issue from your past life: What fear,
worry, or concern did you carry from your old life into your present?
Present life purpose: What do you need to
accomplish in your current life?
Advice: What message does your past self have for
your present self?
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