|The fourth of the Academics cards is the Adept. The highest rank of the Academics, the Adept symbolizes the culmination of a goal or ambition, the realization of empowerment and mastery of a domain. It is a card that embodies power, experience, and wisdom. The Adept has learned from experience and mistakes, grown in knowledge and understanding, used that knowledge and experience to choose a path, and is now self-actualized and able to leave a mark upon the world. Where the Mentor is seated power, the Adept stands, full of confidence and self-assurance.
The Adept does not require the approaval or recognition of others in order to know that he or she has succeeded. The trappings of convention have been cast aside; the Adept is a leader, not a follower, and is comfortable making a new path. The Adept understands that without courage, wisdom bears no fruit.
The Adept cards may represent the culmination of the Querant's dreams, goals, knowlege, experience, or ability, when it represents the Querant himself or herself. The card may also represent someone other than the Querant, who the Querant may seek for guidance. The Adept card in the latter capacity may indicate an elder, leader, or authority who commands great respect.
The Adept of Ribbons
A woman stands in a sauna. Her skin glows with dampness; she is nude save for a long ribbon tied loosely around her waist. She looks toward the viewer as she combs her hair. Behind her on a bench several other young women wrapped in towels converse among themselves, but the Scholar pays them no mind.
The Adept of Ribbons stands for the courage to follow a dream. The Adept is lost in her own thoughts, not participating in the conversations around her, scarcely even aware of them. The opinions of others do not concern her; she is secure in herself and her own knowledge. She is not bound by convention; she does not wear a towel like the other young women do, and is not ashamed in her nudity. She has the courage to follow her dreams even if it means being unlike those around her.
In a reading, the Adept of Ribbons may be a sign that the Querant has arrived, and the dream either has been or is about to be realized, Now is the time of triumph, when the Querant will be able to make a stand in the service of an ideal or a goal. It is an opportunity for the Querant to make his or her own destiny, apart from the conventions of others.
This card also signals that it is time for the Querant to leave behind hesitation or doubt and step into a position of leadership or authority.
The Adept of Chains
A woman strides confidently through an open door into a bright, sunlit glade. The door through which she walks is made of heavy wood banded with iron, and an open padlock dangles from a hasp. The woman holds her wrists in front of her, and between them, floating in the air, is a length of chain in a sideways figure 8.
The Adept is the master of her fate. No chains, within or without, can restrain her; no lock can hold her. She has left the place where people accept their limitations, and traveled out into a much wider world where the only limitations are those we bring with us--a world few others will ever see. She knows how to harness and channel change to bring her wherever she wants to be. The loop of chain, which to others might be a bond, to her represents infinity; and no chain can even touch her if she does not will it.
This card is a symbol of the Querant's mastery of the force of change. When it appears in a spread, it can be interpreted as a sign that nothing can stand in the Querant's way; whatever change he or she may wish to make is possible.
The Adept of Books
A woman stands before a large, whirring printing press. She is dressed in a jacket, button-up shirt, and long skirt, and wears a pair of glasses. In her hand, she holds a loose sheaf of proofs, which she examines with a critical eye.
The Adept of Books is the person for whom the pen really is mightier than the sword. She allows her natural interests to lead her to explore the world around her. In doing so, she inspires others in ripples and waves of awareness to examine the choices they have made for themselves. She holds the power to inspire change or even spark a revolution, just from the words she prints and the way she moves through the world. Simply by exploring the things she wants to explore and setting forth her ideas in a bold and confident way, she inspires sea change in everyone touched by her words.
In a reading, this card represents that the Querant has reached a level of mastery and respect where his or her ideas can become powerful forces in their own right. Now is the time for the Querant to lead by example, and become the change that he or she wishes to see in others.
The Adept of Tentacles
A woman stands regally in a long, flowing robe. Before her on the ground are several schoolgirls, all nude, kneeling at her feet and held in place by long tentacles wrapped tightly around them. The woman smiles indulgently, and with one hand gently caresses the cheek of one of the schoolgirls, who smiles in response.
The Adept of Tentacles has come a long way from her days as a Disciple.No longer uncertain, she is now a master of the physical. She is in the right place at the right time and with the right skills to be able to create change that improves the lives of others. When life hands her lemons, she already has the lemonade stand built. She can provide comfort to the people around her just by a touch. Her touch is transformative, and has the power to benefit all those around her.
In a reading, the Adept of Tentacles turns up to indicate the Querant has been handed a situation or stumbled upon an idea and is uniquely situated, with all the right skills, to capitalize on it. The Querant no longer has to wait for the light at the end of the tunnel; he or she is the light at the end of the tunnel.