6 May 2000 at 5:15:38 AM Eastern Daylight Time
dunes: are highly suggestive of sensuality. And it's not just that sexy sixties Japanese art movie, Woman in the Dunes. It's that women "R" the dunes. It's a cliche of landscape photography that those soft, pillowy curves look just like flesh. (Must be why "dune" and "nude" are anagrams of each other.) Dunes in your desert can signify a satisfying love life, or pleasure in your senses. But they could also say you see the world as soft, welcoming -- almost motherly. Return to dunes.
blazing sun: The time of day may indicate time of life, or portray the mood and "color" of this time in your life. Return to sun.
easily a mile in every direction = Large Cube:
Someone whose Cube is higher than he or she can reach has one or more of the following qualities.
_Positive_ confidence, self-esteem, generosity, subjectivity, aspiration, adventurousness
_Negative_ egotism, grandiosity, self-importance, self-absorption, domination
The size of your Cube doesn't necessarily relect the size of your body. People with big cubes may not be physically big at all, but they invariably "think big" in some way: They aim high, loom large, show largesse. They may have big hearts, big brains, big mouths, or big plans. They tend to be expansive (an astrologer would say Jupiterian), confident, and relatively fearless. They can also be overbearing and/or self-preoccupied. ("But enough about me. What do you think about me?")
If extroverted, they may naturally dominate or lead, both at home and at work (see the relative size of the Ladder for more clues); if introverted, they have a big and busy inner life. A large part of their picture of the world is occupied by their subjectivity. That is, they're at least as interested in their own thoughts, feelings, plans, and memories as they are in the evening news, history, politics, or sociology. A large Cube can be helpful for ego accomplishment, as it corresponds to that relative obliviousness to the opinions of others and the law of averages that is often necessary for success.
In our experience (though there are exceptions), people in the creative arts tend to have larger Cubes than those working or living within a "system"-- be it business, a profession, a trade, or a religious tradition. That fits with the inner life, individualism, ego, and daring it takes to create these days. But of all creative people, film directors take the prize for most outlandishly outsized Cubes. We asked ourselves why: Are they raving egomaniacs? Dictators? Perhaps they have to be a little of both to do what they do. But more to the point, directors don't inhabit the world-- they create one. And to oversee that world from top to bottom and beginning to end, like gods, they have to be bigger than their creations. A film director's unique perspective is illustrated by Slobodan's Cube: It's twenty-six miles on a side, yet to him it's just a tiny black square -- because he's seeing it from orbit! Return to humungous.
Mottoes: "I am a rock," "We shall not be moved"
Key words: substantial, reliable, principled, stubborn, conservative
|In Love||loyal, devoted, dependable, a lifetime partner||obsessive, can't let go|
|At Work||dogged, thorough, steady, someone you can count one||slow to adapt to change, self-willed, always knows better|
|At Play||patient, supportive||habit-bound, in a rut|
Mottoes: "I can take itm" "Been through the fire"
Key words: tough, bright, tested, indestructible, impenetrable
|In Love||stand by you in trouble, slow to give up||doesn't want to need you, slow to open up|
|At Work||can stand stress, persevering||disillusioned, cynical, can sell out to survive|
|At Play||adventurous, "no fear"||reckless, sensation-seeking|
hollow (infered because volcanic rock is porous):
Hollow cubes may be sad and empty, but more often they're just open, with inner space available to "take in" and "entertain" things. So, unless there's a lot going on inside the Cube, hollowness usually indicates openness to suggestion, interest in the outside world.
How seriously this person takes life. He is more earnest and weighty, than playful and whimsical.
The deep mind has let us know in no uncertain terms that "shiny" means "ambitious." Whether of highly polished stone, glass, metal, or plastic, a Cube that reflects back blinding light belongs to someone who absolutely has to shine. (Actress Jasmine Guy and mega-best seller publisher Judith Regan, for example.) Lover's alert: This person will never sacrifice ambition for a relationship, and will, if you force the issue, do the opposite. As a result, this is someone who knows all too well that it's lonely at the top and on the way there-- yet that is where he must go.
People with opaque Cubes guard their privacy, are slow to reveal themselves, or have secrets. (Those with shiny Cubes, however, may "let it all shine out," using aspects of the private self as grist for their public performance.)
nearly omniscent = distance from cube:
My perspective on myself. When asked to envision the cube, I did not choose a single view. At first I was far enough to see the entire cube, as large as it was, and from many angles. When asked to describe the cube, my view became quite close, able to see or even touch the pores and the veins.
|A Far Cube||A Near Cube|
|deliberates before acting, watches himself, rational self-control, self-denial||spontaneous, emotional, impulsive, quick-tempered|
|A Far Cube||A Near Cube|
|independent, standoffish, likes solitude, needs lots of space||intimate, cozy, sociable, likes company, "Life is with people"|
|A Far Cube||A Near Cube|
|abstract, big-picture oriented, visual ("Can I get an overview of it?"||concrete, detail-oriented, tactile "Can I get my hands on it?")|
|A Far Cube||A Near Cube|
|takes the long view, memory and planning, focus: the wide world||reacts to the immediate, lives in the present, focus: what's right here|
Sitting on the sand -- The Realist:
Key Words: Practicality, Competence, Versatility
Pitfalls: Literal-Mindedness, Complacency, Cynicism
Sitting on the sand is the most common position for the Cube. About two thirds of you will see your Cube in this position or on one of its variations (slightly tilted; dug in; partly buried; face front; edge front). It's not surprising that this placement is the statistical norm: If a majority of us weren't down-to-earth-- firmly in touch with practical, material reality-- the human species would have died out long ago. On the other hand, if we were all down-to-earth, all the time, our yearning drive for innovation, betterment, and trancendence might have died out long ago.
Those of you whose Cubes are on the ground are tremendously diverse. A huge sandstone Cube, a tiny ice Cube, a waist plastic Cube, and a faceted gem of many-colored glass would seem, on the face of it, to have almost nothing in common. Nor can we claim that imagination and creativity are lacking among Realists. Grounded Cubes can be leavened by the sky element of inspiration in any number of ways, from reflecting clouds to incorporating rainbows to getting struck by lightning. They'll sometimes be linked to the heavens by their Ladders, signifying inspiration drawn from companions, colleagues... or a Friend Up There. And if your Cube is seen partially against the sky-- its background bisected by the horizon line, the border between zones-- you may be said to have "feet on the ground but head in the clouds," an excellent balance of vision and practicality. Read the description of the Visionary as well, for you will also have some of those characteristics.
Many accomplished artists, actors, and writers have down-to-earth Cubes-- and that may be a key to their accomplishments. For what Realists share is not flat-footed literalism, but an acceptance, a mastery, even a relish for the world as it is. Return to surrounding.
Large portion above the horizon (from many perspectives) -- The Visionary(usually a floating Cube)
Key Words: Dreamer, Original, Incurable Romantic
Pitfalls: Impracticality, Absentmindness, Disillusionment
This is someone who floats free above the housetops of sensible domestic life like the lovers, dreamers, scholars, and fiddlers painted by Chagall. This person's home base isn't on earth, in consensus reality and common sense, but in the more beautiful world of intellect, spirit, or imagination. Ideas, dreams, or visions are more real to him than the grocery list, the evening news, even the rent-- a quality linking people otherwise as different as brilliant scientists and visionary artists, messianic leaders and mountain hermits, drug and alcohol addicts (yes, this Cube is "high") and incurable dreamers, the Walter Mittys of this world.
A Visionary's degree of otherworldliness is directly proportionate to his Cube's distance from the ground; the far ends of that range (hovering inches above the sand; way out in the stratosphere) are different enough to define distinct subtypes. But the majority of Visionaries maintain some kind of tie to the earth plane, however tenuous and ambivalent. Maybe the horizon line passes behind the Cube so that part of it is at least seen against an earthy background. (That's Anne's situation, and she does love the idea of being practical. She just hasn't gotten around to it yet.) Often it's the Ladder that anchors the Cube to the ground, or an earthbound Horse whose attraction is stronger than gravity. Whatever it is, that tie is crucial to survival and fulfillment, for it's here on earth that a Visionary's visions must be realize, expressed, and shared-- or stay locked in his head. All too often, they do. Return to Realist.
Perfectly aligned with the cardinal directions -- possibly indicates The Perfectionist (usually the Cube sitting on one of its points):
Key Words: Aspiring, Solo Performer, Driven
Pitfalls: Stress, Rivalry, Depression
Balancing on one point, a Cube becomes something dramatically different from a regular, foursquare Cube. For one thing, it's significantly taller than a Cube of the same dimensions resting flat on one face. This Cube is striving skyward, sacrificing a cube's natural stability and repose to reach as high as it can. In the process, it also sheds a cube's squat sturdiness to look poised, acrobatic, gravity-defying, elegant--an improbable weightless grace achieved, like a ballerina's on point, at the cost of secret stress and tension. There's more: This Cube can no longer be stacked with other cubes. It must stand alone, in a spotlight of expectation. It's hard (though not impossible) to lean a Ladder against it, with all those edges, jutting corners, and preoccupied slants. And all it's weight is forced on one point of precision, like a solitaire diamond ready to engrave a fine line.
This is a portrait of a Perfectionist: ever striving, never arriving: a solo performer set apart by exacting standards; finicky, workaholic, private, precise. If your Cube is "on point," the goal that draws you onward may be worldly or spiritual, but it is always beyond reach, spurring ceaseless efforts that can never satisfy you. And yet this striving is the only thing that satisfies you-- even though it also puts you at risk for depression and feelings of inadequacy, the pitfalls of this position. The Perfectionist slogan is "We are driven!" Perfectionists never feel they're doing enough, or doing it well enough. They tend to pick at flaws and shortcomings in their own performance, even when others find it simply dazzling. And so they routinely achieve a high level of excellence while living in a perpetual state of anxiety. This makes them difficult and fascinating to be with-- high-strung, temperamental, moody, charismatic, and compelling. They combine a touching fragility with a fierce will. Return to perfect.
Metal: key word: practicality. By contrast, the person with a metal ladder chooses or is instinctively drawn to people who are strong--competent survivors, tough negotiators, knockabout companions, strategic allies. These friends and coworkers will never fall apart on you, or go soft on you. They'll get the job done, whether it's the "job" of being reliable, helpful friend or the literal job they're assigned in the workplace. And that's exactly why you chose them-- or at least, that's what you tell yourself.
With a metal ladder, you pride yourself on your own toughness, practicality, and unsentimentality. Whether because you've endured hardships in your life, or because you're disciplined and ambitious, you like to think of yourself who puts survival, advancement, and advantage ahead of sentiment. But sometimes this is a defense against a secret softness of heart. You may love someone, yet feel compelled to justify your bond with them on the basis of their personal strengths, theur wealth or connections, and/or what they can do for you.
You may also pride yourself on your ability to move on, not look back, and acquire a new set of companions wherever you go.
silver: as close as a purely metal ladder comes to combining strength with sentiment Return to silver.
climbs directly up the western corner = distance from cube:
How close I am to my friends
enough rungs to reach the top (easily a mile high): approximate number who people your personal world (i.e., who really matter)
Leaning on the cube:
Motto: "In touch," "Lean on me"
Key words: easy intimacy, mutual support, with the Ladder in this position, you're a "people person"
|Positives:||You like to be close and involves with others; you take that for granted as natural and comfortable.|
|You expect both to give and to receive help and support|
|You're physically affectionate with friends and family.|
|Negatives||You may lean on others, or be overly sociable.|
|You may take on too many responsibilities, as for againg parents, others' projects, volunteering, etc.|
|At Work||You're a "team player.' You don't like to work alone.|
|You don't mind supervision and reporting requirements|
|You like having responsibility for others.|
|The ladder is how you get on top of the cube:||You see the support or collaboration of others as essential for reaching your "personal best."|
|Friends and coworkers give you perspective, a broader view.|
Same height (or Close to it):
Motto: "Democratic vistas"
Key words: equality
You prefer to be friends with and to work with others on an equal basis. (Slight difference in the height of the cube and ladder suggest whether, among peers, you are more the admirer or admired).
|Positives:||gravitate to those close to you in intelligence, talent, income, power, and/or education.|
|play down the differences that do exist.|
|give others the benefit of the doubt and assume they are your equals.|
|believe you're worth as much as anyone on earth-- no more, no less.|
|Negatives||Equality may translate as a certain sameness in your inner circle.|
|Where difference are undeniable, you may react to your lessers with guilt and your betters with envy.|
|At Work||You treat subordinates with respect and encourage them to advance.|
|You expect the same from those above you (and are offended if it's not forthcoming).|
|You cooperate well with those on your won level.|
|You are uncomfortable exercising power over others.|
Possibly jewel speckled equates to paint-splattered: key word: collaboration. A ladder spattered with paint is one you work with; it's marked by the memories of every job. This signifies friends who are also creative collaborators. Actor Willem Dafoe, who works and lives with an experimental theater troupe and has many friends in the movies, has a bright-yellow, paint-spattered stepLadder. Return to encrusted.
black: Key words: romantic passion. A dark-haired or dark-complected lover; someone who has "black moods"; and/or someone with whom you share a powerful, romantic sexual bond (which always involves elements of night and mystery). Return to black.
camel: Key words: endurance, in it for the long haul. We never offer the option of any animal but a horse, but if a camel is what shows up, we've got to accept it. People who see a camel usually think they're just being logical-- "We're in a desert, aren't we?"-- but in fact, they're portraying their view of their lover as accurately as anyone else. A camel may not be a very romantic image, but it's one of fidelity, familiarity, and reliance-- if also of cranky, balky self-will. You have your battles, but you also have a solid partnership that's going the distance, and a rock of a partner who can take whatever life dishes out. Return to camel-esque.
flying (inferred by hummingbird): Key words: transport. Your lover "takes you away" into a realm of magical happiness. This is often someone you're newly in love with, or feel is the person of your dreams. Return to hummingbird.
mare: Key words: motherly, sensitive, temperamental, female. The gender of your Horse does not necessarily represent the gender of your lover. A man can appear as a mare if what you seek in a lover is sensitivity and nurturing (or any other qualities fairly or unfairly labeled "feminine"). Return to mare.
fancy trappings: Key word: romantic. A kind of compromise or reconciliation of the two above is to adorn your Horse in the royal trappings of medieval or Ottoman nobility: tooled and colored leather, embossed metal and chain mail, jewels, tassels, bells, and feathers. This is the chivalrous view of love and marriage held by an old-fashioned, gallant man, or a woman who reads romance novels. You imagine your lover as a knight in shining armor or a princess in a tower whom you had to court and win. The proposal was the climactic moment in a long, suspenseful story. Your wedding was (or will be) a really big deal, and the memory and sentiment of it will stay fresh for fifty years.
The only problem with this view of love is that is can remain a fantasy. If you won't settle for less than an actual knight, prince, or princess, you're probably still single. It takes a certain kind of shrewd, sentimental imagination to dress up a real person in Cecil B. DeMille costume and pretend your daily bread is wedding cake. (It helps if your lover has some genuinely noble or exotic traits. Two American women spring to mind whose Horses wear glorious trappings. Coincidentally or not, both their husbands are European, and have accents and military backgrounds.) Return to saddle.
Standing by the cube (Actually dancing): key words: commitment, companionship. You and your lover are close, physically and emotionally. He or she isn't going anywhere (at least, so you assume). You feel confident, comfortable, and secure in the relationship. You are very much a part of each other's daily lives, unlikw some couples who may be just as devoted, yet lead quite separate existences.
Don't have a lover? Then this is the relationship you're dreaming of and holding out for. It is the kind you can and will create. Don't settle for less. Return to dancing.
Sandstorms: Key words: confusing, painful, overwhelming. If your Storm is a sandstorm, your style of reacting to trouble probably has been to lose your bearings and your perspective. When a crisis hits you can feel blinded, trapped in your subjectivity, unable to see beyond the end of your own nose. The stuff comes at you so stingingly fast that you can only blunder around trying to cover your exposed sensitivities. You feel humiliated, mocked, flayed. You can get overwhelmed by your problems, buried under them. Yet the paradox is that the curves of drifted sand left by the Storm are prettier and more interesting than a plain Cube. The shape formed by you an life together is a more subtle one. The edges of your ego have been softened by trouble, and perhaps so has its hard shine. Return to sandstorm.
Wind: Key words: opposition, opportunity. Widn is energizing, exciting, and pushy. It makes you feel like raising your sails and setting forth. But since you're on foot (or horseback) here in the desert, you'll have to push against the wind to make progress, like Jacob wrestling with an invisible angel.
Wind is challenging opposition, either from another person or from the general climate of the time, and it's also your assertive, argumentative way of rising to that challenge. Since wind is spirit (pneuma means both in Greek), there may be a heady, bracing intellectual contest or controversy involved, or a war of words, but not a personally angry one-- more a matter of principle. In private life, you may enjoy having spirited arguments with your lover or friends.
There are three possible outcomes to your joust with the wind. First, you can stand your ground and let it blow itself out. Second, if you know "which way the wind is blowing" in your household or workplace, the market or the culture, you can turn it to your advantage and sail home. But finally, if you miscalculate, you may literally be "blown away." That's what happened to the Cube-- a die-- of a high roller we know who gambled on market conditions and lost his business. Return to winds.
Clouds: Key words: depression, apprehension. Dark clouds may represent dark moods (yours, or those of someone close to you), or they can convey a sense of foreboding, a worry that trouble is on the way. You will know whether this is a realistic assessment of your situation or just a habit of worrying. Some of us are alarmists who always feel like dark clouds are gathering and the sky is about to fall. Do your apprehensions often "cry wolf," or do they have a track record of coming true?
Obviously, these two meanings are closely related: Depressed people are often apprehensive, and nothing brings on that feeling of impending doom like knowing a dark mood is gathering in your lover or your boss. Return to Coming Closer.
Coming closer: Key words: approaching, threatening. (See Clouds.) There may be real problems headed your way, in which case, at least you've got time to brace yourself and prepare. You see it coming; you won't be caught by surprise. On the other hand, you may just be a pessimist or a worrier. That can be due either to temperament or past experience, or both. Some people are chronically apprehensive enven though nothing really bad has happened to them; some are mistrustful and vigilant because life has hurt them before. Return to approaching.
Here, Now: Key words: present, recent If the Storm actually comes right through your scene, you're either embroiled in trouble or conflict right now, or you just were not long ago. You can assess how well you're holding up by the condition of your Cube. Of course, if you're a storm lover, you're in your element. Return to takes.
Erosion or pitting of the Cube by blowing sand or rain suggests that your troubles are eating you up or wearing you down. Return to reduces.
Horse Freaks Out: Your lover gets upset more easily than you do-- or shows it more. Or she is the one having problems right now. How do you feel about your lover's upset? Protective? Anxious? Annoyed? This is one of the most common ways that opposites attract and conflict: A calm, phlegmatic person seeks the stimulation of a high-strung live wire, who in turn, needs insulation. They exasperate each other, but they need each other. Return to whines.
Horse runs away (possibly mitigated since the horse was instructed): You suspect your lover can't be counted on in a crisis, but will either panic or set about saving her own skin. Return to "run".
Ladder broken (Understatement -- eroded into sand!): A friendship or working partnership is disrupted by the conflict or calamity.
Orchid: magnificence; refinement; wisdom; womanhood. Return to orchids.
Dead Flowers: So far, we've never known this to mean dead children (though a woman who had an abortion her boyfriend wanted more than she did saw one Flower being eaten by her Horse): It sometimes seems to mean grown-up or estranged children. For an older woman, it can be a way of saying, "My mothering days are over." To one young karate instructor, the bouquet of dead Flowers laid at the foot of his Cube represented the troubled youths he hopes to work with, kids who feel cut off from their families, as he does. In the realm of work, dead flowers may signify a dead hope or failed project. Return to fossils.