The Soloist: Autonomy

An individualist, a loner, a star.

The Conductor leads others; Soloists lead themselves. As Soloists, we are self-motivated and self-governing. We can also be self-centered, reclusive, or arrogant. In music, a Soloist either has the stage to themselves, or they’re in the spotlight; correspondingly, the Soloist cards can indicate a time for us to shine.

Drive, self-sufficiency, and success make the Soloist appealing on the surface; underneath, however, there’s always the issue of keeping the ego in check. One of the benefits of working with others, of being dependent on others, is that they serve as a mirror: we see our behavior reflected in their reactions, and, if we are self-aware enough, see our reactions to their behaviors. With only ourselves as a reference we can become deluded, lost in our own soup. Sometimes, of course, circumstances demand autonomy—and the payoffs of going solo can be high. But it’s a walk on a fine, high wire. 

In the active suit of Brass, the Soloist appears as The Self-Starter; in the emotional suit of Strings, as The Self-Possessed; in the intellectual suit of Woodwinds as The Free Thinker; in the physical suit of Percussion as The Self-Sufficient; and in the spiritual, holistic suit of Voices as The Mystic.