Persona - Character Analysis
By: PulcineAura (Matthew Atiemo)
Started On: July 13, 2008
Table of Contents
NUM | Section Name | Code |
I. Introduction | ...................................I/INTRO |
II. Updates | ..................................II/UPDTE |
III. Arcana | ..................................III/ARCN |
IV. Character Arcana | ..................................IV/CHRAR |
V. Credits | ...................................V/CRDIT |
I. Introduction [I/INTRO]
Thanks for clicking on this guide. What this guide entails are basically my
interpretations of why each character falls under the arcanum that they do, how
their linked to their personas, and why they are represented by the zodiac sign
they were given. Originally, this guide was going to entail all of the charac-
ters in the Persona series, but I changed my mind to focus on the characters
which began it all. The reason? They get no love. Just because the characters
in this game aren't as dynamic as the ones in later games doesn't mean that
they didn't have depth to them. As such, I formatted my guide to focus solely
on them. I hope you guys enjoy the info I've compiled for these characters!
If you have any questions, concerns, comments, or you just want to contribute
to the guide, please send me an e-mail with your needs and I'll respond as soon
as I can.
II. Updates [II/UPDTE]
== October 27th, 2009 ==
- Completed playable characters' analyzation
- Completed Arcana section
- Created base for NPC analyzation
- Have yet to finish NPC analyzation
- Have yet to add extra information for characters
The arcana in all Persona series are, of course, based on the Tarot Deck.
Tarot cards have been around ever since the late 14th century, and have had
numerous changes to them. Tarots started out as a card game, but that changed
in the 18th century, when they started to be used for divination. Although
there have been many renditions, as well as interpretations of the tarot, the
2 most popular decks today are the Rider-Waite deck and the Thoth deck, both
of which can be seen throughout the Persona series. In Persona: Revelations,
Persona: Innocent Sin, and Persona: Eternal Punishment, the deck on which the
arcana were based on was the Rider-Waite deck. In Persona 3 and Persona 4, the
meaning and names of the arcana were derived from the Rider-Waite deck, but the
order of the arcana were based on the Thoth Deck. Finally, in Persona 3: FES,
in addition to the order of the arcana, the Aeon arcana was also derived from
the Thoth deck.
Tarot decks are made up of 78 cards: 22 major arcana and 56 minor arcana. The
major arcana includes cards such as The Magician, The Hanged Man, etc. while
the minor arcana includes cards based on swords, wands, cups, and pentacles.
In this guide, I will only cover the 22 major arcana, as they are the most
important in the Persona series.
Below, I will explain each of the major arcana's meaning and reversed meaning.
A. The Fool
The Fool is walking on a cliff's edge holding a knapsack with a dog barking at
his heels. The Fool isn't looking where he is going and is about to fall off
the edge of the cliff.
The Fool is the arcanum that represents infinite possibilities. Lost in his
daydreaming, the Fool doesn't know where is going, what he's going to do, or
why is going, but he doesn't mind. He has no destination yet he keeps going
forward, not knowing he's about to fall off a cliff. Unlike others who would
steer from the cliff, sensing the danger ahead, the Fool trusts his dreams to
carry him through any burden; both the seen and the unseen. He travels with a
knapsack filled with a few basic items and trusts those items to see him
through his journey, no matter how long or hard. To the Fool, ignorance truly
is bliss, as he has absolutely no idea of the harshness and cruelty of the
world. If not for the barking dog that closely follows him, the Fool would not
be attentive and would rely on his foolhardiness to see him through.
At number 0, the Fool states that there are many possibilities and opportunties
for change and growth if one desires it. The Fool just has to have the urge to
want something, and he will get it. In the perfect world, no one would have to
lift a finger to do a thing, if life was just like the life of the Fool. But
we know that isn't the case. As much as we would love to be like the Fool and
just head out on a journey with only a few items to see us through, looking at
all that can be or might be, the dog (that voice in our head which always tells
us things can't be or won't be), will always bring us back down to earth. In
this way, the Fool tarot shows us that we can't always be foolhardy and rely on
our dreams to help us move forward (as it would surely make us lose perspective
of the world), but we also have to listen to that voice at the back of our
heads to show us the reality of life.
Still, after all has been said and done, we have our dreams to help guide us.
We also have a knapsack filled with all of our basic needs and essentials. And
best yet, we have our clarity to bring us back down to earth. Perhaps a journey
with just these won't be impossible, but rather, a journey filled with much
experience. We may start with nothing, but a simple desire is enough to make
even the harshest of journeys very possible.
When the Fool tarot is turned upside down, the Fool falls from the cliff and
into the sky. He loses his knapsack as well as his stability, as his feet are
no longer planted on the ground, and his clarity, as the dog by his side falls
into the sky as well.
For the Fool, he has truly become foolish. He loses all contact with the real
world and stays afloat in his daydreams. Even his clarity is blurred as the dog
is no longer there to warn him that he's falling. What's even worse about the
whole situation is that the Fool has lost his knapsack. Even if he had been
lost in his dreams, he would have still had the means to accomplish it (no
matter how obscure) had he held on to his knapsack. But now, all the remains is
a simple minded fool with no hope of ever being able to relate to others or
accomplish the very thing he's obssessed with.
B. The Magician
The Magician is depicted as a young man with an infinity symbol floating atop
his head. In his right hand, he holds a wand and points to the heavens. With
his left, he points to the ground. In front of the Magician is a table laid
with a sword, a cup, a wand, and a pentacle.
The Magician represents creativity, talents, and resources to the bearer of the
arcanum. Above the Magician's head is an infinity symbol, the symbol of the
creative thoughts in the Magician's mind. In his right hand, the Magician holds
a wand and points to the sky as he points to the ground with his left finger.
With this motion, the Magician shows the source of his talent; the heavens for
his intelligence, and the earth for giving him his resources, which lay on a
table in front of him. With a balance of these three abilities, the Magician is
ready to create and work some magic.
However, is the Magician really performing magic? Afterall, mysticism doesn't
necessarily exist in the real world, so how can we be sure that the Magician
isn't merely tricking us? The answer? No one but the Magician knows. The
Magician is the only one who knows the secret behind his powers and he refuses
to let others know. Of course, those who study his motions and look deeply at
movements would realize that all the Magician does is just a simple show of
illusions. In the end, the Magician is nothing more than a illusionist. He uses
his various abilities to show us powerful images that may be seen as magic to
some. He is there to inspire us. To light our thoughts. To make us question
how he did what he did and to give us a taste of creation. Illusions or not,
the Magician's skill at what he does is so good that what he does seems like
magic, even if we may know that it's not.
In addition to his skills, the Magician talks a big game. He can smooth talk
his way out of any situation and knows exactly what to say to get anyone to
bend to his will. At times, his words inspire us and gives us hope, at others,
his words trick and deceive us. To any great magician, the key to pulling in
their audience is a charismatic personality, which the Magician is full of.
Upright, the Magician offers positive ideas through the use of his skills and
his charismatic nature. When read as the opposite, the Magician uses his skills
and oratory skills to manipulate others. No longer is he a positive source of
ideas, but rather, a simple trickster who fools others. In this state the
Magician is simply a person with immature goals, yet also a person with a
calculating mind and a knack for effectively knowing how to deal with various
types of people.
Instead of the Magician to use his tools to inspire, he uses them to blind
people from the truth. His skills are even more transparent than the upright
Magician so no one can tell what he's doing is the truth. His words are so
truthful that everyone believes him, instead of sparking that doubt in their
minds to try to find the truth for themselves, choosing to fall into the
clutches of a con artist.
C. The High Priestess
The arcanum of mysteries. The High Priestess knows all of the unknown things
to life, yet never shows them at all. What you see in the tarot is a woman
seated on a throne in front of a curtain decorated with pomegranates. In her
hands she holds the Tora, partly covered by her robe, and at her feet, a moon
sits in her flowing blue robe. On the left side of the tarot, a black pillar
with the letter B is written on it. On her right, a white pillar stands with
the letter J on it.
The High Priestess is dressed in blue, the color of the unconciousness. She
serves as a guide to unlocking the mysteries of the world on the metaphysical
plane, as compared to the Hierophant. But unlike the Hierophant, The High
Priestess speaks in arcane verses. Just like the Tora in her hands, she lets
you see a bit of the information she has, but she never lets you see it all.
And just like the crescent moon at her feet, she will help you understand a bit
of the information she gives you, but will never brighten it up all the way. In
a way, the High Priestess is just like the Magician, in that she shows you
something awe inspiring, and you have to find out the truth for yourself. The
difference between the two, however, is that once you find out how the Magician
does his magic, you've discovered everything there is to know about him, yet
with the High Priestess, you will never find out everything about her, as she
has all her powerful secrets hidden behind the curtain that sits behind her.
Though she doesn't tell you everything there is to know, the High Priestess
does offer a way for a person to be able to find out the mysteries for them-
selves. The pillars that sit beside her represent the dualities of life. If one
should figure out the dualities of life, they will be able to understand the
significance of themselves. The black pillar with the letter B on it, stands
for Boaz, which means, negation. The white pillar, Jachin, stands for begin-
nings. But those are just the face value of both pillars. If one were to figure
out each and every duality the pillars represent (male and female, good and
evil, youth and elderly, etc.), they would be able to figure out all of the
secrets to life. Sadly, no one but the High Priestess is able to do so, which
is why everyone seeks the aid of the mysterious priestess.
So what does the High Priestess mean to people in the real world? Well, the
High Priestess really connotates someone who is knowledgable in many subjects
and fields, yet someone who also knows when to say something and when not to
speak. Someone who bears the High Priestess arcanum is someone who is very
instinctual and follows their feelings, but also knows the delicate balance
between following your guts and following you head. A true High Priestess isn't
someone who withholds information from you and uses it as blackmail, but
someone who withholds such secrets because they understand the harm it might
bring to you.
The curtain that shrouds the mysteries falls when The High Priestess is turned
upside down. Every secret she holds is seen, both the positive ones and the
negative. The High Priestess doesn't even need to speak, as everyone can see
everything: the good, the bad, and the ugly. When she does speak, the High
Priestess only speaks of the harmful secrets that would bring pain and misfor-
tune to others. Either way you look at it, the secrets withheld by the High
Priestess are hidden for a good reason. No matter how you look at it, knowing
every single thing in the world is just asking for trouble because no one would
be able to bring them into balance since the pillars Boaz and Jachin have been
D. The Empress
The Empress, dressed in a gown covered with pomegranates and adorned with a
crown of stars, holds a rod in her hand as she sits on a seat in a field of
wheat. Beside her rests a heart shaped shield with the sign of Venus embedded
Just like with the High Priestess, the image of the pomegranate is visible upon
the Empress' gown, signifying a sense of mystery or the unknown. The crown she
wears and the rod she holds represent the Empress' rule over all of nature, as
shown by the wheat field and vegetation all around her. Finally, the shield of
Venus by her side signifies the ruling planet of the Empress. In essence, the
Empress is the mother. She is in a wheat field, signaling growth and nurture.
With the shield of Venus by her side, the Empress shows her desire to protect
the love of all things. The Empress represents all the qualities of a positive
maternal figure, whether it be the bearer of the arcanum, their mother, or
anyone else that acts as such.
The Empress depicts a woman on a seat wearing a crown in a field of wheat.
Turned upside down, the Empress uproots all the plants in the field, bringing
destruction by active force, rather than passive, which the Empress usually is.
E. The Emperor
The Emperor is a paternal arcanum that also rules over others. It uses force as
its strength, in contrast to The Empress' kind passivity. Seated upon a throne,
a stern looking man holds a scepter and an orb in his hands. Two ram heads
serve as the throne's armrest, and behind the throne, rocks stand in place.
Unlike the Empress' tarot, the Emperor's tarot is made up of more firm symbols
than 'malleable' symbols. This signifies the Emperor's steady and firm rule,
which are further solidified by his strong rocky foundation and his scepter and
orb, which represent his power along with the rams upon his throne which
represent Aries. And just like the Empress, the Emperor represents the positive
qualities of a father; strong and firm.
The Emperor is firmly seated in a throne, holding a scepter and an orb, his
proofs of power. When the card is upside down, The throne falls along with the
Emperor. His proofs of power drop to the ground and all control over the
kingdom is gone. There is no foundation as the rocks that hold his throne in
place are destroyed and the kingdom suffers.
F. The Hierophant
With the Hierophant, we end the trend of the ruling cards in the tarot. Just as
the Empress and the Emperor were closely intertwined, so too are the Hierophant
and the High Priestess. Both cards represent teachers, but whereas the High
Priestess spoke of knowledge in an otherworldly manner and in a mysterious
domain, the Hierophant speaks of knowledge in a way understandable by the
In the Hierophant tarot, an old man sits on a throne holding a staff in his
left hand and motioning his right hand in a prayer motion. Two pillars stand on
either side of him and two keys lay by his feet, with two people bowing to him.
The staff in the Hierophant's hand represents his status as a holy man, a man
revered by all, and the motion he does with his other hand shows the link
between heaven and earth. The keys at his feet represent his desire to help his
students (the two people) unlock the truth to the world. Finally, the two
pillars behind him represent Law and Liberty.
Basically, the Hierophant is the teacher. As a holy man, he teaches his stu-
dents the key to following the Law and upholding Liberty by teaching them about
such cultural subjects as religion, politics, etiquette, etc. Contrary to the
teachings of the High Priestess, the Hierophant teaches only about how to
better the physical being, not the spritual being. As a holy man, he isn't
concerned about finding the dualities of life, as represented by his pillars
Law and Liberty, two ideas and qualities that compliment each other, compared
to the High Priestess' Boaz (negation) and Jachin (beginning) pillars, which
contradict each other. In the end, the Hierophant's only goal is to show his
students the "right" way to heaven. He acts as the mediator between God's will,
shown through religious texts, and the earthly world. With students ready to
learn and keys at his feet, the Hierophant will do just that. No more. No less.
The main purpose of the Hierophant is to teach others. When reversed, the
Hierophant no longer teaches, instead he criticizes. He looks upon others with
contempt, choosing rather to poke fun at their behavior than to educate them.
When the Hierophant DOES chooses to teach, the lectures he gives almost always
have no explanations to them. If one does choose to listen to the Hierophant in
this state, the information they receive will be biased towards the way the
Hierophant thinks, rather than being facts. Even worse yet about the reversed
Hierophant is that in this form, he is rather pretentious. He may try to sound
smart and wise, but often, the words he says ring hollow and just sound igno-
G. The Lovers
The Lovers tarot shows Adam and Eve standing adjacent from each other, with
everything exposed to each other. Behind Eve, there is a tree with a snake
slithering on it. Behind Adam, another tree stands, though this tree is losing
its leaves. Above them both, the angel Raphael looks down upon them as the sun
The Lovers is one of the most positive cards in the entire arcana. It shows
true love; love that isn't clouded by base or negative desires. Just as how
Adam and Eve are naked in front of each other, so must we be to our significant
other. We have to bare all our feelings, all our energy, and all our hearts to
the person we truly love the most. Most importantly, we must be guided by true
love, as Raphael and the sun both shine down on Adam and Eve.
Yet, just as how love may sometimes falter (the forbidden fruit and the snake
behind Eve; withering tree behind Adam), we have to stand in front of such
trials and tribulations and keep our significant other in our minds.
When the Lovers is turned upside down, Raphael is crushed underneath Adam and
Eve. The genatalia of Adam and Eve take the place of Raphael and the sun. Love
like this is now ruled only by lustful desires. Raphael, who ignites true love,
no longer rules the card so the snake from behind Eve and the withered tree
can now spring forth with nothing to stop them.
H. The Chariot
The Chariot is the arcanum that brings victory to the bearer and their loved
ones through the power of moving forward and crushing one's foes. The
charioteer in the tarot is adorned with sun and moon symbols on his armor as he
sits in his regal chariot. Two sphinxes, one white and one black, are at rest
in front of the Chariot.
Looking at the card, the symbolism of war should be going through your mind
right now. Perhaps you're thinking of that famous chariot fight scene in such
classics as Ben Hur or The Gladiator. However, the Chariot is far from being in
a war against others. The Chariot depicts a war against yourself. The dual
colored sphinxes, the sun and the moon, the meaning of the card and the image
of the card, all of these symbols represent the indecisive nature within us.
Instead of trying to find peace with ourselves, we are constantly at odds
within ourselves. Look at the sphinxes on the card. Both may be different, but
both are equally calm. Look at the sun and the moon. Both are opposites, but
both adorn the armor of the charioteer. The Chariot states that we must keep
moving foward, but at the same time, we can't forget about the balance within
ourselves. Afterall, we may be fighting a war with our indecisiveness, but we
are fighting not to seperate our causes, but to bring them together, just as
how both sphinxes work together to move the Chariot.
More importantly, the Chariot is also the "friendship" card as it brings
victory and joy to the bearer's loved ones. In tarot readings, the Chariot
usually represents the bearer acting as a force to help others, akin to how the
Star represents the arrival of hope to others.
Our goal within the Chariot is to defeat our indecisiveness through perserve-
rance but when reversed, we don't defeat our inner selves. Instead, we run
away from the battle. Eventually, we run so much that we lose a lot of our
selves. We become more pretentious and fake because there is no direction, no
perserverance, and worst of all, no motion in our lives. Nothing happens and no
one is willing to let anything happen. Still, the Chariot is not broken. If we
take the reigns and head back into the fight, we can regain our true selves and
rise against our inner demons.
Justice represents order and fairness. It's not a card that has wholly posi-
tive meanings or wholly negative ones. Justice only looks for fairness in an
act, nothing else. On the tarot, Justice sits upon a throne. She holds a sword
in one hand and a balanced set of scales in the other. With the sword, she is
ready to bring retribution to all who sin and with the scale, she can decide
what is fair and what is not.
Reversed, Justice's sword and scale fall, thus, fairness (scale) is not exer-
cised and retribution (sword) is not given to the sinner.
J. The Hermit
The Hermit stands on a cliff, holding a staff by his side and a lantern in
front of him. If you look at the Hermit, you should notice something about his
tarot image. Compare it to the Fool. Yup. We're back at the cliff again, except
this time, a lot of things have changed.
First of all, the Fool is no longer looking up to the sky. He is looking down
below him. He isn't about to overstep his boundaries and fall into his dreams.
He knows better now. No longer does he hold a knapsack filled with simple basic
items. He's discarded all of them, and now holds just the stick. Rather than
having such simple items to help him on his journey, he now realizes all he
needed was a staff to help him navigate him through the darkness. However, from
his transition from a Fool to the Hermit, the Fool did retain one important
value. His clarity. Before, he needed a dog to help him find his way back to
earth from his daydreams. Now, he holds a lantern to shine the way for him.
From his retreat into the wilderness, the Fool has gained a lot of knowledge.
He no longer relies on his daydreams to get him through his journey, he's
realized that having a single reliable source of navigation was much better
than believing in a few basic items to carry him through the day, and he's kept
the valuable lesson he learned from the beginning of his journey.
Reverse the Hermit and the lantern he holds is lost within the darkness. The
lantern falls and can't be found, thus, there is no hope for anything to be
learned. Worse than that, the Hermit can no longer find his way back to soci-
ety. He is no longer in solitude, but rather, isolated from world. He becomes
bitter and cold to everyone in the world.
K. Wheel of Fortune
In the middle of the tarot, a wheel with the letters T-A-R-O spins as a sphinx
sits calmly on top of it, as well as a jackal headed figure, Anubis, who is
rising up on the wheel along with a snake, Typhon, who is descending upon the
wheel. By itelf, the word TARO means nothing, but if you read the letters in a
complete circle, you get the word TAROT. In that same circular manner, Anubis
and Typhon constantly circle the wheel, with Anubis representing intelligence
and Typhon representing evil. At the corners of the tarot, there is an angel,
an eagle, a bull, and a lion, each representing the four elements, water, air,
earth, and fire.
As you decipher the symbols in the Wheel of Fortune, it quickly becomes clear
that there are 2 main themes that are recycled throughout this card: balance
and rotation. The sphinx that sits atop the wheel and the four beings in the
corner of the tarot show the balance the wheel signifies, wheras the letters
T-A-R-O and the ascending Anubis and descending Typhon show the rotation of the
wheel. Although two completley different elements, both balance and rotation
work together to show the Wheel of Fortune's meaning.
The Wheel of Fortune is neither a good, nor a bad card. All the Wheel shows is
the unpredictability of life. Sometimes, you may rule and feel like you're on
top of the world and nothing can bring you down, just as how Anubis rises up
the wheel brimming with intelligence to bring unto mankind. And just as easily,
your world may come crashing down with full force and it may seem that nothing
will ever look up, just as how Typhon descends down the wheel, bringing evil
and destruction down upon mankind. However, The Wheel of Fortune connotates a
promise that no one will ever be stuck too low, nor will anyone linger too high
making this promise the balance of the wheel represented by the sphinx and the
elements. Afterall, the Wheel of Fortune is ever turning. Generally speaking,
when upright, the Wheel of Fortune represents good luck and abundance.
In most cases, the Wheel reversed represents bad luck. Rather than getting a
positive change in one's life, they get a negative one. But at least the Wheel
will continue moving and good luck will come once more. However, after turning
so much throughout the annals of history, the Wheel is prone to get stuck every
once in a while. If it ever stops, no luck occurs so there's no chance of get-
ting good luck or bad luck. Still yet, when the Wheel is truly upside down, the
Wheel moves counterclockwise instead of clockwise. Luck still occurs, but any
good luck gained will have negative consequences attached, and any bad luck
will turn out better for you.
In the Strength tarot, a woman is seen to be either opening a lion's
jaw or closing it with an infinity symbol floating atop her head. No matter
what she's doing, the woman uses her inner strength to control the lion, not
brutish force. The infinity symbol atop her head is her source of her power.
In the tarot, Strength represents the super ego, whereas the lion represents
the id. What is depicted is using one's inner strength to fight against their
bestial instincts. Basically, Strength means for the bearer to try to be the
better man. If you are in a fight with someone, true strength isn't shown by
knocking your enemy out, but rather, trying to resolve the problem peacefully
and without a show of force.
This time, the lion is above the woman, not the other way around. This implies
that the woman no longer has the strength to take control of the lion, of her
inner demons. Those demons take control of her, rather, and she is trapped by
them. She either succumbs to them and becomes just as beastly, or runs away
from them. She is no longer guided by Strength, rather, she may either become a
brute or be a coward.
M. The Hanged Man
Meaning: Hanging upside down from a tree, The Hanged Man is unable to do any-
thing. He is stuck in his position and has no control over anything that
happens around him. Yet the Hanged Man shows no pain on his face. He is at ease
with his current position and situation. What's more, an aureola appears around
his head. The loss of being able to move has been compensated by the amount of
knowledge and insight he gains when upside down. The Hanged Man sees things in
a new way. He thinks outside the box.
But don't think that this is an easy process. Although the look on the Hanged
Man's face may seem at ease, it takes a lot to be able to try to let go of
things. When you are stuck and you have no where else to go, when the pain is
too much too bear, when you feel like everything is coming to an end, giving up
shouldn't be an option. Look at the world from where you are. Things may seem
like they'll never look up, but if you force yourself to think like that, you
have given up your insight. Things should always be looked at from a different
perspective. Don't feel sorry for yourself, look at things in a different way.
Even better, the situation you're in can always be escaped. The Hanged Man
placed himself in that situation, and he can get out of it if he tries. Even
if you don't put yourself in your current spot, there is always a way to climb
back out of your rut. The aureola surrounding the Hanged Man's head is proof of
You cannot force sacrifice, plain and simple. If you constantly bring yourself
down, you will never be able to look at things from outside the box because
you're alway looking inside your pain and turmoil. The Hanged Man is no longer
hanged if he's in the upright position and tries to bring burden upon himself.
He has to willingly hang from the tree and open his eyes to more than despair.
Of course, keep in mind that the Hanged Man chooses to willingly hang himself
in the sense that he does it to get new insight from his current position in
life. The Hanged Man doesn't hang himself in the sense that he brings pain and
misfortune on himself, though The Hanged Man reversed surely does.
Death represents a change in a person's entire being. They kill off their old
self to allow a new persona to be built. Just like how when forest fires break
out, they destroy all the existing vegetation, but allow new vegetation to grow
and emerge from the soot of the old vegetation.
On the Death tarot, a skeleton in black armor sitting on a horse holds a flag
and walks through a field of dead kings, bishops, and commoners. This clearly
represents the death of people from different classes, basically saying that
death comes to everyone, no matter who they are. Though a grim card, in the
background, the sun shines through, showing that although people die, a new day
will always be over the horizon and so will there be more people that emerge
from the deaths of others.
Flip the card and the skeleton falls off the horse and the people within the
graves arise. The people who are killed off and change, are angered by the
change and rebel against death. The positive aspect of this card is now seen as
An angel stands in the middle of a field, an aureola surrounding her head. Her
left foot is in the river and her right, on land. She pours water from one cup
into the other cup, filled with wine, in order to dilute it.
Temperance shares its cross sums with the Hierophant, the teacher, and comes
right after Death, change. From these two aspects, Temperance stands, as a
teacher to test you on all that you've learned from the Hierophant and to see
what you've experienced from your change by Death's hand. Are you able to
balance the physical world with the metaphysical? Temperance's feet show that
you are able to. The metaphysical (the river) is connected with the physical
(the land). What about combining two completely different aspects of life? The
Hierophant teaches you about what you may be able to experience whilst Death
actually puts you through the experience. The combination of these two is
represented by Temperance diluting the water with the wine. On top of all of
this, you are able to combine both aspects of life with no reprecussions, as
the aureola around Temperance's head indicates a positive change.
But all of this wouldn't have been possible had you not gone through such a
poweful change. Anyone can try to balance two things together, but unless one
goes though both extremes, the end result won't be something worth holding on
The angel goes back to square 1. Or rather, square 0. Just like the Fool,
Temperance is lifted into the sky and the cups fall to the ground. Her head is
the clouds and she has no idea how to go about synthesizing, even though she
may want to. The physical world and the metaphysical world aren't conjoined and
the angel herself doesn't seem to want to put the items back together. Every-
thing that was supposed to come as one breaks apart.
P. The Devil
A devil sits upon a black cube with his right hand in the broken bendediction
form. A naked man and woman are shackled to the Devil's cube, though upon
closer inspection, the nooks to their chains are loose enough for them to
The Devil represents the temptations we put on ourselves, shown by the shackled
humans to the Devil. The shackles are loose, and we can easily slip out from
them, but we remain tethered to the Devil. We are bound to the materialistic
items in this world, and although we acknowledge their harmful ways, we refuse
to change our ways. Taking a good look at the card, we can see something
missing from this card that mostly every other card before it had: balance.
Whereas all the other cards before it had some kind of duality within it, the
Devil is the first card not to have such a duality. In addition to the symbols
I mentioned above, there are also 3 symbols I didn't mention: the torch the
devil holds, the black mountain behind the devil, and the wings of the devil.
Each of those symbols represents an element, fire, earth, and air, respectively
and of all those elements, the missing one is also the kindest and most emotive
element: water. So what does this say? Basically, the Devil shows that we are
so bound to materialistic items and lustful passions that we fail to show any
kindess or compassion to both ourselves and to others. Instead of taking care
of ourselves, we'd much rather keep the shackles on our neck rather than remove
Akin to the Chariot, the Devil also represents another object. In this case,
the Devil represents someone with extreme power that controls over us. This is
the card that would probably be fitting for someone like Stalin or Hitler, who
used their power to take control over others, not necessarily by force, but by
persuasion or charisma.
When reversed, The Devil falls off his throne and the man's and woman's chains
fall off. This is one of the most positive arcana in the entire tarot, because
the temptation is finally conquered and has no chance of grasping unto the
bearer. However, this card can also be negative to anyone who is in fact, The
Devil. They fall off their throne, losing their power along with the people
they have control over.
Q. The Tower
The Tower is often called the worst arcanum in the entire tarot, and it is. No
matter how you read The Tower, something negative always occurs. Upright, The
Tower represents the destructions of all the lies that the person has built to
protect themselves from others. When The Tower falls, it shows the person for
who they really are, and that can be one of the hardest things. To make things
worse, not only are the person's lies destroyed, but so are the beliefs and
goals they once sought after. Within all the negatives, there are some posi-
tives. The destruction of The Tower allows something positive to be built in
its place. The Tower can also represent someone breaking free of all the lies
that have been told to them, causing the truth to emerge from the rubble.
When reversed, The Tower remains in place. The lies stay intact and no one
suffers. The person believes all the lies told to them and they never realize
the truth. However, though the lies are never exposed, the person's values
still remain intact, so something positive may come out of it, especially if
the value the person believes in is positive and is related to the upkeep of
In The Tower arcanum, the lightning bolt that strikes down The Tower is the
motion. When blocked, something is holding the truth, the lightning bolt, from
being revealed even though the truth wants to or must be known. A husband, for
example, refuses to tell his wife that she's fat because it would hurt her
feelings even though he'd prefer her to be thin. However, the wife might
think that because the husband hasn't said anything, the husband might like her
like this. So she keeps getting fat for her husband's sake, yet in the end,
both are unhappy.
If you reverse the entire arcanum, the lightning that strikes the Tower is now
being shot from the Tower into the sky. The people are entering back into the
Tower. The base of the Tower is also the ruling force of the arcanum. In other
words, the people within the Tower refuse to see the truth and lash back
against those that would tell them the truth with their lightning. The lies of
the Tower set the foundation for the entire arcanum.
R. The Star
The Star represents the desire for hope. The bearer of this arcanum may either
be wishing for hope, or act as the beacon of hope, just as the woman pouring
the water in the pond and the earth acts at the hope for the metaphysical (the
pond) and the physical (the earth) world for those who are struggling in their
The Star shows a woman pouring water into a pond and onto the ground, with a
prominent star shining upon her. Turn it around, and the water falls from the
pond and the urns the woman hold. The Star also descends into the night sky.
All that remain are the bare earth and darkness. Hope is nowhere to be seen
and nowhere to be found. Suicidal thoughts take hold and nothing can bring the
Star back into the sky.
S. The Moon
Pay attention to this arcanum. It's probably the hardest tarot to accurately
describe because there is so much going on. First, let's start with the
symbols. The Moon is the main focus of the card and is the first thing that
attracts the eye. A stern looking profile of a woman is seen within the Moon,
which is both a full moon and a crescent moon. Rays of light extend from the
Moon and scatter into yoni (the almond shapes underneath the Moon). On either
side of the Moon, two towers stand, with a path square in the middle of them.
To either side of the path, a dog and a wolf howl to the Moon, as a crab (yes,
it's a crab, though it looks like a lobster) crawls out of the sea. So what
does all of this mean?
The Moon, being the symbol that sticks out the most, is depicted as a woman
because the Moon was often related to women in the past. To further the
feminine aspect of this card, the yoni that emerge from the Moon were seen as
the womb of a woman and the crab represents Cancer. In astrology, Cancer is the
most emotional star sign, fitting the common view of how most women are. Also,
the rays of the Moon serve to represent the menstrual cycle of women. In addi-
tion to representing women, the Moon also represented chaos and illusions. The
two pillars beneath the Moon serve as entryways to a dark and chaotic land
ruled by the beasts of our minds, the dog and the wolf. Both creatures look up
to the Moon and howl at it, their only means of communications to something so
strange and foreign in such a dark land. A crab crawls out of the water,
signaling our subconcious mind attempting to reach out to us. Yet, even with
such chaos around, the Moon sits silently, glaring at them from above. It
shines with a pale light, yet that light is strong enough to guide us out of
any illusions that may seek to entrap us in their world.
When we are lost and confused in our inner domain, there is always a light in
us that helps us move foward. Whether that may be our mind telling us to open
our eyes and look ahead or whether it's another person, it doesn't matter. The
Moon is always there to guide us no matter how deep our illusions or how
chaotic everything might seem.
In the night sky, everything is different. Nothing looks the same. However,
when the Moon shines, we are able to look at things at a different way. In this
retrospect, the Moon also serves to amplify our creative abilities, since we
are able to broaden our horizons.
Looking down upon the creatures, the Moon shines forth and guides their primal
instincts. Reverse the arcanum and you now have the creatures staring down at
the Moon. The creatures represent the chaos and confusion within ourselves and
the Moon, the light to guide us. Now, chaos thrives and our guiding light
T. The Sun
Meaning: Contrary to the Moon, the Sun is one of the easier cards to interpret.
The Sun is depicted by a bright sun shining down on a naked boy riding a horse
and holding a red flag. Behind them, sunflowers burst into full bloom. Whereas
the Moon dealt with the female, the Sun deals with the male, though unlike the
Moon there aren't a lot of symbolism that shows why. Just take it as it is, I
guess. Anyway, in contrast to the Moon's chaotic, dismal, and dreary world, the
Sun is a generally bright and happy place. Look at the Sun compared to the
Moon. The Sun is smiling while the Moon is frowing. The creatures in the Moon
look rabid and feral, while the boy on the horse is smiling and the horse
itself has a placid look on its face.
Moving on to symbolism, the boy on the horse represents innocence and the horse
shows freedom, which is further emphasized by the boy not riding the horse with
a saddle and the movement away from the wall behind them. Atop the wall, sun-
flowers bloom, representing the birth of new ideals and discoveries. Finally,
the flag the boy holds represents victory to the bearer of the arcanum.
When reversed, The Sun doesn't illuminate as brightly, thus, such ideals like
order and discoveries are corrupted and made false. The child falls off the
horse and the flowers wilt. Innocence and freedom are no longer there and
darkness takes over, clouding order and discoveries.
In my opinion, the second hardest card to accurately describe, right behind the
Moon. Anyway, let's take it like the Moon and discuss the symbols first. The
main figure of this card is the Trumpeter. He is in the clouds, blowing the
horn that signals the beginning of Judgement day. Out of the graves, the dead
arise and raise their hands up to the trumpeter Gabriel.
When Gabriel blows his horn, it is representing you making the choice of
actually taking the initiative to face yourself. Without a doubt, facing your-
self is one of the hardest things to do in the world because no one can help
you. It's basically you against yourself. Or rather, you against your memories,
which are represented by the dead people that arise from the ground. When you
think about it, it shouldn't be hard at all. Afterall, the things you face are
only your memories. They can't physically hurt you, but still, it really does
hurt to think about some painful memories. But you can't dwell in the past
forever. What is done has been done. There is no need to hold on to such emo-
tions that you felt years ago. Once you are able to face yourself, as well as
those memories you are burdened by, a great deal will be lifted off your back.
No longer will you be haunted by painful memories even if you do think about
Simply put, you were not able to stand up to your memories. You tried thinking
about your painful memories, but they overwhelmed you to the point of not
wanting to ever try again. Whenever you think of that particular memory, you
will always feel uncomfortable and depressed. You'll never be able to think of
it as something that has already happened because it'll haunt you until you are
able to stand up to it.
V. The World
Meaning: In the World tarot, a naked woman surrounded by a yoni and holding
wands in each of her hand dances on top of the world with a wreath surrounding
her. Outside of the wreath the heads of a human, an eagle, a lion, and a bull
look at the dancing woman.
The woman surrounded by the yoni represents a circular motion, akin to the way
the world turns. The 4 creatures surrounding her, as well as the wreath stands
for the 4 elements in the World: Fire (Leo), Water (human), Wind
(Eagle/Scorpio), Earth (Taurus), and Spirit (Aquarius). These symbols can be
seen throughout each of the arcana, thus, it adds up to making the World an
arcanum that represents the conglomeration of everything.
For the personal self, the World signifies the feeling of peace with the world.
It doesn't mean that you have to act like some great sage or a meditating monk.
All it means is that the bearer of this arcanum feels just right where they
are. They want nothing more than they have nor do they feel like they're lack-
Upside down, the woman cannot dance and the World doesn't spin as it should.
Everything is put into a state of chaos and no one knows how to complete what
IV. Character Arcana [4CHRAR]
| Main Character (Naoya Todou, |
| Yuya Narumi, Jihei Suzakuin) |
The Emperor is a straightforward arcanum. It is one that depicts equilibrium,
stability, maturity, and practicality. Commonly, this card is associated with
a leader, and what better character to fit it than the main character (hereaf-
ter MC)? The MC is a cool-headed and reserved young man, not unlike his friend,
Nanjo. He thinks things through and is always ready to speak his mind, even in
the toughest of times. He doesn't rely on his raw emotions to guide him through
like Mark, nor is he ever at a loss of words, like Maki. Though the MC doesn't
talk as much as the others, he is the center of attention when he speaks. All
he says and all he does carry a significant weight that even the most thick-
headed people can't help but be swayed by him. If you choose to talk to your
party members at certain times in the game, they may comment on the MC's
personality, giving us futher insight on him. In a room in the Tartarus section
of the Thanatos Tower, Elly comments on how brave the MC is, never even
complaining about the situation he and his party members are in. Likewise,
Brown also comments on how the party would be lost without the MC in Tartarus
as well, showing how much his party members really look up to him.
Yet, the MC is also kind. He is like a father when being tender, in that he
offers condolences with firm, but caring words. In the inner part of the Lost
Forest where ideal Maki was grieving, the MC firmly told her to "stop." With
just that word, ideal Maki came to her senses, even though Mark and Nanjo
already tried to convince her otherwise. The MC, as quiet as he is, always
looks after his friends, just like a true Emperor does. Though he shares the
same toughness as Nanjo, and the same expressive nature as Mark, the MC is able
to combine those two elements together, creating a charismatic individual that
all are attracted to.
Of course, since the MC is also represented by the player, you may be able to
change his firmness by selecting the other choices when presented to you. In
this case, the MC is represented by the Emperor reversed. Instead of being
firm and responding with straightfoward answers, the MC responds mainly with a
meek, "I don't know" or "I'm not sure". In this case, the MC is unable to lead
his friends in a positive direction and thus, stifles them from realizing their
o-Initial Persona: Seimen Kongou
Seimen Kongou is a rakshasa from Hindu mythology with four arms, each holding
a weapon that represents different aspects of Buddhism. When Seimen Kongou
began to mix with Taosim, he became an important deity to the cult of Koushin
in Japan. The members of this cult believed that before the year of the monkey,
it was easy to get one's life cut short, thus, the members would gather scrolls
of Seimen Kongou and pray to 3 monkeys that would block their senses from evil.
Commonly referred to as the Three Wise Monkeys, these spirits block sight,
hearing, and speech from evil.
Going back to the roots of Buddhism, the patron figure Buddha once said, "All
that we are is the result of what we have thought. If a man speaks or acts with
an evil thought, pain follows him. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought,
happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him." This quote is
perfect in describing why the MC is represented by Seimen Kongou. Throughout
the game, the MC is given a multitude of choices that severely affects the
outcome of the ending, as well as the acquisition of his party members' final
personas. In the other Persona games, the MC is also presented with a wide
array of choices, but unlike in this game, very few of those choices actually
affect the game's ending or party's growth. In this way, the true ending and
the full potential of the characters in this game can only be achieved if the
MC is able to withstand all evil temptations from sight, hearing, and speech.
o-Ultimate Persona: Amen Ra
Amen Ra is the god of all things in Egyptian Mythology. He was a god that
came into being when the priests of Amen wanted to link their New Kingdom with
the older nation. Thus the "hidden god", Amen, was combined with the solar
deity, Ra, to bring forth a god all could worship. In this form, the power of
Amen was excercised through the body of Ra. For the ancient Egyptians, the
union of the strongest gods from each nation was truly the strongest god
in their pantheon.
For the MC, Amen Ra adquately represents his true self as well as the entire
concept of the Persona series. Think about it. Amen, in ancient Egypt means
the hidden one. Before he rose in status, Amen was simply the god of air, which
ancient Egyptians believed to be the breath of life. On the other hand, Ra was
the sun god, a dazzling figure in the sky. He was soon combined with another
sun god, Horus, into the deity Ra Horakhty, elevating his status even higher.
When the two deities merged, Amen came to represent the hidden aspect of Ra due
to the sun (Ra), becoming "hidden" at night time.
When representing the theme of Persona, Amen acts as the persona. It is intan-
gible and invisible to the naked eye, yet it imparts power to vanquish one's
foes, as well as a "breath of life" in order to be able to deal with the people
in one's life in various ways. In that retrospect, Ra is the body. Everyone
can see one's body and is able to interact with them on the physical plane.
Together, both the persona and the body are able to create a unique individual
that is able to interact with others on a physical realm, yet guided by the
beings in their subconcious domain. Nevertheless, none of the characters in the
persona game fits Amen Ra moreso than the MC from this game as I said earlier.
The MC is the leader of the group. He has a certain aura about him that foes
and friends alike find irresistable. Yet, the MC has been described to be
extremely quiet. Even when compared to the likes of other MCs, this one only
gets a few choices to make, and those choices tend to be short in length. In
this way, the MC has a personality akin to Amen (quiet, yet always speaks his
mind clearly and true) and a presence to that of Ra (gravitational, influential
Planet - Pluto
Element - Water
Quality - Fixed
Gender - Female
Scorpio is the 8th zodiac sign and is represented by the Scorpion, though
sometimes may be represented by an eagle. Most commonly known as the "freaky"
sign, Scorpio indeed ranges from having the strangest qualities to the most
sexual. Fitting their watery and feminine nature, Scorpios tend to be very
emotional, though unlike their counterparts, Scorpios are well grounded in how
they react due to their fixed quality. Scorpio is ruled by Pluto (yeah, yeah,
it's a dwarf planet, but let's go by what the ancient astronomers planned out),
and the common themes within it are transformation and mystery.
Scorpios are adamant people. This can either be a good or bad thing, depending
on what the Scorpio is guarding behind their easy going facade. By that token,
Scorpios are also very secretive and mysterious people, yet, they also love a
good mystery and will not be content until they solve it. Scorpios tend to be
those kinds of people that seem to know everything about a person, yet no one
knows a thing about them. Though secretive, Scorpios have a good social network
but will never form close bonds to people in order to keep to themselves. Due
to this, Scorpios exude a kind of charisma that people like: sociable enough to
begin a friendship, yet mysterious enough to keep people wanting to know more
about the Scorpio. Simply put, Scorpios are an enigma.
At their best, Scorpios are well grounded people who think with their emotions.
They are adamant and will persist in solving mysteries, no matter how hard or
arduous the task. They also have the ability to transform whatever item they
have at their disposal into a formidable tool, and will use that to achieve
their personal goal. At their worst, Scorpios are jaded individuals that refuse
to change their line of thinking and will use their social networks to cause
harm unto others. Angered Scorpios are extremely vengeful and are prone to
holding grudges for a long period of time even after the situation has been
Aptly fitting the sign is the MC. He is a quiet and reserved individual, yet he
boasts a terrific amount of bravery in both the Sebec and the Snow Queen paths,
taking charge in stopping the leader of a tyrannical corporation as well as in
stopping the Snow Queen from bringing the Eternal Night on the world. The MC
has a wide variety of friends, though none of them know the true him. Many
gravitate towards his mysterious aura, such as Maki, Elly, and Brad, and will
follow him in his path no matter whether they think he's wrong or not.
| Maki Sonomura |
o-Arcana: High Priestess-
As the character which the entire game focuses on, there is a LOT to say about
Maki. Surprisingly, as old as P1 is and since the concepts of Persona were just
solidifying, Maki is, in my opinion, one of the most interesting characters in
the entire series. She fits her arcanum properly and her personas accurately
Maki, just like the High Priestess, is enveloped in the domain of her subcon-
cious. The High Priestess is a sagely woman that deals in affairs not of this
world. She relates what happens on the physical world into a metaphysical one
and is always wrapped in mysteries. She speaks softly and in metaphors, but if
you listen and follow her advice, the High Priestess can lead one into a world
After being sent to the hospital, the only thing Maki could do was dream
about an ideal world just for her, a world where she wouldn't have to be
shackled in a hospital against her will, a world where others would love and
respect her. Unfortunately for her, Maki's ideal world did come into fruition,
as she was used as a test subject by Takahisa, splitting her very self into
three beings: Mai, her innocent and pure side, Aki, her malevolent and cruel
id, and finally, her ideal self, simply called Maki. With the creation of these
personalities, Mikage-cho was divided into two, with Mai ruling the pure,
positive side, surrounded by a white aura, and Aki, ruling the evil, negative
side, enshrouded in darkness. Thus, Mai's side is Boaz, white and ruled by the
light while Aki's side is Jachin, black and ruled by the darkness.
It is important to note the curtain that lies in between both pillars. The
curtain is covered in pomegranates, which represent the amount of days the
Greek goddess Persephone stayed in the Underworld, and is hung in between Boaz
and Jachin. In the myth, Demeter (Persephone's mother) was able to save her
daughter from the netherworld, but she had to return to the netherworld in an
amount of days equal to the number of pomegranates she ate. Thus, winter was
born when Persephone returned to the netherworld, as her mother, the goddess of
the harvest, would weep for her until she came back up to Mt. Olympus. Both
Boaz and Jachin represent opposite dualities; man and woman, light and darkness,
mercy and severity, etc. In relation to the curtain, what this means is that
it takes time and effort (the pomegranates) in order to link both dualities
together (Boaz and Jachin), and that without one, the other cannot exist. Man
is born from woman, yet woman needs man to create life. Light exists because it
is an element that illuminates darkness, and darkness exists because light is
there to be it's antecedent. Mercy cannot be given if severity has not been
felt. Thus, Aki, who was pulled from Mai, could not exist without her counter-
part, and Mai, could not be there to influence benevelonce in Maki had Aki not
brought conflict. In this case, who brings the two together?
Sitting in front of the pomegranate curtain is the High Priestess. She also
sits in between the two pillars, offering guidance to any that come to her.
Traversing Mai's illuminated side and Aki's darkened side is the ideal Maki,
serving as the High Priestess to the group. She guides them through their
journey and initially helps them understand the differences between the real
and illusionary Mikage-cho. As the story continues, the ideal Maki becomes more
and more aware of the truth behind the curtain. At the climax of the story,
the ideal Maki enters a phase of being in her reversed stage when she realizes
that she and her town are nothing more than figments of the real Maki's dreams.
It is at this point that the MC's choices could significantly affect Maki's
development. If the MC made the right choices at a crucial point in the story,
the party would band together and help the ideal Maki overcome her weaknesses,
eventually leading to the fight between herself and her shadow. If the MC made
the wrong choices, Maki would completely shut herself off from the real world.
o-Initial Persona: Maso
Maso is a Chinese goddess that protects fisherman and sailors from dangers of
the sea. As a mortal, Maso learned how to swim at the age of 15 and quickly
became one of the best swimmers in her village, eventually becoming a guide to
sailors and fishermen by wearing red garments on the shore to attract their
attention back to the village. On the night of a storm, Maso's brother and
father were out at sea fishing. Their boat broke and they started to drown.
Realizing that they were in danger, Maso fell into a trance and tried to guide
them back home. As she was doing so, her mother found her and awakened her from
her trance. Though she was successful in helping her father home, her brother
For both Maki and Maso, the most trying part of their lives occur in their
mind. Both try to serve as guides for their loved ones, helping them get out of
an inescapable realm. For Maso, it was the sea, which, in psychology, repre-
sents the mind, Maki's realm. We can also see the sea behind the curtain on the
High Priestess tarot. Her dress also turns into water at the base and has a
crescent moon partially dipped in it. To save her family members, Maso fell
into a trance and lifted them from the ocean back to the shore, just as ideal
Maki helped her friends understand the alternate Mikage-cho after being warped
there. In both cases, they were also affected deeply by their mothers. Maso's
mom awoke her from her trance, causing her to drop her brother into the sea,
whereas Maki's mom was the link that caused Takahisa to snatch her. In Maki's
case, though, her mother redeems herself by sending her friends to Maki's aid,
and was even transported into Maki's mind as well. Although similar, Maso's
story ended in a tragedy, with her brother dying, yet Maki was able to save
everyone, including herself. Why? Because Maki wanted to change. Instead of
staying like Maso, Maki was able to transcend into Verthandi.
o-Ultimate Persona: Verthandi
In Norse mythology, Verthandi is one of the Norns along with Skuld and Urd, who
decide the fates of all mortals and gods. As a triad of goddesses, the three
were rarely seen apart, so one must wonder, why not make Maki's ultimate
persona the Norns instead of just Verthandi? Well, the answer may lie in the
arranged version of the Deva Yuga track (original Persona) in which Guido and
Maki exchange words. Guido questions why Maki wants change, to which, Maki
replies, "The past, the present, the future, they are but a glittering dream
holding nothing for me. That's why I am willing to change." Simply put, Maki
wanted to change. She didn't want to be shackled to a world where she is loved
and ruled just because she desires it. She wanted to grow and develop, no
matter how cruel the real world was. She wasn't thinking about what needed to
happen, which Skuld represents, nor was she bound by fate, Urd's domain. She
is simply Maki; not the ideal Maki and neither Mai nor Aki, but rather, all
combined. She is just as she is. She is represented by Verthandi, who in turn
represents the state of "being".
As triple goddesses of fate, many liken the Norns to the greek Moirae sisters.
However, the Norns represent destiny, not time. The 3 together form what is
going to happen, what is happening, and what has happened. These 3 qualities
go together in chronological order, with what is happening/Verthandi, in the
middle. This could apply to how Maki lies in the middle of her 2 extremes, Mai
and Aki. Mai represents Maki's superego; she's always pursuing what is right
and trying to better the negatives in the world. She's looking to what can
become from fixing problems. Aki, however, is Maki's id; she manipulates those
around her and uses them for her own benefit. The id is seen as the most basic
of human instinct and means what we already are and what we will always revert
back to. Ideal Maki is the ego. She is in between the superego and the id,
balancing what both wants and acts appropriately for the situation. Ideal Maki
basically represents Verthandi, in that she is in the middle road of both
extremes and encompasses both, while being her true self.
Planet - Mercury
Element - Air
Quality - Mutable
Gender - Male
Gemini is the 3rd zodiac sign, represented by the twins. Ruled by the crafty
Mercury and the intelligent Air sign, Geminians are quick thinking, fast acting
people. Further characterized by their Mutable qualities, Geminians are
extremely prone to change and have a hard time keeping still, due to their
masculinity. Geminians tend to be the middle road of their bretheren, the well
grounded Libra and the eccentric Aquarius.
Gemini is a well known sign due to its symbol being the Twins. Those born under
this sign are also recognized for having a dual natured dispostion. At their
best, Geminians are able to express a positive oxymoron of emotions. For
example, they can be effervescent and strict at the same time without seeming
fake or harsh. At their worst, Geminians are two-faced pricks that use others
to their own desires.
Geminians are also great communicators. They just love to talk and are seeming-
ly born with a gift for gab. This can be a bad thing, should they decide to use
their gift for gossiping. Geminians also seem to walk a thin line between
stability and unstability, which translates to their Mutable quality. Though
this does not necessarily mean sanity or insanity, it can for certain indivi-
duals. The best example of a Gemini I can think of would be one of my good
friends. For the most part, she would be an absolute joy to hang out with and
at such times, one can't help but to start feeling open with her. Eventually,
you let out things you shouldn't say, and woe be to you should she get pissed
at you, for she will make your life a living hell with nothing but words. But
you just can't stay mad at her for long because she's just too irresistable.
Now, I'm definitely not saying that Maki is crazy as my friend (though her
erratic behavior at the beginning of the game just screamed "INSANE" to me the
first time I played Persona), but she does reflect a bit of her disposition.
One of the saddest things about this game was that although Maki was, arguably,
the most important character of the game, we rarely get to see the real Maki's
personality. We get a glimpse of it at the beginning of the game and that's
basically it, though like I said, her erratic behavior at the beginning of the
game was definitely a Geminian trait. What we're left with are 4 personalities
of Maki: ideal Maki, Mai, Aki, and Pandora.
Ideal Maki is the more grounded side of Maki, but reflects Maki's personality
the most. When you first met her, she's much more effervescent than her usual
self, but as Ayase pries further into the mystery, she snaps at her, but is
still able to keep up her cheerful personality. Much later into the game at
Deva Yuga, we see the normally upbeat ideal Maki turn into a much somber Maki
when she finds out the truth about herself. She even locks herself away in the
depths of a forest in order to avoid contact with her friends, further
expressing the Mutable quality in Maki.
Then we have the other 3 sides to Maki, which are all wildly different; kind,
but contemplative Mai, cruel and manipulative Aki, and nihilistic Pandora.
If all of these are various sides to just one person, you can definitely see
first hand how much Maki falls under Gemini: multi-faceted.
| Masao "Mark" Inaba |
The Chariot is an arcana for those possessing strength, both physical and
mental. This arcana seeks to combine two opposing forces into one energy. And
one who possesses this card has a LOT of energy. The Chariot also seeks to
bring victory unto both it's bearer and those around. Indeed, the Chariot is
one of the more positive arcana, but also one of the more difficult ones to
For Mark, the Chariot expresses a lot of things. It shows his strength, energy,
and willpower. Mark is the energizer bunny. He just keeps going and going and
going and... Well, you get the idea. Unlike his other allies, Mark does not
ever stop giving up, even in the direst of situations, such as when he was
jailed or with anything involving helping Maki. Contrariwise, this is also one
of his greatest faults, as he doesn't know when to stop being so hard-headed,
especially when dealing with others that have opposing thoughts (Nanjo, Aki).
And as one under the Chariot arcana, this is a huge fault. The Chariot seeks to
bring two opposing forces together, yet Mark continually shows that he is
unable to. Instead of trying to combine rationality with his abrasiveness, Mark
lets everything that anyone says affect him. He gradually starts to change,
though, especially around the loner Reiji. Even with Reiji's blunt and direct
comments, which would usually set him off, Mark is able to deal with it in an
uncharacteristically mature manner and actually let him speak his mind.
At the climax of their journey, the Chariot arcana finally shows itself in Mark
in the upright formation in the room in Deva Yuga where the real Maki is
confined to the DVA machine. When Nanjo suggests killing Maki in order to stop
the machine, Mark, just as anyone would suspect, punches him. Yet, this wasn't
because of anger. It was because of disappoinment. Disappointment in Nanjo that
he would sacrifice a friend's life in order to take the easy way out. Even
though the 2 often argued, Mark was able to explain his feelings cohesively to
Nanjo. And that act was enough to convince the thick-headed Nanjo to actively
try to help Maki.
o-Initial Persona: Ogun
Ogun is a god from the Yoruba people in Nigeria. He was called the God of Iron,
having been the first god to show people the use of iron. In Yoruba mythology,
the gods descended on the earth from a spider's web from the heavens. When they
arrived, they wound up in a forest where they created the first people on
earth. However, the humans needed more space but the tools they had on hand
were made from a soft metal that couldn't do much. That was when Ogun recieved
the secrets of iron from the son of the supreme god, Olorun. Using the wisdom
he acquired, Ogun made an iron axe and chopped up the trees to create space for
the humans. He then divulged the wisdom he gained with all the humans and gods
that were on the earth.
Personality wise, Ogun is described to be a very fierce god with an abundance
of energy, due to his status as a warrior. Although people usually look up to
his power, an enraged Ogun will turn his power on the people he watches over.
When related to Mark, we can see several icons from his persona reflected unto
him. The axe, which was used by Ogun to clear the way for his people, has the
same effect in Persona in that Mark starts with the axe already equipped,
whereas the other characters have to find other means of weaponry. Yukino has a
weapon, but those aren't close to being as powerful as the axe. Most of all,
Mark's weapon requires him to be front-line and center in order for it to be of
full use but Yukino's can be used safely from the back row.
Ogun's personality is also seen in Mark: fierce and vivacious. As I said in his
arcana section, Mark has an abundance of energy and is always pumped up in
whatever he's doing. He brings much needed motion and emotion to a group
comprised of a mute, an amnesiac, a stoic, and a loner. Though positive traits,
Mark can also show his violent side to both his enemies and his allies, just as
Ogun does. This trait is carried onward to his ultimate persona, Susanoo.
o-Ultimate Persona: Susanoo
Susanoo is a trickster god from Japanese myth, who was also god of the sea and
storms. Along with his siblings, Amaterasu and Tsukiyomi, the 3 were born from
the act of their father washing his face. The most famous stories involving
Susanoo are his fight with Amaterasu, which resulted in his fall from the
heavens, and his feat invoving the rescue of Kushinada from the clutches of the
eight-headed serpent, Orochi.
In the tale of Susanoo and Amaterasu, the two were rivals who competed in a
challenge started by Susanoo who wanted to prove his sincerity to his rival and
sister. The challenge was won by Amaterasu, who employed the use of trickery to
win, and an angered Susanoo accidentally killed one of her servants. Enraged
and upset, the goddess of the sun retreated to a cave and hid, causing the sun
to stop rising. Eventually, she was persuaded out of hiding and Susanoo was
banished from the heavens.
Once on earth, Susanoo helped an older couple save their last daughter from the
ferocious Yamata no Orochi, who had already devoured their other seven daugh-
ters. He transformed the last of their daughters, Kushinada, into a comb and
stuck it into his hair for safekeeping. He then instructed the couple to create
vats of liquor in order to intoxicate the serpent. The plan went as followed
and as Orochi laid in slumber, Susanoo chopped him to pieces. He then reverted
Kushinada back into her human self and took her as his bride.
The story of Susanoo relates to Mark's violent tantrums with Nanjo, just as
with Susanoo and Amaterasu, but it also goes a little deeper than that. As god
of the sea (subconcious, remember?) and storms (violence), Susanoo (Mark) is
related to Matsu (Maki) via those symbols. After getting kicked from heaven,
Susanoo decided to save Kushinada because he fell in love with her, kinda like
how Mark has a crush on Maki and decides to save her. The only difference is,
unlike Susanoo and Kushinada, Mark and Maki never end up together. Still, from
his experiences with all of his friends, Mark becomes more determined to follow
his dreams and decides to become an artist, just as how Susanoo was able to
recieve blessings from those around him to become ruler of his own domain, the
Planet - Moon
Element - Water
Quality - Cardinal
Gender - Female
The 4th sign in the zodiac is Cancer, represented by the crab. This sign is the
most emotional sign in the zodiac as it is ruled by the ever fluctuating Moon,
the highly emotive water, and the logic of the female persona. The only stabi-
lity this sign offers is in its Cardinal quality - one which expresses the
person's creativity and originality.
Cancerians are people who dive into situations headfirst. They use their
feelings and intuitions to guide them, rather than try to think things through.
That doesn't mean all Cancers are doomed to failure, however. Cancerians may
be impulsive, but they always have their creativity to rely on to guide them
through any situation they may face. Just as the crab moves in an erratic
pattern, so too do Cancerians move about their lives in such a manner. It all
tends to be a way to keep busy for the Cancerians, as they want some sort of
protection to keep their weakness from manifesting (like a crab has a hard
shell to protect its soft inside.)
Even though this sort of lifestyle fits Cancerians just fine, it's all the same
not the type of lifestyle others want to be involved in. Those in the midst of
Cancerians often find themselves at wit's end from their constant mood swings
and may either lash out or distance themselves from the problem. This relates
to how the Moon controls the tide with its constant changing and how it works
in tandem with the menopausal cycle of females. Nonetheless, Cancerians also
tend to be remarkable people, especially in the artistic or musical fields if
given the chance to blossom.
For Mark, Cancer is a perfect sign for him. It shows his emotion and energy
with the Moon and Water symbols, as well as his creativeness with the Cardinal
quality it possesses. Mark is indeed impulsive and acts entirely on his
feelings. He rarely thinks things through, compared to others like Nanjo and
Yukino, and that is a major source of the problems he encounters, such as being
trapped in jail.
This personality of his causes him to clash with others like Nanjo and Brown,
who do not want to be caught up in his charades. But it also leads way to
establishing rapport with others, such as with Maki and Reiji. Either way,
Mark doesn't try to please anyone or make them upset, but the way he acts is
what makes it so, unlike Ayase or Brown.
| Kei Nanjo |
The Hierophant is the arcanum that deals mainly with teachers and religion.
This arcanum is the opposite of the High Priestess and deals with issues
involving the material world and the physical being.
Nanjo, like most other characters, starts off in the reversed side of his
arcanum. The Hierophant reversed is still a teacher, but he no longer teaches
his students the ins and outs of the world nor does he guide them on the
correct path to society, but rather, the reversed Hierophant criticizes and
insults his students' behavior and actions. Though not technically his students,
Nanjo was from a higher position in the social hierarchy than his friends and
always spoke down to them, especially Mark. Worst of all, he kept crucial
information that he knew within himself, never revealing his thoughts until he
felt like it was the time to let it be known (though it was often too late,
like the situation with Maki's compact in Mana Castle).
This doesn't mean that Nanjo was a downright terrible Hierophant, because he
was indeed intelligent and he often recited proverbs to justify what he was
doing. In fact, just as the High Priestess has the pillars of Boaz and Jachin
to show the contrasting concepts in life, so too does the Hierophant have
pillars that mutually work with each other. These pillars are Law and Liberty
and Nanjo excercised both faithfully, often criticizing Takahisa's chaotic
ambitions and thoughts. In addition, Nanjo also wanted to destroy the DVA
machine Maki was attached to in order to bring stability to the real world,
which would have most likely killed her had he gone through with it. This could
be seen as bringing liberty to the real world, as it wouldn't have to be
affected by Maki's dream world any longer, but it is a negative trait for a
Hierophant, as it would require Nanjo to kill his "student" in order to teach
them a lesson. As a teacher, it's far from the most ideal approach to the
Thanks to Mark, however, Nanjo didn't go through with his plan, and steered
unto the path of being in the upright state of the Hierophant. Note that after
this incident, Nanjo no longer criticized any of his friends and actually
started to acknowledge their statements. Likewise, Mark also mellowed out a
bit. Sometimes, it takes a student to make their teacher learn how to teach
o-Initial Persona: Aizen Myouou
In Japanese Buddhism, Aizen Myouou is the god that transformed lust into spiri-
tual awareness. He is depicted as a monstrous looking man, though he shows
compassion for all of mankind. Aizen Myouou is said to be the one responsible
for making the feeling of sexual tension translating into love for all in the
Nanjo isn't a very sexual person. He doesn't have the charm or sex appeal like
Ayase or Elly do. That said, Aizen Myouou still shows Nanjo's true self quite
well. Like his persona Nanjo is a monster. Not necessarily in the looks depart-
ment, but with his personality. Nanjo, at the beginning of the game, is the
rudest person in the game. Many are turned off by his arrogance and tend not to
associate themselves with him. Even to his own friends and acquaintances, Nanjo
isn't exactly the best person to look to for advice or encouragment in a world
filled with demons and ghosts.
For the entirety of the game, Nanjo is represented by this facet of Aizen Myou-
ou. However, at the end of the game, Nanjo realizes that the world he lives in
is one where he has to rely on others to survive. So he mellows out. He doesn't
let things aggravate him like they used to during the quest. He grows up and
learns to have compassion for others, which is symbolized by Aizen Myouou's
turning "sexual tension" into love for all.
o-Ultimate Persona: Yamaoka
In his previous life, Yamaoka was the butler for the Nanjo family. He took care
of Nanjo like he was his own flesh and blood, being more of a parent to him
than his own parents were. Yamaoka died when he sacrificed his life to save a
nurse being attacked by zombies. He wanted to see Nanjo become the #1 man in
Just as with Aizen Myouou, Nanjo became more compassionate after he realized
the harshness of the world. With Yamaoka's caring words, Nanjo did become the
#1 man in Japan, and showed the same amount of care Yamaoka gave to him to
others that needed it.
Planet - Venus
Element - Air
Quality - Cardinal
Gender - Male
Libra is the 7th zodiac sign, represented by the scales which stands for
balance, fairness, and justice. With Venus as its ruling planet, Librans tend
to be beautiful people with a lot of social graces. As a zodiac with an Air
sign, Librans are extremely communicative people as well as intelligent. This
combined with their social grace makes them quick to witty remarks. With a
Cardinal quality, Librans are blessed with great creativity, which they often
use to pursue political goals along with their intelligence, and as Male
signs, Librans are more on the active side rather than passive.
Complimenting the Hierophant arcanum, Librans are overall dedicated to social
standards and proper etiquette. They are also very diplomatic and just. At
their worst, Librans tend to tip the scales toward the side, showing a bit of
bias and shallowness. They may also be indecisive should they try to forcefully
balance everything they see. Being dull also tends to be one of their short
comings if they don't keep themselves in balance.
Characterized by his high grades in school and great physical prowess, Nanjo is
truly a balanced individual. He has his life in check, and for now, he lives
each day in that balance. Nanjo is intelligent and due to his social stature,
he attends a lot of social gatherings; he met Takahisa at one and disliked his
attitude. That said, it's merely a facade for Nanjo. Underneath the social
gatherings, high grades, and intelligence, is a shallow and biased young man
that ignores what others say, caring only about himself. Anyone who doesn't
agree with his style of thinking is instantly brought down by sarcastic remarks
and considered unlikable by him. Just like with his arcanum, Nanjo is in the
middle road with his zodiac sign. Sometimes, he shows the positive sides, other
times, he doesn't. Just like the scales, he seems to keep both his negatives
and positives in balance and even shows both together (he's witty and shallow
at the same time with his snarky remarks, etc.). Though it's not conventional,
it actually works.
| Yukino Mayuzumi |
The Empress is mother to all. She looks after everyone as if they're her own
children, offering nurture and mercy upon them. She is the opposite of the
Emperor, passive and kind. Yukino should be seen as the modern Empress. She's
still kind and caring, but she will punish anyone who does something wrong. In
the school, everyone looks up to her as a big sister and views her as someone
trustworthy. Before she became a role model to the students, Yukino used to be
a yanki, basically a juvenile delinquent. Thanks to Ms. Saeko, Yukino became
the person she is today, and as such, switched from being the Empress reversed
into her upright self.
Just like how Maki had the most relevance to the SEBEC storyline, so to is
Yukino to the Snow Queen QUest. In this path, the party meets up with 3 girls
who all work under the Snow Queen, who try to stop the characters from rescuing
their frozen teacher. After confronting each of the girls, Yukino, though
younger than them, tells them the error of their ways, helping 2 of them come
to terms with their situation. The other is an idiot. No amount of help could
have helped her.
Anyway, it's easy to see how Yukino is the Empress. She gives advice to those
she knows, and even to those she doesn't. She's strong and courageous, able to
head forth into danger for her teacher.
o-Initial Persona: Vesta
Vesta was the goddess of the hearth in Roman mythology, but even moreso, she
was the goddess of virginity and sexuality. She had her own group of priestess-
es called the Vestal Virgins that served her. With fire as her ruling element,
Vesta was a passionate goddess. Unlike her other siblings, Vesta chose not to
get married, giving her self for others.
Yukino mirrors Vesta quite well. Both are strong, passionate women that refuse
to bend to the will of any man, instead, using their talents to help others.
Yukino, if she is seen as the leader of the group during the Snow Queen Quest,
is the hearth for her friends. With the school being frozen and hope slowly
diminishing, Yukino is basically the one who encourages the group to keep
going. She keeps them from falling to the words of the 3 girls in the towers.
o-Ultimate Persona: Durga
Durga is the more battle oriented aspect of Parvati's character in Hindu myth.
She is said to be patient as well as fearless, and she never loses her sense of
humor even in battle. Durga has ten arms and carries a weapon in each, given to
her by different Devas in the Hindu parthenon. She rides atop the tiger/lion,
In retrospect to Yukino, Durga is the empowered woman. She has power and brawn,
but she still holds a sense of femininity in her personality. With 10 arms and
a weapon in each, Durga has the power and will to do anything she wants, just
like with Yukino. A little help from Ms. Saeko was all she needed to be her own
Planet - Mars
Element - Fire
Quality - Cardinal
Gender - Male
Aries is the 1st zodiac sign, symbolized by the headstrong Ram. They are of the
fire element, passionate and powerful, and ruled by the planet Mars, also known
as the Warrior Planet after Ares. It is a masculine sign and represents the
action and motivation of the bearer.
Yukino, as an Aries, is certainly strong and passionate. She may not be the
leader of the group, but she is the Empress: the second in command (and much
more vocal and active than the leader!). Just like the Ram, Yukino is headstrong
and never backs down. Even when the school is frozen, the moment Yukino wakes
up, she is ready for action. She makes the group think about what they're going
to do and what they are going to follow through on.
| Eriko "Elly" Kirishima |
Judgement depicts the Final Judgement on earth. It raises old fears, bad
memories, and regrets from your soul and asks you to face them. Those with
strength are able to realize that though these illusions are part of them, they
are nonetheless, illusions. They cannot harm you, should you choose to face
them. Those with weak wills, however, fall prey to their negative emotions and
are scarred for life by them.
Elly fits the Judgement arcanum in that she is the illusion. She is the Mary
Sue of Persona, perfect in every way. She has class, grace, and beauty, being
the admiration of every student in St. Hermelin. Yet, this is all a facade in
order to not disappoint her fellow classmates' expectations of her. The real
Elly is one that indulges in the occult. She may be pretty and classy, but for
Elly, her greatest passion in life is to know all the secrets of the magical
world. And yet, Elly doesn't start showing this side of her until the recent
turn of events that occur in the town. With real demons and magic right at her
fingertips, Elly just can't help but to let our her true feelings on the sub-
ject. She displays a wide array of knowledge about the occult, which proves to
be useful to her friends.
Moreso that just being an occult fan, Elly is also one of the bravest charac-
ters in the game, diving head first into danger no matter the situation. She
speaks her mind clearly and never stumbles on what she wants to say. This too
is part of the Judgement arcanum as she is able to speak what's on her mind
without being fake, like Brown and Ayase, or too forceful, like Mark and Nanjo.
The only situation in which Elly masks her feelings are in situations where she
tries to profess her infatuation to the MC. In this state, she becomes at a
loss of words and stumbles quite a bit. Still, Elly proves that she is one of
the more competent people in the party, being amongst the ranks of the MC and
Furthermore, Elly was able to combine both aspects of her personality into one
individual at the end of the game. In true representation of the Judgement
arcanum, Elly was able to realize her past (the portrayal of a perfect indivi-
dual) and walk past it (showing her occult obsessed self), acknowledging it's
existance and letting it shape her into her true self (she becomes a model at
the end of the game, and has talk shows where she discusses her love of the
o-Initial Persona: Nike
Nike, the goddess of victory, is also, as Elly says, "The archetypal portrayal
of Christian angels." As the Greek deity of victory, Nike's greatest feat was
in the Titan War, in which she served as the gods' personal charioteer. It is
said that without Nike, the gods' couldn't have won the war with the Titans.
In this context, Elly can be said to be the guiding force of the party. She is
abound with a plethora of knowledge of the occult, often helping the party out
with various tidbits about the demons and enemies they're facing.
Nike was also at one time considered to be part of Athena. Gradually, Nike
was broken away from Athena and eventually blossomed to be her own individual
goddess. In artwork and sculptures of Nike, the goddess of victory that was
bound to Athena was always wingless, whereas Nike as her own goddess was often
winged. This can be applied to Elly, in that she used to be attached deeply to
her outward appearance for her student. In this state, Elly kept her true
nature away from others. Her wings were hidden behind the veil of 'Athena', the
goddess which everyone revered. However, once Elly started showing her true
self, her wings emerged, and she was seen as her own individual person. She
wasn't just a girl hiding behind a facade, but an individual woman with real
thoughts and feelings that was equally as beautiful as her fake, or rather,
Going back to the comment Elly made at the beginning of the game, angels were
based on the winged Nike, which reflects what happens in Elly's ending. As a
model, young girls admired Elly's down to earth personality, which shows Elly
as a role model to the young girls, just as how Nike was the original pattern
in which Christian angels were designed from.
o-Ultimate Persona: Michael
The stories about Michael are many and no matter the story, Michael is always
seen as a poweful force. He was the archangel that sat to the right of God and
also served as the commander of the army of God. Along with Gabriel, Raphael,
and Uriel, Michael was known to represent cardinal directions; in his case,
Micheal represented North.
Once again, Elly is represented by a deity of great power, yet not enough to
escalate the true god of their pantheon. Both of them also have a prevailing
theme of war and victory surrounding their feats. Elly as Michael represents
the strength she bore. She was a poweful and knowledgable ally, yet, she wasn't
as strong or as prominent as others in her party. Elly's power was solely
concentrated on doing her best to help the MC, the person who she had a crush
on, and the leader of the group, who could be seen as God in this representa-
Planet - Mercury
Element - Earth
Quality - Mutable
Gender - Female
Virgo is the sixth sign in the zodiac, represented by the Virgin. It is ruled
by the crafty Mercury, but governed by the practical Earth. This leads way to
Virgos being intelligent and reliable, as well as graceful and analytical.
As a female, Virgos are often passive individuals and rarely exibit malevolence
towards others. Their mutable quality ensures their adaptability to most situa-
tions in a positive way.
Virgos have a myriad of generally positive traits, ever the altruist and
perfectionist. Even at their worst, Virgos tend to attack themselves rather
than take it out on others. As intelligent individuals ruled by the crafty
and talkative Mercury, Virgos exibit a trait of grace and cunning, using their
knowledge and communicative skills to the best of their ability to get the most
out of situations. This can be a negative trait, if used to trick others for
their own good, but remember, Virgos are altruists: they will trick you to
better yourself, as contradictory as that sounds.
Virgos also have a keen eye for detail and are extremely analytical. They are
able to figure out things easily with this trait, but at its worse, this trait
can be seen as being critical of everything, including themselves. A blend of
their altruistic and analytical nature gives way to Virgo's most recognizable
traits: their desire to look for the right person for them, therby saving their
purity for such an individual.
Elly being a Virgo is not surprising at all. Is she intelligent? Yes, she has
an abundance of knowledge she shows throughout the game. Is she reliable? Of
course. She broke into the hospital to save you from demons that would've
nearly killed you, even without realizing her persona. Is she graceful? Yup.
The girl is one of the most admired people in St. Hermelin and she even grows
up to be a successful model. Finally, is Elly analytical? And of course, the
answer is yes. She notices several things about the party, as well as the
surroundings, and accurately makes a statement about them, such as the case
regarding the 3 towers in the Snow Queen Quest.
| Hidehiko "Brown" Uesugi |
Brown used to be the character I had trouble analyzing since the Justice
arcanum has a very lawful element to it, whereas I didn't get that vibe from
Brown. After much research, I finally figured out how Brown fits under the
Justice arcanum, and surprisingly, he fits very well and gets my personal vote
for the most unique character to arcanum.
First of, get rid of the concept of right and wrong as well as lawfulness out
of your mind. That isn't what Brown is represented by in the Justice arcanum.
Sure, he shows signs of having a great sense of Justice such as his superhero
comments and his indignation towards Mitsuko in the Snow Queen Quest, however,
that isn't the most important thing about his character. The thing to note
about Brown is his transition from his days in St. Hermelin to his talk show
host days in P2. Now, some of you may be confused, but let's go back to the
basics of the Justice arcanum.
Justice stands for lawfulness, impartiality, and balance. It is depicted by a
seated woman upon a throne holding a scale and a sword. The scale is to balance
two sides of an argument and the sword is to cut down any wrongfulness. However
this is when Justice is applied to other people's problem. How about when
Justice is applied to oneself? In this case, the woman on the throne is the
bearer of the arcanum. The bearer holds the scales and determines for himself
what he's done in the past to place him in his current situation. With the
sword, the bearer cuts down all the things that have been holding him back and
realizes what he does in the present will affect him in the future.
When related to Brown, this means that though the common definitions for Jus-
tice apply to him slightly, it means more about glory to Brown than anything
else. How did Brown achieve glory? By being true to himself. For the entirety
of the game, Brown did nothing but gloat about his personal, petty successes.
He had a huge ego when it was needed to get attention, but when the tables
turned on him, he reverted to a scared, weak little boy, such as when he was
trapped in jail or when he was attacked by Toro. However, at the ending of the
game, we find that Brown has a new found openness when he talks about his past
to his audience. At this point, Brown actually gets a good reason to have such
a huge ego. He's actually done something successful, and he owes it to being
more open about himself, rather than hiding it behind old man jokes and a false
ego. He made Justice for himself by analyzing his past and cutting down the
crap in his present to balance his future.
o-Initial Persona: Nemhain
The battle goddess Nemhain is Brown's initial persona. Along with Babd Catha
and Macha, Nemhain was part of a trio of goddesses that created various aspects
of the goddess Morrigan. She represented the state of frenzy and panic and
often created such feelings in armies, causing those of such states to attack
both allies and enemies in rage.
Brown is Nemhain because of his ego. His ego causes both his allies and enemies
to get mad at him, in the same was as Nemhain caused frenzy and panic amongst
units in an army. The beginning of the game is a perfect example of Nemhain
taking form, as Brown first got under Mark's skin, who caused him to get on
Yukino's and Nanjo's nerve, followed by Ayase, then Brown again when the ritual
of persona didn't work.
Another way to look at Nemhain representing Brown is that Nemhain was part of a
trio of goddesses that were merely aspects of another goddess. This might be
why Brown feels the need to get attention, that way, he won't be tethered to
the normalcy the other students possessed as a way to be his own individual.
o-Ultimate Persona: Tyr
Brown's final persona, Tyr, is the god of combat, glory, and heroes in Norse
mythology. In a story that showed Tyr's honesty, the gods decided to shackle
Fenrir, but every chain they put on him was broken by the beast. Finally, the
gods enlisted the help of the dwarves and they created a magical chain that
would be able to bind Fenrir. However, when they tried to fetter him, Fenrir
could sense the chain's powerful magic and refused for it to be placed on him.
The only way he would allow it was for one of the gods to place their hands in
his mouth. Tyr agreed to do this, and the gods were successful in shackling
Fenrir, though at the loss of Tyr's hand.
This act of Tyr's is equivalent to Brown opening up to his audience. Instead of
keeping up the facade of being the greatest man on earth or a superhero or
whatever, Brown tells things as it is and gains the respect of the audience,
which could be said to be like Fenrir: ferocious and dangerous to mess with. In
addition to that, Tyr is the god of glory, and such glory could only be
obtained when Brown considered his actions and acted accordingly to balance it
Planet - Saturn
Element - Earth
Quality - Cardinal
Gender - Female
Capricorn is the 10th sign of the zodiac and is symbolized by the Sea Goat. It
is ruled by cruel, but knowledgable Saturn and guided by the stable Earth.
Having a cardinal quality, Carpricorns can be very creative and original, and
their feminine nature allows them to look inside themselves for answers instead
of outside help.
Capricorns tend to be very hard on themselves, rarely, if ever, taking it out
on others. Their entire ambition in life is to be successful, just like Brown
strived to be. Capricorns are also extremely loyal friends and use their well
timed sense of humor to please their friends. Being the comedian that he is,
Brown is well versed in bringing humor to the group, and is very close to them.
Even when Mark travels all the way to New York, Brown still never forgets to
check up on him. Coupled with the fact that Brown gets extremely pissed off at
Michiko for causing harm to Toro and Tsutomu, people he isn't even that close
to, you can see why Brown can be considered loyal.
However, Capricorns tend to be very unconfident people. Even with the strong
Saturn watching over them, Capricorns would rather employ the use of defensive
techniques to keep themselves from harm than to actively stop the problem. Even
worse, Capricorns may have a false sense of pride to admit to being wrong or
even to asking anyone for help. Just as with Brad, he hides his lack of confi-
dence behind his false pride (his ego) and his jokes, making it hard to esta-
blish strong connections easily. He eventually overcomes this negative trait by
being more open with his feelings, turning his false pride into something real.
Focusing more on the ruling planet, Saturn is usually known as the Greater
Infortune. This planet is the cruelest in the entire solar system and offers a
kind of tough love, because though it brings about success, it continually
forces you to try your hardest in order to be the best you can be, knocking you
to the ground time and time again before you can reach the peak of your goal.
This trait is seen in Brown in both his arcanum and his final Persona. In order
for Brown to have gotten his success, he had to discard his negative traits,
though they were his defense mechanisms, and show the real him. When he did
that, he was finally able to be the star he always wanted.
| Yuka Ayase |
The Magician manifests his desires through his charisma, shown by the flambo-
yant garments he wears and his interesting style of speech. He is great at
communicating through various means and has a wide amount of personality.
Ayase is the Magician reversed for the majority of the game. She is an immature
brat that only looks out for herself, yet runs to others when she has no where
else to go. Ayase has a ton of charisma and personality, which a lot of guys
are attracted to, but she can be extremely blunt and straightfoward. Being a
kogal, Ayase does a lot of selective shopping, and is dressed in the best
garments she can buy. She also talks in a very unique way, fitting that of ko-
gals. Together, both her clothing and speech style are very reminiscent of the
Magician upright, but due to both being fake and not actually how she acts, she
falls under the reversed category.
Ayase eventually redeems herself at the end of the game, especially in the Snow
Queen Quest in which she is able to offer condolences to both Yuriko, someone
who shared the same line of thought as her, and Tomomi, who she never even knew
but was able to tell that it was because of people like her that caused her to
be in her state. At the end of the game, Ayase grows out of her immature stage
and settles down with a man at her job and grows a family. Though being the
Magician she is, Ayase's only complaint is her husband's salary. Even so, Ayase
becomes the Magician upright after her travels with the group.
o-Initial Persona: Houri
Ayase's starter persona is Houri, which in Islamic belief is one of many
beautiful maidens given to righteous men after their death to sexually please
Going by this, Houri represents Ayase's physical appearance, beautiful and
desired by all. However, it also has a flipside. Houri represents Ayase's
desire for beautiful things. It shows how she herself is a slave to her own
selective shopping as well as the lies she's forged for herself. As Toro said,
Ayase puts up a front by laughing at jokes she doesn't care about or people she
doesn't like just to be around. She's a slave to her loneliness and acts out to
gain attention, taking on the cultural kogal personality to cater to this
aspect of her personality.
o-Ultimate Persona: Frey
Frey, the norse god of fertility, rain, and sunshine. He rode a magical boar
called Gullinbursti and was never without his magical phallus shaped sword. In
one story concerning the norse god, he fell in love with the giantess Geror and
wished for her hand in marriage. However, Geror would only consent if Frey gave
up his magical sword. He willingly did so and led an abundant life with his
wife, even though he knew that the sword was the only weapon he could wield. At
Ragnarok, Frey died at the hands of Surt with no weapon to defend himself.
Right off the bat, we can already see the symbolism of Frey to Ayase. First, he
is the god of fertility, rain, and sunshine. This relates to Ayase being the
Magician, able to manifest her desires in the blink of an eye. Specifically, it
relates to how Ayase has the looks and speech to get anyone she wants. She has
friends that like her because of how she acts, as stated by Toro, and she isn't
afraid to speak her mind. Secondly, the phallus shaped sword of Frey relates to
Ayase's seduction techniques. Once again, utilizing her charm, Ayase is able to
seduce both humans and demons to submission. Thirdly, the boar Frey rides upon
is similar to Toro's fixation with Ayase.
Amidst all these sexual connotations in both Frey and Ayase, there are slivers
of hope in them. Frey is the god of rain and sunshine, both being positive
weather conditions. The rain helps make plants and produce grow and sunshine
helps living creatures thrive. Unlike other Norse gods of weather (Thor with
lightning, Skadi with snow), Frey brings favorable conditions to the world.
This is akin to how Ayase wants to be favorable around others, taking on the
kogal identity to please others. However, the act of being fake delivers less
than optimal results, considering she has a tendency to be blunt and actually
repel others away.
Looking towards the future, we can see how Frey's own story is reflected upon
Ayase's. This story is reminiscent of Ayase's, because Ayase (Frey), gave up
her aloof outlook on life (the magic sword) in order to marry her husband
(Geror). Furthermore, this act contrasts that of Houri. Though the Houri are
bound to servitude to a man, Frey gave up his most valuable tool in order to be
with the one he loved, even though it meant his death. So although Alana star-
ted off as the Houri, a slave to fashion and beauty (and ultimately her loneli-
ness), she broke free and willingly decided her future, similar to that of
Planet - Neptune
Element - Water
Quality - Mutable
Gender - Female
Pisces is the 12th and the last sign of the zodiac. It is a feminine sign,
representing the true self and it is ruled by Water, an emotion based element.
The mutable nature of Pisces lends its way to an erratic change of character,
and its ruling planet Neptune guides over Pisces' illusive and spiritual
Symbolized by two fish swimming in opposite directions, Pisceans tend to be
very erratic people. They are often conflicted with various emotions tugging at
them in opposite directions and have a hard time making up their mind. This
leads way to them acting out at any outside sources that disrupts their nature
in a variety of ways; whether with happiness, anger, sadness, or whatever.
Ayase, being the Piscean that she is, has the widest array of emotions through-
out the game. We can see her getting angry at her friends for not allowing her
to join their party, saying what she wants without thinking, and trying to
trick her way out of many situations. However, even with such an erratic
personality, it has been stated that Ayase thinks about the comments she makes
and whether they are the right ones to say. We can see this in the game after
the party beats up Toro, because even though Ayase dislikes him, she still
shows some concern for him, being careful not to show TOO much. This is also
reflected in Pisces' subconcious nature.
Due to the way they think, Pisceans have a habit of being someone else. After-
all, with their many problems, as well as conflicting emotions, why not just
run away from it all and be another person? This is exactly what Ayase does.
She takes on the cultural persona of the kogal and acts according to their
rules. Instead of being true to herself and hanging out with the people she
likes, she'd rather hang around others she doesn't care for and acts to their
likes and dislikes. This trait is shown by Neptune's illusive side. Even though
we can catch glimpses of a Pisceans' real self, they are careful enough to make
sure that no one knows the real "them" (not even their closest friends).
Neptune also rules over the outcasts of society. In this case, it rules over
the kogals in Japanese culture, who are indeed outcasts.
Pisces is similar to Gemini in that both are represented by 2 signs. The
difference between them is that whereas Gemini walk together like brothers and
compliment each other, Pisces swim against each other in opposite directions,
contrasting each other. In Pisceans, we often see a duo of contrasting emotions
just like with Ayase, each with ups and downs. Do we want the charismatic Ayase
or the manipulative one? Do we want the the Ayase that tells the truth or the
one that's blunt and straight to the point? In these cases, you get both
Ayase's and your only option is to put up with it.
| Reiji Kido |
Fittingly enough to his rebel status, Reiji falls under the Devil arcanum. In
the Devil interpretation for Reiji (every character in the Persona series under
the Devil arcanum is wildly different), Reiji himself ISN'T the Devil, but
rather, someone chained to the Devil, figuratively and metaphorically. Figura-
tively, Reiji is chained to Kandori's father, who got his mom pregnant, then
left her. From this action, Reiji vowed vengeance upon his father's other son,
Kandori, and this vengeance is the "temptation" the Devil has upon Reiji as
well as the metaphorical side to Reiji's arcanum.
Reiji also represents the Devil in a minor way: the girls at St. Hermelin are
attracted to him. He isn't a manipulator, nor does he make base attempts at the
ladies, but his mysterious aura just makes them go wild. Another minor look at
this arcanum shows Reiji's magical side. The reversed pentagram on The Devil
arcanum is a common symbol for magic (though reversed means magic gone haywire
or something negative appearing from the spell). Still, it's interesting to see
how a symbol like that is reflected upon a character.
Speaking of symbols, there are 3 important ones to note: the devil's wings, the
man's blazing tail, and the woman's tail which bears fruit. In symbolism, these
represent air, fire, and earth, respectively. Missing from this is the element
of water which shows compassion and emotion. This is shown in Reiji's persona-
lity as he encompasses all the other elements (fervor, stability, and motion)
but rarely shows any sign of caring; that is, until the Devil has been killed.
o-Initial Persona: Bres
Reiji's initial persona, Bres, was a king in Irish mythology. Belonging to the
side of the Fomorians in a war against their enemies, the Tuatha de Danann,
Bres was eventually allowed to rule the Tuatha de Danann because the king lost
his hand and became imperfect to rule. To get revenge over the Tuatha de
Danann for all they did to the Fomorians, Bres had all the major gods assigned
to menial tasks. Eventually, the former king of the Danann's came back and
kicked Bres from the throne.
Just like with Bres, Reiji wanted to exact revenge against the Kandori family
for humiliating his mother. After Kandori's father died and Reiji became old
enough to fight, he grouped together with the party and eventually killed off
his nemesis and brother, Kandori.
o-Ultimate Persona: Mot
Mot was an ancient Semitic god of death. He was the main antagonist to the
rain god Baal, as well as his brother. The two fought bitter battles, in which
Mot first killed Baal. After 8 years, Baal was revived after his sister, Anath,
killed Mot. But being the very essence of death, Mot couldn't die either. He
was reincarnated, and the war between the 2 continued for a good while. In the
last battle between the 2, Shapash (another deity) intervenes and implores Mot
to stop. Afterall, their father was on Baal's side and should he kill Baal, he
would've stripped Mot from the throne. Thus, the cycle of death and rebirth of
the two brothers stopped.
Since Mot is Reiji's final persona, Baal surely represents Kandori. The two of
them are brothers with a grudge against each other and both want the other
dead. In the myth, Mot stopped killing Baal because their father favored Baal
and would've stripped him from his throne. However, Reiji was already "stripped
from his throne" in the sense that his father abandoned him. Thus, Reiji had
nothing to fear from killing his brother, which he did.
Planet - Sun
Element - Fire
Quality - Fixed
Gender - Male
Leo is the 5th sign of the zodiac and is rule by the strong and passionate Sun.
It is a masculine sign, full of energy, and is complimented by it's element of
fire. Being in the Fixed position, Leo is adamant and determined.
Leos are grand and prominent individuals. They go up against the odds and can,
and will, do so by themselves. Being proud individuals, Leos will never ask
others for help, relying solely on themselves. Yet, Leos love to be in the
spotlight and like being adored. Reiji, as a Leo is certainly a grand individu-
al. He has big aspirations and he relies only on himself to see that those
goals are met. Reiji may not be an attention getter, such as Brown or Ayase,
but due to his standoffish personality, many are attracted to the mysterious
aura he exudes (especially the ladies).
| Takahisa Kandori |
Kandori, the main antagonist of the game, is of the Tower arcanum. He repre-
sents destruction and chaos.
*** TO BE CONTINUED ***
| Takami Saeko |
o-Presumed Arcana: Empress-
*** TO BE CONTINUED ***
| Yokouchi "Toro" Kenta |
o-Presumed Arcana: ???-
*** TO BE CONTINUED ***
| Kumi Hirose |
o-Presumed Arcana: Moon Reversed-
*** TO BE CONTINUED ***
| Michiko Matsudaira |
o-Presumed Arcana: Justice Reversed-
*** TO BE CONTINUED ***
| Yuriko Yamamoto |
o-Presumed Arcana: Death Reversed-
*** TO BE CONTINUED ***
| Tomomi Fujimori |
o-Presumed Arcana: Empress Reversed-
o-Persona: Queen Asura
*** TO BE CONTINUED ***
- Atlus: For creating a marvelous series
- Wikipedia: For the base research of various topics
- Aeclectic Tarot forums: For the plethora of info on tarot card interpretation
- Salem Tarot: For helping me decipher Justice in a different way
- Astrology on the Web: My go to guide for the zodiac signs
- Readers: I made this guide for you, so go ahead and enjoy!!!
COGITO ERGO SUM...