No Tarot Spread No. 1

Alright, I’ve invented a spread! Let’s see how this goes. This is meant to be used for a an interpersonal conflict. (It might work for other problems, too.)

  1. how can I use my strengths to approach this problem?
  2. what personal weakness does this problem expose, or take advantage of?
  3. how to approach the next “event” relating to this problem?
  4. what will be my offensive strategy?
  5. defense strategy?

1     4  
2     5

My problem for this reading: my gentleman friend’s opinion about my taking antidepressants. He says I was a sharp, observant person before I started taking them, and now I miss things and forget things. He’s forgetting the time in-between where I was living in a constant state of anxiety, except when the anxiety wore off, I’d feel tired of living. Lots of crying quietly, wallowing, inability to feel pleasure. You know. Depression.

1. Queen of Cups is meant to indicate my strongest way to approach this problem.
Well, I wouldn’t have guessed the Ruler of the Waters to show up in this position. She is holding and gazing at a sacred object, which reminds me of the ark of the covenant in the Jewish scriptures. Whatever its meant to be, she’s just hanging out on the beach holding it in her bare hands. This means she is not just a priest, but an incarnation of the divine herself, so she has authority and control.

This is my inspiration, my goal. Remembering this will give me strength. Feelings aren’t going to kill me. I can be the ruler of my waters.

2. Ten of Wands is meant to show my weakness.
This card shows success and the journey back home; the person in the image is alone and overburdened by the reward. There are worse ways to end a journey, but this adventure looks like it was very draining, like it took all her resources. Wands indicate fire: creativity, inner spark, inspiration.

Ten of wands is… depression.  Yes, I’ve made it through some difficult times, had some tough choices to make, and I’ve succeeded.  But it took everything out of me.  This isn’t really telling me anything new, but it’s nice to have confirmation.  I mean, yes: depression is circular; attempts to deal with it fail because depression.

3. The Fool offers a way to approach the next conflict.
I’ve actually saved this card for last, mainly because it’s one of the few I’ve looked at recently. The overwhelming message I get from The Fool is optimism at the very beginning of a journey. And while I’ve been struggling with this problem for awhile, that doesn’t mean I can’t take a lesson from The Fool. In fact, it really does get me down that the same problem (with my gentleman friend) keeps popping up as if we’ve never talked about it. So I agree that the next time the conflict comes up, I shouldn’t think about how we’ve been over this so many times, since that’s a pretty discouraging feeling. The next card says something very similar:

4. Ace of Cups is meant to show an offensive strategy.
I really like the simplicity of a One or a Ten: beginning or end, without complications.  I just looked at this card the other day and it really spoke to my new steps toward healing myself, learning myself, letting myself feel emotions. I like how it’s in the offensive position here, which tells me I need to keep repeating this to my gentleman friend, using simple language, not trying to convince him of anything but stating the fact that this is what I am doing, and I don’t require his opinion anymore. He can either accept my decision or be quiet about it.

This has been my approach in the past, and it was effective for months until it just burst out of him again. I’ll keep repeating it. It’s fairly clear that neither of us are going to change our minds, but I need him to respect my choice.

5. Knight of Cups is meant to suggest a defensive strategy.
Instead of charging into battle like one might expect, the Knight of Cups is calmly going forward with a cup held out in front of her. She is going toward a stream, coming up to the edge of it. It makes me think she is arriving at a boundary, or approaching an opponent, or potential ally, or, I don’t know, anyone. She seems sure of herself, and her horse doesn’t seem worried, either, so I’m thinking they are performing a ceremony in order to form an alliance.

I like this here. It seems to suggest there’s a way I can frame this disagreement to him in a way that will allow us to go forward with some kind of agreement.

Alternatively, my position could be that I can continue to wait at the river, whether he meets me or not.

Interesting how much water came up in this spread. Water being emotions reminds me that I’m not going to have an easy beginning. If I want feelings, I have to be ready for them, and honestly accept them. I like how closely linked water is with this problem. Also, having court cards, an Ace, a Ten, and 0 The Fool seems to be significant.

But I’ve been working on this post for a week and I’m ready to be done now!

No Tarot Spread No. 1

First spread

This is the Reader’s Reading, by Beth Maiden. This is also another demonstration of my deck’s awesome sense of humor.


1. About you in general: what is your most important characteristic?
I would certainly say that absurdity and playfulness are a big part of who I am.  Cups indicate water, which indicates emotions; and Page signifies youth. This points to the way I deflect emotions to try to maintain joy. This has worked for awhile, but is failing in a pretty big way right now, and I realize it isn’t a long-term solution.

2. What strengths do you already have as a tarot reader, what are you bringing to this course?
Intellectually strong; confident without being an asshole (most of the time) (even Queens gotta be assholes sometimes). I certainly feel this at work.

3. What limits do you feel as you start this course?
The Hierophant: “…”
Don’t care what this dude is saying. I will be very resistant to authority and knowledge-handed-down rather than gained for oneself. I’m sure some would say that will limit me, but I’m more sure that I’ve internalized enough of that style of authority to last the rest of my life.

4. What key lesson can you learn on your developmental journey with tarot?
I swear to Pamela Colman Smith, I did not draw this card on purpose.
Great imagery in this card: Baptism; new beginnings; divine assistance, but the road is clear.

5. How can you be open to learning and developing on this journey?
Five of pentacles
By… taking a vow of poverty?
Actually, that works as a metaphor, as I don’t intend to research any card meanings yet. I’ll be approaching the cards without tarot books, just my imagination and intuition. I’m not here to memorize symbols; I’m here to get to know myself.

6. What is the potential outcome of your tarot journey?
The lion could tear this woman up, and she knows it, but they trust each other. Their strength is in their affection for each other. Obviously the lion is my feelings and the woman is me. Or is it the other way around? DUN DUN DUNNNNNN

First spread