The Hidden-Key Advice Spread

Barleywine

I decided to tackle the subject of two-card readings. Because the number Two can be more about polarity and division (depending on whether the "pendulum" in a situation is swinging in or out) than cooperation and resolution, two-card spreads can seem static, especially if the cards are of similar rank, number and element. I decided to create a way to unfold the expression of those two cards by using correspondences to provide advice on how to navigate between them.

At the same time, I wanted to apply some of my experimental ideas in an actual spread. One notion is using the 1-78 number sequence to look at midpoint relationships between cards in the deck; another is assigning court card "allies" to the archetypal trump cards as person-centered counterparts; a third is treating pip cards matching the number and element of the trump cards as functional derivatives of a less abstract nature; and a fourth is consciously picking the cards for "present" and "future" to show the current reality and the desired goal, and letting the rest of the cards explain how one might be turned into the other. Note that the Golden Dawn approach to linking pips, courts and trumps wasn't used here; much of this is original work as far as I know.

Here is an example of how pre-selected subject cards might work:

Suppose you are a demoralized Queen of Cups type who really wants to become more decisive, say, like the Queen of Swords. The Queen of Cups is numbered 49 in the 1-78 sequence and the Queen of Swords is numbered 63. The card that sits midway between them is the 6 of Swords, numbered 56. Adding 49, 56 and 63 together gives a total of 168, which reduces to 6, the Lovers, as quint card (see the spread instructions for why I reduce to a single digit). The Hebrew letter that corresponds to the Lovers means "sword," so the implication leans more toward an important decision or a crossroads of some kind than the prospects for a new relationship. (But it certainly could involve an existing relationship if the real issue is about becoming more assertive and independent.)

The Lovers corresponds to the element of Air, and I gave it to the Page of Swords in my "trump card allies" system. The pip card associated with the Lovers combines the number 6 and the element of Air, so (surprise!) it's the 6 of Swords. In considering the kind of advice this combination might yield, I see the 6 of Swords as indicating a "mental voyage of discovery" with new horizons in sight, and the Page of Swords as showing the kind of creative mental energy that must be applied to successfully make the journey. In summary, I might tell the querent "Work on becoming nimble and quick-witted like the Page of Swords and keep your eye fixed on the goal. Maybe take some classes to feed your inspiration. Don't stand for the same old demeaning run-around that seeks to 'keep you in your place.' You have a mind of your own and you need to give voice to it."
 

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