A Personal-Encounter Example Reading

I recently had occasion to use my “Inconvenient Truths” personal-encounter spread in a real-life situation.


A woman I know is involved in an increasingly toxic friendship with another woman who is exhibiting signs of serious psychological disorder. The woman has a predatory or even vampiric nature that drains my friend of her energy and self-esteem every time they get together, and it continues to worsen. My friend asked what she can do to help turn this around or whether she should just give up. We used the Thoth deck.

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Position #1: What Does the Other Woman Want?

4 of Swords (Truce): She wants an uncomplaining foil for her demanding attitude and behavior, someone who will be accepting and not give her a hard time about it.

Position #2: What’s in it for the Querent?

The Hermit: The wisdom to recognize that separation is the best course of action. I’m reminded of the closing line from Coleridge’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner:  “A sadder and a wiser man, he rose the morrow morn.” My friend needs to follow her own best interests and heed her own counsel.

Position #3: What Will the Other Woman Do?

3 of Disks (Work) Reversed: She will take no action in response to overtures by my friend, and will continue down her counterproductive path.

Position #4: What Should My Friend Do?

2 of Swords (Peace): Refrain from engaging in conflict with the woman, and back off from being forced into compromising circumstances.

Position #5: What Will This Cost the Woman?

2 of Disks (Change):

She will be caught in a “do-loop” and continue to spiral downward.

Position #6: What Will it Cost My Friend?

7 of Disk (Failure) Reversed: Her patience and self-control will be severely tested if she doesn’t manage to extricate herself promptly.

Position #7: How Will it Turn Out?

10 of Disks (Wealth) Reversed: There is no profit to be gained from trying to salvage the friendship.

What My Friend Needs to Know:

Quintessence Card: “Big-Picture” Aspects

The Empress Reversed: Selfishness; disharmony; stunted or stalled growth, withering prospects. Considered by some to be the “royal bitch” card when reversed.

Base Card: Hidden Factors

The Princess of Wands: The woman has an obsessive-compulsive nature that makes her a voracious, domineering and relentless user of others for her own ends. In friendship, she wants a subservient satellite to cater to her whims. Think of Veruca Salt, the spoiled rich girl from Roald Dahl’s children’s book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and the subsequent Gene Wilder film adaptation, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory: “I WANT IT NOWWWW!”

Conclusion: My friend would be well-advised to cut her losses and sever ties with this woman for the sake of her own sanity. Anything constructive she tries to give to the relationship will only detract from her personal sense of well-being.


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