I’m not a fan of American football by any stretch of the imagination (I’d rather actively engage in solo sports than passively observe team sports), nor am I a fan of watching television outside of the rare HBO series that captures my interest. But I am a fan of using tarot to predict the results of major sporting events. Last year I nailed the American Super Bowl right down to the tie in regulation play and the outcome of the sudden-death playoff (the former within two points and the latter within three). I was unsuccessful with the American Major League Baseball finals due to a flaw in my methodology. But I’m back at it again with the National Football League conference playoffs. Once again, I used a special adaptation of my “Enemy at the Gates” conflict-resolution spread, this time with the Conver Ben-Doav (CBD) Tarot de Marseille as the main deck and the Hadar TdM for the double cards. I didn’t apply reversals because many of the cards in the CBD deck look the same upright and reversed. I chose the Emperor as the “Objective” or Significator card. (As Mel Brooks was fond of having his characters say, “It’s good to be king!”)
The first layout shows the match-up between the New England Patriots and the Jacksonville Jaguars and the second one the pairing of the Philadelphia Eagles and the Minnesota Vikings. In both cases, the home team was placed in the top row, regardless of which team wins the “first possession” coin-toss. I performed and analyzed these spreads before looking at the on-line scoring predictions. For the record, when I looked yesterday one group of gambling pros had the Patriots winning 33-to-17 and the Vikings taking their game, 23-to-17. My results are close in the second case but different in the first, possibly due to the game-changing injury to Tom Brady’s hand. (I believe the pros have now reduced the Pats’ winning margin for the same reason).
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I will begin with the Patriots-Jaguars game. The first step is to look at the quarter-by-quarter comparison. I used the relative rank and nature of the two cards in each match-up to show which team has the edge rather than the numerical values of the cards as scoring predictors because the numbers don’t agree with typical scoring increments (statistically, a team won’t score 8 points in a quarter under normal circumstances, and scoring only one point is highly unlikely). With the final scores, I rounded them up or down to “normalize” them to expected increments.
For the Patriots, the Hanged Man in the 1st Quarter makes me think their offense is “handcuffed” by the Jaguar’s defense, possibly an allusion to Brady’s injured hand. The Ace of Swords for the Jaguars looks like their passing game (Air card) is on-point and the Patriots defense takes a “shot in the head.” Although a trump card is generally more potent than a small card, the dynamic here favors the Jaguars because the Hanged Man is rather hapless.
The 2nd Quarter is a different story. With the King of Coins, the Patriots’ defense gets its act together and the Jaguars “come up empty.” With the 8 of Cups, I’m thinking the Jaguars ground defense may be a bit porous, while the Pats running game gains considerable momentum. The Patriots appear to take control.
The 3rd Quarter is a toss-up, with two trump cards going head-to-head. The Patriots are the more seasoned organization (the World) with numerous consecutive championship appearances, while the Jaguars are arguably more “in tune” as a team. They will most likely battle it out in a grueling ground game. If I had to make a choice, I would give the Jaguars the edge because the Patriots may exhibit some flat-footed complacency.
The 4th Quarter outlook has the Patriots coming across as a bit aimless on offense while the Jaguars defend a slim lead. The 9 of Wands (Fire card) suggests “fire in the belly” for the Jaguars while the Knave of Cups (Water card) book-ends the Patriots’ rather inert Hanged Man (Water card), coming full circle.
The sub-quintessence cards show the Jaguars, with the World as their roll-up, being considerably better-situated for success than the Patriots with Death as their quint. The “grand quintessence” is the Chariot, implying that the team with the best ground attack will be victorious. I believe it will come down to that critical 3rd Quarter, with the Jaguars having greater energy and momentum.
Regarding the final score, I used numerologically reduced values for all instances where the quarterly numbers were out-of-line with reasonable scoring projections. I came up with 58 = 13 (rounded up to 14) for the Patriots and 21 (unreduced and unrounded) for the Jaguars. These totals seem a a little skimpy for two such powerful teams, so I added a touchdown to each one to make it 28-to-21 in favor of the Jaguars. (On the other hand, if the Patriots engineer a blow-out, the raw numbers might tell the tale, making it 56-to-21 Pats; it seems highly unlikely given Brady’s situation, though.)
Now to the Eagles-Vikings game. The Sun in the 1st Quarter implies that the Eagles can do no wrong, while with the Ace of Cups the Vikings aren’t “shaking in their boots” – yet. It does look like the Eagles have a decided edge here.
The 2nd Quarter seems to favor the Vikings ground game (Earth card), while the Eagles may try to press their 1st-Quarter advantage (Fire card) and could make some mistakes. The Vikings seem more solid in this period.
The 3rd Quarter has the Vikings consolidating their potent ground attack (Earth card) while the Eagles take to the air with the 9 of Swords, with mixed results involving numerous incomplete passes and possible interceptions. The effectiveness of the Vikings pass defense will be the deciding factor. I give the nod to the Vikings here.
The 4th Quarter has the Eagles finally settling down and digging in, while the Viking’s go a bit stale. I like the Eagles’ chance for dominance in this period.
The sub-quintessence cards are the Hermit for the Eagles and Temperance for the Vikings. The Hermit suggests that the Eagles will be more inclined to place their fortunes in the hands of one key player (most likely their quarterback), while the Vikings, with Temperance, are better-coordinated as a team and less vulnerable to what reliability engineers call a “single-point failure.” The “grand quintessence” card – the Pope, an Earth card – also appeared as the Eagle’s 3rd Quarter entry, and it is elementally aligned with the earthy Hermit. By the same token, it is also nicely attuned to all of the cards in the Vikings’ quarterly array. It implies that the team who adheres to the most conventionally proven game plan will prevail. This one is a tough call, but I will give the Vikings a slight advantage.
The final scores come out as 36 = 9 (rounded up to 10, a touchdown and a field goal) for the Eagles and 14 (two touchdowns) for the Vikings. Once again, these scores are anemic for this level of play, so I added one touchdown to each score to make it 21-17 in favor of the Vikings. (If the Eagles do manage to run away with it, the raw numbers would make it 36-14 Eagles; but i wouldn’t count on that wide a margin since the Vikings have considerable momentum going into the game.)
I didn’t use the “roll-up” quarterly and quintessence calculations as described in my spread design template, and may change it to eliminate that complexity if the above analysis proves to be accurate. The bottom line is that it appears the Super Bowl this year – assuming conventional wisdom is turned on its head – will be a contest between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Minnesota Vikings, something very few experts predicted.