Upon first entering wider society, young people (although they aren’t as young at that point as they once were) are often at a loss as to what their life’s purpose should be. This usually involves deciding which of two or three possible paths seems the most compelling at the time. I will normally use a broad life-reading spread in these situations, but the choices are sometimes distinct enough to employ a decision-making approach. A typical scenario weighs an individual self-realization goal (for example, education or career) against the way of shared experience (partnership, marriage, family or their emotional surrogates), twin trajectories that are often difficult to separate in the mind of youthful seekers, most of whom want it all and have yet to taste the bitter wine of unavoidable compromise. In the past it was common to embark on both at once and deal with the juggling act that entails, but times have changed and fewer thoughtful (not to mention practical) people are willing to confront that particular reality.
I have created a spread that allows comparison and cross-connection between two major life paths. One I call “feeding the soul” through protracted self-improvement, and the other “feeding the heart” through the forging of close relationships or other stimulating emotional bonds. One might be considered the path of duty (responding to one’s “calling”) and the other the way of passion (doing what one loves rather than what one must). The two avenues can be read as parallel paths, but an option is provided to “change horses” or make a course correction mid-stream. Reversals may be applied if you like. I can also see this spread being used for mid-life crises where the querent feels compelled to “throw off the traces” and start over; it is typically a case of “heart trumps soul” but can also cut the other way.
The spread uses three decks, one for each path and one for the “paradigm shift” position that can change the course of the reading. The Quintessence card is also drawn from the third deck. If you aren’t familiar with the “quint,” look here: