Lately I’ve been working more and more with the wonderful Tabula Mundi Colores Arcus tarot, a “Thoth clone” deck by M.M. Meleen. I recently had an opportunity to use it with my “Tough Love” relationship crisis spread, with outstanding results.
This reading deals with a dysfunctional marriage that I first addressed nearly a year ago using a different spread and deck. Little has changed outwardly in the relationship, although life circumstances have evolved for the couple in a number of ways. The earlier reading showed that the woman would be better off on her own, apart from her autocratic husband, and this one repeats the advice with a new wrinkle or two.
This appears to me to be a classic “temptation” scenario. The Devil in the “Best Outcome” position of the “Go” chain implies the titillation of “forbidden fruit,” while the Prince of Wands in the “Mixed Outcome” position suggests a younger, more stimulating paramour who may not be especially reliable. The Lovers reversed in the “Worst Outcome” position indicates overthrow of the current relationship, or at least seriously considering a decision to do so. The elemental dignities for this trio are mixed, creating uneasiness but no strong urge to make the break. The quint card for this chain is the World, showing a woman apparently emerging from an egg; the implication is plain: freedom.
The “Stay” chain is slightly more ambiguous. The “Best Outcome” position holds the 8 of Wands, showing that pushing an agenda that seems to be slow in coming together creates a sense of urgency and anxiety. Death in the “Mixed Outcome” position reveals that a major change of some kind is needed to make the “Stay” option attractive enough to pursue. The 10 of Wands in the “Worst Outcome” position conveys “trudging onward” with little hope of relief. The elemental dignities for this trio are unfavorable – Water (Death as Scorpio) bracketed by Fire cards, giving a “strengthened for ill” connotation to the focus card in Golden Dawn parlance: the needed change really is a “do or die” stipulation. The quint card is the Emperor, telling me that a line has been drawn in the sand and neither partner is in the mood to compromise. The Emperor tends to be the champion of the status quo. (Note that the number of Death – 13 – reduces numerologically to 4, the number of the Emperor; it looks like significant change is not forthcoming.)
The “advice” card was the Hermit; again, the meaning seems crystal-clear: going it alone, perhaps in a sadder but wiser state. The Grand Quint (which I didn’t address in the spread guidance) is the Chariot, a roll-up of the two chain-specific quints and the advice card. (Note that I subtract the value of reversed cards and include the court cards in the calculation.) While the traditional meaning of this card is “triumph” or “victory,” the charioteer and his conveyance have led some modern interpreters to see “moving on” in its message. Overall, the “Go” chain offers the clearer path to a better life for the querent.