The “Marriage of Convenience” Joint Dynamic Spread

Occasionally I’m inspired to attempt a business relationship spread. This one shows the joint dynamic between two entities that share common interests and are seeking ways to cooperate to their mutual benefit. Thus, there are no “negative” positions in the spread, and the individual cards will tell the tale “for good or ill.” Reversals may also be used to show less obvious aspects of the interaction. This spread is probably too “cold-hearted” for use with romantic relationships (although there are cultures where the “marriage of convenience” is common and interpersonal love is optional), but it would most likely work well for sociopolitical alignments. In such cases, the parties’ objective may be more of an “unholy alliance” than a “match made in heaven.”

Although the spread positions seem to be all over the map, there is a definite method to my madness. There are two sets of six cards here. The first set is drawn from the shuffled deck and moves downward in a diagonal direction, scribing two interpenetrating arcs that reflect the development of the relationship over time. I chose arcs rather than parallel lines because these initiatives are not always straightforward, often involving unforeseen departures from the plan that must be reconciled. The second set operates in a horizontal direction, acting as pairs of 3-card “filters” that focus and coordinate the actions represented by the arcs. These are called “Median” positions because they are populated by finding the cards that sit at the numerical midpoint between the various two-card combinations among the six drawn cards. (A table is provided to simplify this step.) The two main median cards sit on the evolving path of the developmental arcs; consider them as a kind of joint “steering committee.” The median cards on both sides are anticipatory in nature because they are derived from the linear vertical pairs and suggest a “belt-and-suspenders” approach to finding additional opportunities for concurrence. They suggest “feedback loops” and should be read as supportive inputs to the main “Median” cards.

This spread recognizes that the two parties could choose to disengage when the goal has been accomplished, although they may still cooperate in an “arms’ length” steady-state manner going forward. Therefore, there is no single outcome card; instead, the separating paths show what each participant takes away in terms of value.

 

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