In yesterday’s post regarding my upcoming physical examination, I mentioned that a follow-up Celtic Cross reading would be justified by the testimony shown in the preliminary five-card tarot line. I went ahead and did that using the Albano-Waite tarot, with reversals.
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In this context, the numerous Swords give the impression of “a medical decision or judgment,” and the court cards suggest members of the medical profession involved in the evaluation. The 6 of Swords is self-explanatory; Aleister Crowley titled this card “Science,” which speaks to the empirical nature of the investigation, and the 9 of Swords reversed shows suppressed – and perhaps misplaced – worry over the results. As an expression of elemental Air, Justice is also a figurative “sword” card. There is only one Cup and a single Wand, both in the past, so the projection here is an entirely rational and practical one. The 9 of Swords is the closest thing to an emotional perspective, and its reversal could represent an unjustified overreaction.
The 2 of Cups reversed in the “heart of the matter” position shows that I have been disconnected from access to past associations by our recent relocation.
The Queen of Swords in the “crossing” position (which I see as both a challenge and an opportunity) reflects the impatience I’ve been feeling with myself for not moving sooner to get this done.
The 3 of Wands in the “foundation” (or “distant past”) position indicates that I have been OK with this benign neglect because I’ve been feeling good. It suggests an excess of patience, perhaps not unwarranted.
Justice and the King of Swords, both reversed, in the “recent past” and “present” positions imply a decision delayed or held in abeyance by my slowness to act. The King of Swords in particular shows the situation coming to a head in a kind of “back-door” way by my growing realization that it’s been too long since my last physical. They also convey my general distaste for conventional medicine.
The 9 of Pentacles in the “near future” looks like all is well from a physical standpoint, although there is a certain complacency about it that I should guard against.
The next three cards I treat as a set showing negative, clarifying and positive factors, respectively, in the querent’s reaction to emerging developments in the matter, as predicted by the “near future” card. In Eden Gray’s Celtic Cross model, Position #7 is “the querent’s fears” (which I consider to be all manner of self-limiting attitudes and behavior); Position #8 is “the influence or opinion of others” (which I call “clarifying factors” and expand to encompass the querent’s entire external environment); and Position #8 is “the querent’s hopes” (which in my system means all aspects of self-motivation). These three positions show the querent’s adjustment to the thrust of the “near future” card as it begins to manifest in the individual’s life-circumstances, both through push-back (Card #7), adaptation and accommodation (Card #8) and self-actualization (Card #9).
The 6 of Swords in the “fears” position reveals my general aversion to being poked and prodded by medical science. I understand that it has its uses but I don’t much care for the experience. This card has a “just get on with it” feel to it, and it also indicates some hard-headed suspicion about the sanguine testimony of the 9 of Pentacles.
The Page of Swords in the “external influences” position I read as the input to be provided by the technicians who perform blood work and other analytical tests. Since it’s upright, this looks like a straightforward procedure with no complications.
The Page of Pentacles in the “self-help” position almost certainly shows the moderate weight-loss/body-building regime I’ve been following over the last few weeks. At my age, loss of muscle mass poses a legitimate health threat, so I’ve been trying to reverse what has become a declining trend over the last couple of years (I tell my wife I want my chest to stick out farther than my belly when I’m done).
The 9 of Swords reversed in the “outcome” position is the most interesting card in the reading. When upright, it indicates agonizing over something; when reversed, it implies worrying over nothing (in this case, reversal takes some of the “biting edge” off of the usual interpretation). While not a “good” card, here it isn’t as bad as might be supposed since it could be showing dubious assumptions and not reality. The “near future” and “outcome” cards work in combination to provide a kind of roadmap from “Point A” to “Point B,” with the intervening cards as “way-stations” along the route that allow for a mid-course correction. Nines generally show completion and perfection, although in this case the 9 of Swords feels like a “self-fulfilling prophecy” stemming from the 6 of Swords’ skepticism about the 9 of Pentacles. It gives the impression that I will find the 9 of Pentacles “too good to be true.” There has to be something I need to beat myself up over.
I notice that there are no really dire cards in this spread: No Tower, no Devil, no Death, no Hanged Man, no 3 of Swords, no 10 of Swords, no 5 of Pentacles, etc. If the 9 of Swords reversed is the worst thing the Universe can throw at me here, I think I can handle that.