When I haven’t created a new spread in a while, my imagination tends to go into overdrive (or maybe “haywire” is a better way to put it). The visual layout of this one reminds me of a hapless creature that has been run over by a steamroller – not the ideal outcome for a decision-making scenario, but then I usually come down on the side of sober realism rather than wistful (and wishful) optimism when I read. If we weren’t facing the potential for unpleasant consequences, we wouldn’t be consulting the cards. We need to keep our eyes open and watch our step, but may still wind up in harm’s way. Like the old animated cartoon characters, in the best cases we peel ourselves off the pavement, paper-thin, reinflate ourselves “(Pop!”) and soldier on as if nothing happened. The objective here is to avoid that eventuality, or at least to facilitate recovery from it.
I built this spread around the idea that a trump card should be used as the central focus to show the seriousness of the inquiry (I wouldn’t use this layout to decide what color of socks to wear). The trump can either be drawn randomly from a subset comprised of the 22 trumps or hand-picked in advance when the nature of the decision is well-understood. Four more cards are then drawn from the remainder of the deck (shuffle the other trump cards back in) to serve as a nominal “past-present-future” array: Cards #2 and #4 show unknown and known factors in the situation that contribute to the outcome; Card #3 reflects “recent past” events and actions (perhaps not yet fully assimilated or “carved in stone”); and Card #5 projects a “near future” outlook that is still a work-in-progress.
Three “quintessence” cards are then calculated to describe possible developments in three different directions: “Act;” “Don’t Act;” “Revisit a Previous Action.” These cards are read in combination with the contributing “base” cards to show the most profitable course to pursue, Cards #1, #4, #5 and #6 (Action Scenario); Cards #1, #2, #5 and #7 (Inaction Scenario); and Cards #1, #3 and #8 (Re-do Scenario). Each series should be examined to gauge the likelihhood of success for that branch of the decision-tree. The results can then be factored into the querent’s overall decision-making paradigm.