The “Mongrel’s Mash-up” Mixed-Media Decision Making Spread

Here’s a more radical mingling of tarot and Lenormand decks in a single reading. Rather then mixing the two decks together or creating a separate chain or division in the spread for each type of deck, I scatter the cards between two different lines by  rolling a single die to come up with an odd or even number, telling me whether to place a tarot card (odd) or a Lenormand card (even) in each spread position. Because this is a decision-making spread, I start the top line with the Tarot “Lovers” and the bottom line with the Lenormand “Crossroads.” Before shuffling each deck (separately), I first remove the trump cards from the tarot deck to avoid getting any jarring symbolic juxtapositions; this helps to create a common dynamic with little philosophical (that is, archetypal) discussion. After the cards are laid, a “quintessence” card is calculated for each line (including the numerical value of the lead card, 6 or 22) and the die is rolled once more to determine which quint (and therefore which line) should be considered primary: odd numbers favor the tarot quint and even numbers the Lenormand quint. The line beginning with the card after the associated lead card (Lovers or Crossroads) and ending with the designated quint is then read as a hybrid narrative describing the “high road” – a more motivational path headed by the Lovers – or the “low road,” which offers more pragmatic guidance for successfully navigating the “crossroads.” To gain a more complete picture of the circumstances, the line not highlighted can be read as an alternate route that ends in a “Plan B” (secondary quint).

Mongrels Mash-up Spread.JPG

I performed a test reading with this spread, asking “What will come of my quest to find a local public venue for my divination practice?” I used two Ciro Marchetti decks – the Gilded Tarot and the Gilded Reverie Lenormand – to meet my objective of choosing two decks with similar artistic styles in order to create a smoother reading experience.

All images copyright U.S. Games Systems, Inc, Stamford, CT

The final die-roll tagged the Lenormand Bear as the primary quint card, thus identifying the pragmatic “low road” as the more compelling path. A broad visual sweep of the two lines shows that the bottom one is indeed much less fraught with difficult cards, confirming the testimony of the quint. Therefore, I read that line as the more accurate and appealing outlook.

The bottom line suggests that I will be contacted (Letter) by a well-respected, self-assured woman (Queen of Wands), possibly by e-mail when I least expect it (2 of Swords), offering an opportunity (Bouquet) for a long-term arrangement (Tree), resulting in a strengthening (Bear) of my local credibility. The Garden appears nowhere in this layout, telling me that I most likely won’t settle into a “walk-in reading” environment at a New Age shop or other high-traffic public location, and I certainly don’t intend to offer myself for 10-minute readings at drunken parties.

The alternate path looks like a non-starter, with the threatening Coffin and the worrisome Mice making the naive Page of Cups very nervous, and the needling 10 of Swords leaving him no choice but to go on the defensive (7 of Wands). I’m reading this to say that if I go at this initiative in an easy-going, noncommittal way and just hope for the best, I will probably get nowhere and run into a lot of competition and dissatisfaction. The secondary quint is Justice, suggesting that I will have to suck it up and continue in my current low-profile manner. “Plan B” amounts to treading water, and is not where I want to be.

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