A “Two Paths” Example Reading

The Question: “What is the best way to approach local metaphysical (formerly “New Age”) shops about getting card-reading gigs at their establishments?

The Deck: Conver Ben-Dov (CBD) Tarot de Marseille

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

This reading will test both the spread and my provisional TdM “pip” card meanings.

The court-card “pointer” came up as the Valet of Cups reversed, with the figure pointing to the viewer’s right, toward Focus Card “A.” The Outcome card was the 7 of Cups. For each of the “path” cards, I will first quote my “canned” meaning verbatim and then provide amplifying commentary to flesh out the testimony. Note that the “plus-and-minus” notation is only intended to show clockwise (“open road”) and counter-clockwise (“hidden road”) flow; no explicit advantage or disadvantage is assumed.

Focus Card “A”:  7 of Wands

Standard Meaning: The Seven implies having one’s hand forced by circumstances; it shows acting in spite of serious doubts about that course of action.

Commentary: I’ve come to the conclusion that the only way I’m going to increase my exposure as a professional tarot reader in this area (short of standing on street corners wearing a “sandwich board” offering my services) is to approach local shop owners. Since I don’t want to pay for office space or open up my home to strangers, it looks like the only way to go. My main concern is the driving distance to these locations.

The “Open Road” (Clockwise Flow)

Card +A.2: 5 of Coins

Standard Meaning: The Five conveys poor judgment and wasted effort with little to show for it; in the worst case it could mean dishonesty, such as “cooking the books;” alternatively, breaking out of the financial doldrums without regard for consequences could be indicated (i.e. impulsively taking or quitting a job).

Commentary: This card suggests that pursuing this path could be a thankless undertaking at first, and that I should be cautious and not jump at the first available opportunity out of frustration. Also, there would probably not be much compensation until I prove myself.

Card +A.3: 3 of Coins

Standard Meaning: The Three symbolizes the need to “plan the work” and the ability to convert that plan into reality.

Commentary: I will clearly have to do my homework before approaching anyone about working for them, including logistics as well as “big-picture” considerations. I don’t want to get into something I may have to back out of.

Card +A.4: 3 of Batons

Standard Meaning: The Three reflects the frictionless momentum arising from perfectly balanced and coordinated action; it invokes the vision of a child’s top spinning effortlessly on a table.

Commentary: This definitely looks like things could take an encouraging turn if I stay the course with a positive attitude.

The “Hidden Road” (Counter-clockwise Flow)

Card -A.2: 3 of Swords

Standard Meaning: The Three suggests a painful realization that accord is unlikely.

Commentary: This implies a lot of verbal self-promotion with little or no benefit to be had from all the “hot air.” The phrase “you’re wasting your breath” comes to mind.

Card -A.3: 8 of Coins

Standard Meaning: The Eight inspires cautious optimism about monetary matters; also, the possible need for a competent financial advisor or agent to assist with one’s affairs.

Commentary: An offer of some kind may result but any compensation would almost certainly be modest. This card could also mean that I may be trying to enter a well-populated (even crowded) field, with the competition “stacked up” against me. On the upside, the environment in which I aspire to work could be quite agreeable.

Card -A.4: 2 of Swords

Standard Meaning: The Two with its robust central flower implies a strategic outreach or offer (one-on-one communication such as a visit, phone call, message or letter).

Commentary: This card is telling me to be crafty but conscientious in my approach and not try to overstate my qualifications. A meeting of the minds may be possible if it’s mutually auspicious and unforced.

Outcome Card: 7 of Cups

Standard Meaning: The Seven needs a crowbar to pry open its feelings.

Commentary: I’m thinking that this card means my analytical style of reading may be a bit too cerebral for the shop owners for which I demonstrate it. It’s something I’ve been working to “juice up,” but with care since it’s not my natural style to be overly emotive.

Overall Summary:

This reading shows that the “open road” offers the best course of action as long as I “hang tough” and keep my options open. The alternative path seems to involve trying to be too clever for my own good.

In working with this spread, I realized that the court-card “selector” doesn’t really provide for much differentiation, particularly if the same deck is used no matter which path is highlighted. All that happens is that you get a “mirror-image” of the same set of cards, with the top-or-bottom position of the two flows (clockwise and counter-clockwise) swapped. I added an option to use a different deck depending on whether path “A” or “B” is chosen, but I’m thinking I can get more mileage out of a “horizon” or “solar path” model, with the clockwise series that travels above the center-line of the spread (“daytime”) being more transparent, and the one below (“night-time”) more obscure. The counter-clockwise paths will be either exaggerated or diminished in their ambiguity by this phenomenon.

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