Even those of us who have spent decades reading the cards are sometimes compelled to come up with creative stopgap measures to “skin the proverbial cat” when our usual approach falters. Here I’m tackling what I perceive to be an inherent weakness in the traditional Celtic Cross spread: the interpretation of the “crowning” card as “What may come to pass” in the querent’s evolving situation. I find this convention to be not only too vague in scope but entirely too passive to boot. Many years ago I changed its title to “the Present” since I believe it offers a chance to seize the initiative in choosing the best path for advancement from the recent past to the near future. After all, our day-to-day reality represents “where the rubber meets the road” in orchestrating our near-term circumstances. I understand it’s a mistranslation, but some believe that Buddha said “We create our own reality,” and this card is in the “reality-making” business. For me, however, the rub has always been how to divine multiple trends from a single card. “What may come to pass” could offer a kaleidoscope of shifting opportunities rather than suggesting a single way forward, and the challenge is to single out the most favorable thread for the querent to pull in helping to shape the next phase of the matter.
While it’s possible to derive multiple layers of meaning from one card that can at least potentially flag slightly different avenues of expression, this seems to tie our hands unnecessarily when there are 68 more cards that can be brought to bear on the subject. I decided to try pulling two or more cards when populating this position to see what I can learn about other trends that may be bubbling in the background. Bringing them to the surface could spare the querent the frustrating experience of trying to “push a rope” when the main card doesn’t lend itself naturally to substantiating the near-future scenario shown by the sixth position. Having a more navigable alternative could spell the difference between encountering a stiff headwind and literally “running before the wind” with all sails set.
The example reading below offers some insight into how this would work. The main card for the “crowning” position was Strength, suggesting that too much brute force could overwhelm the somewhat fragile Page of Swords at this stage of the game, resulting in a strained outlook as the Page struggles to cope. (The Page does appear to be rather anxiously edging away.) I pulled two alternate cards to look for a less aggressive angle of approach. (The visual arrangement inspired the title for this post.) The 7 of Wands implies taking on more than can be easily managed in trying to engineer the Page’s imminent arrival, inviting a possible stalemate of the “you can’t get there from here” variety, while the 6 of Swords suggests that being more thoughtful about the future could play nicely into the Page’s rather “skinny” repertoire. Where Strength is indifferent to the Page of Swords’ vulnerability and the 7 of Wands is too beleaguered to help, the 6 of Swords is much more philosophically attuned, in essence saying “Forget ‘fighting the good fight’ and just go with the flow.” I would advise the querent to consider taking the longest view possible of what is typically an onrushing eventuality; in other words, hold out as long as feasible before committing what may be thin resources.