The “Pushmi-Pullyu” Relationship Development Spread

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Rex Harrison with the Pushmi-Pullyu from “Dr. Doolittle”

I was thinking over the observation from my last post about the description of the ideal human relationship (typically but not always romantic) as “two individuals revolving around a common goal in perfectly concentric orbits, moving at the same speed in the same direction in exquisite two-part harmony.” Although I have a number of relationship spreads, I didn’t have one that fully explores the shared environment in appropriately comparative ways. So I created one.

This spread doesn’t have any position meanings beyond those associated with a developmental progression (the kick-off, the “stretch” and the culmination) that moves clockwise from the top. It is best used with two decks so both parties can experience the same cards as necessary. Regarding the court cards, their main purposes are to set the direction of flow for each party’s series of cards and also to show their starting postures, either “all-in” (facing clockwise) or ill-at-ease about the aims of the collaboration (facing counter-clockwise); if no assumptions are established in advance, knowledge of the situation or intuitive judgment should be relied on to decide which court card identifies each individual. If you like, you can intentionally select true “Significator” cards from a third deck to use as stand-ins after the initial pull, but it would be purely symbolic at that point. The two cards originally drawn should be used for pairing purposes. Reversals can be introduced to both offer alternate facing options and to add inflection to the analysis of the pairs. The quintessence card is intended to summarize the overall nature of the relationship, and should be calculated in your customary way using the numerical values (explicit or implied) of all the cards on the table. As the partners continue to dance with (or around) one another, it can symbolize what “floats their boat” or, conversely, what threatens to torpedo it.

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