I decided to test my 5-card approach to this method by asking the same question I’ve been chasing for the last few years: “As a professional diviner, how can I become more publicly successful and sought-after?” I chose for my inspiration the time-honored assumption that a skilled cartomancer is both sensitive and intuitive (Queen of Cups), but I focused first on the loftier form of inquiry shown by my preferred trump, the Star as “wish card,” and the mental acuity of the 6 of Swords, “Science,” that is crucial to turning its abstract vision into explicit insights. From there I pass the refined and attenuated knowledge through the “empathy check” of the Ace of Cups to yield a highly evocative “stew” of thoughtful discernment and intuitive wisdom in the 9 of Cups, “Happiness,” the well from which the Queen of Cups draws her well-tempered observations. Consider that last part the “Hallmark” view of modern divination, something I’ve always been ambivalent about. It may have its mystical charms but it isn’t really for me since I consider myself 60% analytical and 40% intuitive in my approach to reading, a style I’ve been pursuing in private practice for more than four decades.
Not entirely to my surprise, I received a very different message from the cards I drew as an overlay for the “foundation” series. It’s telling me to “get on the stick” (8 of Wands) and leave my “comfort zone” (8 of Disks) behind, moving on in practical ways (Prince of Disks) by “sticking my neck out and throwing caution to the winds” (Fool), and advancing with confidence toward my goal (Knight of Wands). That final bit of advice poses no hardship for me since a professed “friend” once told me I “reek of self-confidence.” (I just read an Oscar Wilde quote stating that “A true friend will stab you in the front, not the back.”) It’s channeling the Fool that gives me pause.The cards in the “reading” row are suggesting that I’m going to have to be more nimble and businesslike, and must take a few lumps rather than aspiring to the Orphic “high road” shown by the upper sequence, but the Fool doesn’t look like he wants any part of sensible pragmatism. He wants to fly unfettered, not just crawl, and the Knight of Wands is right there with him; together they describe more the impulsive “dumb move” than the inspired initiative. It’s got me thinking “crash-and-burn” like Phaeton trying to drive the solar chariot of his father, Helios. The cautious 8 of Disks at the very beginning is saying “Don’t invest any money in this!”
I guess I need to recognize that I come from a strong background of carefully-honed skills that I just need to offer more convincingly and effectively to the world; soft-peddling them won’t be productive so some risk-taking is in order. (The elementally friendly Ace of Cups and Prince of Disks at the center of the layout hold promise in that regard.) Recently things have been moving (albeit slowly) in the right direction since I found a way I’m comfortable with to do on-line readings. But what I’m really after is a face-to-face venue that doesn’t involve throwing my home open to total strangers or traveling hours and miles to reach.
The bottom line, though, is that while I’d like to consider this test a failure and try again, I’m afraid it’s all-too-accurate. There isn’t much agreement, either elementally or by fundamental nature, between these cards. The Star and the 8 of Disks are unfriendly by element and at odds in their approach: one is a “master theoretician” and the other is a “bean-counter.” The Queen of Cups and the Knight of Wands are polar opposites in their mood and mode of expression. Only the “nuts-and-bolts” cards in the middle are at all cooperative, for the most part willing to work together but reaching a philosophical parting of the ways with the Fool and the 9 of Cups. Maybe I should just become an engineer, astrologer or tarot teacher . . . oh wait, I’ve already done those.
The deck here is the Tabula Mundi Colores Arcus by M.M. Meleen.
All images © 2015, M.M Meleen