“Breaking the Chain” Cause-and-Effect Spread

This is the spread I promised yesterday; it is built on the assumption that the sitter can best decide (based on the subconscious “hunches” that most of us harbor) which time-frame should be explored first in determining why present circumstances are the way they are and what might be done about them. Since our behavior is often irrationally spontaneous and compulsive, a form of knee-jerk response to past psychological distress, stubbornly entrenched habits or unrealistic expectations for the future, the idea here is to examine the “causal chain” that seems most likely to hold the key, with an eye to breaking that chain and lighting the way to a more conscious self-mastery. In that sense, the focus is not so much on creating a snapshot of “real time” circumstances and consequences as on drawing a “roadmap” to a more immutable and instinctual cognitive landscape.

This is my second spread based on the clockwise-rotating Vedic swastika, with its underlying theme of “something fortunate, lucky or auspicious” (as a solar symbol, note its difference from the counter-clockwise-rotating Nazi sauvastika, a symbol of “night”). It contains four possible avenues of inquiry similar to the “cross” section of the Celtic Cross spread, but in most cases only one of them will be actively pursued. The sitter will pull one “root” card to start (or, with the readers help, intuitively select a card which best describes his or her perception of present circumstances). This card portrays the “situation as it stands” and is intended to show the “nexus” or summary of all cause-and-effect stresses operating on the individual’s current mode of being.

The second step is for the sitter to pull a “Bias Card” that points the way toward which of the four temporal chains will provide the clearest causal portrait. The essence of this card will provide hints as to the whether the reading should probe past, present or future implications as a motivating force in the individual’s life. The sitter’s response to this preliminary evidence is crucial in selecting the appropriate chain for the reading. If found necessary for full disclosure, more than one chain can be entered from the “root card,” but the sitter should still rank them as to relative importance.

The third step is to populate the pertinent “arm” of the spread with two more cards drawn from the deck. As a group, the three cards will show: 1) the state of the sitter’s “temporal bias” (counterproductive fixation on conditions in the distant past, recent past, present or near future) as a factor in sustaining the illusion of inevitability; 2) the implied nature and direction of the querent’s typically unthinking reactions to that stimulus; and 3) the heretofore fateful impact of those “conditioned” reactions on past, present and future actions and attitudes.

The final step is for the reader to calculate the “quintessence” card for the four-card series. This is a numerological process that sums the face values of the cards and then reduces the total in one of several ways to a number that is below 22, thus yielding a trump or Major Arcana card of that number. (The details of that technique are contained in an earlier post). This card is generally read as a “big picture” outlook involving larger forces at work in the matter, but here I’m using it to show the long-term outcome of the sitter’s efforts to come to grips with the cause-and-effect scenario shown by the reading.

Depending on its relative harmony or dissonance, the outcome card should be treated as either confirmatory or cautionary in defining the most effective way for querents to escape the “box” they’ve found (or put) themselves in.

Breaking the Chain Spread.JPG

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