Days Like This

As you probably know, I’m not a fan of the one-card daily draw because it’s so static; you’re stuck with its singular influence since there is little sense of movement or development in it unless you “intuit” such from free-association or your prior experience with the card. (In a previous post I called it the “One-Note Samba.”) Here I’m proposing that, if we must do a single-card pull, we should determine whether it’s a dour card or a happier one and then build a “staircase” of three more cards, going “up” for a “bad” card since it has nowhere else to go and “down” for a “good” card to convey how it might stumble in delivering the goods.  If you deem the card to be “neutral,” you can choose which way you want to take it or perhaps create both paths if you’re feeling ambitious. Obviously, this will work only for those who do their daily draw in the morning.

What I’m suggesting is that we intentionally select what we feel would be the “best-case” card for recovering from a challenging draw, or the “worst-case” card for a beneficial one that may go awry (call them “where I’d like to go today” and “where I don’t want to go if I can help it”); place them at the top or bottom of the “staircase,” respectively. Next, reshuffle the deck and pull three more cards to populate the “steps” between the daily card and either the apex” or the “nadir” of our expectations. When reading the series, determine whether the testimony of the three-card line furthers or frustrates the intent of the chosen “outcome” card. With that perspective in mind, you can either “ride the wave” of an encouraging trend, or paddle furiously upstream against a more sobering one during the course of the day. Here is a model you can use:

Days Like This Staircase Spread.JPG

. . . . and here is an example reading using this spread. I had to go out today in my truck so I decided to do a one-card draw to see what the short trip would be like. I used the Spanish Tarot without reversals.


The 10 of Swords came up in the initial pull. Within the context of the question, I figured it could be showing snarled traffic, which turned out to be true at my destination (crazy shopping-mall traffic) even though it’s a work-day. This is a decidedly negative card so I built the “up” staircase and chose the 6 of Batons as my “best case” scenario; in the Tarot de Marseille I consider it the “green light” or “just do it” card, so I did.

The High Priestess advised me to keep my distance and maintain my composure, while the 4 of Cups also said to keep my cool and avoid incidents. These are both “lunar” cards so they delivered a double shot of calming sentiments. Fortunately, I didn’t encounter any accident risks or “road-rage” threats since I followed the advice to the letter.

The 2 of Coins made me think of the playful guidance we used to give novice drivers when we thought we were being clever: “Just keep the rubber side down.” I didn’t do any weaving in-and-out while in the crush of vehicles as suggested by the image on the card, so there were no opportunities to test my evasive skills. One thing that did happen was I had to pick an alternate route to avoid a traffic jam, which took me around in a circle.

I would call this series a “neutral or mildly rising trend” since none of the cards are problematic. The 10 of Swords showed me what to watch out for and none of the other cards were eventful in nature. Focusing on the 6 of Wands, I not only got back safely but my mission was successful.

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