This imaginary reading is based on a story I made up after seeing the cards; it’s about a man who is confronting a situation where his off-and-on girlfriend has told him she is pregnant and he has misgivings about whether to ask her to marry him. I used Pixie’s Astounding Lenormand for this reading.
The Significator (Gentleman) appeared in the third stack of the “Awareness and Attitude” group, suggesting that he should take a “wait and see” approach. The two relevant “Advice” cards, the Star and the Fish, evoke the proverb “All good things come to those who wait.”
On the face of it, the 4×4 array seems to be saying “Yes” to marriage in no uncertain terms, with the Ring, the Letter, the Heart and the Key in the top row and the Ring, the Key, the Clover and the Child at the corners. However, the second row gives him pause. She has assured him that the child is his, but the Clouds, the Moon and the Lady make him doubt her honor, while the Storks affirms the fact of her pregnancy (it could also mean that she is going to move on to “greener pastures,” but since it mirrors the Clouds I think it just shows that the pregnancy is a bone of contention). The third row, Mice + Tree + Gentleman + Cross, indicates that the anxiety is gnawing at his mental and physical well-being and he can’t shake the suspicion that he will be roped into something that is none of his doing. The fourth row, Child + Fox + Scythe + Clover, makes me think she could miscarry after an error of some kind, letting him off the hook. (The Scythe knights to the Storks and the Storks also mirror the Clouds, lending some credibility to these assumptions.) After which, assuming this happens, he needs to do some serious soul-searching about his attitude toward the woman and fatherhood in general.
His love of the Lady is weighing heavily on his mind (Heart + Lady + Gentleman), and he feels a strong urge to “cut-and-run” (Scythe below him). The Cross to his right could be making him think he is in a bind with no way out. The Heart knights to the Cross, implying that he is experiencing a “heavy heart” over it.
The diagonal Ring + Moon + Gentleman + Clover seems to be saying that marriage is the honorable thing to do and will bring him some happiness. However, the diagonal Fox + Gentleman + Storks does cast some doubt on his paternity. The Gentleman knights to the Letter, the Key, the Clouds and the Child; maybe he is contemplating having DNA testing done to certify that the child is his before committing. The Letter could be the lab report that will dispel the uncertainty of the Clouds one way or the other, but it might also symbolize a prenuptial agreement that clearly spells out his obligations in either event. On the other hand, with the Lady situated diagonally between the Letter and the Cross, she might hit him with a paternity suit that stops him in his tracks.
The Lady knights to the Ring, the Mice, the Fox and the Clover, giving the impression that she is not above a little nagging and deception to get what she wants. Directly above the Gentleman, she looks like she is “riding” him, while with the Scythe below he is beginning to think he wants to “cut her loose.” The Scythe mirroring the Heart with the Gentleman and Lady sandwiched between implies that he is experiencing “heartache” over the decision.
The testimony of the four corners, Ring + Key + Clover + Child is almost a story-book vignette of happy marriage leading to a welcome childbirth, but this could just mean that the birth will happen regardless of what he decides. The Ring mirrors the Clover and the Lady knights to both, so it could be her happiness that is shown, not his. The Child mirrors the Key and the Gentleman knights to both, so I’m thinking he will have a change of heart. But the Gentleman knighting to the Clouds and the Child could mean that he will always harbor the shadow of a doubt about whether the child is in fact his.
On the horizontal, the Gentleman intersects with the Ring and the Child at the Mice, and he certainly feels that he is being “nibbled to death” over both; he intersects with the Key and the Clover at the Cross, suggesting that he “sees the writing on the wall” but can’t reconcile himself to it. On the vertical, he intersects with the Child and the Clover at the Scythe below, so he isn’t likely to get away completely unscathed; above, he intersects with the Ring and the Key at the Heart, making it look like he’s facing “an offer he can’t refuse” (especially if the Letter indicates a paternity suit).
On the horizontal, the Lady intersects with the Ring and the Child at the Clouds, so she may have some uncertainty about who the father really is but that won’t stop her from pressing her agenda; she intersects with the Key and the Clover at the Storks, making it look like the forthcoming birth is something she anticipates with optimism. On the vertical, she intersects with the Ring and the Key at the Heart, so her current status and plans are perfectly in line with her goals; below, she intersects with the Child and the Clover at the Scythe, so there may be some complications that necessitate a Caesarean delivery. For the purpose of this example, I’m foregoing the diagonal intersections and the “counting round” step.
I would say that waiting on the results of DNA testing, perhaps along with formulating some kind of written, legally-binding ground-rules for the relationship, would be the safest approach for him. However, a paternity suit could force his hand, the results of which would still rely on DNA testing. There is enough conflicting testimony in this reading to justify taking a “wait and see” position.