I performed this spread to project my own circumstances over the next six months, using the Waite-Smith Centennial Pocket Edition with reversals. I deliberately chose a scenic deck for its “facing” possibilities, but the spread can be used with non-scenic decks like the Tarot de Marseille by using the odd-or-even directional model mentioned in the spread guidance (the rationale behind which is the idea that odd-numbered cards are more “active” and thus more forward-looking than even-numbered cards). There was no specific question, this is just a general life-reading.
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The top card in the “Spirit” stack was the upright 8 of Wands, which has a rightward motion, so I placed it as the first card in the “Future Bias” sub-set of that row, with the Devil following. The top card in the “Mind” stack was the Magician reversed, which has no facing but is an odd-numbered card, so I placed it as the first card in the “Future Bias” sub-set, followed by the Wheel of Fortune. The top card in the “Body” stack was the 9 of Cups reversed, which also has no facing but is an odd-numbered card, so I placed it as the first card in the “Future Bias” sub-set, with the Queen of Swords next. It’s clear from these top cards that I’m “done with the past” in some way that should become apparent in the next six months.
The bottom “Anchor Card” for the “Spirit” stack was the 8 of Cups reversed, showing accurately that I have “turned my back” on certain no-longer-inspiring interests that have held my attention for several years: I disengaged from a number of group memberships, forums and Facebook sites and dropped a long-time online game subscription; the impetus for all of this was my growing discontent at the lack of meaningful connection with kindred spirits. The “Anchor Card” for the “Mind” stack was the King of Wands, suggesting that I have acquired a certain degree of self-mastery and “dominion” in my mental/emotional life (dare I call it “maturity?”) as a springboard for the next phase. The “Anchor Card” for the “Body” stack was the Page of Cups, reflecting my curiosity over what might come next in environmental developments (personal, not global), about which I intend to remain optimistic.
The 8 of Wands, the first “Future Bias” card of the “Spirit” row, suggests that I should be cautious about moving too enthusiastically and precipitously toward new interests that may be of dubious value. It conveys an overreaction to the despondent tone of the 8 of Cups (although at the moment the latter feels to me more like being detached or disinterested). With the Devil in the second “Future Bias” position, I know that the hand-gesture of the arch-demon has a more esoteric import (an “infernal benediction” in contrast to the blessing of the Hierophant), but it always looked to me like it is holding up its right hand as if to say “Halt!” I got an intuitive flash from this card that warned “Beware the Jabberwock!” Interesting, to be sure, and I would be well-advised to “look before I leap” into untested waters. (Also, Carroll’s satirical purpose in the poem isn’t lost on me.) The two “Past Bias” cards seem to be showing that I have decisively “closed the books” (Strength) on certain issues that I had with self-discipline (King of Pentacles reversed; more on that later, under the 9 of Cups reversed).
The Magician reversed, the first “Future Bias” card of the “Mind” row, suggests that an “inner voyage” will commence once I find the key. I still intend to do something with runes, and I want to do some scrying with my crystal ball again, but I’m wary of that Devil. Do they have Jabberwocks on the Astral Plane? The upright Wheel of Fortune as the second “Future Bias” card looks like I could be “rolling along” with little effort (or maybe just “rolling with the punches”) by the end of six months. The King of Wands is staring down the 5 of Swords and 7 of Wands, daring them to stick their noses into my present and future affairs. Past nemeses are likely to stay put for the foreseeable future.
The 9 of Cups reversed as the first “Future Bias” card in the “Body” row appears to encourage a furtherance of the retreat I have been making from overindulgence of the senses, primarily concerning food and drink. I haven’t taken “second helpings” in ages, and I’ve backed off on the liquid stimulants as well, although they have never been much of a problem for me. Skipping the dessert still kills me, though. However, it wouldn’t take much to persuade that Page of Cups to engage in a little backsliding now and then. I’ll need to keep one eye on him at all times. The judgmental Queen of Swords is gazing off into the future and looks just about ready to take her “vorpal sword” and go behead some Jabberwocks (or maybe just “demon rum,” but I wouldn’t go that far!). The Lovers and the 5 of Cups as the two “Past Bias” cards show that previous deliberations and decisions have achieved little in terms of my pursuit of success “in the world,” but the Page of Cups seems to be philosophical about the whole thing; if he could shrug, he would. After all, the lure of mundane accomplishment for a comfortably retired person is more an engaging pastime than a necessity.
But what does this all mean in personal terms? The mental/emotional sphere seems to hold the most promise since it suggests that I could finally “get it right” both inwardly and outwardly after past struggles. The spiritual realm could entail a bit more “howling in the wilderness” until I find the metaphysical community of equals I seek, which may not come in six months. The physical outlook appears to be one of willing asceticism (well, maybe “near-asceticism” is closer to the truth). Overall, not a terrible forecast. By coincidence, the Who song “The Real Me” came on the radio while I was writing this. Maybe this time, huh?