As a way to test this spread, I decided to take a look at the prospects for my own life over the next three years. My main area of interest lay in the “Health & Happiness” category, especially involving my physical well-being. I used the RWS Centennial edition for 2020, the Thoth for 2021 and the Conver Ben-Dov TdM for 2020, and I applied reversals.
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In the 2020 line, the Lovers suggests that significant opportunities and decisions may present themselves during the year, but the Wheel of Fortune rx indicates that I should probably exercise discretion in taking any gambles that might tempt me. The high-focus card in the row was the 9 of Wands in the “Relationship” position, while the secondary “Health & Happiness” position held the King of Wands rx. The reversed King implies that, although my health should remain robust, I may slow down some over the coming year but at my age that’s not unexpected; I chose the 9 of Wands for Part Two of the reading.
In the 2021 line, the Priestess shows that the “big picture” scenario in the area of “Health & Happiness” may be obscure or indeterminate, while the Sun rx conveys the idea of reduced vitality. But the high-focus card for the year was the 5 of Swords in the “Finances” position (barely edging out the 5 of Wands in the “Health & Happiness” spot). I’m thinking that my retirement account may take a beating in the financial markets next year. The 5 of Wands implies that stress may be a factor in the “Health & Happiness” area, possibly as a result of financial trauma, but I chose the 5 of Swords for Part Two.
In the 2022 line, the Hermit shows that isolation could be an important theme during the year (I hope it doesn’t mean quarantine), while the Emperor rx could mean that I have to “stay my hand” in some way, advising mercy where I might be inclined to severity. The high-focus card for the year was the 5 of Wands in the “Health & Happiness” position, finally bringing the stress that was incipient in 2021 into the foreground. The suit of Wands suggests that “heart health” could be an issue, so I chose this card for Part Two.
The Part Two layout is shown below.
In the 2020 line, the possibility of confrontation implied by the 9 of Wands doesn’t seem to materialize. The 2 of Cups in the “Inner Aspects” position shows no obvious turmoil, although the Page of Cups rx in the “External Aspects” position implies temptation of some kind. The 4 of Pentacles rx in the “Trending Factors” position makes me think some temporary instability may arise, but the Ace of Pentacles in the “Consequences” position looks like this will ultimately be put to rights through some sort of conciliatory gesture. The Cups and Pentacles cards are elementally comfortable in the watery world of relationships, and should handily assuage the heartburn of the 9 of Wands.
In the 2021 line, the Knight of Swords rx indicates that “retreat” may be the best policy in responding to a personal monetary crisis, and the 7 of Wands rx hints at being severely “put-upon” by external circumstances. However, the 4 of Swords advises not overreacting to the urge to cave in, and to simply “wait it out.” The Priestess rx in the “Consequences” position could mean that no resolution will be in sight by the end of the year. The Swords cards are elementally at odds with the mundane realm of finance (Air to Earth), but Fire and Water are more-or-less at home there, possibly cushioning the blow.
In the 2022 line, the Queen of Wands in the “Internal Aspects” position suggests an enveloping composure that easily masters the stress of the 5 of Wands. The Star in the “External Aspects” position looks like an alignment of benevolent influences to me, while the 2 of Swords in the “Trending Factors” position indicates more of a “non-trend,” or no major shift in my circumstances. Temperance rx in the “Consequences” position is telling me to be careful not to lose my balance and fall again (I’ve been averaging one annual tumble for the last several years, but so far I’ve been very lucky). All of the Fire and Air cards in the row are more than capable of swiftly and cleanly making the lifestyle adjustments necessary to alleviate the stress of the 5 of Wands.
Overall, the three-year span of this reading doesn’t seem especially eventful, except for the threat of financial meltdown in 2021. But the Wheel of Fortune, the Sun and the Emperor in Part One are all inherently encouraging cards, and the reversal may delay but not deny them when they make up their mind to do something. None of the more challenging Major Arcana cards make an appearance, and only the two Fives suggest any kind of difficulty, with just the 5 of Swords left unresolved at the end of 2021.