To test this spread, I asked how effective the US government’s response to the COVID-19 crisis is going to be. I used the dazzling Tabula Mundi Colores Arcus Tarot (a Thoth clone), with reversals. Note that, in this case, the only relevant aspects of the two court cards are their facing and orientation; they aren’t intended to represent specific people. As the “Seeker” I chose the President’s initiative to bolster the economy; the “Other” stands for the US Congress as a whole, regardless of party affiliation; the “Gatekeeper” is the well-being of the population at large, including both individuals and organizations. I should mention that some of this was known by the time I pulled these cards, but that doesn’t make them any less accurate.
The first thing of note is that both the Prince of Swords and the Princess of Wands are facing in slightly different directions due to their reversal, which suggests disaffection and squabbling over the details. Because they are both reversed, there is most likely a backroom deal going on that will never be made public. Elementally, Air and Fire are friendly to one another, so they are aligned in principle and a way will be found to move the agenda forward. The Aeon (RWS Judgement) as the “Gatekeeper” indicates that this crisis is a defining moment in the future of the nation’s health and safety, and possibly an epoch-making one. However, the Aeon is elementally friendly to both of the court cards, so the road to resolution of any differences should be clear.
The Aeon is upright, so I read the three “Open Path” cards. The Hanged Man suggests that the response is being “held hostage,” and may amount to “too little, too late.” The Magus reversed has me thinking “bureaucratic inefficiency,” while the Knight of Cups reversed is not an especially aggressive champion of the people. Overall, the outlook seems somewhat lackluster and underwhelming.
When I do the quintessence calculation, I subtract the value of any reversed cards (which allows me to get down to zero [the Fool] instead of having to renumber it as 22, as well as creating the potential for a reversed quint). I also include the court cards as 11 through 14; I see no reason to exclude any of the cards on the table since they all contribute to the interpretation. Here, the math gives me 12 + [-1] + [-14] = [-3], the Empress reversed. It looks like Mother Nature won’t be kind.
I would say in summary that the United States is going to come out of this much less robust than it went in. Since the Empress is elementally neutral to and supportive of the Princess of Wands and hostile to the Prince of Swords, it appears that, in the long run, Congress will be viewed more favorably for its actions than the President.