This spread assumes that there are two ways to contemplate the likely success of any endeavor: the “easy way” and the “hard way.” It includes a three-card planning stage, a “trigger” card and a choice of paths dictated by the orientation of the trigger card, either upright or reversed. It is necessary to allow reversals at least with the first three cards, and to subtract the values of any reversed cards from the “quintessence card” calculation in order to create the possibility of a reversed “quint.” The spread requires the use of three decks, one for planning and two more for the alternate paths, only one of which will be used.
The “trigger” card will always be a trump card in accordance with the quintessence technique, and in keeping with my current assumptions about the trumps, it will provide a potent stimulus to action of a particular type, signifying “getting out of the gate” with the initiative. The nature of the card will show the underlying theme of the gambit, and its orientation will point down either the “open road” or the “rocky road” to success. In some cases, a degree of “creative imagination” will be necessary to align the traditional meanings of a given trump with the idea of motivation but there should always be something to drive the effort forward. Obviously, cards like the Hanged Man, Death and the Moon would be more comfortable reversed and therefore favoring the more obscure or occluded path (the “rocky road”) while more forthright cards like the Emperor, the Chariot or Strength, when upright, would better support the straightforward way.