Longer Spreads and Example Reading

Medium-length spreads (five or six cards) tend to have a more specific focus, such as relationships, money, spirituality or difficult choices, and they provide more information

about the issue in question.

Five-Card Spread

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A typical five-card spread will provide information about the perceived problem (card #1), any hidden aspects (card #2), what might happen in the immediate future (card #3), actions to be taken (card #4), and an outcome (card #5). For example, I might choose a five-card spread to examine whether to accept my partner’s proposal of marriage. The cards can be laid out like this:

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  • Card #1 = Inquiry Feeler, reversed

    • ​Position Significance: perceived problem

    • Suit of Inquiry = thinking and reason

    • Feeler = inward-focused, inner knowing, nurturing energy

    • Image: a figure standing at a crossroads, deciding which way to go; reversed = self-responsible choosing energy is blocked/intercepted by calculation

    • Reversed Keyword: Calculating

    • Reversed Card Meaning: Allowing an emotional reaction to cloud our vision; manipulative and controlling; lacking compassion for others; narrow-minded and intolerant

    • Possible story: My current inner mindset (Suit of Inquiry, Feeler) toward my partner's proposal of marriage (card #1 position: perceived problem) -- which is one of calculation (card #1 meaning: lacking in compassion, intolerant)...

  • Card #2 = 5 of Ability

    • ​Position Significance: hidden aspects

    • Suit of Ability = embodiment, the physical world, the skills we develop to help

    • Number 5 = with effort

    • Image: a figure with images of stormy weather in their head 

    • Keyword: Triggers

    • Card Meaning: Experiencing triggers; unresolved trauma; preoccupation with past events; neglecting our bodies; feeling excluded and insecure; struggling to make ends meet

    • Possible story: ...might be related to my difficult history (card #2 meaning: experiencing triggers) with a past partner (card #2 position: hidden aspects) which cost me materially and physically (Suit of Ability, number 5).

  • Card #3 = Affinity Thinker

    • ​Position Significance: immediate future

    • Suit of Affinity = emotions and connection

    • Thinker = outward-focused, power in the world, purposeful energy

    • Image: a seated figure with hands raised to symbols of creativity, love, reason and embodiment

    • Keyword: Self-Regulation

    • Card Meaning: Mastery over ourselves and our emotions in relationships; social responsibility; balance between emotions and intellect

    • Possible story: I can imagine myself (card #3 position: immediate future) as a loving partner in this relationship (Suit of Affinity, thinker) if I can balance my emotions and my thinking (card #3 meaning: outward-focused, balance between emotions and intellect)...

  • Card #4 = 6 of Vitality

    • ​Position Significance: action to be taken

    • Suit of Vitality = creativity and spirit

    • Number 6 = balanced

    • Image = a figure with arms raised in celebration, while others applaud

    • Keyword: Approval

    • Card Meaning: Achieving success; being acknowledged or vindicated; feeling worthy of notice; self-confidence; optimistic vitality

    • Possible story: ...and I can feel confident (Suit of Vitality, number 6) that if I marry my partner (card #4 position: action to be taken), the marriage will be a success (card #4 meaning: self-confidence, optimistic vitality).

  • Card #5 = X Persona

    • ​Position Significance: outcome

    • Suit: Major Arcana

    • Stage 2 = inhibiting our true self

    • Image: a figure holding a mask up to their face

    • Keyword: Persona

    • Card Meaning: Our false self, which becomes our identity; presenting ourselves as strong and perfect, not showing our struggles or weaknesses; depleted energy from acting only through our persona; only able to repeat past reactions and behaviors

    • Possible story: So it’s really up to me (card #5 position: outcome), whether I can overcome my past experiences and find the courage to trust (card #5 meaning: only able to repeat past reactions and behaviors), or if I will keep acting from this protective persona, which isn't really me (Major Arcana stage 2).

Summary: "My current inner mindset toward my partner's proposal of marriage, which is one of calculation, might be related to my difficult history with a past partner, which cost me materially and physically. I can imagine myself as a loving partner in this relationship, if I can balance my emotions and my thinking, and I can feel confident that if I marry my partner, the marriage will be a success. So it's really up to me whether I can overcome my past experiences and find the courage to trust, or if I will keep acting from this protective persona which really isn't me."

~~~~~

In this example, the fact that I pulled a Major Arcana card as the outcome card is a further indication that this issue represents a very important life lesson that I can choose to engage (or not!).