When doing tarot spreads for two different outcomes, it’s easy to do them in a “v” shape, with one branch being one outcome and the other branch being the other. And that’s a very workable and solid spread for such a question. The one that I use is similar, but is more like a “two paths” spread. I start with one card to represent me, now. Then, I put one card to the upper left-hand corner of the “now” card and put two cards to its left. So the card immediedly next to the “now” card is “near future”, then the one to the left of that is “future” and the one to the left of that is “far future”. I do the same thing to the upper right-hand corner, with the card closest to the “now” card being the near future, the next one to its right being the future, and then the final card being far future. Now, I have my querent standing at a cross roads. Each path literally leads in the opposite direction, so much so that the future and near future cards can’t even see each other, so to speak, if one person were traveling on each road.
If we look at this reading with sample cards we quickly see where the paths diverge.
Now = Seven of Pentacles
Path #1 (in this case it’s a what if I don’t do this):
Near future = Princess of Swords reversed
Future: 10 of Cups
Far future = Princess of Cups reversed
Path #2 (the what if I continue on this path, path)
Near future = Death reversed
Future: 7 of Swords reversed
Far Future: King of Swords Reversed
Overall – I’m seeing a ton of reversed cards and as someone who usually reads them I see them as “no”, but in this case they can also indicate the angst and worry and “can’t do it” attitude that’s been going into this situation. Honestly, the ones on the “don’t” path worry me more because of the cards and their nature reversed. I also see a lot of swords on both sides; this is an intellectual matter. The pentacles where I am at now indicates my mind being on money (and the card itself shouts a lack of patience.
So let’s look at the “no” path. The princess of swords reversed speaks to me of gossip, who doesn’t use the power of air/intellect wisely and who gets into too much negative thought patterns both in mind and in speech. Gossip, innuendo, and sniping are her tools of trade. Yet the future card is the wish fulfillment card, the card seemingly of having everything. I’m reminded of the image in the Rider-Waite deck of the family and the rainbow with the cups overhead. And yet, there seems to be no logical path from the bitterness of the first card to the third, which is the princess of cups. She’s sad, contemplative, depressed, so perhaps the wish fulfillment was all an illusion, like the cups in the sky and when the rainbow faded reality set in with a harsh lesson. All in all, I’m not sure, even if the ten of cups is real, that it’s a path anyone would want to go down, knowing sadness and loss was at the end.
The “yes” path is more interesting. It starts with death reversed, which tells me that something needs to “die” and isn’t being let go. It’s about hanging on in an unhealthy way. This is leading to the seven of swords reversed, or the thief card, where the thief isn’t going to get away with anything. It’s going to be hard, honest work. There are no short cuts or no quick fixes to this. And in the end, the future brings someone who is stubborn and hard-hearted, but…if we turn this around then releasing brings a sense of ease of “getting away with something” and in the end, someone who is smart and quick-witted, yet can temper his words with compassion.
In the end, I drew one final card…what if one follows the “yes” path. The king of pentacles up right. A man with wealth who has a balance between savings and thrifty and being able to spend on the things he wants to. So now the cards have shown us the paths. It’s up to us to make the decisions, but the two paths spread, hopefully will help.
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