Cartomancy 101.15 – The Unrevealed Question

In my experience, a good many inquirers prefer not reveal the question they want the cards to answer. When that is the case, the Cross spread, consisting of five cards, can prove a useful tool.

I will describe one reading of this kind that I made to illustrate my point. The inquirer, whom I shall call Jeff, while admitting he had a problem, didn’t feel he could name his problem to me. Sometimes inquirers do this because they have a genuine phobia about revealing what is troubling them. Sometimes they see it as a test – If she can work out what my problem is, I might be willing to take notice of whatever else she says. It makes no odds to me what the motive is. Either way, I give it my best shot, and where I do get feedback (not all inquirers offer it), I’ve generally hit the bullseye, or somewhere very close to it. I advise you to adopt the same attitude.

Jeff, as I said, had a problem. And he wanted the cards to answer the question he had in his mind but couldn’t articulate. I used the Cross layout and the cards fell as follows:

cross 2 spreadPosition 1: 4 Diamonds.  Position 2: 7 Spades.

Position 3: 3 Hearts. Position 4: 2 Clubs reversed

Position 5: 2 Diamonds

On those occasions where the inquirer has chosen not to reveal their question to me, I look over the entire spread before speaking a word. This enables me to assess various possibilities and assemble a coherent scenario in my head. I went through this process with Jeff’s spread.

The card in position one indicates the way the inquirer sees his problem. Most often it will describe the form the problem takes – Hearts, love; Clubs, career; Diamonds, finances; Spades, misfortunes and hindrances. Jeff’s problem very likely concerns money as there is a Diamond card in first place. This interpretation   seemed even more probable to me because the suit of Diamonds predominates in the reading.

On the list, the meanings for the 7 of Spades, the card in position 2, are given as: ‘Loss of friendship or loss of a friend. An unexpected burden. A warning of losses and sorrow.’ I homed in on the two latter meanings. Jeff, I speculated in my head, had either suffered a financial loss recently or found himself saddled with an unexpected financial burden.

Moving to the next card, the 3 of Hearts, we may note that its meanings, according to the list, are: ‘Love and happiness when the entire spread is generally favorable. In a difficult spread, this card can indicate emotional problems and an inability to decide where to place one’s affections.’ However, we must adjust this delineation because the question is not about love or a relationship. Furthermore, we should take into account the opposing natures of Hearts and Diamonds. Hearts stand for a person’s domestic life, Diamonds for life outside the home, for the world of work and the earning of money. I imagined that Jeff’s financial problems, though they originated in ‘the world of work’, were having repercussions in his home life.

The 2 of Clubs falls in fourth place and is reversed. It indicates that for Jeff obstacles will be overcome, and his present disappointments put behind him. The advice the card are offering is: ‘Do not listen to tittle-tattle, for while the scuttlebutt may point in one direction, actual events will tend in another direction entirely.’

In fifth position lies the 2 of Diamonds, a portent of success. But since it is a card of low denomination it possibly points to a small success. Should we let that bother us? I would say: not in these circumstances. There are no cards in the reading higher than 7 and the problem itself is denoted by another card of low denomination, the 4 of Diamonds.

Having weighed up the pros and cons of the reading, I delivered my judgment of cards to Jeff. I began by stating that his problem appeared to revolve around money. Because the 4 of Diamonds represents monetary gain or an improvement in a person’s financial situation, I told Jeff that I could see he had been doing fairly well in that area, but that he had now hit an unexpected obstacle (7 Spades). I went on to say that the opportunity to earn some extra money would present itself. That was my interpretation of the 3 of Hearts (Hearts are associated with luck) followed by the 2 of Clubs (Clubs representing, as I said above, the world of work and the earning of money). The 2 of Clubs points to obstacles surmounted, but Clubs are cards of self-help, so Jeff will have to graft for the extra money. If he is willing to put in the effort, however, he can get himself out of the financial hole in which he now finds himself. I explained that he should not listen to rumors suggesting he wouldn’t be able to find more work, as those rumors were likely to be unsound.

Jeff then told me his story. He worked in the steel industry and had been receiving good pay with the opportunity to collect a sizeable bonus each month by working overtime. He had spent money assuming that his situation was fixed for the foreseeable future. A slump in the industry had ruined his plans. Overtime had been cancelled, leaving Jeff with a shortfall in his wage-packet and only just managing to keep up with his higher purchase agreements by drawing on the family’s meager savings. At the plant, there was talk of overtime being out of the question for another three months. Being a resourceful man, Jeff told me that, if the cards said there was money to be earned if he looked around for extra work, he would try for a part-time job that he could do in the hours he had previously allocated to overtime at the steel works. Although jobs in his area were scarce as hen’s teeth, Jeff went off feeling that, since the cards had promised it, he would find part-time work with little difficulty. In fact, once the initial three months period without overtime at the steel works was up, despite all the rumors to the contrary, overtime was reinstated. This happened a week or two after Jeff consulted me. Thus, his financial problems were solved at a stroke, and all in line with what the cards had predicted.

About auntietarot
Born in Britain just before the outbreak of the second world war, I was taught basic tarot skills by my maternal grandmother. In the sixties, I joined a Golden Dawn-type esoteric school, passing through the curriculum and becoming an instructor in ritual etiquette and the making and consecration of talismans. At the beginning of the eighties, I left the school to plow my own furrow in areas such as tarot and astrology. Since my retirement I have spent time researching the occult history of the tarot and the various ways the tarot has been used for divination in the past.

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