This post continues the reading started in Part 1: The setup.
The reading is one using “traditional” meanings (gleaned from authors such as Arthur Edward Waite, Eden Gray, and Leanna Greenaway), in a “predictive” (or fortunetelling) reading. The purpose of this reading is not fortunetelling, but to demonstrate how a predictive reading can be used to stimulate the creative imagination and as an aid in problem solving. (See Part 1 of this series for the reasoning behind the exercise.)
If only this were true! I have not been feeling in the least balanced or moderate about this book lately; I have experienced neither inner (or outer, for that matter) harmony nor an ability to adapt to any of my circumstances. In fact, I have (temporarily) lost my writer’s voice, a phase which we promptly dubbed “writer’s laryngitis”! Things are looking a bit better today, but not Temperance-y at all.
However, Eden Gray uses one phrase with which I could identify: “the use of successful combinations.” If divination means ‘the uncovering of occult (hidden) information,’ then a predictive reading would be telling me that at least I’m on the right track with this book, which attempts to explain how Tarot and creative thinking can be combined. Creative thinking also often relies on combining unrelated ideas or items, so maybe this “alchemist” (one of the archetypes associated with Trump XIV) has found the right ingredients which, combined, will transform words on paper into gold. Whoo-hoo!
So how would this interpretation serve as stimulus for problem solving?
One of the steps in problem solving is the actual identification of a problem. If there is something “off” but you’re not sure what, one way to identify the problem is to create an ideal situation, then to see where reality and ideal are too far from each other.
This is a cinch in Tarot reading: all you need is a spread that explores your situation from various angles. You don’t need a specific question (indeed, if you had a specific question, you wouldn’t need to identify any problems—you would already know exactly what you want to ask), but you should probably identify a problem area first, such as finances, career, creative activities, spirituality or relationships.
The Celtic Cross does a superb job at giving you an overview of your current circumstances: it looks at challenges you face, the root or foundation of the situation, what is good about the situation, which influences from the past are at work, which future influences you need to take into account, how you see your role in this situation, how your external environment is influencing you, your feelings in the matter, and where this could all be leading to.
You could also design your own spread, of course, incorporating card positions for anything you can think of, or exploring an aspect in more depth (for example looking at the type of influences you could be facing—positive, negative, unconscious and so on). Or you could draw clarifying cards for specific cards in the Celtic Cross, if you wish.
The one thing you will not find in the Celtic Cross spread is specific advice. You can add a card position called “Advice,” but since I simply wanted a broad overview of the book project, I used the Celtic Cross as Waite described it.
This card highlights a huge gap between the ideal and reality: the lack of balance, harmony and moderation.
I have decided to use this lack as a problem I can work with; a second aspect that I want to keep in mind is to keep focusing on the main theme of the book: the combination of creative thinking and Tarot.
The best way to read the “Covers you” card is in combination with the second position: “Crosses you.” These two cards give you insight into the heart of the situation.