The “Flying Leap” Illness and Injury Risk Assessment Spread

Back in the ’50s when people were marginally more genteel, there was an expression of disdainful dismissal that went “Go take a flying leap” (typically off a tall building), the objective being that the miscreant would not return. Where in the ’70s we might have said “Go s**t in your hat” and today we get right to the point with “Go f**k yourself,” things were more indirect in those less abrasive times. The idea of the “flying leap” was the inspiration for the title of this risk assessment spread.

There is general agreement in the tarot community that it is unethical and legally problematic to advise clients in the area of medical diagnosis and treatment if one has neither the credentials nor the license. But there is no such proscription in looking at one’s own risk exposure when making individual decisions or taking actions that might increase one’s vulnerability to illness or injury.  During the course of our lives, we all make informal risk assessments surrounding our exploits, most of them inconsequential but an occasional one that is potentially life-changing. These range in complexity from “Should I take my umbrella today?” to “Should I fly or should I drive?” to “Should I take an “adventure vacation” in an undeveloped part of the world or visit a national park?” to “Should I go sky diving today or sit by the pool and sip a pina colada?” Every move we make, even getting out of bed in the morning, entails some risk. Google might be able to inform you that the zica virus is raging at your tropical resort destination, but there are a lot of other less palpable opportunities for trouble.

The purpose of this spread is to furnish a look at the risk involved in an intended action in several ways: whether the exposure to illness or injury is likely to be high or low, whether the greatest vulnerability occurs early or late in the evolution; whether the impact is likely to be severe or mild, and whether the consequences would be short term or long term. The scenario is based on the premise that odd-numbered spread positions are more challenging than even-numbered positions, and that there is a “crisis point” that can be modeled around this premise by deriving the “quintessence” card for each sub-set.

To start things rolling, the querent-reader, using two decks, chooses a card from Deck #1 to represent normal aversion to risk (in other words, how “brave” one typically is) and a card from Deck #2 to reflect routine tolerance for adversity (in short, one’s usual “pain threshold”).  These cards are dealt into the eight spread positions as described in the guidance to show the expected nature of one’s vulnerability and the projected severity of any consequences. The decks are then reassembled, shuffled and dealt into an eight-card array that describes a “best-case” (even-numbered) and a “worst-case” (odd-numbered) developmental scenario. Finally, a pair of quintessence cards is derived for the sub-sets to depict the range of severity for any crisis point that emerges during the unfolding of events in the matter. In the aggregate, any elemental preponderance among the ten cards will hint at whether injury (active Fire and Air) or illness (passive Water and Earth) represents the greater risk during the planned episode.

I anticipate that this spread would only be used when contemplating some medium-to-high-risk activity that has a fairly wide band of uncertainty regarding potential danger to participants. Other than those already mentioned, a few common ones I can think of are flying anywhere in a small plane, making a long-distance road trip, hiking unaccompanied in the wilderness and traveling alone to an unfamiliar location.

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