The “Light-and-Shadow” Decision-Making Spread

The “Holy Grail” of decision-making advice is the simple, straightforward “yes-or-no” answer: “Should I or shouldn’t I? Will she or won’t she? Is it or isn’t it?” There are numerous short spreads that strive for this goal; this isn’t one of them. It recognizes that every sunny street has a shady side, and a ray of sunlight can penetrate even the dimmest alleyway, thus allowing for additional nuances of interpretation. I use a standardized set of “Yes-leaning,” No-leaning” and “Maybe” meanings of my own design (based primarily on suit and number theory along with Thoth and RWS interpretive conventions) to arrive at a “Yes” or “No” verdict in five cards that are adjusted for testimonial strength according to their associations, both objective and elemental. These associations are represented in two sets of “hidden” (that is, face-down) cards, one a “Yes” line and the other a “No” line, that are turned up according to the “yes-or-no” nature of each of the five main “advice” cards. (There is a second, more advanced technique that uses both lines to apply Elemental Dignities to the advice cards.) “Maybe” advice cards are not adjusted, which can produce a “tie score” in the final analysis that amounts to a “no decision” verdict.

This spread uses a weighting or preponderance of one class of cards over another. More adjusted “Yes” than “No” cards will create an affirmative result, and vice versa. “Maybe” advice cards are considered neutral, and one or more of them in the adjusted outcome can create a “hung jury,” in which the judgment is a toss-up: one answer may be no more likely than the other, so the querent will be “walking a knife’s edge” in the situation.

The five advice cards can then be read as a narrative “story” explaining why the verdict is legitimate. Reversals can be applied in the original pull to add more detail and subtlety to the narrative baseline; however, they should not be considered in assessing the amount of adjustment to be accorded by the “Yes” or “No” cards.


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