The title alludes to “Boris and Brexit,” not “bed & breakfast,” “bread & butter” or “Benedictine & brandy.” My last reading on Brexit was November 26 of last year and it predicted that Theresa May wouldn’t have “a chance in Hell” as her “support surges away from her” amid “stubborn divisiveness.”
For this reading I used my “Fool’s Insight” situational-awareness spread with the Thoth deck, including reversals. I selected the Idiot (Fool) from the Post-Modern Tarot for the “Fool’s Insight” card because . . . well. the figure is blond and wears a suit; I didn’t draw any ad hominem inferences from the title because I don’t have a strong interest in British political personalities (although I know my liberal British friends will relish the irony). The main attraction is that the card is approximately the same size as my Thoth deck. The Fool plays no part in the interpretation except as an “avatar” for the subject of the reading.
The question was “What challenges will Boris Johnson face in trying to bring Brexit to closure?”
All images copyright U.S. Games Systems, Inc, Stamford, CT and Harper Collins Publishing, New York, NY
Here is a breakdown of the cards and positions. A discussion of the Elemental Dignities will follow.
Card #1: “What’s coming my way?” – Queen of Wands reversed: Umm, the same fate as Theresa May? Or perhaps a showdown with Angela Merkel? Reversed, this is a card of frustrated ambitions.
Card #2: “What do I know now?” – the World reversed: Given the reversal, successful completion of his quest could be elusive since “the world as he knew it” is no longer the same place. The playing field has changed and he is well aware of the implications.
Card #3: “What don’t I know now?” – 8 of Wands (Swiftness) reversed: Aleister Crowley related this card to electricity; reversed, it could be showing a “power shortage” as Johnson falls short of the clout he must wield to make Brexit happen. The impression is that he doesn’t know that yet (or won’t admit it).
Card #4: “What’s the ‘big picture’?” – 8 of Swords (Interference): The name of the game is “obstructionism.” Every step along the way will be contested.
Card #5: “What’s wrong with this picture?” – 3 of Swords (Sorrow) reversed: Regardless of the outcome, reputations are sure to be irreversibly damaged. This card suggests that there will be no real winners.
Card #6: “What’s the best I can expect?” – 10 of Wands (Oppression) reversed: A bitter struggle with little satisfaction to be had beyond “fighting the good fight.” Honorable combat is unlikely; more of a “no-holds-barred” knife-fight should be expected, and the enemy just won’t sit still.
Card #7: “How should I respond?” – the Lovers: A little “alchemical transmutation” needs to happen to turn a “sow’s ear” into a “silk purse.” Some kind of conciliatory gesture might have to be made to make the agenda palatable. At this point it’s not about an EU “deal” (after all, if you stick your neck out far enough you can expect to get a “haircut”), it seems to be a matter of quelling internal unrest. Can reconciliation still happen? This card is neither a firm “yes” nor a definite “no,” but a “maybe.”
Shadow (or “Challenge”) Card: “What hidden obstacles should I watch out for in the “big picture?” – 2 of Cups (Love) reversed: It’s entirely possible that those he thinks of as staunch allies are working to undermine him.
Quint Card: What kind of break should I watch for in the ‘big picture’ (if any)?” – the Chariot reversed: It’s tempting to say that the cavalry could appear out of nowhere at a critical juncture and pull his chestnuts out of the fire. But it could just mean that he has to “save face” or even leave town expeditiously with his tail between his legs. On balance, though, the Chariot is a positive card and reversal only changes the mode of delivery or angle of attack for its energy. So I would hazard a guess that it could mean he unexpectedly “snatches victory out of the jaws of defeat” at the last minute.
I also sometimes read the four vertical cards as a summary; here, the Fool receives stiff opposition (8 of Swords) from those he thought were on his side (2 of Cups reversed), resulting in “the wheels coming off” his juggernaut (Chariot reversed).
ED Focus for Card #2 (Level of confidence in the accuracy of first impressions): Fire-Earth-Fire – These elements are mutually supportive, so Johnson may be able to turn the seismic turmoil in the Brexit landscape to his advantage as long as he sticks to his original vision of the future.
ED Focus for Card #3 (Level of confidence in the ability to handle surprises): Earth-Fire-Air – Earth and Air are hostile to one another, although both are on good terms with Fire. I would say that he may not be quite nimble enough to dodge all of the underhanded blows aimed at him.
ED Focus for Card #4 (Level of confidence in achieving an “informed” outlook): Fire-Air-Air – This is a highly incendiary combination since too much “hot air” can cause an ideological flame-out. This looks like a “jump-to-conclusions” scenario, possibly from the frying-pan straight into the fire. He should take Donald Trump as a cautionary example.
ED Focus for Card #5 (Level of confidence in the adequacy of “damage control,” if necessary): Air-Air-Fire – Another combination with “blow-up potential;” the target may be moving too fast and too erratically to pin down, resulting in “missing the mark.” It makes me think of pouring water on an electrical fire to put it out and getting zapped in the process.
ED Focus for Card #6 (Level of confidence in the strength of any positive trends): Air-Fire-Air – This is a more balanced expression of Elemental Dignity, with the doubling of Air over Fire creating a hot, steady flame. I don’t see much positive in the 10 of Wands reversed, but if he can muster the sure strokes of a “blacksmith” he may be able to forge something worthwhile out of it yet. The combination suggests being tossed into a crucible (“a situation of severe trial, or in which different elements interact, leading to the creation of something new”).