A “Left Brain/Right Brain” Example Reading: The Fate of Roe vs Wade

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Here is the companion piece to the spread I posted earlier today.

To test my new “Left Brain/Right Brain” Split-Decision Spread, I decided to tackle one of the most highly-charged and divisive issues of our time from both a legal and emotional standpoint: the fate of the Roe vs Wade abortion law in the US Supreme Court. For the “rational” deck I used my Voyager Tarot, which is chock-full of intriguing symbols that don’t elicit much of a visceral response (it’s “all head and no heart”); for the “emotional” deck I chose Cathy McClelland’s beautifully evocative Star Tarot. First off, there are a number of Fours among these ten cards and Four represents the “rule of law,” so the issue has risen to the correct judicial level.

The “rational” side includes the Woman (Queen) of Wands; the Lovers; the Child (Page) of Worlds (Pentacles); the 4 of Wands; and the Universe. The quint with the court cards included is the Wheel of Fortune; without them it is the Emperor. (My practice is to include all of the cards in the spread in the quint calculation since I can see no good reason to exclude them.)

This is fairly transparent: the Court’s decision (Lovers) stands between the Woman and Child and determines their fate (with the Wheel of Fortune as quint, the Child’s destiny is still a “crap-shoot” at this point). The 4 of Wands is a “point of law” card and seems rather bloodless, but Crowley said something intriguing about its relevance here after talking about Order, Law and Government: “It is also referred to Venus in Aries, which indicates that one cannot establish one’s work without tact and gentleness,” although “Venus in the arms of the Law” doesn’t sound very compassionate to me. The Universe is the Saturn card, and Saturn doesn’t appreciate change, so the Court will have to “move a mountain” to make anything major happen. However, the Wheel of Fortune is the Jupiter card, which creates an interesting dynamic: in my view, Saturn is the “staying put” planet and Jupiter is the “movin’ on” planet, so there will be enormous tension attending the verdict. But as equal and opposite “social” planets, they indicate compromise rather than stalemate. On balance, though, with Jupiter at the end it looks like the legalists will win out on their “point of law” and there will be some modest revisions to the Court’s binding judicial position on Roe vs Wade.

On the “emotional” side we have the Tower; the Ace of Pentacles; the Prince of Wands (McClelland has two Princes and two Princesses in the “Pages” spot to create gender options for Significator); the 4 of Pentacles; and the Emperor. The quint with the Prince included is the Hermit; without the Prince it is the Chariot. I like the Hermit here because aligned with the Chariot the Emperor could ride roughshod over the proceedings.

The Tower needs no explanation: this is an explosive issue that could tear a big hole in our social fabric. Regarding the Ace of Pentacles, I liken it to the scientific theorem “Objects at rest tend to remain at rest;” assuming this isn’t just expressing wishful thinking, it lobbies against change. The Prince of Wands points to a younger member among the Justices who could play a pivotal role; the fiery Prince is elementally bolstered by the two adjacent Earth cards, which lend it gravity. The 4 of Pentacles is another “status quo” card, and McClelland’s version shows a tranquil swan gliding on a lake; it doesn’t look very eventful to me, and I’m thinking “let sleeping dogs lie.” The Emperor at the end suggests that the Chief Justice will cast the deciding vote, and he has often sided with the Liberals; however, the Hermit as quint makes me think he will be standing all alone in a high, lonely place. I certainly wouldn’t want to be in his shoes. The Hermit has no opportunity to “kick the can down the road” (not that the emboldened Prince of Wands is likely to let him anyway) so I predict that the Court will produce a nuanced decision that fully satisfies neither side. It’s a given that the SCOTUS can’t write laws, only interpret them, so their latitude in doing much in the way of revision is limited. It could be an “all or nothing” proposition: uphold the law or strike it down.

Considering my recent update to the original spread post, the Child would be foremost in the “logical” view and in the “emotional” view it would be the influence of the “junior Justice” (whom I believe is female).

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