An Experiment in “Symbolic Parallels”

Here is a 15-card spread that explores the notion that cards will complement one another according to the position they hold within the 78-card series, essentially creating pairs of “symbolic parallels.” It is intended to show the querent’s psychological orientation to the subject of the reading as it develops over time, from initial awareness to ultimate resolution. There is a lot of “meat” to it since it is comprised of eight interrelated mini-readings: three discrete phases of consciousness shown in five cards each, and five “response spectra” of three cards each that link the phases. The result is a comprehensive profile of the matter that places the querent’s mental/emotional contribution to the outcome squarely within the context of the unfolding scenario. The design of the spread lends itself quite nicely to the use of Elemental Dignities in the central “cross” section, which I envision as reflecting a sort of “crisis of conscience” or turning-point in dealing with the emerging consequences of the querent’s behaviors and attitudes. It suggests the important role the subconscious plays in our subjective engagement with objective reality.

Note that the Major Arcana can be accorded either a “microscopic” view that correlates them only within their 22-card subset, or a “macroscopic” one that associates them with the entire series. For example, the Emperor finds its “symbolic parallel” in either the Star (Aleister Crowley might have a few words to say about that) or the 10 of Pentacles. The “midpoint” card would be a toss-up between the Wheel of Fortune or Justice in one case and the 3 or 4 of Cups in the other; the reader must deduce which one best fits the context of the question.

Recognize that my psychological assumptions may be a little flawed since I have only undergraduate psychology and philosophy to my credit (along with a lifetime of study and contemplation), but from a metaphysical perspective I think the premises are sound.

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