The “Pursuit of Happiness” Spread

“You hold me up and you let me fly
Givin’ me a sweet kind spirit to swing by”
from “Jazzman” by Pure Prairie League

No particular reason for this quote other than that it captures the joyous “spirit of tarot” I’m trying to invoke here.

As diviners we spend a lot of time looking for potential challenges in our readings with the goal of advising our clients how to overcome them. To be fair, Aleister Crowley once observed that people don’t typically seek a tarot reading unless they’re facing some kind of challenge, so we might say it “comes with the territory.” But it seems to me that we could put more effort toward exploring the “positive reinforcement” possibilities that are equally present in the cards, we just have to ask the right questions. I decided to create a “hopes and wishes” spread that lets the querent intentionally choose the cards that represent the best possible outcome in the circumstances, and then perform a random pull followed by a series of “quintessence” calculations to look at the level of subconscious and superconscious support for the individual’s intentions and aspirations. The idea is to begin with an upbeat outlook and only back off from it to the extent the cards strongly contradict such a sanguine perspective; consider it part of the “we make our own reality” paradigm and the pursuit of “affirmation.”

This creates a “reading within a reading.” The first six cards show the querent’s “conversation” with their own subconscious, which often has a better grasp of the reality of a situation than conscious deduction. If the individual’s expectations are unrealistic, that should show up here. The five sub-quintessence cards provide a “big picture” overview of Universal forces that will ultimately determine how easy or difficult it will be to advance along the desired success path, while the Grand Quintessence offers a summary or “snapshot” outcome. If the seeker is truly “shoveling against the tide,” that should be revealed here with no ambiguity. Reversals may be used with this spread if you like.


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