Continuing from my previous post about having courage and a good deal of agility, I went down that route out of a realization that I am often too headstrong for my own good. Determined to achieve a specific goal, or vision in mind, unwilling to relent even when all fingers point the other way. It is a weakness to attachments. As the years go by, I realize that relentless attachments to ideas, concepts, and “goals” are counter-intuitive to life. When do plans ever pan out as we anticipate them? When is life every truly linear? No matter how one wishes to “construct” illusions, life is about change and flux. It is out of this understanding that I decided to end the individual survey of the pips in the Tarot de Marseille decks. Only the batons are left and I will most likely pool them together.
Now to keep things fresh, I want to share a spread I have had swimming in my mind for some time. About a month ago I wrote a small essay on spreads as cartography. Wherein I talk about looking at spreads as an organic interaction between the cards themselves and the shape of the spread. Sans specific positions.
This is the stairway spread, its focus is tension and progression.
As always, tension is never absent when reading cards, in this specific case it is pertinent to look at the tension between the two cards on each level. While afterwards, looking at how this tension leads to the progression on the following level. The two optional cards, are only for context and if needed, you can play around with the signification of these cards as they relate to their position in the stair.
Here is an example from my previous post.
The Seeker steps through into the unknown, a demanding proposition requiring strength before her. Sharp teeth gnaw at her fingers, threatening to devour her efforts and kill her resolve. The cold sharp blades open to give way for calming waters. A new road of potential opens, an outgrowth of the entanglement. The waters lead to the king of coins. From a tentative beginning, the lady has arrived on solid ground, a mighty staff on hand, with the power of a newly minted coin as a reward. The power of knowledge and discernment. The power to know and act.
There was no specific question here, I just wanted to see what the cards had to say at that particular moment. As you can see, the theme here is about handling unexpected opposition when the unknown presents itself, and seeing how the opposition opens up viable possibilities of movement. It is clear how each phase interacts within itself and consequently leads to the next step. The seeker opens up the conversation as a portal into the unknown, where two coins are proposed as inherent potential in exchange. The 2 of coins then move seamlessly into Strength, as the Lady and the Lion. The suppression found in the abundance of swords clashing speaks of the tension in the previous card, which in turn transforms into the 6 of cups. The polarity of the swords is now appeased as the green leaves grow upward and downward, with the cups in accord. What was once hostile is now tamed. The Lady is now the King, capable and agile.
It is an interesting spread to use when thinking about plans and projects. It can show possible routes as things (ideas, hopes, goals) intertwine or unravel. A possible teleological play. It is amusing to look at these progressions and the structures we create for ourselves and our lives and realize that none of this means anything other than subtle possibilities. As I look at whatever potential I might hope for in my life, I learn to really embrace the agile and tenacious, my swift feet, while remaining ever in the moment.
Feel more than free to play around with this spread and if you have any comments on it, do share.