Working on expanding outside the narrative-picture box of the Rider-Waite-Smith and subsequent Tarot systems by going back to the traditional Marseille deck, in this case Universal Marseille. According to Lee Bursten in the accompanying book, the Major Arcana were part of a trump system to add to playing cards and used archetypal symbolism from the 15th century that created a kind of pilgrim’s progress through psychological/spiritual challenges to greater balance, integration, and awareness. In the meantime the Minor Arcana (Ace through 10 and Court Cards) were originally just playing cards with no real divination associations. I liked Lee’s idea, taken from Claude Burdel, to use the symbols on the “pip” cards of the Minor Arcana with reference to interpretations associated with number, suit and shape patters, rather than just imagining an RWS narrative substitute.
The more down-to-earth view of the Marseille reminds me of my work with the Lenormand system also. (You can check out my Lenormand blog here.) I’m going to do a series of five-card draws for the week, as I’m doing with the Lenormand deck, and practice interpreting based on what’s on the cards, using the Lenormand’s system of having the center card as the key card, and then relating it to the cards around it and them to each other.
So, preliminaries taken care of, this week’s draw is Chariot, Knight of Chalices, Nine of Pentacles, King of Pentacles, Seven of Swords. So, let’s look at the relationship to see what this week may hold in terms of influences.
Key card is the Nine of Pentacles, so we’re talking material abundance as the central concern and 9 indicates that I deserve that abundance. That makes sense since I had no billable work last week and expect my editing/book indexing business to pick up this week. Looking at the cards on either side of the Nine, I see that my emotional state is in learning mode; not mature on this (I’m probably worrying too much!), but I have the capacity for taking control of my wealth (the King). Ah, putting Chariot together with the Knight might be saying that I need to take the reins of those emotions and realize I’ve got the maturity to create abundance. And the Seven of Swords-King of Pentacles combo calls upon me to take an in-depth (7) and strategic (swords) look at my situation in order to control the outcome.
So, that’s my story, and I’ll stick to it until next Sunday, when I’ll let you know how it turned out. In the meantime, let me know what you think this spread means and how you approach divination with a Marseille-type deck, if you use one.
Update 9/16/12: Well, the new work came in (which I must get to here shortly today to meet the deadline on Tuesday), but no funds arrived from previous jobs, so the bills remain unpaid and the financial anxiety continues. On the other hand, having this message to review now reminds me that I am doing a lot more strategic things to improve my situation over the next year, so it’s time to get to work!