A Cards-and-Pendulum “Yes-or-No” Example Reading: Return of Deposit
AUTHOR’S NOTE: When I “calibrated” my new pendulum, the horizontal axis responded to “Yes,” which made the vertical axis “No” for all future readings.
To test this method, I asked the question “Will we receive our full deposit back?” for a contract we cancelled when the contractor failed to perform the work within a reasonable time. The contract didn’t include any cancellation clauses other than forfeiture of the “convenience fee” for credit-card payment, but we paid by check (big mistake, by the way!) and didn’t incur the charge. I used the Golden Art Nouveau RWS “clone” for this reading and selected the 9 of Pentacles as the “topic” card to reflect that we hope to be “made whole” by getting all or most of our deposit back. (The Thoth title for this card is “Gain,” but I’m going to puckishly rename it “Regain” in this instance.)
During the reading, the pendulum gave me a tentative “No” with a very weak vertical swing, but a “No” nonetheless. The “Why” and “How” behind the answer were interesting. The reading went from top-to-bottom, and the card at the top was the 4 of Pentacles (which in my private lexicon of “tarot euphemisms” I call the “I Me Mine” card after the George Harrison song). I read this as they will try to hold onto a large part of the money and perhaps make a counter-offer since we filed a complaint against them in the State’s small-claims court. (The court encourages private settlement, but there is clearly a large gap in expectations here.)
The bottom card was the 3 of Swords, suggesting that any proposed counter-offer will be disappointing, but also that the court may hand down a summary judgment that lets the contractor off the hook for full repayment. We strongly suspect that they will file for bankruptcy since they haven’t been able to hire qualified workers (and they wanted to send us trainees, which was when we balked). At any rate, the 3 of Swords doesn’t look promising since there is a good deal of elemental hostility between Earth and Air, and if the bankruptcy goes through we will have to stand in line with the rest of the creditors and could wind up with only pennies on the dollar after the lawyers and the court get their cut (which could be indicated by the three swords “slicing up the pie”). The 4 of Pentacles won’t get to keep its money but the 9 of Pentacles won’t see much of it either as the legal system “bleeds it dry.”
The Verdict: While I didn’t like the “No” answer I received, I like the process and the additional information provided by the cards very much. Having the first card address the “Why” of the situation and the second card the “How” seems to make a lot of sense and yields just enough detail to support the pendulum’s prediction. Although it doesn’t matter too much because the direction is more important than the range, I think next time I will use smaller cards (pocket-size or “mini”) since the pendulum-swing was rather anemic. As I become attuned to it I will most likely get more responsive results, but this will do for now.