A Political “Bypass and Detour” Reading: 2022 Midterm Elections

Parsifal the Scribe
5 min readDec 12, 2021


My track record with political predictions using the tarot has been spotty at best, but I still keep trying, hoping to find the right spread to unlock the puzzle. Here I’m applying my “Bypass and Detour” Situational Spread to assess the Republican and Democratic parties’ prospects for gaining seats in the US House of Representatives and Senate in the November 2022 congressional elections. The Republican’s outlook is on the left in the photo below, and uses the Radiant RWS deck; the Democrats’ forecast is on the right and uses the standard RWS Centennial Edition.

The Republicans’ layout contains the maximum number of cards possible with this spread due to the large number of reversed cards. This indicates that there could be a considerable amount of uncertainty and frequent swings in their fortunes all the way up to the final tally.

The Democrats’ layout contains the minimum number of cards possible with this spread since there is a total lack of reversed cards. This suggests that the Democrats’ road will be a straightforward one, and I wouldn’t be surprised if their campaign strategy is to mount the same attack that worked for them in 2018; however, there are risks in this approach as we will see.

The Republican pull gave me the 7 of Wands rx, the 4 of Pentacles; the 6 of Wands rx; the Hanged Man; the 3 of Wands rx; the 2 of Pentacles; the 8 of Cups rx; the High Priestess and the 5 of Pentacles rx. There are no court cards in the series, indicating that there are no “shoo-in” candidates on the ballot, but also no earmarked losers.

The 7 of Wands rx makes me think that a number of key battleground States will loom large in this election, and there could be a good deal of desperate scuffling before the dust settles. The Republican candidates for the House of Representatives could lose a little ground in those States if they don’t strike early and often on the campaign trail.

The 4 of Pentacles seems to be saying that the Republicans’ campaign war chest will be well-funded, and they intend to spend their capital cautiously — and perhaps a little too sparingly — where it will do the most good in “flipping” Congress.

The 6 of Wands rx throws some cold water on the Republicans’ prospects for an early victory, but it could also mean that they are watching their backs for any political dirty tricks. The hoped-for “blowout” doesn’t look imminent.

The Hanged Man shows that the election will be hanging by a thread. The Republicans’ game looks stagnant and their position precarious at the midpoint, but they won’t begin getting agitated until the West Coast vote starts rolling in.

The 3 of Wands rx implies that a few of the Republican candidates could be watching in vain for their ship to come in, especially where they’re trying to flip a State congressional delegation from Democrat to Republican.

The 2 of Pentacles portrays some fancy footwork that — if I were to predict the outcome on that alone — could bring home two seats in the Senate for the Republicans (pulling their chestnuts out of the fire, so to speak). The fundamental meaning of this card is “Change,” which could be reflected in a couple of seats swapping hands. Thin evidence, to be sure, but it and the 4 of Pentacles are the best this array has to offer the GOP.

The 8 of Cups rx hints at the political dirty tricks mentioned above that could have a harmful impact on the chances of some vulnerable Republicans in the tighter House races.

The High Priestess may reflect something momentous in the way of damaging revelations coming out of these shenanigans, although the Democrats won’t tip their hand until the last minute. However, there is no certainty that these sallies won’t backfire or be a case of “too little, too late.”

The image in the 5 of Pentacles proclaims that the Republicans will walk away disappointed from the House elections, and their gains in the Senate are by no means assured unless a couple of their members are able to “tap-dance”convincingly as shown in the 2 of Pentacles and they can leverage their financial resources effectively in line with the 4 of Pentacles.

I should mention at this point that there are opinions in the tarot literature proposing that reversal mitigates or even negates the unfortunate implications of “bad” cards like the 8 of Cups and the 5 of Pentacles. I don’t necessarily see it that way and prefer to finesse the upright meaning since reversal can shift the emphasis in subtle ways such that the impact is more oblique than direct. The upshot is that there could be more “wiggle room” to turn an unqualified disaster into a more salutary result. But that 5 of Pentacles is unquestionably drab and doesn’t look like a glancing blow to me.

The Democratic pull gave me the 5 of Cups; the King of Cups; Death; the Moon and the 4 of Pentacles. The most notable thing about this series overall is that there is a significant amount of complacency present.

The 5 of Cups shows that there will be some nervousness and a sense of impending doom on the part of Democratic candidates going into the election, most definitely a powerful whiff of “losing it all.”

The King of Cups looks like he’s saying “What, me worry?” implying that Democrat leadership may be too complacent and sanguine when they should be motivated and pushing hard right up to the end.

Politically, Death could be staring them in the face, suggesting upheaval that could turn the party inside out. This is the “impending doom” scenario made manifest. Recriminations may be flying before all the ballots are even counted. There is a sense of finality that doesn’t brook much dispute.

The Moon has something of the feel of the 8 of Cups on the Republican side, implying shady dealings that could work against the weaker candidates. Unlike the 8 of Cups rx, however, the operatives could be more adept at covering their tracks. It’s possible that the Democratic momentum could bleed away in a haze of bad publicity despite efforts at damage control, amid growing suspicions that they “did it to themselves” over the last four years (something long acknowledged by public-opinion poll watchers). As science-fiction writer Robert Heinlein once observed in a book title, “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.”

The 4 of Pentacles is another complacent card, signifying that the Democrats believe they can hold onto their political lead in Congress without expending too much effort. Sounds like “famous last words” to me.

Neither of these campaign trajectories is very inspiring or promising (although the Republicans’ seems more dynamic, if less stable), and the public is definitely fed up with this lot. Sticking my neck out on the basis of this comparative analysis, I will surmise that the Senate will revert to Republican control based mostly on sheer public disaffection with governmental ineptitude, but the House is up for grabs since the Republicans lack the strength and solidarity — at least as shown in these cards — to decisively snatch it away. I wouldn’t dismiss the likelihood that the Democrats will hang on to their House majority, although by an even slimmer margin based mostly on the “urban vote,” resulting once again in political gridlock in Washington that won’t get a good “airing out” until 2024.

Originally published at http://parsifalswheeldivination.wordpress.com on December 12, 2021.



Parsifal the Scribe

I’ve been involved in the esoteric arts since 1972, with a primary interest in tarot and astrology. See my previous work at www.parsifalswheeldivination.com.