Daily-Draw Tones and Overtones: Variations On a Theme

I seldom do daily draws any more because my life just doesn’t change enough to warrant that detailed level of scrutiny. But I do believe there can be value in looking at the elemental tone and the numerical vibration of the upcoming day, not to see what will happen and why, but rather how it might transpire. I’m not so much interested in the scope or shape of the experience as its texture; what it will feel like and what I should do with its energy. In that sense, the trump cards are a case of “too much information” and the court cards as other people aren’t aligned in a meaningful way with the solitary nature of my days (although I could see pulling one separately to get a hint of the characteristics I might want to emphasize in my own personality on any given day, invoking those particular qualities in my activities). That leaves the minor cards; I’m going to apply them exclusively for this purpose and, to avoid any distracting assumptions about the “what” and the “why,” I will use a non-scenic “pip” deck without reversals. The deck is to be split into sub-packs accordingly. Here are a few guidelines on how I intend to proceed.

Wands/Batons as “Fire” bring energy, enthusiasm and ambition. I should strive to begin something new or finish something I already started.

Cups as “Water” arouse the emotions and sensitivities. I should do something that feels especially good, either for myself or someone else.

Swords as “Air” stimulate the mind. I should escalate my intellectual pursuits (tackle a problem, plan a project, rethink a position, etc.).

Pentacles/Coins as “Earth” offer gravity and a sense of purpose. I should get serious about something pragmatic that I’ve been toying with.

Aces: I should initiate a new undertaking of some kind.

Twos: I should engage in some cooperative effort.

Threes: I should attempt to grow in some way.

Fours: I should consolidate something (“gather stones together”)

Fives: I should get off my ass and pick up the pace (“cast away stones; kick off the traces”)

Sixes: I should try to re-establish balance and harmony in something that has gone off-track

Sevens: I should take a step in a new direction (and make necessary preparations for the same)

Eights: I should assess my progress and redirect my efforts in a more productive way

Nines: I should welcome the opportunity to regroup and take stock of my situation (As Mother Goose would have it, “The king was in the counting-house, counting out his money.”)

Tens: I should enjoy a day of relative rest and contemplate tomorrow

The goal would be to blend the essence of the suit and the number of the card pulled in the morning and then aspire to instill its “flavor” into the fabric of the rest of my day. I believe this approach lends itself to the experience of one’s life as a continuum rather than as a series of discrete snapshots.

Regarding a separate court-card draw, the following are suggested responses:

Pages show the need to be open to new experiences

Knights inspire prompt action and help avert missed opportunities

Queens advise being patient and discriminating

Kings suggest employing a shrewd and skillful administration of energy or resources

Note that there are no negative connotations in any of the above because this model is aimed at making the most constructive use of the energies on the day in question. I should probably mention that I follow Joseph Maxwell’s (and others’) idea that the odd-numbered pips are active and seek a return to balance, while the even-numbered cards are passive and focus on preserving their equilibrium.

Here is an example reading that applies the “pip-and-court” card combination:

Hmm, maybe I should take care of a few unique yard projects today (7 of Coins). But of course I shouldn’t be too precipitous about it (Queen of Coins). On the other hand, this pair could be talking about judiciously refining the tactical aspects of what I described above.

Although I’ve reconciled myself to using these small spreads to show the overall tone of the upcoming day rather than a single type of activity that will prevail during the entire time, I’ve been looking for a better model that will capture shifts in the energy pattern that may take place during the day. One or two-card pulls are just too limited in scope to effectively convey all of the ramifying overtones that can accompany the main theme, which may change from one hour to the next. Of course we can always flank the daily card with a few companions and attempt to turn the group into a “narrative sandwich,” but they don’t always meld as smoothly as a good grilled cheese, and this clash of flavors can also defeat the purpose of the simple pull. It can become an exercise in futility, especially when the cards portend big things afoot that are most likely not going to happen.

Here is a spread that can be used as either a four-card, clockwise-moving layout showing the major turning points in a 24-hour period, or as a five-card array with the fifth card intentionally chosen or randomly drawn to indicate the subject matter that is expected to form the overriding theme of the day. (Note that it uses the full deck rather than only the minor and court cards.) I’ve set it up to be used by people who perform most of their activities during the daylight hours and rest at night; you may, if you wish, tinker with the position meanings to suit your own situation.

In this spread, minor cards are intended to reveal the routine affairs of the day and the specific kinds of mundane energy that will be available to or, with less agreeable cards, withheld from the querent during each diurnal and nocturnal period. Court cards can mean either people the querent may become involved with during the day or personal behaviors and attitudes that may be required of or otherwise demonstrated by the individual. Trump cards can occasionally represent the occurrence of significant events, but I believe they will more commonly show big-picture or background aspects of the experiential outlook. Reversal may be used to suggest delays or setbacks in the evolution of circumstances.

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.

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