Waking Nightmares and Tarot

The cards shown above come from the Shadowscapes deck, and the spread is one I like to call the Möbius.

1. (Center) Signifies the Querent. The Hanged Man.
2. (Upper-Right) Illusion of the situation. The Moon.
3. (Rightmost) Reality of the situation. Eight of Pentacles.
4. (Lower-Right) Weaknesses, obstacles, hindrances. Death.
5. (Upper-Left) Strengths, opportunities, helpers. Five of Swords.
6. (Leftmost) Querent’s influence on the situation. Nine of Wands.
7. (Lower-Left) Future, outcome. Knight of Pentacles.

I was browsing for groceries earlier this Tuesday, and was generally feeling pretty good. I’d taken on a part-time job here, some freelance side-jobs there, got my laundry done, and my roommate Cecilia didn’t cover for my rent for the last couple of months because I did.

Somewhere between the aisle of sandwich spreads and the checkout counter, it occurred to me that everything I do and say is absolutely wrong because I’m the one who did or said it. And it’s not even going to matter because beyond the expectations of civilized life, beyond even the mirages of material reality, awakes a massive gray blob that hungers…to sift us through its misty teeth and devour our souls.

So. Uh. That was new. I’d been depressed before, but not quite so…suddenly? And the scope of it, well.

When I got back home to the haunted house, I dealt the cards for that one.

Hanged Man, representing some sort of static transition and the suffering that comes from that, in the position of the Querent’s Signifier means, “You Are Here.” Which was accurate. The Moon in the position of the perceived reality indicates that I expect something mysterious and magical to be associated with this experience.

The Eight of Pentacles in the position of what the reality of the situation actually is, indicates that this was likely to be a more physiological brain thing.

Death in the position of “things to be cautious about” reads to me sort of like this deck is saying, ‘You know what your problem is? I’ll tell you what your problem is. You give attention and consideration to everything, even the worst random ideas. And you try to adjust to everything! This was not worth a tarot reading about.’

Ironically, I probably wouldn’t have blogged about this specific reading if the Death card hadn’t come off as so sassy about how what happened wasn’t even worth a reading. But also worth examining, I think, is the Five of Swords in the position of strengths, opportunities, and helpers. By itself, the card indicates abandonment. In this position, I could have interpreted it to mean ‘All possible advantages you could have had, are now lost to you.’ Instead, it came off to me more like, leaving something alone would be the recommended course of action.

The Nine of Wands usually means that the odds are stacked overwhelmingly against the Querent. In the position of the Querent’s influence on events, that suggests the same increased identification with the most prominent figure in the card as the Five of Swords. Instead of being abandoned by, or driving away those show in the Five of Swords, the Querent becomes the deserter. Instead of being threatened by those shown in the Nine of Wands (outgunned, outmanned, outnumbered, and outplanned), the card denotes the means and ways to rise far above whatever contender to this position that the world—or perception of the world, with which there would occasionally be some overlap—has conjured up.

And the Knight of Pentacles encourages a shift in focus to more practical concerns, than some otherworldly blob that nobody can really do anything about.

The balance of tarot trumps (the Hanged Man, Moon, and Death cards) against the minor arcana in the spread indicate the querent being enamored with trumped-up mysteries and disadvantages.

Some wishcraft to reverse the Hanged Man could be recommended.

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