Career Practice Reading
(Using Court Cards and based on an Actual Reading)
Step by Step Analysis
This Career Practice Reading is a Guided Reading to assist you in understanding how a Mini Storyline emerges from each Card in a Spread. All these Mini Stories are then pulled together to form the Main Story which is the ultimate interpretation. You will also see that each Mini Story carries its own weight and importance. It demonstrates the fact that there is never just one story going on in anyone’s life at any given time. All the individual Mini Stories going on at the one time do have a cumulative effect however. Some of the Mini Stories are inter-related with other Mini Stories, while others appear to be quite separate. All together, they show the Whole Story; the characters on stage, behind the scenes, and audience perception. This Guided Reading aims to demonstrate how by linking and making cross connections between these Mini Stories/Cards in a Reading, one can arrive at an in-depth and thorough interpretation of the Querant’s issue or situation.
This Reading is based on an actual Reading from a few years ago. I have made a few adjustments to allow for greater variety in interpretation from a Student’s perspective. Essentially I have given you more to work with in order to compensate for the absence of communication with the Querant.
When you are ready, lay the Cards Out In The Spread As Detailed Below. Please attempt this Reading on your own before reading my interpretation. Then slowly follow mine and see how close our interpretations are. Again, there would be something mighty unusual going on if your Reading was exactly the same as mine. No two Readers are the same, so neither will their Readings be either. There should be some similarities however. Remember that your Reading may be different, but that does not mean it is wrong. You may pick up on another aspect of the Querant’s issue that I do not. So when you are ready slowly proceed.
A young male in his mid-twenties. He is looking for information, guidance and direction concerning a specific area of his life. This area is Career related. In this instance, we have little to go on except that he wants some insight on his career as he has given me no other details. He doesn’t want to ask a specific question about his Career so this Reading could result in a very Generic Career Reading. We will have to be quite alert to the imagery and make connections and links wherever we can. We will also have to use our intuition with this one.
Me – I ask him to shuffle the Cards concentrating on the Career area of his life; what he wants to do, where he sees his Career going in the future and any concerns he may have. I ask him to connect with his Higher Self, Subconscious and the Universe for guidance and direction. I suggest he Reverses a few Cards as he Shuffles, but watch to make sure he does not Reverse too many. I suggest he asks “what is it that I need to know right now in relation to my Career and the decisions I have to make around it?”
He shuffles the Cards and Reverses some. He puts the Deck back on the table. I pull the Base Card and set it aside on the table. I then draw the Cards for the Spread from the top.
Horse Shoe Spread
(Great all round Spread for Specific and General questions. Get used to using this one as it forms the foundation for moving on to The Celtic Cross)
**This Spread Has Seven Positions along with The Base Card that is placed aside from the Spread. In this Particular Reading, I have pulled an extra Card for Position 4, Position 5 and Position 6 to get you acquainted with the concept of Reading Extra Cards in a Spread. It demonstrates how an Extra Card can help flush out a more accurate Reading from the Original Positional Card.
Base Card – 2 of Pentacles
Position 4 – Answer/Solution – Knight of Wands
(Extra Card for Position 4 – 8 Pentacles)
Position 1 – Recent Past – Page of Pentacles
Position 2 – Present – 3 of Pentacles
Position 3 – Near Future – 2 of Wands
Position 4 – Answer/Solution – Knight of Wands
(Extra Card – 8 of Pentacles)
Position 5 – 5 of Pentacles (extra card pulled 5 of Wands)
Position 6 – Hopes and Fears – 6 Cups Reversed (Extra card 3 of Cups Reversed)
Position 7 – Outcome – 8 of Cups
The Step-by-Step Analysis and Breakdown
5 x Pentacles including the Base Card – Strong Representation of this Suit. Material issues/ Study and hard work/ Business/ Goals, Ambition. Also too much Earth slowing forward momentum. Getting bogged down.
3 x Wands – Action cards. Movement /Travel/ Motivation/Growth/Career
3 x Cups – 1 x Upright and 2 x Reversed. Emotions/Feelings/Relationships – Reversed – Blocked Emotions/Upset
Swords x 0 – Lack of Plans or logical thought processes. Lack of mental discipline with this issue. He may need to bring in the Swords to sort it out.
2 – 1 x Page of Pentacles and 1 x Knight of Wands. Here we see how the young Page of Pentacles (Studious/Cautious/Routine, but also Ambitious) will have to evolve in order to fulfil his ambition. Can he rise to the challenge though? The Knight of Wands (Fiery/Movement/Challenge/Adventure/Risks) sits in the Answer/Solution position. This I believe is advice that is being given should he decide to take it. He may not though, even if it is the best solution on offer right now. The Page of Pentacles would feel overwhelmed by The Knight of Wands. The Knight of Wands takes risks, something The Page of Pentacles would be loathe to do. There is bound to be a conflict of interests here. Who will win out? The Knight of Wands will seize opportunity as it comes his way. The young Page may hesitate and feel he is not ready. If the Knight of Wands is a solution to his issues then this will probably involve travel, taking chances, and the possibility of having to do as the 8 of Cups is doing (moving away from emotional security) . That means saying farewell to friends, family and his old way of life (I have already spotted the Mini Stories going on with the Reversed Cup Cards in the Hopes and Fears Position). Will The Page of Pentacles take a gamble on losing his emotional security or comfort blanket in favour of hopping on board with The Knight of Wands? Is he emotionally and mentally strong enough to do that? How badly does he want success in his career, and what about financial reward? Is he prepared to make sacrifices? The young Page of Pentacles is used to routine and does not readily seek change. We shall see.
None – This is a transient situation and the Outcome can be altered if it appears undesirable. The Querant has control of the Outcome.
2 x 2 – Decisions/Opposing Views. He is going through the early stages of a decision-making process. He is in two minds.
2 x 3 – Growth/Ascension/Progress/Development. 1 x Upright (positive growth). He is gaining knowledge and qualifications). 1 x Reversed (blocked progress and growth. Not being able to maintain and develop his friendships in the Reversed 3 of Cups. This is blocking him moving forward) The two 3s lie opposite each other so we would be concerned that he would sacrifice his ambitions and potential career success in favour of staying with the old and what is familiar to him (friends/family). I sense a sensitive, sentimental soul here. The Reversed 6 sitting beside the Reversed 3 doubles the effect, if not triples it 6+3 =9
2 x 5 – Both upright – Lack/Loss/Uncertainty/Turmoil/Chaos/Conflict – Change and Upheaval
1 x 6 Reversed – Lack of stability and balance. Lack of Peace and harmony. Family issues. Also restrictions and boredom. False security. Lack of development and growth. Overly sentimental and Nostalgic. Choosing the safe and secure over new experiences. Stagnation.
2 x 8 – Both Upright – Strength/Inner strength. Emotional strength (8 of Cups). Will do what is right at the end of the day. Strength of commitment and dedication (8 of Pentacles). A hard worker with much talent, skill and qualification.
Lack of Ace – Not looking forward to new beginnings.
Lack of Fours – Instability and Insecurity
Lack of Sevens – Either no challenges or avoiding challenges. Lack of reflection and introspection.
Lack of 9’s and 10’s – This situation has a bit of distance to go before it will be resolved. The 8s suggest he is getting there but he has to deal with ends of cycles and letting go first. It may be a painful transition for him.
Bright except for the 5 of Pentacles and 8 of Cups. This suggests that he is quite happy and successful in every other area of his life. The Page of Pentacles needs to fulfil his ambition and the darkness of the Five of Pentacles casts a shadow. The effects of Recession is also suggested where Career is concerned in this Five. The darkness of The 8 of Cups suggests emotional issues causing stress. May be overly concerned.
Page of Pentacles – Bringing in the Earth Element (Taurus/Capricorn/Virgo)
Knight of Wands – Bringing in the Fire Element (Aries/Leo/Sagittarius)
The Step by Step Interpretation
Base Card – 2 of Pentacles He has decisions to make in relation to his career. He may have two careers to choose from, or two different job offers. He may just have issues around his career which he needs to sort out in his head. His decisions are definitely being influenced by the financial aspect, or at least will be. Which direction makes financial sense? He is attempting to balance or maintain control of some area of his life. This is causing him stress. He may have obligations or responsibilities. He could also be working a couple of jobs.
Position 1- Recent Past – Page of Pentacles Aha, the Committed Student and Study Card. He is ambitious for sure, but quietly so. He has big plans for his future and has worked steadily for years. He expects a lot of himself and has high standards. He may be under some parental pressure regarding his career. He knows what he wants, has all the knowledge but now has to put it into some form of action. He is still a fledgling at this stage possibly just recently qualified. He may have the knowledge, qualifications and skills but he may lack direct and first hand experience. In this day and age, he may feel his qualifications may be useless if he cannot get the necessary experience.
Position 2 – Present – 3 of Pentacles Aha again, another card for students, study, exams, apprenticeship. Sign of on-going studies. The 3 suggests growth so I feel this guy has been studying for a while and is very committed and dedicated. This Card is acting as an extension of the previous Card by confirming the Page of Pentacles influence and traits. I have a hunch this card is also suggestive of building or engineering possibly? This is also the Group Card, suggesting College and with another Group Card appearing directly opposite in the 3 of Cups Reversed, we can see that this young man, is drawn to them on one side yet possibly stifled by them on another. The Group aspect has pros and cons in this Reading.
Position 3 – Near Future – 2 of Wands. Right, this card is also a two, the second two and we have decisions again to be made but this decision involves movement or actions to be taken. The Querant I feel is probably coming to the end of a long period of study and nearing qualification or exams. He is contemplating what he will do when he finishes. He may be thinking of leaving the country or travelling. He may have no option but to go. He stands at a crossroads now and has to make a decision. Action will shortly be required of him and he will need to do something. However, this card with the Wand bolted to the wall suggests that there are restrictions to him going or making a decision. Something or someone is holding him back. However, this card often highlights sudden departures. Let us see how this plays out.
Position 4 will be read last (See below) It is advisable to leave the Answer/Outcome Cards to last so that the Querant will listen to the full Reading. This does not mean that you do not take this Card into consideration when doing the overall interpretation. You should use the information from the Card or Cards in this position to reach logical conclusions in your interpretations. The Querant usually zooms in on the Answer and Outcome Card before looking at anything else. You do not have to go there until you are ready. However, if the Cards are very favourable they can put an anxious Querant’s mind to rest. In General, the Answer and Outcome Cards are read together.
Position 5 – Surrounding Energies – 5 of Pentacles and extra card pulled 5 of Wands. Dear oh dear, they do not look very healthy together do they. Another Pentacle Card, the fourth so far. The 5 of Pentacles I feel reflects the climate of recession in the country and the high unemployment rate. There may also be money issues at home or possibly college loans to pay off. He is worried about financial insecurity. The 5 of Wands beside it suggests to me battle for the jobs he is qualified to do – Tough Competition all round. I believe the Querant is worried about graduating at such an unstable time with global recession limiting the opportunities on offer. He will need to fight tooth and nail to stand out from the rest. Will he have the stomach for such battle?
Position 6 – Hopes and Fears – First Reversed Cards – These are obviously his biggest fears or worries, so financial issues may not be the only thing that is important after all. Reversed 6 of Cups and Extra Card, Reversed 3 of Cups. Both cards are Cups so his fears are on an emotional level and not just about financial decisions. More than money and job bothers the Querant. The 3 of Cups is a lovely card for friends and socialising. The 6 of Cups strongly associated with family, family home, old school pals, memories, old haunts and very importantly emotional security and comfort. I get a hunch that my client fears having to leave family and friends in search of the right job for him. I don’t feel there is a girlfriend as this guy, being the Page of Pentacles, has probably being more focussed on his studies. There are no strong relationship Cards outside of the family and friendship ones. No, I think his family and friends mean a lot to him. I feel strongly, especially with The Knight of Wands in the Answer Position that he is aware that he may have to travel far away to find employment. He fears the emotional insecurity that a change of location and life would bring. Again we will see. I do think that he was happy as the student and probably shoved to the back of his mind the reality of actually finding work when he left. It was always some where off in the distant future. However, it is now upon him and he feels emotionally unstable and insecure. He cannot understand why he has to make choices. He dearly wants what he has worked hard for but there are emotional issues from home and friends blocking this.
Position 7 – Outcome – 8 of Cups. I do think this Card may represent him having to leave behind those friends and family in order to secure employment. Because this is a Cups Card we can assume that this will be an emotionally very difficult thing for him to do. He may be left with no choice but to walk away in search of that which he desires in his career. I think the decision may take some time, but I feel it will come and his departure may be sudden. It may be better than dragging it out. If we look across diagonally in this Reading we see the 2 of Wands and we know that this card can often represent sudden departures after decisions made. We must also look at the Card directly across from it, and here we find the Page of Pentacles staring at him. The Page asks, “After all my hard work, my effort, all those dreams, all those exams, are you going to throw the towel in? Why did I bother learning anything if I am not going to use it”? I feel he will have to weigh the scales in relation to this. He owes it to himself and all the years of work that he has invested.
Position 4 – Answer/Solution/Querant – Knight of Wands and Extra Card, 8 of Pentacles. I do see travel again here in the Knight of Wands – the second travel card) The Knight of Wands is always up for the challenge and eager to travel and experience life. He has a sense of adventure that the Page of Pentacles does not. He has the fire and drive in him that might enthuse the Page of Pentacles, that is if he is allowed in the front door. He wonders what the Page is waiting for when the world is out there for the taking. The Extra Card pulled, the 8 of Pentacles shows the apprentice of the 3 as the Master of his trade or profession. If he jumps on board with the Knight of Wands and heads off to lands or territory unknown, it looks like his career may benefit significantly. The 8 of Pentacles will suggest commitment and dedication to his work and most importantly the quality of it. The man in the 8 of Pentacles is highly qualified and his work much sought after. Should he choose to travel then he may become very successful and possibly go on to gain further qualifications in his field. I believe he needs to let go and trust that all will be well. His Cards show great promise if he can just take the first few steps and not be so fearful of change. He will never be happy unless he fulfils his potential. With no Major Cards in this Spread, I don’t think he will stay away for long. If he goes, he will come back at some stage.
The Querant’s Story
Without asking a single question except for the fact that we have been informed it was Career related, we have come up with a very plausible story and now presume we know why the querant has sought a Tarot Reading for guidance. Of course his story may be completely different, but what we took from the Cards we were working with makes sense and is not something we just made up. We worked with the meaning of the individual Cards, their stories to come with a bigger story. We may be very wrong and totally off track, but remember we haven’t asked a question yet. We have achieved a lot, just with our own knowledge of the Cards.
The art I am trying to teach you here is Storytelling along with the skill of linking and making connections between Cards. By asking questions of the Querant, we may change our view or interpretation as we go, but I feel we have a very good story line to work with and are possibly very close to the truth. As soon as the Cards were turned I could see the storyline forming, and as we went through each Card, it opened more and more, until we could almost make a movie out of it. There is so much information here that we could go on and on. We all want to know now what he will ultimately decide to do.
So How Close to The Real Story Are We?
The Querant is coming to the end of his Master’s in Architecture and has worked very hard indeed. It is all he has wanted to do since he was a young boy. Now he is close to his final exams and his thesis almost complete.
He is concerned that there will be no work for him when he finally graduates and is thrown out into the real world. He has spent so many years in study that he really hasn’t had to worry about it until now. He understands that since the bottom fell out of the property market some years back there has been very little work, even for those who are both highly qualified and experienced. He wonders what chance he stands. He can’t believe that he may have to find a job doing something else just so that he can earn money. He may have to stay on in his part-time college job, just to keep some money coming in. He knows of plenty of graduates from last year who are still unemployed. He also knows many who have emigrated in search of work. He has heard there is much competition out there for the few career openings, and only those with the most experience and top qualifications will get a look in. He cannot get experience if he cannot get a job.
The last thing he wants to do is emigrate. Most of his fellow graduates are going and they tell him that he is mad to stay. He admits that the thought of travelling frightens him as he is quite a homebody. He doesn’t even like flying.
Another major concern for the Querant is having to leave behind friends and all he knows. A bigger concern is leaving his mother who is widowed. He is the only son and sort of took over the father role in the house when his father died 7 years ago. He is very close to his mother and his younger siblings. They are a very tight family and they have lived in the same house since he was a baby. The thought of leaving them is tearing his heart out. He doesn’t have a girlfriend but does have a large social circle with a few really close friends. He went to junior school with all of them, growing up in the same area and heading off to college at the same time. He was lucky because his college was local which meant he didn’t have to move out into student accommodation. If he had moved out, it may have helped him to slowly cuts the ties.
He wants to try his best to find a job at home, and is prepared to take a low salary if necessary as long as he secures a position in his field of expertise.
So there you have it. We were right. The Querant has painful choices to make and it is not going to be easy for him. Will he choose to sacrifice his career in favour of staying home, or will the Knight of Wands force his way into the situation. Will he really be prepared to take a low salary with all his expertise and qualifications? The Page of Pentacles wouldn’t like that long-term.
I tell him that there is a very good chance that he will decide to travel further a field, but it does not necessarily mean that he will be very far away. He might be able to travel home at weekends, or once a month. I tell him that I see him eventually leaving but with a heavy heart. I do think that finances will come into the decision process. He says he is prepared at present to take a low wage, but long-term will he be happy with this, will the Page of Pentacles be satisfied? His family and friends may very well be a major influence in the decision-making process as they will not want him to make sacrifices because of them. They would be horrified, and feel it unfair on him, regardless of how much they would miss him. I feel they will be a major driving force behind the arrival of the Knight of Wands, and will encourage him to find a little spark of adventure and enthusiasm. If he can find that spark, he may even enjoy the whole experience. It has the potential to open his life and expand his horizons. The Knight of Wands would remind him of ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained’.
I then explain to him the significance of the 8 of Pentacles and how he and his career could gain much from taking such a huge step. I tell him how his skills and talent will be acknowledged wherever he goes and that he may even specialise in certain areas that would be closed off to him should he decide to stay put. He has the potential to be extremely successful.
He is still miles away from making this decision but I finish off by pointing out to him that there is a possibility that after much deliberation, he may get an offer from overseas that is impossible to refuse. It might require him having to make a quick decision which could result in a sudden departure. This might be a good thing for him because if given too long to dwell on it, his emotions may cloud his judgement. Fear would then prevail stinting all forward movement and growth. At present there is are no logical thoughts forming as his emotions are in control. It is a time for growing up, being mature and facing fears.
I advise him to be more open about the possibility of travel and to talk to his family and friends. Listening to their opinions may help allay his fears.
He leaves, silently resigned to facing his future with more assertiveness and determination. I wish him the best of luck.
How did you get on with this Reading? Did it make sense to you? You may have interpreted the Cards differently and that is perfectly okay. We all see different things in the Cards, and as individual Readers you will bring your own unique style to Tarot Reading. For now, use my guidance to help give you a kick-start. In no time at all you will automatically begin to Read independently. That is when the fun begins.
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