Sample Spread: Reversed Seven of Wands, Eight of Wands, Reversed Nine of Cups

Numbers in order.  That could potentially make this interpretation easier.

Past – Reversed Seven of Wands – Opposition gaining ground, struggle to defend your position

Present – Eight of Wands – Clear path ahead, swift movement towards a goal

Future – Reversed Nine of Cups – Solitude dampening emotional fulfillment, lack of joy because it’s not shared with others

The progression through the pip cards in each suit is a narrative, as is the progression through the Major Arcana, so when you have three numbers together (even in different suits) it creates a general story framework.  Sevens point towards setbacks on the path, eights are about the progress which happens after overcoming those setbacks, and nines are about reaching the end goal.

Now, in this case, the seven and nine are reversed, so this framework narrative is about a setback which is compounded by internal factors which, although the querent may be moving past it now, leads to trouble getting all the way to the end of the road.

So, what’s all this probably about?  With both past and present cards in the Wands suit, this is clearly about an active pursuit: the querent’s job, hobbies, passions, responsibilities.  They’re trying to get something done, and they’ve just begun to see things moving forward after struggling with opposition that had the upper hand and dealt some devastating blows.

But then there’s that cups card at the end.  This reading indicates nothing about how successfully the main pursuit draws towards a conclusion.  And that means that, for the purpose of the reading, it doesn’t matter if the querent achieves the goal or not.  Either way, whatever went wrong back at the seven will cause them to not really get the emotional payoff they hoped for.  This speaks to the reason they’re pursuing this goal, the deeper motivation.  And it’s likely that the opposition indicated by the Seven of Wands (which speaks to external opposition, not internal quarreling like the Five of Wands) has succeeded in getting under the querent’s skin and making them question those motivations.

That, then, is likely to lead to the querent being dissatisfied with the outcome, even if it is what they once wanted, which can lead to isolation, which further robs them of positive emotions.

In the end, the message is to let go of and find a way to process whatever happened with those who opposed you in the past so that you don’t let them rob you of future happiness.

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