This was a reading I did after I applied for a newspaper Editor position. I did get an interview and declined the offer. The spread is of 9 cards, in 3 rows of 3. I wasn’t looking at the past-present-future in the rows but laying them out as an unfolding of events on a timeline.
1st Row, Left to Right
#12 The Hanged Man – Hanging upside down, off the branch of a living tree, legs crossed in the number 4, a halo of light surrounds the man’s head. A willing surrender or sacrifice to a situation that brings enlightenment. You can gain more understanding of this card if you do some research about Odin sacrificing himself on the World Tree.
Going back to work full-time is a financial necessity for me. I have bills needing to be paid, and future expenses (kids college and retirement) that requires more income then what we currently have.
The Hanged Man card has come up repeatedly in the readings I have done about looking for work. While I started out conflicted about going back to work, the more I work at my part-time job and the more jobs I research the more I feel it is the right thing to do. The job search is also bringing me to a deeper understanding of myself at this time in my life – letting go of the past and experiencing today.
#8 of Wands – The wands (or Rods) are flying through the air. #8 in all the suits, denotes some sort of movement. Here, with Rods, Swift Movement is called for/or will happen.
When I saw the job advertised, I applied within the week fearing that it would be filled before I could get my application in. Once I did apply, I was called within 2 days to set up an interview. Events did move quickly.
Ace of Wands – An opportunity offered in a short window of time to take action. Potential for growth. Wands denote will, drive, focus and creativity. While I initially took this job to mean that I would get the job, I think it was more about the job being available and not the outcome.
2nd Row, Left to Right
#4 of Wands – The seed that has been planted (see the first row) has reached a successful completion. 4 is a stable number and in the suits, denotes structure. Think of a table that stands on four legs. At this point this row is about the actual job interview (not gaining the job as I initially thought).
Knight of Wands – The Knights in all suits stands for action and responsibility to others. It can be a young person, male or female, usually with dedication. Fired by his will, the Knight of Wands has a specific goal in mind and works in the realm of inspiration, will and passion.
When I am given face cards in the suits, UNLESS there is a specific person who springs to mind, I read these cards more as reflections of animus/anima – representative icons that the unconscious attributes to myself, either to be gained, achieved, or manifested.
Queen of Wands – When I read the Tarot more regularly this was the card I used as my own Significator. Since it showed up in this reading, I attribute it to myself.
The Queen of Wands has a strong sense of self. Confident. Some books give an aggressive mannishness to her character but isn’t this true of how society has viewed successfully, confident women? Her message “Just do it.”
This card, returning after all this time, and after other things (not card related) happening, I think was asking for me to return to my old sense of confidence and assertiveness – that “I know I can do it” with no fear of failure I had in my 20’s.
3rd Row, Left to Right
#5 of Swords – The #5 in all suits deals with loss or conflict. This card is a victory that comes at too high a cost.
This card was the clearest indicator to me on how this would unfold. I had applied for the position hoping, against hope, that this would be a real step up as a true editor but because of my experiences in the newspaper industry I had my doubts.
During the interview, these doubts were realized when I discovered that it was a glorified reporter position with no staff and no ability to edit or layout the newspaper on my own – all the upper level work and decision making would be sent off to a central office who would do the actual “editing” of the newspaper.
Taking this job would have been a huge step down from the level of experience I have achieved at this point in my life.
#3 The Empress – One of the Major Arcana, the Empress is Abundance and Creation. Motherhood and the sexual side of a woman archetype. A time of passion, based upon feelings and pleasure. Usually a response without intellectual or reason being involved.
This card and its placement was perhaps the most confusing to me. Initially, I saw it as confirmation that I would take the position – it seemed I would be overflowing with riches! However, as events unfolded and I looked back to this sequence, the Empress is between the #5 of Swords (a victory at too high a cost) and the Queen of Cups (“follow your heart”). These three together were showing I could say yes or no. It would be up to me.
Queen of Cups – It would have been easy to attribute this card to the woman who interviewed me – or the other female cards such as The Empress or Queen of Wands. However, looking at the Queen of Cups (the suit dealing with emotions, intuition and energies), the message is “follow your heart.”
Seen with the other cards on this row, I’m being asked to look inside and ask myself what I really wanted. Take a full-time job that would pay more then part-time but be a step down professionally? Sacrifice my end goal of finding the job that really fits me just for a short-term financial gain?
Looking at the number of suit cards, it’s apparent that the job application would not end with me accepting the job: 5 Wands (fire, will, creative force, drive, winning the battle); 1 Swords (Air, the rational, communication, different sides to a decision, sometimes difficult choices); and 1 Cups (water, the flow of emotions, intuition, imagination and joy).
Of the cards, no where is there Pentacles (Earth, material possessions, work and the magic of the ordinary world) which would indicate to me the world of work. This layout is all about the drive to achieve a goal – and making choices.