Reading with the Mountain Dream Tarot by Diane Wilkes
The querent contacted me with concerns about his present career situation. His present job situation is very demanding in terms of long hours and no definite days off, and is "fun, but not stimulating." On the other hand, his finances demand that he retain steady employment and his job is a dependable source of income. He is also about to celebrate a birthday.
I designed a spread to respond to his specific questions.
Before I started to read individual cards, I was struck by the power and authority of the cards in this reading. Three Major Arcana cards and two Kings out of six cards! This told me that, while the querent was feeling unsure and insecure about his present situation, he had more power and authority than he realized. This also indicated to me that the querent was taking himself and his life more seriously than he had in the past, recognizing he was dealing with major life issues.
If we look at this spread from a strictly visual aspect, note that it goes from black and white to color. Perhaps the querent can do the same with his world, move it from a state of abstractions to technicolor rainbows.
1. What does the querent need to know in order to most productively handle his financial situation?
The Temperance card speaks of the obvious need for balance in his financial situation--ignoring financial realities is dangerous, but so is limiting one's self so much that life becomes a drudgery. Finding a balance between these two might require a bit of magic.
Fortunately, the Temperance card speaks to magical balance--alchemy, if you will--turning lead into gold. The querent may have resources he's never considered that could transform his financial state in a positive way. I suspect the querent's unique qualities and abilities could be used to miraculously transmute his bank balance from a negative to a positive matter.
2. What does the querent need to know about his present employment situation?
The World is often perceived as the "best" (i.e., most positive) card in the deck to receive in a reading, but whenever I see it, I always call to mind Mary Greer's description of it as dancing within the constraints of the material world, because of its Saturn rulership.
The querent is able to look at his present employment situation with a degree of optimism. He enjoys it, even though it's not his ideal job. That sounds like a description of someone who dances within the constraints of the material world.
At the same time, we can't forget that The World is the last card in the Major Arcana. This indicates that he has reached mastery level of this job, and despite it not causing him discomfort, it is probably time to move on. There is not much left there for him to grow from and/or learn.
The woman in this particular version of the card seems like she is almost caressing the sheets with which she is adorned. She seems like a woman who relishes and expects the best in life. Perhaps the querent is at present too easily satisfied, or conversely, immediately gratifying his own immediate desires for indulgence that don't feed him at a deeper level. I say this partially because of the particular "feel" from this card, but more because of the next one: The Moon.
3. What does the querent need to know about alternative employment on a material/financial level?
The Moon speaks to the darkened, shadow aspects of ourselves. The wolves howl, alerting us to something subterranean that needs to come to light. This card speaks to the querent not really looking at himself in the same "light" that others do, possibly not recognizing his gifts or abilities because of issues from the past. Because the question speaks to the material/financial level, I suspect there are some abundance/deprivation issues from the past, as well as the possibility that the querent's experiences with money have had issues of betrayal and trickery connected to them.
4. What does the querent need to know about alternative employment on a spiritual level?
Emotional mastery is the gift of the King of Cups--he understands relationships and how to give of himself emotionally. This card, in addition to The World card we saw earlier, speaks to a man who knows how to enjoy life and relationships. The querent can look at this card as a guide as to what he needs from alternative employment. Note the casual attire in this particular King of Cups--the querent doesn't want a job that would force him to be too formal, or different from who he really is. He would do best in an atmosphere of conviviality, where he can work with other like-minded people, people without pretension who don't play mind games, but accept people for who they are.
Finally, let's not forget the role of the card--the King, the master of his domain. The querent needs, on a spiritual level, to be in charge. While this does not require that he begin his own business and become some kind of entrepreneur, he needs to have some authority where he can use his skills and talents and his heightened gifts of feeling.
5. What does the querent need to know in general about the coming year?
Another king: this time, the King of Pentacles--outer mastery of material things. That's an optimistic card if ever I saw one, considering the querent's present concerns. This card indicates that the querent can achieve the financial stability with which he is concerned, probably far beyond what his present limited vision can absorb.
I must address a less rosy concern. I often get a feeling of exhaustion with the King of Pentacles. Not just because it is the last card of the 78, but the image often shows someone who really needs that seat! He has toiled long and hard and successfully, and can look around him with great satisfaction...but he isn't exactly brimming with energy. In my Storyteller deck, I see this card as the scene from the movie The Godfather, where Don Vito Corleone is sitting in the garden, watching his grandchild frolic in the garden that is a symbol of all the mafia don has achieved. If you recall, this is also the scene where he dies. I don't see this card as a physical death, but I do see it as an aspect of extreme exhaustion after hard work. The querent needs to recognize that working such challenging hours absolutely impacts his physical health.
6. What is this year's birthday gift for the querent from the Universe?
While there are negative associations to the Seven of Cups--daydreaming, not committing to one course of action--I see this card in this spread as offering an array of options to the querent. He is reaching out to these dreams, but feels they are far above him (note the cups are placed in the clouds, and you get a sense that the man in the card is yearning for them). In order to be able to move towards these dreams, he needs to heed the message of the Moon and really look at his issues with abundance and self-esteem with the depth that the Moon demands. He needs to stop seeing himself at too low a level to achieve his greatest, deepest dreams if he wants to receive this year's birthday gift. The Universe is telling him that all of his dreams are available to him, if he's willing to alter his vision of himself, but he has to do the work to make them come true. Call it the Universe's version of the rebate coupon--he has to read the fine-print, complete the form, and send it in before he can redeem it.
You can read a review of this deck here.
Images © 2001 Bea Nettles
Reading and page © 2001 Diane Wilkes