Storming The Gates: Seven-Card “Bastille Day” Spread

This layout is taken from Sasha Graham’s 365 Tarot Spreads, a relatively new contribution to the canon of esoterica that’s well worth the expense if you’re looking to expand your Tarot library, and it can be used for those times when you’re feeling the need for a “revolutionary” change in your life, or when you are confronted by a daunting struggle or task that may seem impossible but which may only require you to “liberate” your mind from previous modes of thinking. The cards are dealt in this order:

1   2             3   4

5   6


The questions to be answered are as follows:

1. What is the struggle or task at hand?
2. Where does my power reside?
3. Who (or what) is my ally?
4. Who (or what) is my enemy?
5. What obstacles block me?
6. What epitomizes my struggle?
7. What is the desired outcome my efforts would yield?

Those of you who are regular visitors to the site are well aware that your humble blogger’s great struggle—his personal “Bastille”—has been to find regular paying work in his chosen field; he’s had several close-but-no-cigar opportunities dangled in front of him over the past year, and he has even turned down a couple of offers on the suspicion that he would have regretted taking the jobs later. Today, to commemorate the 226th storming of the decrepit Parisian prison (there were only a handful of prisoners remaining in it when the revolutionaries breached its walls; their “victory” was largely symbolic), he thought he’d lay down a quick spread to see if the time was right for him to storm the barricades, so to speak, or to hunker down a bit longer. These are the cards that decided to make an appearance today:Screen shot 2015-07-14 at 1.10.25 PMIt isn’t often we deal a spread that’s so unambiguous in its narrative, but here we have one that isn’t too difficult to figure out.

1. What is the struggle or task at hand? Six of Cups reversed: Refrain from engaging in sentimentality; taking off the “rose-colored glasses”of nostalgia and dissociating from past experience, being careful not to proceed too far (see card 6 for potential downside).
2. Where does my power reside? Seven of Wands: In a superior and powerful intellect, and a willingness to apply it aggressively; the proper avenue for its exercise may have been lacking up to now, however.
3. Who or what is my ally? The Sun: An optimistic attitude, a sunny disposition, a willingness to be a light unto the world, and anyone who can “bring out” those qualities from the querent.
4. Who or what is my enemy? Ace of Swords reversed: Unbridled ego, undisciplined self-interest, and people who exhibit those qualities.
5. What obstacles block me? Ten of Swords: Paralyzing self-doubt and longtime fear of failure grounded on unrealistic expectations rooted in childhood and adolescence.
6. What epitomizes my struggle? The Lovers reversed: Wariness of long-term commitments; suspicions about the ulterior motives of others; fatalistic attitude on relationships (“nothing lasts forever”) bordering on cynicism (see card 1 for possible origins).
7. What is the desired outcome my efforts would yield? King of Wands: Increased self-awareness; work that fully engages the mature masculine within the querent’s psyche for the remainder of his working life.

Granted, this layout doesn’t provide your humble blogger with specific advice as to whether he should “storm the Bastille” today or tomorrow or next week or next year,or even if his fondest wishes will even come to pass, but it does provide him with some advice that he should bear in mind when he goes in search of employment, maximizing his exposure to people and environments that will most empower his strengths, and minimizing his exposure to those who would exploit his weaknesses. (As an aside, he can vouchsafe the accuracy of this “shorthand analysis”.) It also cautions him against “selling himself short” in the marketplace since the desired outcome of his employment search is work that is rewarding spiritually as well as financially. Those kinds of jobs aren’t always found in abundance, so a determination to see the effort to its completion (see the Seven of Wands) while maintaining  a “happy warrior’s” disposition throughout (The Sun) are the likely keys to success. May all of your personal Bastilles be conquered, then liberated, each and every day.

Dante DiMatteo

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