Overview Spread: The Wayward Son

This is an actual reading illustrating the Overview Spread that was done for a female client who was estranged from her 27 year old son. A the time, the querent had had no contact with her son for almost a year, and she had no idea where he was or how he was getting along. She was deeply concerned, and wanted to know that her son was safe, and if she would have contact with him soon.

For significator I chose the Jack of hearts to represent the querent’s son because he is the focus of the reading.

Here are the cards that appeared in the spread…


The first thing I kept in mind is that the focus of the reading is the son, as he is represented by the significator ( Jack of hearts ). Therefore, all of the cards will describe him, his circumstances, his intentions, etc. I would not apply any of these cards to the querent directly, or to her life beyond the relationship with the son.

In this spread my eye was immediately drawn to the 9 of spades because it indicates a serious problem. The card falls in the the significator’s past, so we can assume that it was this problem that caused the estrangement with the mother. The 9 of spades represents a very stressful situation. The son was being harmed in some way, and he felt trapped and overpowered by the situation.

Next I was drawn to the card beneath the significator. It indicates what harms the son, or what he dreads. And there we find the Queen of spades. We already know that the mother and son are estranged, so it becomes clear that the mother is the problem. She was an overbearing influence in the son’s life, and he felt trapped and smothered by her. His wish (9 of hearts ) was to break free of this influence, and gain control of his own life. This must be what motivated him to cut his mother out of his life.

I suggested to the mother that her son may have felt that she was an overbearing influence in his life. At first she completely rejected the notion, but after I asked her to tell me why she thought her son broke off contact with her, she was forced to face the truth of the situation. She finally admitted that she did try to ‘influence’ her son’s life because she did not think the son capable of making his own choices and decisions.

The card above the significator describes what’s on the son’s mind, or what governs him. The 7 of diamonds is money card, so his current focus is on financial matters. This card also represents public recognition and status, so we can see that the son is making his own way in the world. His focus is on establishing a life for himself separate from his mother’s influence.

The mother admitted that she and the son had shared a joint checking account. She has continued to deposit funds into the account, but since he ‘took off’ the son has not touched the account. The mother is worried because she does not believe the son is capable of financially supporting himself. Although not stated, I got the impression that the woman was quite wealthy, and that the son had never had to work a day in his life before disappearing. I advised the querent that she had no reason to worry– based on the cards the son was very capable of financially supporting himself.

Finally, we can look to the two cards on the left to show us how the situation will continue to develop. The 2 of hearts is very positive card. It represents harmony, and good news, and positive emotions. It’s important to keep in mind that this card relates to the son, and not to the querent directly. It shows that emotionally the son is doing very well. He has set the stage for good things to happen in his life. The 3 of clubs is a card of practical growth, learning and understanding. It suggests that the son will learn as he goes and continue to do well on a practical level too.

From these cards we can answer the querent’s first question about whether or not her son is okay. His significator is surrounded by hearts– he is safe and doing very well both emotionally and physically.

So, will the son contact the mother? The answer is not so obvious, and we need to make a judgement based on the cards. How does the son feel about his mother? She is represented by a spade in the reading, so we can see that he sees her as a threat or as the enemy. This idea is confirmed by her card appearing in the position of what he dreads or does not want to know about. Therefore, I advised the mother that she would not hear from the son soon. The 2 of hearts indicates that he is working through some emotional issues that will lead to personal growth, and eventual understanding (3 of clubs).

I felt that he would eventually come around, but not until he is able to create a stable life for himself, free from his mother’s influence, and gain the perspective he needs to resolve his feelings about his mother.

I never heard from this woman again, so I do not know what happened with her son.