Overview Spread: School Days

What follows is a spread I did for a mother who was concerned about her daughter who was leaving at the end of the month to begin college across country. Mom wanted to know that her daughter would be safe, and that she would have a successful winter semester.

I thought this proved to be a good example of a classic Overview Spread, giving a general overview of a specific situation, and so with Mom’s permission I am sharing it here…

Question: How will the daughter fare during her first semester away at school?


General Impressions

What struck me first about this reading is the beautiful symmetry in the suits and numbers. There are two Spades, two Clubs and two Diamonds. There are two Aces, two 5′s and two Face Cards, not counting the Queen of Hearts which I chose as significator to represent the daughter.

The two Spades indicate the challenges that the daughter will face, and the two Clubs show that she is willing to put forth the work to achieve success. The two Diamonds represent intellectual pursuits, and foretell a successful outcome for the situation.

The Heart suit is conspicuously missing from this spread. This can be interpreted as a good sign since the Hearts can represent laziness and a lack of initiative. On the other hand, the girl may need reminding that school should also be fun, and that it’s okay to take some time away from her studies to relax and enjoy herself.  The mother confirmed that her daughter is a serious student, and not prone to either laziness or frivolity.

The two Aces represent a major change in the daughter’s life– a pair of Ace bring new people, situations, and places!  The two 5′s indicate that the daughter will take things in hand. Her future is literally in her own hands, and this new experience will be whatever she makes of it. The two Face Cards represent the new friends that the girl will encounter living on campus.

Now for an analysis of the individual cards…

The Two Cards on the Left

The two cards on the left represent the premise of the question, the recent past or present influences on the situation. The Ace of Spades is a life transition. It is the ending of one phase of life, and the start of another. It also represents the anxiety associated with any major life change. The Ace of Diamonds is a new phase of life beginning, and brings a sense of adventure. Going off to school is clearly a significant event in the daughter’s life. The mother confirmed that the girl has never been away from home for more than a day or two, and both mother and daughter are feeling anxious about the separation.

The Ace of Spades and Ace of Diamonds can also indicate some anxiety over a letter, and there had been some concern over whether or not the girl would get into the school of her choice before the letter of acceptance finally arrived last month.

The Card Above

The card directly above the significator represents what is on the person’s mind regarding the question, or what the person hopes to achieve in the situation. The 5 of Spades is a card of movement, separation and loss. The daughter is obviously thinking about being away from her friends and family, and relocating to unfamiliar surroundings. The 5 of Spades can also indicate independence and the fear of striking out on one’s own. No doubt the daughter is feeling some anxiety, but she also looks forward to being on her own for the first time in her life.

The Card Below

The card below the significator represents what the person fears or dreads regarding the situation surrounding the question. The Jack of Clubs is a young person– usually male. The mother confirmed that the daughter has a boyfriend she has dated through high school. The Ace of Diamonds suggests that there may have been some talk of an engagement, and the upcoming separation from the boy is the single dark cloud in an otherwise happy situation.

Often the Card Above and the Card Below will refer to a single situation. It becomes obvious that it is the separation from the boyfriend that weighs heavily on the girls mind.  She does not dread the separation itself– which would have been the message if the 5 of Spades had fallen below. Instead, she’s looking forward to the change, but dreads how the move will affect her relationship with the boy. The Ace of Diamonds also suggests that they have promised to stay in touch through written correspondence.

The Two Cards on the Right

The cards on the right reveal the future influences or outcome of the situation. The 5 of Clubs brings good luck, and it is a card of self-sufficiency. The daughter will manage very well on her own, and the experience will build confidence and self-esteem. The Queen of Diamonds represents the personality traits that the girl will foster and develop through this experience– she is studious and energetic, intelligent and quick-witted, confident and independent.

The Queen of Diamonds may also represent is an influential woman who will play a significant role in the successful outcome of the situation. The daughter will be moving into a dorm on campus, and perhaps the Queen of Diamonds represents a roommate who will motivate the girl, and help distract her from pinning for the boyfriend.

The Outcome

Symbolically, the Queen represents personal power and growth. The Diamond as the final card in the spread indicates optimism and success, and foretells good marks in her classes. There can be no doubt that the daughter will come into her own at school. She will perform well, and her first semester will be a very beneficial experience for her.


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