I was asked to post an example reading where the answer based on the ratio of red to black cards contradicts the answer based on card meanings. This can happen when the querent has the power and ability to influence the situation. The cards have taught me that we all come into this life with a blueprint of our destiny, but along the way we have the freewill to influence how we fulfill that cosmic contract. The following reading illustrates this idea nicely.
The reading is for Marcella, a high school senior who has applied to a prestigious college across the country where she hopes to continue her education. The school in question is her primary choice, and she is anxious about getting accepted. Marcella asks, “Will I be accepted to the College?”
My first impression is of the predominance of black cards in the spread, immediately suggesting that acceptance is unlikely. I quickly peruse the cards to determine why. The 10 of Spades shows insecurity and fear. I also take note of the self-sabotaging Queen of Spades in the center of the spread. I see the queen as Marcella, and determine that it is her own fears creating a block in the situation. What does Marcella fear?
If we keep in mind that the main columns holding the reading together are the first, middle and final cards (1, 3, and 5), the source of the fear becomes clear. The 9 of Clubs reflects the fear indicated by the 10 of Spades, and the nine represents travel and movement and distance. Marcella has never been away on her own for any length of time, and the thought of leaving home makes her feel uncomfortable and insecure. This trio of cards will usually provide a concise answer to the question. With the 9 of Clubs as the outcome card, the reading suggests to me that if Marcellla can overcome the block (10 of Spades) by resolving her fears, there is potential for her to move forward (9 of Clubs) with her desire to attend the College.
This outcome is confirmed for me by the red cards in the spread. I always look for the cards to reflect the theme of the reading. The King of Diamonds is one of the cards that represents school and education for me, so I know that the cards are tuned into my question. So I take the King to represent the College, and the King reflects the 5 of Hearts which is an offer or opportunity. This five is one of the best cards in the deck because it can denote a dream come true. Unless it is accompanied by very unfavorable cards, it almost always gives a yes answer in a spread. In this case, surrounded by Spades, I read it as a strong maybe.
It looks to me that despite the predominance of black cards, there is excellent potential for Marcella to be offered a position by the school. This is one of those freewill situations that will depend on whether Marcella can resolve her fears. Otherwise she runs the risk of self-sabotaging this opportunity. Often when two red cards and three black show up in a spread, it will suggest that the querent has some power over the situation to affect the final outcome. That seems to be the case with this situation. The cards can indicate the current trends and probable outcome, but only Marcella can create her own future.
This reading was originally posted as an exercise on my Facebook page, Art of Cartomancy. Check out the post for additional insights into these cards. Most of the participants agree with my final answer, but also offer varied perspectives that are equally valid based on the card meanings and combinations.