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Tarot Reflections

 April 15 , 2004

Five Card Basketball Spread
Lady Lorelei, CTM

Lady Lorelei (Melissa Michael) has always enjoyed synthesizing the practical with the spiritual. As a young girl she had rare flashes of prescience and an interest in metaphysics as well as physics. She was a National Merit Scholar and graduated cum laude in Electrical Engineering, then spent ten years in an ISKCON temple studying the Sanskrit texts and religion of ancient India. The first tarot deck she ever used was Tarot of the Witches by Fergus Hall, seen in the James Bond movie "Live and Let Die". In the mid-90's she purchased her first Waite deck and was immediately disgusted with the outdated and irrelevant male-dominated imagery. She created her own tarot deck of 101 cards, and once broken out of the 78 card standard was able to settle down and assimilate the popular modern decks. She joined the ATA in 1998 and now mentors on the FTN and FRN and helps moderate ATA 100 and 200. She is a Certified Tarot Master and has written two books, Gypsy Fortunes available now and the Tarot Life Planner, which will be available in October. She lives on the highest point in Chatham County, North Carolina with nine cats, and hikes the nearby tree farms for fun.  Her website is


A friend and I bartered dinner and a reading. Whenever a querent isn't sure of a question, talks about way too many topics, or just wants a general reading I might offer to do the baseball spread. Well, this querent, being a rabid Carolina basketball fan demanded to know why I didn't offer to do a basketball spread! I went home and created one, after discussing it with her.

The Basketball Spread

Card 1 Point Guard: Overseer, where you are now, your guide

Card 2 Guard: This guards you or you must guard against this

Card 3 Small Forward: This assists you

Card 4 Forward B: An alternate goal, or person B's goal

Card 5 Forward A: Your goal or where you are headed

The five positions on one basketball team are the five cards, and the positional meanings are symbolic of a similar energy in one's life. Like the game, this spread is goal-oriented. Each position has a function and they all work together to accomplish a goal. Yet each of the five is capable of scoring or achieving your goal.

Naturally the question used with this spread is framed in terms of a specific goal, or this spread can be used to help decide upon a goal. The two Forwards state or define two goals. This is all from the perspective that these five cards (these five basketball players) are on your team.

Another way to use this spread is to view it as though it describes the opposing team, and that these five cards are things you must overcome to reach your goal. In that case, the Forwards are forces or people trying to take your goal from you, or block your goal. And the Guards are the last hurtles to jump or obstacles to remove before reaching your goal. This goal can be a positive achievement or it could be getting out from under negative or simply difficult influences.

Another spin on this spread is: you could expand it to ten cards or two teams to describe two people or two sides of an issue. Run through the interpretation of all ten cards from each team's point of view.

Sample Reading

There is a baseball deck or two. Is there a basketball deck?

Deck used: Robin Wood

Framing the Question

Why is it that a writing project that could potentially generate income has taken me months and months to work on; has been like pulling teeth to work on, and in fact isn't even done yet? This has been bothering me as it gets down to the wire and I keep doing things like creative writing, volunteering to moderate yet another e-list, and indeed writing the article in front of you. The Goal is to get this project turned in. With this in mind, let's see what the Basketball Spread can tell me.

Card 1 Point Guard: Knight of Swords - charge ahead

Card 2 Guard: Knight of Cups - invitation

Card 3 Small Forward: Two of Wands, reversed - blocked dominion

Card 4 Forward B: Two of Pentacles - juggling

Card 5 Forward A: The Moon - illusion

Method 1 - My Team

Well, I was doing fine until I got to the Moon. This card tells me there is something hidden, or that I do not understand about my goal, which would certainly explain why it's been so hard to sit down and do it. The inherent advice of this card is to take another look. Cast light into the shadows for clarity of sight and perception.

The other Forward, the Two of Pentacles, brings out how the energy changes once you take money. I love writing, for writing's sake, for the connection with the creative muse. Writing for money has meant a connection with a horribly inept copy editor. And at the moment, I'm really juggling finances, trying to start a business, etc.; which interferes with having the necessary peace of mind to get any writing project done.

The Small Forward in basketball is such a key player. His game score may never be that high, but he may have made 30 assists, and therefore contributed to 60 points! This Two of Wands is the only reversed card in the spread, which in and of itself could indicate that I don't have the assistance I need. But, taking the meaning as it is, I am assisted by the fact I have no boss. I can do what I want with my time.

Both Guards are Knights. There are two Knights and two 2's in the spread. The Point Guard takes stock of the entire court of play and directs all the other players, whereas the other players concentrate on their individual opponent or part of the zone. The energy of the Knight of Swords - that charge ahead, take action, go for broke mindset is exactly what I feel is lacking. So in that way, this spread makes sense if I view the four other cards as means to become this Knight.

The Knight of Cups makes me think of what several other sources have told me recently; that I need some sort of business partner. I need to invite someone into this crazy whirl of creative ideas to help me ground it in practical reality. I'm keeping my ears and eyes open in case such an invitation comes my way.

Method 2 - The Opposing Team

Now the tables are turned and these same five cards illustrate the forces or energies in my life that oppose my writing project. The perspective or nuance to the reading is that these cards are not on my team or on my side, and may be forces completely out of my control.

The Moon takes on a slightly more sinister aspect. There is an active force of illusion acting against me, rather than a little misperception I need to clear up. Perhaps there really is no hope of selling this project to the publisher who expressed interest in it.

The Two of Pentacles: inherent in this new lifestyle choice of mine to honor my spirit and let it lead me is that I end up doing things that fulfill me and make me happy rather than what makes good intelligent business sense. So that's something to be aware of; that I seem to keep juggling lots of projects because I really find this particular project stressful and unpleasant. I'm juggling writing for pleasure vs. writing for pay.


The Assist that works against me, of the opposing team, is the Two of Wands reversed. In this way, perhaps it is because I don't have any boss scheduling my time and telling me what to do that I cannot get this project done.

If I had the basketball and was charging toward my basket, the last two defenders would be the Guards, the two Knights, the two energies I need to conquer or pass through before reaching my goal and scoring my points. Invite and Take Charge. When I have mastered these two energies, fully understood and integrated them, then I will have the opportunity to score.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on these reading!


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