The reading was in the form of the Celtic Cross, as follows:
King of Pentacles – in the position of the Self, in the centre, crossed by the Fool card.
King of Pentacles is a very balanced figure, and very comfortable with itself. This represents the body of psychotherapy which is very comfortable with itself and has matured a lot. But it is crossed by the Fool card, which is really saying that psychotherapy may have achieved its kingship, but there is a new journey now in front of it, it will need to go much further. The Fool card represents the journey of Parsifal, so it’s really saying that wisdom is no wisdom, and that what we know is what we don’t know. Psychotherapy is being asked to look at itself and to journey forward.
Underneath this is the Star card. In this one, you have the lady who is standing naked to the world and she has one foot on the water and one on the land, and she is pouring water between the two saucers. It’s as if psychotherapy needs to broaden its base and allow itself to level and flatten, rather than to peak and become insurmountable. The water of the Star card represents spirituality and soul and emotion. The lady who is standing on, rather than in, the water, represents how psychotherapy has positioned itself in relation to its own spirituality, its own heart. In some way it has stayed outside it.
King of Pentacles represents success in a physical way, but yet the king in himself is a prisoner of himself – what is missing is his happiness, because he is a slave to himself. I think he needs to seek the source of his own happiness.
Above the King of Pentacles is the Three of Pentacles, which represents the karmic obligation, the need to look at the blueprint and see if everything is going to plan. This card is inverted, so it is really saying that the future of psychotherapy is in its own hands. But in a way, we need to go back to the beginning and see what is in the blueprint, to look where we are in relation to our beginnings.
On the left hand side we have the Lovers‘ card inverted, and on the right hand side we have the World card. This indicates that the energy that psychotherapy was born out of was the energy of love (Lovers‘ card), but it is inverted, so that energy is not clear. And the World card shows what is coming towards it, which is a circle very much like the shell around the egg, and very much in the energy of the King of Pentacles. In some ways, psychotherapy has surrounded itself with a layer of protection, that we need to look at in some respects.
There is a clue to this in the card which is in the position of the Self at the bottom of the staff – the Queen of Wands. This female energy relates also to the Lovers‘ card, out of which psychotherapy was born, but it has put itself in a very male position, in the position of the King. The female aspect is grounded, but yet she has also assumed the position of the King sitting on the throne and that is where her energy is coming from. She has the sunflower, representing clarity and the logos, and around her she has the lions. She is protecting herself. I feel there is something there which really needs to be looked at.
In the position of the Environment, we have the Seven of Pentacles, which represents growth for the future, allowing things to become abundant and prosperous, but in its own time – you cannot rush it. Going back to the beginning, I feel this represents the idea that the seed has been produced and is now ready to be planted.
In the position of Hopes and Fears, we have the Six of Swords, a mother and child moving from stormy waters to calmer waters. This represents the resolving of issues, and I think that psychotherapy is still resolving its own issues. It hasn’t fully come to maturity yet, even though it may see itself in the position of the King.
In the position of the Future, we have the Two of Pentacles, with the image in this picture wearing a very tall cap, representing an awful lot on its mind. I wonder whether that energy of mind, or intellectual energy, has been allowed to run rampant in the area of psychotherapy? Is this the position on which the Queen of Wands has positioned herself?
To round off, if we take one extra card, we have the Nine of Wands, which represents struggle; it represents the victim role, a hard energy like a survivor or a martyr. It is like the man who has learned from his wounds – he is still wounded and hasn’t healed yet. So I feel that psychotherapy is wounded and hasn’t healed yet.
Overall, I wouldn’t hope for any great changes overnight, like a butterfly emerging from a chrysalis. I think perhaps psychotherapy is still at the maggot stage. Give it another few years at least! Perhaps a new energy is needed from within psychotherapy itself, and from the people within it, so that it may come to full maturity.
[The editors would like to thank Stuart Greene for this reading, which they feel has highlighted some important issues for the future of psychotherapy, if in a somewhat unconventional form. ]