The work week ahead spread

I run my own business, and so dealing with management–employee conflict wouldn’t seem to be a problem for me. Here’s what they don’t tell you about running a business, though: all the same problems of any workplace still exist, but you only have yourself to blame for any of it.

Unfocused? Low morale? Maybe even looking into other jobs once in a while? Sounds like the “employee” is struggling, and the “manager” doesn’t seem to care — she’s about to agree to a new project! What is she thinking?! Oh right, her motto this year was “More work, less sleep, more coffee.” Why do I work here again?

I fell into this routine a few times before finally realizing that I needed a workplace intervention of sorts, to make sure that “everyone’s” needs were being met.

Use this spread towards the beginning of your work week to gain perspective and focus on the issues you’ll be seeing over the next few days. I’ve found this improves my focus and my overall work-life balance, because I end up giving myself more mental space to breathe and reflect than I might otherwise.

You don’t have to be self-employed to use this spread, and it’s possible you could use it more generally, too. I do encourage you to focus all the first three cards on your own self, though, without looking for other people until the 4th. The whole idea is to identify when you’ve got internal elements working at cross-purposes.

The work week ahead spread, a five-card tarot spread. Lay the first card to the left, the second to its right, and the third card between and slightly below them. The fourth and fifth cards are placed side-by-side underneath the triangle formed by the first three.

Here is the spread!

Card 1: The manager this week. This is you as the director of the operation, the executive who decides what needs to get done. Stress in this position indicates a need to seek support on a high level. You can also think of this card as the “executive function” in your mind.

Card 2: The employee this week. This card relates to your work ethic and motivation, as well as creativity and productivity. It can highlight the emotional space that your work will be happening in. You can also think of this as the “receptive” part of your mind, the part that’s taking in information and processing it.

Card 3: How the manager and employee can best collaborate this week. Common ground for giving the employee perspective on the business’s goals, and the manager insight into what the employee needs to succeed. May indicate whether the relationship will be harmonious or contentious this week. Keep in mind this is all within YOU — these cards might suggest you seek external advice, but won’t specifically indicate other people.

Card 4: External factors this week. May indicate events outside of your personal control, client input and feedback, and new proposals or offers.

Card 5: Best strategy for the week. Pertains to both employee and manager and synthesizes the energy of the other cards.

Ready for an example?

The work week ahead spread, using the Wild Unknown deck and showing the Three of swords, Judgement, the Nine of wands, the Three of cups, and the Queen of wands.
The work week ahead spread for October 26–30, using the Wild Unknown deck by Kim Krans.

Like any spread, I usually take a good look at any overall impressions before digging in. I love Kim Krans’s use of color in the Wild Unknown deck and noticed right away how the “internal” (upper) cards are much darker in color than the “external” cards on the bottom, which use much more red and yellow. Interesting — maybe a hint that things are a bit brighter outside of my mind this week, and I should make an effort to talk to people.

Also there are two Threes — one of my favorite divination guides says that “Two 3s appearing in a spread foretells of a small but pleasant surprise.” Maybe? I don’t always count on the cards to play out that literally, but it won’t hurt me to look for small blessings any week.

Finally, there are no Earth cards in this spread, which tells me this might be a week of feelings, ideas, and messages — but not a lot of actual work, or that the work will hum along in the background of all that without seeing much real change.

Card 1 is the Three of swords, ouch. But good? The woman in charge this week might be a little sore about something, feeling stung or hurt in some way. But this is the sort of pain that comes from hearing a hard truth and helps you move forward. Be deliberate.

Card 2 is Judgement. The focus this week is more on the work you’ve already done than the work you’ve got on your plate currently. There’s a common theme of “seeing the truth” between this card and the Three of swords.

Card 3 is the Nine of wands. You’ve heard hard truths before and kept moving on and growing in your knowledge. This is another week for that process to continue happening. Go to bat for yourself — your experience is solid and you know what you’re talking about!

Card 4 is the Three of cups. Expect some good, honest conversation this week. You may find that sharing your experience is helpful to other people, and you’ll likely benefit from their knowledge as well. No one is acting as an adversary here, either; you’re all on the same side. Also possible: celebration of a job well done!

Card 5 is the Queen of wands. I’m never mad about seeing this Queen in a spread. She’s so positive! About everything! And best of all, when other people are even just a little excited about something, she reflects that right back to them so their enthusiasm grows. Keep in mind, with Mercury still retrograde this week, you don’t want to sign up for new projects too quickly — but there’s a very good chance you’ll hear a good lead this week and shouldn’t be too quick to say no.

Let me know if you try this spread, too; I’d love to hear how it works out for you!