The Horseshoe or Seven-Card Layout
This short but sweet layout is a perfect supplement to a general reading when you need to hone in on a very specific answer to a question. For instance, in a Celtic Cross, you may see that your client is due for a job change. You would then do a Seven-Card Layout to ask, "What will happen if she/he takes the job at the Health Center?"
(Rolla Nordic and her book The Tarot Shows The Path is credited for this most useful layout.)
This is also an excellent quick way to screen future relationships, job possibilities, living spaces plus many other important questions. A really nice feature in this layout is the position designated as "how the other sees it." You can imagine how useful a position like this could be. On the other hand, this can be a bit tricky if the "other" is not easily discernable. By asking the question, "What will happen if I follow [blank] course of action?" you can, by a process of elimination, make well-guided choices.
EXAMPLE 1 SEVEN CARD LAYOUT
What is the best Helen can expect from Martha?
1. PAST - Six of Pentacles
2. PRESENT - Eight of Swords
3. FUTURE - Revolution / Revelation
4. HOW YOU SEE IT - Limitation
5. HOW THE "OTHER" SEES IT - Shaman of Wands
6. OBSTACLE - Two of Wands
7. OUTCOME - Maiden of Cups
1. The past shows balance and equality.
2. In the present, both are insecure about the relationship.
3. A blow-up of some kind to clear the air is imminent and may be surprising.
4. Helen feels bound, frustrated and held back from enjoying the flow between them
5. while Martha feels married in spirit at least, no matter what.
6. The obstacle is a feeling of un-worthiness and fatigue with the material world.
7. Light-hearted fun seems to be the best one can expect.
EXAMPLE 2 SEVEN CARD LAYOUT
What’s going on in Barb and Walter’s relationship? asks Barb.
1. PAST - Four of Swords
2. PRESENT - Three of Pentacles
3. FUTURE - Maiden of Pentacles
4. HOW YOU SEE IT - The Moon
5. HOW THE "OTHER" SEES IT - The Wheel of Life
6. OBSTACLE - Ten of Swords
7. OUTCOME - Awakening
Both are withdrawn (4S), working on separate books, looking for recognition, working with language and communication (Maiden). Both are devoted to each other. Barb is dealing with deep emotions (Moon) hoping to be met, fearing that he is not emotionally available. Walt is going through major changes internally and externally, endeavoring to break a cycle of behavior (Wheel). Both are dealing with issues of betrayal. Old family skeletons (10S) dance their way out of the closet, taunting the worst-case scenario to be present. The challenge here is (Awakening) to open Pandora’s box of mysteries and look at them with an open, probing mind.
EXAMPLE 3 SEVEN CARD LAYOUT
What’s going on with Mary and Eva’s relationship
1. PAST - Two of Pentacles
2. PRESENT - Gorgon
3. FUTURE - Essence
4. HOW YOU SEE IT - Ten of Cups
5. HOW THE "OTHER" SEES IT - Nine of Cups
6. OBSTACLE - Synthesis
7. OUTCOME - Six of Cups
Both women are happy with each other (2P) but it seems as though there has been some ambivalence in the past that has grown into a sense of dividing pathways.(Gorgon) Freedom (Essence) will be a major issue in the future. The key will be a blending of energies (10C)and agendas and trying to meet each other in a place of innocence (6C).