The positional definitions provided in the guidebook that comes with The Wonderland Tarot are as follows:
(1) Present position
(2) Immediate influence
(3) Goal or destiny
(4) Distant past foundation
(5) Recent past events
(6) Future influence
(7) The questioner
(8) Environmental factors
(9) Inner emotions
(10) Final results
Are you ready? Let’s go “down the rabbit hole!”
Interesting interpretation from the LWB: “The power of life and death. The king mitigates the excesses of the queen.” I can reveal to you that the friend I’m reading for is separated from his wife, whose excessive behavior has lead to her being arrested three times and jailed once. The suit of Swords often represents attitudes, perceptions, conflict, strife, and stress. We might even see this King as representing my friend but at the very least, it most certainly represents “the atmosphere in which the questioner is presently working and living.”
(2) Immediate influence: SIX OF FLAMINGOS
Here we are being shown “the nature of the influences or the obstacles that lie just ahead.” The Six of Flamingos typically indicates a journey – hopefully a pleasant one – but in this case, I think it’s going to be a mixed bag, with some unpleasantness involved. I think my friend is looking forward to the “end” of this particular journey.
(3) Goal or destiny: SIX OF OYSTERS (Coins, Pentacles, Diamonds)
My friend’s ultimate goal or “the best that can be accomplished” is represented here by the Six of Oysters, a card linked to the physical, material realm. This card often suggests generosity and kindness “to those less fortunate.” I feel the card points directly at my friend’s goal of not “losing his shirt” to his ex in a very real, material sense. From all appearances, she does not stand much of a chance of winning anything in court (my friend took out a restraining order on her after she hit him in the head with a frying pan, requiring him to get 7 stitches). However, immediately after the physical altercation that led to the breakup, she did remove furniture and other items from the house while my friend was out.
(4) Distant past foundation: THE STAR (Key 17)
Here we are supposedly looking at “broad and basic influences which existed in the past and upon which the present events are based.” I think this card is showing us my friend’s wishes and dreams that led to him marrying this woman in the first place and also have contributed to him staying with her in spite of her behavior, which included more than one instance of infidelity. My friend had hoped for a bright future together, fulfillment, satisfaction, and so forth. Instead, he finds himself “cutting off a bad relationship” (the reversed meaning for this card as provided in the LWB).
(5) Recent past events: TWO OF FLAMINGOS
As “the most recent sphere of influence or events that has passed or is just passing,” the Two of Flamingos points again to conflict and opposition as well as an attempt to secure a “truce.” The reversed meanings of duplicity, disloyalty, and treachery all seem to apply.
(6) Future influence: THE MOON (Key 18)
Here we expect to see “the sphere of influence that is coming into being in the near future.” As a Major Arcana card, The Moon probably represents a powerful “sphere of influence,” and it’s likely not to be an enjoyable one. At the very least, this card points to deception, trickery, deceit, false friends, and a trap. I can’t help thinking about my friend’s continued interaction with his ex-wife’s niece, who appears to sympathize with him and decry her aunt’s behavior. And yet. I feel the niece’s loyalty ultimately must lie with her aunt (family/blood), and I feel my friend might be wise to stop communicating with the niece. This could also refer to a mutual friend or friends who take sides against my friend while appearing to be on his side or at least neutral.
(7) The questioner: TEN OF FLAMINGOS
In his present position, my friend is represented by the Ten of Flamingos (Swords again – conflict, stress, strife). I often see the Ten of Swords as a sign of reaching the end of one’s wits or rope or whatever expression you care to use. Other keywords might include “a mental death, a pain that feels like a violent death, mental anguish, trouble and misfortune.” I think that applies quite well here.
(8) Environmental factors: SEVEN OF OYSTERS
In this position we are not looking at the “environment” in ecological terms but rather we are looking at “the questioner’s influence on other people and their influence on the questioner.” The Seven of Oysters (Coins, Pentacles) puts us back into the material, physical realm, where we see apparent progress toward wealth or personal gain, yet there is still anxiety or worry about possible loss. This situation most certainly does involve money and property/possessions, over which my friend and others have control or are attempting to control.
(9) Inner emotions: NINE OF OYSTERS
We remain in the physical, material realm to explore the questioner’s “inner hopes, emotions, desires and anxieties.” This card typically represents accomplishment and/or feelings of safety, which my friend obviously hopes to experience. Reversed, the card points to possible bad faith, villainy, danger to self or spirit… again, obviously fears my friend might harbor in this situation.
(10) Final results: TEMPERANCE (Key 14)
I confess, after all the Swords in this reading, I was relieved to see Temperance make an appearance to represent “the culmination and results of all the influences revealed by the other cards.” As this is a Major Arcana card, I think we are looking at a “grand finale” which implies compromise, balance, moderation, and tolerance. Unfortunately, because there is so much acrimony and conflict involved in this situation (reflected in the preceding cards), I can also see potential for a final result that includes discord, frustration, imbalance, and continued excessive behavior.
The major “players” in this reading are the suits of Flamingos (Swords) and Oysters (Coins, Pentacles) – difficulties and conflict, material and physical matters. Our triumvirate of Major Arcana cards presents a combination of hopes and dreams (The Star), deception and confusion (The Moon), and balance and moderation (Temperance). A mixed bag, to be sure, and not the easiest energy to navigate.