BOTTOM-LINES

Often in my consultancy with cards I find myself in a state of exasperation. ‘Decision-making is enabled by looking at the bottom-line. You can’t run from the bottom-line,’ I tell people, and they retort, ‘But that’s the problem. I don’t know what the bottom-line is.’ Fair enough. Personally, and giving my experiences and inclinations, I don’t think I have a problem with the bottom-lines in my life. I like to calculate variables, place things in equations, and look at chance factors. If I run into a blind-spot, I try to fix that with reading cards. But I can see that, indeed, not everyone entertains the mathematics of the everyday life. So, how can you make a decision if you don’t know what the bottom-line is?

I decided to ask the cards themselves, in a kind of a round-about way, what they think about what factors must be considered when we think of determining bottom-lines.

I used for this a favorite spread that I call the Council of 13. (For the mechanics of reading this spread see my post here. For the method of reading with playing-cards, see my other post here.)

Screen Shot 2013-09-02 at 6.51.49 PM

Simply put, and without elaborating on what can become quite an extensive reading, it looks like the cards suggest the following:

In the assessment of any bottom-line, what we must consider is working with change. The center card is the 9♣, a card of change that involves work – and we take this to mean both, work in general and, in this context here, given the nature of the question, also work with the issue at hand.

I wasn’t thinking about any specific popular topic, such as an issue about relationship, work, health, or money, but it looks like the cards indicate as an example the example of relationships.

The King of Hearts presents himself in the first reading of the first trio, and we are meant to understand that he wants to have a say in it. This is not surprising given that when we want to assess the bottom-line of a relationship, culturally speaking, we can expect the patriarch to have a word about it. If change is to come, then it must benefit the material body (K♥ 9♣ 5♦).

Things can improve aesthetically, or plans for changes must be made gracefully (3♥ 9♣ A♣).

Some may resist the idea of essentializing (J♠), but the matriarch (Q♥) makes it easy for everyone to embark on a learning ride (6♣ 5♦ 6♦), so that everyone can see (6♦) what’s at stake (J♠ 9♣ Q♥).

Figuring out what the bottom-line is may be a daunting task (9♠), but in the face of change, everything can be worked out with the help of some youthful enthusiasm (9♠ 9♣ J♣).

Bottom-lines always have a teaching quality, and one can benefit from the message (6♣ 9♣ J♦).

What the bottom-line communicates serves seeing the point of the larger picture (8♦ 9♣ 6♦).

The Queen of Diamonds looking on to what factors enter into any essentializing process indicates women’s ability to supervise the outcome. Whereas the King relies on fresh blood and help from the outside to negotiate potential contradictions (8♦ J♠ J♦), the Queen, flanking the far right line, makes sure that no one dodges the difficult question.

So, then, to essentialize: the factors that go into figuring out what the bottom line is in any situation are the following:

Look at the father, but listen to the mother. The pros and cons can be determined if you are prepared for things to not only take a turn for the best but also for the worst. The bottom-line of any situation is that things change constantly. And just as things change, so can decisions. In other words, don’t be afraid to make decisions based on what you don’t want to hear. Once things change, one can always find a way to beautify one’s life.

Good luck with your bottom-lines.

§

Note on the deck:

Published by Van Genechten Turnhout, Belgium for Nederlanden van 1845. Design by Aviva Davids Bahar, 1965.

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