The only thing that beats the popular love question is the work question. As many experience transitions at work, desiring a change, many focus on getting a clear sense of direction. ‘What is the next move, or the next step,’ many ask, or ‘what is the trajectory if I choose to shift my line of work and replace it with something as yet unexplored?’


I often use the classical pyramid layout to answer such a question, but I read it in-line. Tirage-en-ligne is not something I have seen many do, and certainly not as it connects to a pyramid, but I find this approach very useful as it helps us to focus on the situation, to think of the next step, and to see what needs to be done in accordance with what the cards show the next step is. The last card in the pyramid is the full stop, summing up the alignment of the desire for change with the actual possibility to change.

I use this pyramid layout and the reading in-line for all the cards I’m proficient in reading with, that is to say, Tarot, Lenormand, playing-cards, and art cards.


I find that the extended one-liner – as the reading in-line is all about – comes across as penetrating, forceful, and clear.

Here is an example from a recent reading, for which I have used the Lenormand cards. Depending on how many cards you fancy having in play, from the full pack to the fewer cards variation, the idea is the same, namely, to deliver a message in the form of concrete sentences following the number of rows.

In my case here I have 16 cards on the table in 4 rows.

Maybe Lenormand, Prototype One by Ryan Edward (Photo: Camelia Elias)
Maybe Lenormand, Prototype One by Ryan Edward (Photo: Camelia Elias)

Let’s see how it goes, for this question:

How can I make my business a success?

Brilliant strength is overshadowed by the shifting (hence unstable) appreciation of new possibilities (Sun, Bear, Clouds, Flowers, Stork, Key, Child).

Get yourself out of your private sphere, and into the public sphere establish committed and binding discussions (House, Woman, Garden, Birds, Ring).

Let your stress sail into the calming woods (Mice, Ship, Tree).

And climb that mountain (Mountain).


As you can see, little is left for negotiating or for doubting. All is clear and to the point.

The method of reading in-line is a bit more demanding than the regular type of reading that relies on card combination, intersections, and other such techniques.

But the reason why this may be perceived as more difficult is because it demands of the reader the enforcement of a certain punch in the face. A punch that leaves no doubt about what’s what.


The general pulse in this reading goes like this: this and this and this and this and this. This is the mantra. For the tirage-en-ligne there’s no this and that and this and that and this and that, and because of this and that we got this and that. There is no this and that. There’s only this.

With the above layout, and if time allows for it, the reader can elaborate and make more out of the fact that here the center card is the Garden, flanked by the Woman and the Birds. But focusing on this trio neither adds nor diminishes the initial message. We just get more info about what we have already seen is simply ‘this’.


One can also choose to focus on the internal within the pyramid classical square of 9. The basic message of the square, ‘move to the woods and don’t stress about taking the plunge’, is still consistent with the initial message.

We could also turn the table around and say that, after the mountain is climbed, or rather, after the challenge of what seems impossible to begin with is faced, all is well that ends well. From the top there’s only one option: To go down where the Sun shines brightly. No worries.



But if we stick with the inverted pyramid, as this gives us a good punch-line and a grounding of desire, we can see how all the roads here lead to the melting top of the mountain. Climbing the mountain is tough and never easy, but we have solar examples of successes throughout all ages.

The Mountain here mirrors the Flowers, and in the context about this particular business, we can see this as a good omen. The person asking is interested in running her business from a rural place and it involves working with herbalism and bio-regional re-wilding.

Or else we could say that the person’s ambition to climb the mountain is also about going from the field flowers to the highly prized mountain top flowers, or from the culture of the bouquet to the culture of the rare gifts of the wild.

But the general new and fresh commitment must be focused on getting the Ring on the finger of the pine Tree (Child, Ring, Tree, Mountain). The Tree will be the main helper. Leaving behind a world of petty stress and domestic drama is a good idea (Sun, House, Mice, Mountain).


One last word about the actual ‘going about it’. As you may have noticed, the way I have formulated the sentences for each row takes into account the direct reading and the combination reading.

For instance, in the first row, up until the Flowers I went card by card. At the card Flowers I changed the pace and did combinations, so that instead of reading the whole row card by card in the progressive order from 1 to 7, I read the cards of the Stork and the Child as modifiers to the cards of Flowers and Key respectively.

Now you may ask: What motivates this, and when is this shift a good idea? How do we know when to read directly and when to do card combinations? Eh, you see, now that is the art of reading the cards in-line. It is in this very flexibility, and what I like to call the elastic reading, that we find the thrilling aspect in reading any cards whatsoever.

The motivation lies in getting your attention kicked in at its maximum. When you read the cards attentively, and with a vigilant eye on the context of the question as well, letting that color your sentencing, you discover that you know exactly when a card combination is called for.

Suffice here to say that the more you develop attention to the visual cues in each card, as each card aligns with the question, the more you discover what it takes to speak the language of the cards when this language becomes poetry, or the language of the birds, when it flows so beautifully that it leaves no room for any other settled negotiation.


Note on the cards: Ryan Edward has just offered a limited edition of the Maybe Lenormand cards. Go grab them.


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Published by Camelia Elias

Read like the Devil | Martial Arts Cartomancy | Zen


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