The Saturday before Sandy struck the Mid-Atlantic states, I asked the cards to describe the storm in a Line of Nine. The cards that came up were:
GARDEN CLOUDS FISH WOMAN HORSEMAN MOUNTAIN BOOK SUN WHIP
BOTTOM CARD: SCYTHE
DISCLAIMER: I am not a photographer.
So here we have the key cards being the GARDEN+ WHIP, with the HORSEMAN as a focus. The bottom card (BC) tends to show the energy running throughout the draw. Being this is the Scythe, we can say that this storm is very dangerous, and having drawn these cards, it gave me a bit of pause. The GARDEN WHIP describes public (Garden) strife (Whip) or friends struggling. In this case we can easily extrapolate the Garden to mean the entire local area including neighboring states: the area of Manhattan and Long Island, Connecticut and New Jersey. We can also get some back-up that supports GARDEN WHIP being the surrounding areas that include New Jersey and Connecticut, or even Pennsylvania because MOUNTAIN is here, modifying the WOMAN, who is me, the enquirer. MOUNTAIN means nearby countries, or an area that has a legal border. Because the USA is so huge and each one of our states can easily compare to the entire size of a European nation, to think this card refers to nearby states is valid, as opposed to referring to Canada or Mexico. If this were the case, the Ship would have been here signifying a foreign land. Being American, I find this to be true when I throw spreads for clients on the web who are in Europe. As an American, I take the Mountain to mean a neighboring state, and when it has the Ship near it, I take it to mean a foreign land in another part of the world. Immediately we could see that the areas that will be really affected are my immediate area (WOMAN MOUNTAIN) with neighboring states and the people there will struggle (GARDEN WHIP).
Interestingly, the focus of this reading was the HORSEMAN, meaning either a meeting or individual transportation (walking, driving, riding a bike, etc.). What I took from this was that the public transportation system would be greatly affected by flooding, and people would have to walk or drive rather than relying on the NYC subway system. For anyone who knows NYC, this is crippling to the city because public transport is the favored and most efficient way to travel. HORSEMAN is modified by the MOUNTAIN, so it will be difficult to get around.
Taking the left arm of the spread we have GARDEN CLOUDS FISH WOMAN HORSEMAN. I normally would read GARDEN CLOUDS FISH as drinking with friends or being at a bar/pub. But here we are discussing the storm (CLOUDS). As mentioned earlier, the FLOWERS card was once thought of as the rain card, but here we see something different. CLOUDS+ FISH is a torrential downpour with heavy winds, not a springtime shower nor the washing away of sorrows. Being that the FISH come before me, I interpreted it like my friends in the nearby areas will be hit by the storm worse than me. If we want to go further into the reading, the middle three cards are WOMAN HORSEMAN MOUNTAIN. So people from nearby areas come to my area for some reason.
Taking the right arm of the reading, we have: HORSEMAN MOUNTAIN BOOK SUN WHIP. HORSEMAN can be a car or personal transport of some kind. We must always look at the context of the spread, though, so either meeting people is hindered, news is hindered, or cars are hindered. All of these things make sense, but cars being hindered and news being blocked are quite on target here. When I see HORSEMAN MOUNTAIN in the context of such a question about a megastorm, I immediately get the idea that cars will be destroyed, as anything on the left side of the MOUNTAIN tends to be abused. What I found very interesting is the BOOK SUN WHIP. I jotted down that I thought the storm would cause a great deal of flooding in nearby states, that cars would be destroyed, and knew that SUN WHIP was referring to either power trouble, downed power lines, electrocution, or lightening strikes. What puzzled me was the BOOK. Why was it there?
I have lived in this borough for about two years and noticed that we have a great many power lines around. Now I never knew before Sandy hit that my entire borough is powered by these ancient lines. I knew the Con Ed grid was old, but I didn’t know it was freaking ancient! I mean, this is New York F*%#ing City, 10% of the world’s entire economy, and the financial hub of the USA! I thought that maybe the lines were there as an intermediary stage in conversion to a more modern system…oh but how wrong I was. Being that Con Ed is so outdated and Sandy has essentially called them out on it, I have since decided to pay our power bill in stone pebbles. I mean, we get what we pay for, right?
Anyway, the BOOK was there because I had no clue that my entire area was surrounded in old power lines. BOOK SUN WHIP means I do not realize that my area has a great many power lines and that it is quite dangerous as the area will experience strife (SUN WHIP). SUN WHIP can mean many things, but here, we are discussing the storm, not reiki (SUN= positive energy+ WHIP= repetition; this combo can also be vigorous prayer or an explosion) or a successful, happy discussion. It is likely SUN WHIP is referring to power lines going down, power outages, and lightening strikes. I was wrong in thinking it was lightening because of the presence of the BOOK- I already know lightening comes with storms. The BOOK then makes no sense, so in hindsight, I could have narrowed down my interpretation to power lines and outages, not lightening.
Looking at the reflection of the line of nine, we have already said GARDEN WHIP is the answer to the question. The description of the GARDEN WHIP lies in the cards: CLOUDS FISH WOMAN HORSEMAN MOUNTAIN BOOK SUN. CLOUDS+SUN means that the storm will go and when it fades, will shed light on something. That something is the SUN WHIP- problems with the grid. Here I’d also like to point out the need to keep which card falls where and to what it modifies straight. For this reason, I find it is helpful when reading a line of nine to read the outer cards (GARDEN WHIP) first, but then also read the first card with the second (CLOUDS). The way I read it is that the public is confused and it causes strife involving power outages. This is just another way to get additional information as to what exactly is being referred to. It gets easier once you can read three or more cards because there are actually three cards in combination in any linear spread like a line of five or nine- the card next to the first card (card 2) and then it’s reflected card (card 5 or 9).
Moving on, CLOUDS SUN describes, in literal terms also, a storm fading to reveal something. FISH+BOOK is many things that are unknown, or money that is secret. WOMAN+MOUNTAIN means I, the querent, am hindered by something, or if we take the idea that MOUNTAIN means a local geographic area, then this is referring to where I live. WOMAN HORSEMAN means someone meeting me who is most likely hindered, driving or walking in my local area (MOUNTAIN), or a word of advice from Spirit about staying put until the storm passes as the core of the reading.
In conclusion, when we take all these cards and their interpretations into context of the question, we can then put each smaller interpretation in order to form the gist of the spread. The entire nine card spread is also a personal word of advice to me about the storm: Do not contact the rain while walking in my area (GARDEN CLOUDS FISH WOMAN HORSEMAN MOUNTAIN) because I don’t know about all the power lines and the danger (BOOK SUN WHIP; BC- SCYTHE).
WHAT HAPPENED: One block away from me, two power lines came down when a tree on an embankment split in two and tore them both down onto the cars below, dragging a matted mess of power lines that looked like a giant knitting knot into the middle of the street, hindering both foot and car traffic. The only person to be electrocuted happened nearby. In another part of my borough, over 80 homes were destroyed by power lines catching fire in the midst of flooding.
My area was on higher ground so we never had to evacuate. However, a great many people came here looking for gas and provisions, or to simply stay over at a friend or family member’s home who had power and hot water to shower.
Staten Island is very close to us here, and the media was revealed to have overlooked the incredible devastation that occurred there. Public outcry about the lack of attention to Staten Island ensued, with a great deal of strife over the NYC Marathon and the decisions of local politicians.
Friends of ours went without power for nine days. We helped them find gas for their generator in our neighborhood and the surrounding areas. It was a real challenge to get gas as the lines went for miles. Our friend even went so far as Connecticut to find a station that had gas and no line.
The subways and interstate train line known as the PATH train from New Jersey were severely flooded and Con Ed had several transformers blow out. Regular service took weeks to resume.
**Personal Note: From now on, when I see CLOUDS FISH with SUN+WHIP, I will know it is the description of gasoline…gas (CLOUDS) liquid(FISH) that is combustible (SUN+WHIP).
The SCYTHE as the Bottom Card not only described the gas shortage and power loss, but also the dangers in my immediate area. Today I noticed a power line was down on our block, a full four weeks post Sandy, but most likely weakened by the high winds.