The Focus Fucking Tarot Spread
1. Life: Primary life focus.
2. Drop: What to drop in life.
3. Pick Up: What to pick up in life.
4. Work: Primary work focus.
5. Drop: What to drop in work.
6. Pick Up: What to pick up in work.
7. Art: Primary creative focus.
8. Drop: What to drop in creativity.
9. Pick Up: What to pick up in creativity.
10. Health: Primary health focus.
11. Drop: What to drop in my health regimen.
12. Pick Up: What to pick up in my health regimen.
13. Love: Primary social/love focus.
14. Drop: What to drop in my social/love life.
15. Pick Up: What to pick up in my social/love life.
Between loss of employment, a turbulent collective mind, adjusting to la vie quarantine, battling sickness in self or community, and watching fresh new threats and fears blossom like so many cherry trees every day, this climate fucks hard with the focus of everyone impacted, or tuned in enough to care for herd and hive. It warrants reshuffling our priorities, as we weigh what matters most, drop some pursuits from necessity or constraint, and take up new ones from love or need. The circumstances that shake us up are unfortunate, unwelcome, and beyond our control. However, we can still embrace creativity and make meaning from reviewing and restructuring our values and labors within them. There’s power in intentionally fucking back with our focus when it fucks with us.
Shifting focus does not mean you have to do all the everything. This spread is not about maximizing productivity or jumping right back into work, although you may choose to point it that way if increased activity makes you feel better and provides soothing distraction. There’s nothing wrong with coping by keeping busy, but it’s not the only valid approach.
The primary goal here is to remember or discover what matters most to you, and to make order of your priorities so you can better attend them. Rest can be a priority. (Four of Swords.) Friendship can be a priority. (Three of Cups.) Solitude can be a priority. (The Hermit.) Grieving and facing fears can be priorities. (Five & Eight of Cups, Three & Nine of Swords.) Fantasy and art can be priorities in their gifts of escapist rest, emotional venting, and modeling better ways of being than we’ve got in the present over-cultural humanscape. (Seven of Cups.) If you draw a particularly restive card under a “pick up” position, it might advise to put a current project or relationship on the back-burner, or rest that area of life all together.
Focus is a squirrelly beast. Especially under discord, it likes to boing around the minute we take our paws off it. Don’t hold yourself to overly high standards here. Your focus does not have to be singular, static, or laser-targeted. As conditions outside our control shift, so do our needs and abilities. This spread’s a good candidate for a weekly or monthly check in as things progress. Most of us need to keep multiple projects and relationships going at any given time, and some of these will morph or fade on us. What matters most this week might not the next.
Interpret your cards creatively to tailor advice to your individual needs and skills, and don’t berate yourself for what you can’t tackle or hold in mind. It is adaptive to grow into challenges through incremental stretches. It is adaptive to cyclically reassess what most needs doing.
Note that, while these cards are numbered for the sake of organization in your journals and on your tabletops, there is no intended hierarchy between the categories. One is not necessarily more important than any other on the long run, though many people develop preferences for some over others. Again, this party’s all about making sense of what matters to you, so if you find love more important than art, or art more important than work, or express love primarily through meaningful labor, that’s all gravy. These categories can interconnect and play off each other in intricate and beautiful ways. This can reflect within a reading through connections in color, composition, correspondences, or symbols between cards. All that said, passion is not finite but time of day is. The first trio, Life, can highlight one area, potentially encompassing another category on the table, to lend more or first time and attention.
Regarding the Health category, remember that tarot, art, intuition, and all their finest advice can supplement your health regimen, but can’t replace medical treatment or good sense. Take this set metaphorically, with healthy skepticism and openness to multiple interpretations, and avoid seeking targeted medical advice from the cards.
Before we can take action, we must gather information, including information about ourselves, our spirits, and the resources at our disposal. We face peculiar challenges within pathfinding when our actions are constrained by quarantine, and we’ve no idea what terrain we’ll be treading, or to what end, when the time comes to move outwardly again. Shine your flashlight inward to survey personal strengths, weaknesses, objectives, and resources in the interim. Gather and prepare within the bounds of self and home. Your values, talents, and desires still matter within this inventory.
ELEMENTS: Fire & Air
Analysis of passions. Spirit-driven values. Quick thinking and cunning strategy. Courage to stay attentive and engaged. Openness to adaptation.
This spread already addresses creativity, relationships, and career. It takes a broad snapshot of our major endeavors. It’s a lot of cards, and a lot of topics for one reading. Cut any trio you don’t need to look at within a session, or try drawing a quick reading on a single trio that most needs your attention.
The love category can include platonic or romantic relationships, and can get quite abstract as desired. You can draw this section on a narrowed subtopic, like a particular relationship, self love, or even a beloved pastime or interest that stokes your passion for life. You can draw on a more broad topic, like how to better cultivate the quality of love in your life, how to operate from loving-kindness, or how to attract or maintain romance within the chaos.
Try turning this spread into a deep dive on a particular facet of life by drawing as series of trios on subtopics within a broad theme like art, love, or work. For instance, try drawing three cards each on where to focus, what to pick up, and what to drop within a relationship with another person, your relationship with yourself, and your capacity to cultivate love for the collective.
In moments of steadiness and health, this would make a fine spread for refreshing a stale creative drive, planning between projects or phases, or rediscovering personal values when stuck in a rut.
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