The other day a friend asked if I could perform a reading for her. "Sure", I replied, "what did you want me to look at?" But, the answer wasn't incredibly straightforward. It was something along the lines of, "I've just been feeling really off lately. I don't know if it's because of this or that, but I'm not just feeling right."
This type of inquiry I would lump into the vague and uncertain pile and it usually takes some work on my part to reformulate the question enough that it actually becomes readable. This time though, I resisted that urge.
I didn't know exactly how I would lay the cards down, but I knew I wanted to answer the inquiry just as it was asked. After all, there must be a way to look at what's happening in and around someone, especially when it feels that whatever it is, is weighing them down.
This is when the idea of the Energetic Landscape came to me. I'm sure it must exist in other forms, with other spreads, but I'm just not aware of it. Essentially, the purpose of the layout is to take the person or situation and attempt to look at what is happening around them in this moment. I say person or situation because you could easily approach this spread with questions regarding upcoming actions, changes or unknowns. Here are some examples of questions that would work well with this spread, and then we'll get into how it all works:
-What is the energy surrounding me right now?
-What's contributing to the feelings I am dealing with?
-Me and my partner are constantly fighting, what's going on?
-This week has had a weird vibe, what's happening?
-I'm thinking of pursing a job opening, what is the energy surrounding that option?
Now, onto the actual layout. Below is an image of how the cards would be laid out and following that are the positional meanings.
Position 1 - The Subject: This could be representative of the individual asking the question, or the situation at hand. If you ask the question, "what is the energy surrounding me at the moment?" then the middle spot indicates you in your current state, as a culmination of the energy that surrounds you.
Position 2 - North/Earth: This spot is associated with Earth as its placed in the North position, and so the card here may also examine what is happening in the Earthly plane as it relates to stability, material priorities, resources and finances.
Position 3 - East/Air: This spot is associated with the Air element as its placement is to the East. This means that this spot may also address what is happening on the mental/intellectual plane or with matters of thought and communication.
Position 4 - South/Fire: This spot is associated with Fire as it's placed in the South position, and so the card here may also examine matters of ambition, passion, creativity and energy.
Position 5 - West/Water: This spot is associated with the water element, which means matters relating to the heart, emotions and relationships may be evident here.
Keep in mind that while each spot is unique, it would also be recommended that you look at the overall picture, since we are dealing with surrounding energy. For example, how does the energy in the South relate to the energy in the North? How is the energy West, similar or different from the energy East? You get the picture. Below is a further explanation of all 5 spots.
I've so far had some really good results with this one, and I'm generally excited about its versatility. It can be used very generally or very specifically and I kind of like the idea of just being able to say, "what the fuck is going on here!?" and then proceeding to throw 5 cards down on a table. You know what I mean? Anyway, if you use it, enjoy, and if you feel so compelled, let me know how you made out!