Thinking on this spread a bit more, I think it might be better to read for the Path/Goal first before reading for the Charioteer/Seeker. A friend of mine emailed me to share a test reading he'd done, and it seems to flow better of those positions are flipped.
So here is my reading with this spread - my oldest daughter and her boyfriend live with me - they're young adults now, but not yet at a point where they can financially support themselves. Today, this subject came up - she's looking ahead to what they might want to do, but there is still a pretty large divide between the desire and the means (and also, I believe, a less than accurate understanding of what means will be necessary).
I'm not in a hurry to have them go, but I do want to support them in getting to that point and very much desire to see progress made toward getting there. It seems to be a situation made for this spread, so my question here is...
What do I need to do to help them develop the independence necessary to successfully get out on their own? (Successfully, as I define it, means that once they're out they are able to stay out and not need to move backwards by coming back here to live under a parent's care again.)
10 of Coins (The Materialist)
This is it in a nutshell... the goal is to be able to assist them in being materially self-sufficient and established enough to fully take care of themselves. With this card, the sense of legacy is highlighted... they are granted a foundation from their family (support now, experience and possibly material help to get started) in order to create their own solid financial structure.
This particular card has a somewhat negative connotation to it, with its image of a man so focused on money and nothing else that he is covered in coins and even blinded by them. I am taking this as a reminder that, while being financially stable enough to be independent is the key goal here, they need to be ready in other ways as well - setting up a home and not having a parent to fall back on creates a lot of stressors in a young relationship and they will need to know how to work through those without harming their relationship.
2. The Charioteer - what is driving the desire for this path - why this goal? The Seeker - what the Seeker has within that helps motivate attaining this goal.
I - The Magician
The image on this card is that of Hermes - the messenger of the Gods. First and foremost what I bring to this is experience and the ability to articulate it. More importantly, I've been where they want to be - I've dealt with times of hardship, lived with room mates, gone through long periods of time where I have to be creatively thrifty and I am able to pass that information on to them so they aren't caught by surprise by too many reality checks as they move out of my home and into their own life.
It doesn't mean I can do it for them - ultimately, you learn that stuff by getting out and doing it - but I can at least persuade them to consider possibilities they've not yet thought of and to avoid the sort of crises that come from lack of awareness about how things work.
I think a large part of my role at this point is simply showing them what the real costs of living on your own actually is. I don't always feel confident that they really get what all running a household involves - the good fairies (or magician) don't magically keep the lights on and the food in the pantry.
3. The Chariot - what is the vehicle for getting to your goal? How can you get there? The structure and stability required.
XVI - The Tower
The image here shows a couple kneeling in front of some sort of stone oven with a three-tiered glass structure made of globes (a still?). Lightning has struck and cracked the glass vessel, dripping red and white droplets on the couple. In this deck, these globe-shaped objects are shown in the Vessels (Cups) suit suggesting that this is some sort of emotional fracture.
There are a few rather harsh truths in this card - first, that the only way they're really going to ever get out there is to just get out there and figure it out... that is, the bottom line is that I can only prepare them so much - at some point, they just have to do it and go through the struggle themselves without a safety net.
More than that, though, there's a message here for me - that it is not realistic to think that it's going to be a smooth transition or that it won't have an effect on my own situation, emotionally or financially - while I am supporting them, there is one utility I have them covering now that I'll need to take on, and I also need to be prepared for the reality that the current support payments will go down once she's no longer a dependent. This is a reminder that I need to plan for that every bit as much as they need to plan for how to support themselves. Since the support money I receive goes to rent and utilities that need to be paid no matter how many people are using them, this is vital to keep in mind.
Lastly, this suggests to me that leaving is, in some some sense, going to require an emotional break - my daughter and I are very close and it makes it easy for both of us to leave things as they are but that isn't what's best for her - my job is to help her let go, not hang onto her. And from experience, I know that close parent-child bonds sometimes need to have a period of 'breaking up' so that the child is able to make that cut - the actual departure may come after a catalyst of not getting along, and if that happens - if we find ourselves quarreling, I'll want to keep in mind that this might be what's behind it and not take it too personally.
4-5 - The Horsepower - Energy sources that need to work together to move you toward your goal (if these are conflicting, dealing with that conflict is necessary before movement can take place).
VII - The Chariot
So here is what will help them be ready to move out on their own - first the Chariot, itself. Their first step is to figure out what it is they want to do and work out how to go about getting there. This is a step that think has been lacking.. lots of wishes, but not a lot of solid plans. They've got to actually sit down and chart their path, keep track of what all needs to be accounted for and establish a plan for doing it.
And this is not something I can do FOR them - I can help keep them focus and offer some input on things they may not be aware of, but it has to be their plan, not mine. (This card looks like the Charioteer is 'riding off into the sunset' - interesting because the latest desire I've heard expressed is wanting to move out to California, near her dad's mom and sisters... so maybe that's the plan that will stick.)
8 of Wands (The Woodcutter)
This card differs from the usual RWS style card with its targetted wands - but it strengthens the message of the Chariot nonetheless... they need to actively set their target and start taking steps to get there. More than that, this card shows a woodcutter hewing trees and it points to narrowing down their focus. It's all great and wonderful to want to live in one area doing something cool one day and another place doing something totally different, or declaring that you can't wait to live by yourself and then deciding that maybe you'll move in with six other people to save on costs the next - but unless you actually pick a plan and stick with it, there's never going to be any movement. If they really want to get out on their own, they are going to need to narrow some options and then commit to an actual plan enough to start doing the legwork to make it happen.
And each of these are on them - the limits of my involvement needs to be in supplying information, not making decisions for them or doing the legwork so they don't have to.
6. The Yoke - (laid sideways to connect 4 and 5) - Guidance for pulling or keeping the Horsepower working together - bringing them into balance so they can work for the benefit of the goal.
VIII - Justice
Tying together these two needs to narrow down options and then start mapping out the plan they've committed to is our lady Justice - wisdom and objectively weighing their options to ensure that it's the right path for them both and everyone else involved. Careful analysis that isn't solely based on how they 'feel' is what's needed here. A large part of being an independent adult is that you can't just decide to ignore things that don't sound pleasant and fun - they are going to need to approach this eyes open and dispassionately - and this ends also with a reminder to me that this needs to be my approach as well. I can help them do this, again, without offering information based on my own experience and then I need to let them do it.
Justice includes the idea of consequences.. if they are going to learn to make it on their own, they're going to have to have enough independence to make their own mistakes and deal with the results.
By and large, this reading seems to be suggesting that my job here is to back off and let them do this on their own, neither pushing or holding them back. (I don't think I've been pushing them, but I do think I might be focusing too much on protecting them from feeling pinched.)
This gives me a lot of food for thought. It doesn't surprise me that there are so many Major Arcana cards here - this is a major milestone for them both, and for me as well - even though this will be the third daughter of mine to have 'launched', once they're gone it will be just me and my youngest at home and the first time I'll actually be feeling a bit of Empty Nestitis. Before, our homelife was just too crowded and full and busy to feel that particular emotion (that is, you miss the kid, but are glad for the extra bedroom..heh)