Today’s post is a look at how I currently interpret a combination involving the Scythe. Different readers have different ways of looking at this card. Generally it’s a card of pain, danger, cutting, and suddenness or impact. Not a very pleasant card in most circumstances! The question is, how does the Scythe affect its neighbor(s)?

In the traditional methods as I learned them, the Scythe is seen as cutting the card which the blade faces. In my deck, the Scythe blade is on the right, so it is primarily affecting the card to it’s right. If the card to the right is Clover, I would suspect someone’s happiness is going to be short-lived, or over before it begins. On the other hand, if Mountain is to the right, then I envision the Scythe as cutting right through any obstacles, effectively clearing them.

Let me take a particular pairing, Scythe and Ring.

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Scythe + Ring

The Scythe is pain, danger and cutting. The Ring is relationship or business partnership. Scythe + Ring most likely speaks of a severing of a relationship, whether personal or professional. I think this is compatible with the theme and modifier technique I sometimes use: the Scythe’s cutting is the main theme, and the modifier is a relationship: the cutting (or ending) is of a relationship.

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Ring + Scythe

The reverse seems to suggest a painful relationship: the Ring is the relationship, and Scythe is pain and danger. Because the blade of the Scythe is facing to the right, it is not actually severing the Ring, so it’s not bringing and end to this relationship. This is also compatible with the theme and modifier technique: the main subject is the relationship, and the modifier is pain and danger. For the severance to occur, it (represented by Scythe) would need to be the main subject.

There are other ways that readers handle pairings with the Scythe. Some ignore direction of the blade, and read the cards in a linear flow of energy. They determine the Scythe’s impact according to how they perceive the sequence of action, which may be the opposite of what I’ve written here. Others generalize the placement such that negative cards on the right have greatest impact to their immediate left. It can get confusing if a person starts comparing all the styles and techniques!

I think the most important way to handle the Scythe and similar cards is to pick one technique that works, and be consistent.

How do you like to read the Scythe? Do you have a favorite technique other than this method I’ve described? Please post your comments or questions.

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