A SWOT analysis—investigating strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats—is used
in business to analyse projects, products, and the position of a company in its market. It can also help you make decisions, as a way to determine your situation or the merits of a decision, and self-analysis.
This spread has several cards that are read twice, in two different card positions. It's a challenge, but I'll show you how it's done in the sample reading that follows.
- Starting with the middle card in the top row, follow the green arrow for weaknesses.
- Starting with the left-most card in the bottom row, follow the blue arrow for opportunities.
- Starting with the middle card in the bottom row, follow the yellow arrow for threats.
I used Mark McElroy's wonderful Bright Idea Deck (now sadly out of print) for this self-exploration reading.
The interpretations are inspired by both the images and (to a lesser degree) the traditional meanings of the cards.
- Green 6 Cooperation (Six of Pentacles): willingness to cooperate, teamwork; knowing when to work with others; generosity; having fun (building castles) even when serious work is being done.
- Blue 3 Celebration (Three of Cups): celebrating others' achievements; ability to work on my own (can play alone and still have a good time).
- Controlling (King of Wands): good at formulating goals; can focus on a goal; knowing what I want and shooting for it; can call the shots; leadership.
- Blue 3 Celebration (Three of Cups): having fun when I should be working; overindulgence; celebrating alone instead of with others; expecting too much; keeping too many of my ideas to myself instead of sharing.
- Nurturing (the Empress): overindulgence (again!); neglecting work in favour of enjoyment; tendency to 'smother' ideas by over-analysing them.
- Green 5 (Five of Pentacles): wanting to give up when the going gets tough; initial response to a crisis is sometimes despair instead of looking for an opportunity (especially when I'm tired); losing sight of my goal when I feel overwhelmed; not asking for help when I need it.
- Green 5 (Five of Pentacles): using my flair for turning challenges into opportunities (once I lift my head); learning to trust in my ability to turn despair into a search for alternative solutions; ability to change direction if a path leads to a dead-end; asking for help when I need it (not when it's almost too late); knowing where to find experts and information when I need help.
- Yellow 10 (Ten of Swords): using my ability to see the big picture to identify flaws in the plan; focusing on the important details now that I have gained perspective; using my resources for self-analysis as a basis for my writing; having all the tools I need to tackle my project; good at identifying the right tool for the job.
- Red 2 (Two of Wands): the ability to focus despite distractions; drawing dissenting opinions and diverging ideas together; access to databases for research; several projects in various stages of completion, which can help me get unstuck.
- Yellow 10 (Ten of Swords): Getting caught up in details, time to stand back and gain perspective; obsessing over a detail in one project, while ignoring other projects with considerable potential; over-analysing a creative project; staring at details hampers my creativity; the danger of analysis-paralysis, time to start moving.
- Blue 5 (Five of Cups): being overwhelmed by grief (instead of transforming it into work energy); focusing on a few failures, while ignoring several triumphs.
- Controlling (King of Wands): focusing so hard on one goal that I'm neglecting communal support; my goals have become fuzzy, I need to reformulate and redirect; my time is running out.
And that's it!