The card not shown but at the center of the cross, represents the atmosphere surrounding the central issue. Justice, when reversed: Lack of balance, harmony and integrity. The suspension of action until a decision is made. Lawsuits and prosecutions. Unjust decisions and the consequences of those decisions. A turn for the worse in legal matters.
The card visible at the center of the cross represents the obstacle that stands in your way - it may even be something that sounds good but is not actually to your benefit. Knight of Swords: The essence of air behaving as fire, such as a tornado: A fearless and skillful warrior, unfettered by emotion or material concerns. One able to boldly take on challenges that others consider terrifying or insurmountable. A person who inspires fear and awe through the purity of their purpose and the intensity of their intellect. Speaking frankly, in an outspoken manner, and with great influence. May portend the swift initiation or conclusion of a conflict, through the decisive invocation of force.
The card at the top of the cross represents your goal, or the best you can achieve without a dramatic change of priorities. The Empress, when reversed: Stifling matriarchal influence. Unhappiness, selfishness, poverty and disruption of the home or family. Indecision, paranoia, and jealous rage. Sterility.
The card at the bottom of the cross represents the foundation on which the situation is based. Ace of Swords: The seed of victory - perhaps as yet unseen. A challenge to be met and solved through the invocation of force. An opportunity to bring reason and intelligence to bear in the pursuit of justice and truth. An excessive power that must not be abused. May suggest new ideas or information that can reveal a solution to the problem at hand.
The card at the left of the cross represents a passing influence or something to be released. Eight of Swords (Interference): Chagrin at the unforeseen consequences of prior decisions. Criticism, censure, and the imposition of external restrictions. Confusion leading to powerlessness. Inability to focus on the crux of a problem and free oneself from a difficult situation. Being hamstrung by a past failure or humiliation.
The card at the right of the cross represents an approaching influence or something to be embraced. Strength: Raw power. Health and physical fortitude. A surge of tremendous force. Recovery from sickness. Victory after apprehension and fear. The ability to face and overcome opposition brings the inner qualities of strength and forbearance. Delays and setbacks will be overcome.
The card at the base of the staff represents your role or attitude. Ten of Swords (Ruin): Crushing defeat brought about by idle intellectualism divorced from reality. Sadness and desolation in the aftermath of a catastrophic and total collapse. A decisive conclusion brought about through the swift and merciless application of overwhelming force.
The card second from the bottom of the staff represents your environment and the people you are interacting with. Six of Wands (Victory): A sense of honor and satisfaction at the resolution of an important matter. Triumph after great struggle. Jubilation at the hearing of good news. The realization of hopes and desires.
The card second from the top of the staff represents your hopes, fears, or an unexpected element that will come into play. Ten of Wands (Oppression), when reversed: Refusing to take on burdens greater than you can carry. Noble leadership restrained from transforming into tyranny. Bearing the weight of ultimate responsibility without being crushed. Through careful conservation of their fuel, the engines of creation continue onward.
The card at the top of the staff represents the ultimate outcome should you continue on this course. Ace of Pentacles: The seed of prosperity and material gain - perhaps as yet unseen. A new foundation from which to turn your dreams into reality. The need to focus on the practical and understand the dynamics of the natural world. May represent a gift, document, inheritance, or an unexpected opportunity for physical achievement.