I don't have a name for this spread yet, but this is the layout:
1 4 5 6
So as I flipped the cards over I was sure I'd done a poor job. I saw a Swords, and some other things that were slightly unexpected. After I stopped judging everything and actually started really looking at and thinking about the cards, I realized how meaningful and positive they were. So here is my analysis:
Card 1, Current state of relationship: Empress - all is well at home! There is a lot of love, mutual support, give and take. There is sensuality, earthiness, and nourishment.
Card 2, What she brings to the relationship: 10 of Swords - change! Jill doesn't mess around. When she's done, she's done. Once she identifies something that is old, no longer working, boring, annoying (etc) she cuts it out and makes room for something new and better.
Card 3, What he brings to the relationship: 8 of Cups - change....but slower! Jack spends a lot of energy cultivating the world around him. He may put a lot of time, energy and emotion into something that isn't really satisfying him. The good thing is that once he realizes that it's not feeding his soul, he will move on. He's able to take the journey to find what will satisfy him.
Card 4, Potential obstacles: 3 of Wands - future goals. It may be hard getting past the initial planning stages of a creative idea. One person might want one thing, while the other isn't convinced. One might be full of ideas, and the other is fine where he/she is. Two people with diverging long-term goals makes for some struggles.
Card 5, The Key to success: Knight of Cups - they love each other. But more than that! They share a lot of deep, core values that draw them together. They appreciate beauty and the finer things in life. They share a commitment to self-improvement. Their ability to tune in to others' emotions makes them sensitive to each other, but also forms the foundation for their shared profession.
Card 6, the Future: 4 of Cups - Jill's ideas clash with Jack's comfort with where he is and what he already has at his disposal (the saying "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" comes to mind). This is a potential next step, moving forward from the 3 of Wands. Perhaps some compromise will occur, that honors both people's feelings/needs/desires. Perhaps an offer or opportunity will come along to help solve this issue, and imbue movement into feelings of stagnancy.
The foundations are very strong (Empress and Knight of Cups). The Knight's position between a fire card (wands) and water card (cups) gives it enhanced importance: none of the obstacles faced will shake the core of the relationship. This is supported by their complementary Soul cards (Empress and Emperor). Both people bring the capacity for change to the marriage, albeit in two very different styles. This is further supported by their Personality/Shadow cards: Jill's as the World and the Hanged Man, and Jack's as the Fool and Death.
Interestingly, the numerological sum of the spread (using the four, numbered Minor Arcana) is 7 = The Chariot. I feel this signifies that they work well as a team, and know themselves and each other well. When they agree on a goal, they see it through together. They deal well with life's challenges because of their strong connection to each other.
So Jill told me she was really happy with the results, and impressed with the accuracy. That made my day, especially because it was my first time trying out a spread I created. I'm encouraged to work on other new spreads in the future!