Large Life-Reading Spread


For those of you who like large, complex spreads (well, really large, really complex spreads), here's one I created for doing long-range life readings. It uses 24 cards (23 if you select a personal object instead of a card for the "focus item"). The way to read this spread is to follow the Tree of Life "lightning flash" from position 1 to position 10; this is the development of the life situation being considered. They can also be read as triplets, with the stand-alone "outcome" and "uncertainty" cards handled individually. In this case, the cards in the outer loop that are a lighter shade of the same color can be used as qualifiers, making three 7-card (or twelve 3-card) min-spreads for "beginning," "middle" and "end" analysis. The outer crescents, 11-16 and 17-22, can also be read as parallel storylines to the main reading, showing ways in which the "introvert" and "extrovert" sides of the individual play into the evolving outcome. The three vertical arrangements (Contemplation, Action/Reaction and Mediation) are intended to show inner, outer and blended approaches to dealing with life circumstances.

If you look carefully, you will see a linked network of astrological correspondences built into the spread. Looking across the spread, note that I tried to use opposite signs on each end of the axes where possible. I was able to make this work for positions 13-19 and 14-20, which link the fixed and cardinal Water and Earth signs, and for positions 16-22, which connect fixed Fire and fixed Air. Positions 15 and 21 are joined by common rulership. The four mutable signs stand at the four corners of the outer rectangle, with opposing signs in positions 18-21 and 12-15.

Positions 8 and 21 are both "mental" in nature and are associated with Mercury, while positions 7 and 15 are both fundamentally "emotional" in the model I built this on (7 = Venus and 15 = the Lovers - 1+5=6). The "mental outlook" is supported by Aquarius, position 22, and the "emotional outlook" is supported by Leo, position 16, while the Moon, position 9, is shared by both.

Looking up and down, note that positon 17 at the top is Elemental Water, while the echoing bottom position, 22, is Aquarius, the "Waterbearer;" position 11 at the top is free-flowing Elemetal Fire while the corresponding bottom position, 16, is Leo - fixed Fire.

I decided to bring Uranus and Neptune into play (but not Pluto), since Uranus is considered the planet of astrology and serves as a good stand-in for the "Zodiac" in position 2, and I always wanted to put Neptune in Daath, position 11, where its nature seems like a perfect fit.

I had no good place to put opposite signs Aries and Libra, so I created two color-coded "domains:" The Aries "Fire" domain - yellow - includes positions 4 (the Emperor and Jupiter), 5 (the Tower and Mars) and 6 (the Sun), while the Libra "Air" domain - blue - includes positions 7 (the Empress and Venus), 8 (the Magician and Mercury) and 9 (the Moon). A bit of a stretch, I know, but I was reaching for a useful way to tie these in: Aries is "self" oriented and Libra is "other" focused.

In practice, I would look for key cards and combinations in the first ten positions to determine the relative ease or difficulty involved in unfoldment of the life circumstances under examination. For the outer loop, preponderences or shortfalls by card type, quality, number or element could show how the different emphases support or detract from successful expression of the contemplative and active sides of the individual's nature, and the way those in turn affect the primary factors in the spread.

ETA: I tried this tonight and found that the best thing to do is to use two separate decks with a markedly different visual feel to them for the 11-card inner segment and the 12-card outer loop. Drawing them all from the same deck creates kind of a muddled effect when trying to take in the whole spread at once, and also makes it a challenge to differentiate the primary cards from the amplifying ones. That said, the spread gives a ton of information to chew on. I would probably use it about as often as I use the Lenormand Grand Tableau.


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Life Reading Spread Mark II

I reworked this spread to move all the Water signs to the "Contemplation" side (renaming Cancer "Completion"), and the Earth signs Taurus and Capricorn to the "Action/Reaction" side; to rename position 15 (Gemini) "Consideration" so it is less uncomfortable as part of "Emotional Outlook" sub-set; renamed position 21 (Virgo) "Contemplation" to make it a better fit with the Hermit assocaition in my model, and renamed position 12 (Sagittarius) Formulation to better fit its Temperance associaition.

I'm also debating whether to remove the Focus Card/Item position since it clutters up the spread to no great advantage.


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Life Reading Spread III

This is the final take. I'm satisfied that it's finally usable; I added some on-page clues as to how to break up the spread into manageable chunks, added a few new sub-categories and changed some of the position names. I have a trial reading in the works that I will post in Your Readings when I finish evaluating it.

One other thing to note is that a spread this large doesn't lend itself to using reversals since there is already a wealth of detail from which to deduce positive and negative currents. So I decided to disregard them.


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Life Reading Spread V

Well, I lied! I just ran a trial reading with this spread and found some redundancy, so I cleaned that up. Here are the final spread as I'm using it, and also the "Sephirotic Tree" model on which it is for the most part based. I did move Pisces out of position 9 (Moon/Yesod) and place it in position 18 ("intuiton") because it completed the Water-sign series on the left side. Position 9 is now "Moon/Libra" to correlate with "Sun/Aries" in position 6 (Sun/Tiphareth).


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