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The Golden Dawn or Thoth Method

Golden Dawn Spread

 

 

Difficulty: Complicated

Note: Decks that use reversed cards such as the Rider-Waite do not work well with this spread, which was designed to be read using elemental dignities.

The Golden Dawn spread is best suited for use with the bifrost Tarot and especially the Book of Thoth, as these decks are meant to be read a certain way with the Court cards. Princes and Queens represent actual men and women connected with the matter, while Princesses generally represent ideas; thoughts or opinions, and Knights represent arrival or departure of a matter depending on the direction faced.

In this spread, particular attention should be payed to a card’s exact position in relation to its neighbors. Whether the neighbor cards bear the same energy (suit) determines whether a card is considered well- or ill-dignified. Opposite suits ill-dignify each other, while other suits are considered friendly. Cards of the same suit strengthen each other.

As with other spreads, it is important to count the cards’ tendencies, such as whether there is a lot of one particular suit or number pattern. The patterns will reveal special messages. Lots of Majors indicates higher forces at work, lots of cups suggest strong emotions, etc.

Card #1 represents the querent and the nature of the topic at hand.

Cards #2 & #3 are used in conjunction with #1 to further comprehend the nature of the topic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your Golden Dawn Reading

 


The Alternate Path
(or Extension of Current Path)
  Your Current Path
 

10 of Cups

Lust

4 of Cups
 
Queen of Swords

3 of Cups

Ace of Cups
         
    The Querent    
   
9 of Cups

Princess of Swords                 

The Moon
   
             
The Psychological Basis   Karma

2 of Cups

Knight of Wands

5 of Wands
 
Prince of Swords

Queen of Cups

8 of Disks

 

 

This spread is set up to read a certain way with the Court cards. Princes and Queens represent actual men and women connected with the matter, while Princesses generally represent ideas; thoughts or opinions, and Knights represent arrival or departure of a matter depending on the direction faced.

In this spread particular attention should be payed to a card's exact position in relation to its neighbors. Whether the neighbor cards bear the same energy (suit) determines whether a card is considered well- or ill-dignified. Opposite suits ill-dignify each other, while other suits are considered friendly. Cards of the same suit strengthen each other.

Also it is important to count the cards' tendencies, such as whether there is a lot of one particular suit or number pattern. Patterns reveal special messages. Lots of trumps means higher forces at work, lots of cups means strong emotions, etc.

 

 

 

The Querent

Cards represent the querent and the nature of the topic at hand. The first card (in the center of the spread) represents the very core of the matter, and the other 2 cards around it are added to it in order to further comprehend the nature of the topic.

 

 

Princess of Swords

The Princess of Swords represents the earthy part of Air, the fixation of the volatile. She brings about the materialization of Idea. She represents the influence of Heaven upon Earth. She represents to some extent the anger of the Gods, and she appears helmed, with serpent-haired Medusa for her crest. She stands in front of a barren altar as if to avenge its profanation, and she stabs downward with her sword. The heaven and the clouds, which are her home, seem angry.

The character of the Princess is stern and revengeful. Her logic is destructive. She is firm and aggressive, with great practical wisdom and subtlety in material things. She shews great cleverness and dexterity in the management of practical affairs, especially where they are of a controversial nature. She is very adroit in the settlement of controversies.

 

 

 

9 of Cups

Jupiter in Pisces - Happiness

The Number Nine, Yesod, in the suit of Water, restores the stability lost by the excursions of Netzach and Hod from the Middle Pillar. It is also the number of the Moon, thus strengthening the idea of Water.

In this card is the pageant of the culmination and perfection of the original force of Water. In the symbol are nine cups perfectly arranged in a square; all are filled and overflowing with Water. It is the most complete and most beneficient aspect of the force of Water.

 

 

 

The Moon

Pisces

Let the Illusion of the World pass over thee, unheeded, as thou goest from the Midnight to the Morning.

Illusion, deception, bewilderment, hysteria, even madness, dreaminess, falsehood, error, crisis, "the darkest hour before the dawn", the brink of important change.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your Current Path

Cards represent your current path as it would unfold naturally. These cards are read in chronological order from left to right.

 

 

 

Queen of Swords

Libra

The Queen of Swords represents the watery part of Air, the elasticity of that element, and its power of transmission. She is enthroned upon the clouds. Her helmet is crested by the head of a child, and from it stream sharp rays of light, illuminating her empire of celestial dew. In her right hand, she bears a sword; in her left hand, the newly severed head of a bearded man. She is the clear, conscious perception of Idea, the Liberator of the Mind.

The person symbolized by this card should be intensely perceptive, a keen observer, a subtle interpreter, an intense individualist, swift and accurate at recording ideas; in action confident, in spirit gracious and just. Her movements will be graceful, and her ability in dancing and balancing exceptional. If ill-dignified, these qualities will all be turned to unworthy purposes. She will be cruel, sly, deceitful and unreliable; in this way, very dangerous, on account of the superficial beauty and attractiveness which distinguish her.

 

 

 

3 of Cups

Mercury in Cancer - Abundance

This card refers to Binah in the suit of Water. This is the card of Demeter or Persephone. The Cups are pomegranates: they are filled bountifully to overflowing a single lotus, arising from the dark calm sea characteristic of Binah. There is here the fulfilment of the Will of Love in abounding joy. It is the spiritual basis of fertility.

The card is referred to the influence of Mercury in Cancer; this carries further the above thesis. Mercury is the Will or Word of the All-Father; here its influence descends upon the most receptive of the Signs. At the same time, the combination of these forms of energy brings in the possibility of somewhat mysterious ideas. Binah, the Great Sea, is the Moon in one aspect, but Saturn in another; and Mercury, besides being the Word or Will of the All-One, is the guide of the souls of the Dead. The pomegranate was the fruit which Persephone ate in the realms of Pluto, thereby enabling him to hold her in the lower world, even after the most powerful influence had been brought to bear. The lesson seems to be that the good things of life, although enjoyed, should be distrusted.

 

 

 

Ace of Cups

The Root of Water

This card represents the element of Water in its most secret and original form. It is the feminine complement of the Ace of Wands, and is derived from the Yoni and the Moon exactly as that is from the Lingam and the Sun. The third in the Hierarchy. This accord ingly represents the essential form of the Holy Grail. Upon the dark sea of Binah, the Great Mother, are Lotuses, two in one, which fill the cup with the Life-fluid, symbolically represented either as Water, as Blood, or as Wine, according to the selected purpose of the symbolism.

Above the Cup, descending upon it, is the Dove of the Holy Ghost, thus consecrating the element. At the base of the Cup is the Moon, for it is the virtue of this card to conceive and to produce the second form of its Nature.

 

 

 

The Alternate Path

Cards represent the alternate path that you could choose to take in lieu of the Current Path. However, if the cards that come up seem to indicate that they go along with the Current Path, these 3 cards should be interpretted not as an Alternate Path, but as a chronological extension of the Current Path (also read from left to right).

 

 

 

10 of Cups

Mars in Pisces - Satiety

This card represents a conflicting element. On the one hand, it receives the influence of the Ten, Malkah the Virgin. The arrangement of the cups is that of the Tree of Life. But, on the other hand, they are themselves unstable. They are tilted; they spill the water from the great Lotus which overhangs the whole system from one into the other. The work proper to water is complete: and disturbance is due.

 

 

 

Lust

Leo

Mitigate Energy with Love; but let Love devour all things. Worship the name _______, foursquare, mystic, wonderful, and the name of His House 418.

Courage, strength, energy and action, une grande passion; resort to magick, the use of magical power.

 

 

 

4 of Cups

Moon in Cancer - Luxury

This card refers to Chesed in the sphere of Water. Here, below the Abyss, the energy of this element, although ordered, balanced and (for the moment) stabilized, has lost the original purity of the conception. The card refers to the Moon in Cancer, which is her own house; but Cancer itself is so placed that this implies a certain weakness, an abandonment to desire. This tends to introduce the seeds of decay into the fruit of pleasure.

The sea is still shown, but its surface is ruffled, and the four Cups which stand upon it are no longer so stable. The Lotus from which the water Springs has a multiple stem, as if to show that the influence of the Dyad has gathered strength.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Psychological Basis

Cards shed light upon the psychological undertones of the current problem.

 

 

 

2 of Cups

Venus in Cancer - Love

The Two always represents the Word and the Will. It is the first manifestation. Therefore, in the suit of Water, it must refer to Love, which recovers unity from dividuality by mutual annihilation. The card also refers to Venus in Cancer. Cancer is, more than any other, the receptive Sign; it is the House of the Moon, and in that Sign Jupiter is exalted. These are, superficially, the three most friendly of the planets.

The hieroglyph of the card represents two cups in the foreground, overflowing upon a calm sea. They are fed with lucent water from a lotus floating upon the sea, from which rises another lotus around whose stem are entwined twin dolphins.

The number Two referring to Will, this card might really be renamed the Lord of Love under Will, for that is its full and true meaning. It shows the harmony of the male and the female: interpreted in the largest sense. It is perfect and placid harmony, radiating an intensity of joy and ecstasy.

 

 

 

Knight of Wands

Saggitarius

The Knight of Wands represents the fiery part of Fire. He is a warrior in complete armour. On his helmet for a crest he wears a black horse. In his hand he bears a flaming torch; a flame also in his mantle; and upon the flames does he ride. His steed is a black horse leaping.

The moral qualities appropriate to this figure are activity, generosity, fierceness, impetuosity, pride, impulsiveness, swiftness in unpredictable actions. If wrongly energized, he is evil-minded, cruel, bigoted and brutal. He is in either case ill-fitted to carry on his action; he has no means of modifying it according to circumstances. If he fails in his first effort, he has no recourse.

 

 

5 of Wands

Saturn in Leo - Strife

This card is referred to Geburah of the suit of Fire. Geburah itself being fiery, it is a purely active force. It is ruled also by Saturn and Leo. Leo shows the element of Fire at its strongest and most balanced. Saturn tends to weigh it down and to embitter it. There is no limit to the scope of this volcanic energy.

The symbol represents the wand of the Chief Adept, showing that the authority is derived from the superiors; were it not so, this card would be thoroughly disastrous. Moreover, there are also two wands of the Second, or Major Adept. They have the head of the Phoenix, which gives the idea of destruction (or rather purgation) through fire, and the resurrection of the energy from its ashes.

 

 

 

Karma

- These cards represent the influences of karma and destiny that are beyond your control. They suggest adapting to this fate.

 

 

 

Prince of Swords

Aquarius

This card represents the airy part of Air. This chariot is drawn by winged children, looking and leaping irresponsibly in any direction that takes their fancy; they are not reined, but perfectly Capricious. The chariot consequently is easy enough to move, but quite unable to progress in any definite direction except by accident. This is a perfect picture of the Mind.

The operation of his logical mental processes have reduced the Air, which is his element, to many diverse geometrical patterns, but in these there is no real plan; they are demonstrations of the powers of the Mind without definite purpose. In his right hand is a lifted sword wherewith to create, but in his left hand a sickle, so that what he creates he instantly destroys. A person thus symbolized is purely intellectual. He is full of ideas and designs which tumble over each other. He is a mass of fine ideals unrelated to practical effort. He has all the apparatus of Thought in the highest degree, intensely clever, admirably rational, but unstable of purpose, and in reality indifferent even to his own ideas, as knowing that any one of them is just as good as any other. He reduces everything to unreality by removing its substance and transmuting it to an ideal world of ratiocination which is purely formal and out of relation to any facts, even those upon which it is based.

 

 

 

Queen of Cups

Cancer

The Queen of Cups represents the watery part of Water, its power of reception and reflection. She reflects the nature of the observer in great perfection. She is represented as enthroned upon still water. In her hand she bears a shell-like cup, from which issues a crayfish, and she bears also the Lotus of Isis, of the Great Mother. She is robed in, and veiled by, endless curves of light, and the sea upon which she is enthroned conveys the almost unbroken images of the image which she represents.

The characteristics associated with this card are principally dreaminess, illusion and tranquillity. She is the perfect agent and patient, able to receive and transmit everything without herself being affected thereby. If ill-dignified, all these qualities are degraded. Everything that passes through her is refracted and distorted. But, speaking generally, her characteristics depend mostly upon the influences which affect her.

 

 

 

8 of Disks

Sun in Virgo - Prudence

The number Eight, Hod, is very helpful in this card, because it represents Mercury in his most spiritual aspect, and he both rules and is exalted in the sign of Virgo, which belongs to the Decan, and is governed by the Sun. It signifies intelligence lovingly applied to material matters, especially those of the agriculturalist, the artificer and the engineer.

One might suggest that this card marks the turn of the tide. The seven of Disks is in one sense the fullest possible establishment of Matter - compare Atu XV - the lowest fallen and therefore the highest exalted. These last three cards seem to prepare the explosion which will renew the whole Cycle. Note that Virgo is Yod, the secret seed of Life, and also the Virgin Earth awaiting the Phallic Plough.

The interest of this card is the interest of the common people. The rulership of the Sun in Virgo suggests also birth. The disks are arranged in the form of the geomantic figure Populus. These disks may be represented as the flowers or fruits of a great tree, its solid roots in fertile land.