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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
 

Ace of Wands

The Aeon

Knight of Wands
 
4 of Cups

The Tower

The Hermit
         
    The Querent    
   
Queen of Wands

Death                 

7 of Wands
   
             
The Psychological Basis   Karma

Queen of Disks

Princess of Swords

The Empress
 
5 of Swords

8 of Disks

The Fool

 

 

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 two cards around it are added to it in order to further comprehend the nature of the topic.

 

 

Death

Scorpio

The Universe is Change; every Change is the effect of an Act of Love; all Acts of Love contain Pure Joy. Die daily. Death is the apex of one curve of the snake Life: behold all Opposites as necessary complements, and rejoice.

Transformation, change, voluntary or involuntary, in either case logical development of existing conditions, yet perhaps sudden and unexpected. Apparent death or destruction, but such interpretation is illusion.

 

 

 

Queen of Wands

Aries

The Queen of Wands represents the watery part of Fire, its fluidity and colour. Also, she rules in the Zodiac from the 21st degree of Pisces to the 20th degree of Aries. Her crown is topped with the winged globe and rayed with flame. She is seated upon a throne of flame, ordered into geometrical light by her material power. Beneath the throne the surging flames are steady. She bears a wand in her left hand; but it is topped with a cone suggestive of the mysteries of Bacchus. She is attended by a couchant leopard upon whose head she lays her hand. Her face expresses the ecstasy of one whose mind is well in-drawn to the mystery borne beneath her bosom.

The characteristics of the Queen are adaptability, persistent energy, calm authority which she knows how to use to enhance her attractiveness. She is kindly and generous, but impatient of opposition. She has immense capacity for friendship and for love, but always on her own initiative.

 

 

 

7 of Wands

Mars in Leo – Valour

This card derives from Netzach (Victory) in the suit of Fire. But the Seven is a weak, earthy, feminine number as regards the Tree of Life, and represents a departure from the balance so low down on the Tree that this implies a loss of confidence.

Fortunately, the card is also attributed to Mars in Leo. The army has been thrown into disorder; if victory is to be won, it will be by dint of individual valour – a 'soldiers' battle'.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your Current Path

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

 

 

 

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) stabilised, 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 Tower

Mars

Break down the fortress of thine Individual Self, that thy Truth may spring free from the ruins.

Quarrel, combat, danger, ruin, destruction of plans, sudden death, escape from prison.

 

 

 

The Hermit

Virgo

Wander alone; bearing the Light and thy Staff. And be the Light so bright that no man seeth thee. Be not moved by aught without or within: keep Silence in all ways.

Illumination from within, secret impulse from within; practical plans derived accordingly. Retirement from participation in current events.

 

 

 

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 three cards should be interpretted not as an Alternate Path, but as a chronological extension of the Current Path (also read from left to right).

 

 

 

Ace of Wands

The Root of Fire

This card represents the essence of the element of Fire in its inception. It is a solar-phallic outburst of flame from which spring lightnings in every direction. These flames are Yods, arranged in the form of the Tree of Life.

It is the primordial Energy of the Divine manifesting in Matter, at so early a stage that it is not yet definitely formulated as Will.

 

 

 

The Aeon

Fire

Be every Act an Act of Love and Worship. Be every Act the Fiat of a God. Be every Act a Source of radiant Glory.

Final decision in respect of the past, new current in respect of the future; always represents the taking of a definite step.

 

 

 

Knight of Wands

Sagittarius

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 energised, 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Psychological Basis

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

 

 

 

Queen of Disks

Capricorn

The Queen of Disks represents the watery part of Earth, the function of that element as Mother. She represents passivity, usually in its highest aspect. The Queen of Disks is throned upon the life of vegetation. She contemplates the background, where a calm river winds through a sandy desert to bring to it fertility. Oases are beginning to shew themselves amid the wastes. Before her stands a goat upon a sphere. There is here a reference to the dogma that the Great Work is fertility. She thus represents the ambition of matter to take part in the great work of Creation.

Persons signified by this card possess the finest of the quieter qualities. They are ambitious, but only in useful directions. They possess immense funds of affection, kindness, and greatness of heart. They are not intellectual, and not particularly intelligent; but instinct and intuition are more than adequate for their needs. These people are quiet, hard-working, practical, sensible, domesticated, often (in a reticent and unassuming fashion) lustful and even debauched. They are inclined to the abuse of alcohol and of drugs. It is as if they could only realise their essential happiness by getting outside themselves.

 

 

 

Princess of Swords

The Princess of Swords represents the earthy part of Air, the fixation of the volatile. She brings about the materialisation 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.

 

 

The Empress

Venus

This is the Harmony of the Universe, that Love unites the Will to create with the Understanding of that Creation: understand thou thine own Will. Love and let love. Rejoice in every shape of love, and get thy rapture and thy nourishment thereof.

Love, beauty, happiness, pleasure, success, completion, good fortune, graciousness, elegance, luxury, idleness, dissipation debauchery, friendship, gentleness, delight.

 

 

 

Karma

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

 

 

 

5 of Swords

Venus in Aquarius – Defeat

The intellect has been enfeebled by sentiment. The defeat is due to pacifism. Treachery also may be implied.

The hilts of the swords form the inverted pentagram, always a symbol of somewhat sinister tendency. Here matters are even worse; none of the hilts resembles any of the others, and their blades are crooked or broken. They give the impression of drooping; only the lowest of the swords points upwards, and this is the least effective of the weapons. The rose of the previous card has been altogether disintegrated.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

The Fool

Air

In spiritual matters, the Fool means idea, thought, spirituality, that which endeavours to transcend earth.

In material matters, it may, if badly dignified, mean folly, eccentricity, or even mania.

But the essential of this card is that it represents an original, subtle, sudden impulse or impact, coming from a completely strange quarter.

All such impulses are right, if rightly received; and the good or ill interpretation of the card depends entirely on the right attitude of the Querent.