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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
 

Art

5 of Cups

Ace of Cups
 
Fortune

7 of Disks

5 of Swords
         
    The Querent    
   
The Sun

8 of Wands                 

7 of Swords
   
             
The Psychological Basis   Karma

Princess of Wands

7 of Cups

3 of Wands
 
4 of Cups

8 of Cups

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

 

 

8 of Wands

Mercury in Saggitarius - Swiftness

The card refers to Hod, splendour, in the suit of Fire, whence it refers to the phenomena of speech, light, electricity. The pictorial representation of the card shows the Light-wands turned into electrical rays, sustaining or even constituting Matter by their vibrating energy. Above this restored universe shines the rainbow; the division of pure light, which deals with maxima, into the seven colours of the spectrum, which exhibit interplay and correlation.

This card, therefore, represents energy of high velocity, such as furnishes the master-key to modern mathematical physics.

 

 

 

The Sun

The Sun

Give forth thy light to all without doubt; the clouds and shadows are no matter for thee. Make Speech and Silence, Energy and Stillness, twin forms of thy play.

Glory, gain, riches, triumph, pleasure, frankness, truth, shame-lessness, arrogance, vanity, manifestation, recovery from sickness, but sometimes sudden death.

 

 

 

7 of Swords

Moon in Aquarius - Futility

Netzach, in the suit of Swords, does not represent such catas trophe as in the other suits, for Netzach, the Sephira of Venus, means victory. There is, therefore, a modifying influence; and this is accentuated by the celestial rule of the Moon in Aquarius.

The intellectual wreckage of the card is thus not so vehement as in the Five. There is vacillation, a wish to compromise, a certain toleration. But, in certain circumstances, the results may be more disastrous than ever. This naturally depends upon the success of the policy. This is always in doubt as long as there exist violent, uncompromising forces which take it as a natural prey. This card, like the Four, suggests the policy of appeasement.

The symbol shows six Swords with their hilts in crescent formation. Their points meet below the centre of the card, imping ing upon a blade of a much larger up-thrusting sword, as if there were a contest between the many feeble and the one strong. He strives in vain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your Current Path

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

 

 

 

Fortune

Jupiter

Follow thy Fortune, careless where it lead thee. The axle moveth not: attain thou that.

Change of fortune. (This generally means good fortune because the fact of consultation implies anxiety or discontent.)

 

 

 

7 of Disks

Saturn in Taurus - Failure

The number Seven, Netzach, has its customary enfeebling effect, and this is made worse by the influence of Saturn in Taurus. The disks are arranged in the shape of the geomantic figure Rubeus, the most ugly and menacing of the Sixteen. The atmosphere of the card is that of Blight. On the background, which represents vegetation and cultivation, everything is spoiled. The four colours of Netzach appear, but they are blotched with angry indigo and reddish orange. The disks themselves are the leaden disks of Saturn. They suggest bad money.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

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).

 

 

 

Art

Saggitarius

Pour thine all freely from the Vase in thy right hand, and lose no drop. Hath not thy left hand a vase? Transmute all wholly into the Image of thy Will, bringing each to its true token of Perfection. Dissolve the Pearl in the Wine-cup; drink, and make manifest the Virtue of that Pearl.

Combination of forces, realization, action based on accurate calculation; the way of escape, success after elaborate manoeuvres.

 

 

 

5 of Cups

Mars in Scorpio - Disappointment

This card is ruled by Geburah in the suit of Water. Geburah being fiery, there is a natural antipathy. Hence arises the idea of disturbance, just when least expected, in a time of ease. The attribution is also to Mars in Scorpio, which is his own house; and Mars is the manifestation on the lowest plane of Geburah, while Scorpio, in its worst aspect, suggests the putrefying power of Water.

Yet the powerful male influences do not show actual decay, only the beginning of destruction; hence, the anticipated pleasure is frustrated. The Lotuses have their petals torn by fiery winds; the sea is arid and stagnant, a dead sea, like a "chott" in North Africa. No water flows into the cups. Moreover, these cups are arranged in the form of an inverted pentagram, symbolizing the triumph of matter over spirit.

 

 

 

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 Psychological Basis

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

 

 

 

Princess of Wands

The Princess of Wands represents the earthy part of Fire; one might say, she is the fuel of Fire. This expression implies the irresistible chemical attraction of the combustible substance. The Princess is therefore shewn with the plumes of justice streaming like flames from her brow; and she is unclothed, shewing that chemical action can only take place when the element is perfectly free to combine with its partner.

This card may be said to represent the dance of the virgin priestess of the Lords of Fire, for she is in attendance upon the golden altar ornamented with rams' heads) symbolizing the fires of Spring. The character of the Princess is extremely individual. She is brilliant and daring. She creates her own beauty by her essential vigour and energy. The force of her character imposes the impression of beauty upon the beholder. In anger or love she is sudden, violent, and implacable. She consumes all that comes into her sphere. She is ambitious and aspiring, full of enthusiasm which is often irrational. She never forgets an injury, and the only quality of patience to be found in her is the patience with which she lies in ambush to avenge.

 

 

 

7 of Cups

Venus in Scorpio - Debauch

This card refers to the Seven, Netzach, in the suit of Water. Here recurs the invariable weakness arising from lack of balance; also, the card is governed by Venus in Scorpio. Her dignity is not good in this Sign; one is reminded that Venus is the planet of Copper, "external splendour and internal corruption". The Lotuses have become poisonous, looking like tiger-lilies; and, instead of water, green slime issues from them and overflows, making the Sea a malarious morass. It is a wholesome reminder of the fatal ease with which a Sacrament may be profaned and prostituted.

 

 

3 of Wands

Sun in Aries - Virtue

This card refers to Binah in the suit of Fire, and so represents the establishment of primeval Energy. The Will has been trans mitted to the Mother, who conceives, prepares, and gives birth to, its manifestation. It refers to the Sun in Aries, the Sign in which he is exalted.

The meaning is harmonious, for this is the beginning of Spring. For this reason one sees the wand taking the form of the Lotus in blossom. The Sun has enkindled the Great Mother.

 

 

 

Karma

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

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

8 of Cups

Saturn in Pisces - Indolence

Lotuses droop for lack of sun and rain, and the soil is poison to them; only two of the stems show blossoms at all. The cups are shallow, old and broken. They are arranged in three rows; of these the upper row of three is quite empty. Water trickles from the two flowers into the two central cups, and they drip into the two lowest without filling them. The background of the card shows pools, or lagoons, in very extensive country, incapable of cultivation; only disease and miasmatic poison can flourish in those vast Bad Lands. The water is dark and muddy. On the horizon is a pallid, yellowish light, weighed down by leaden clouds of indigo.

 

 

 

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.