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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
 

Death

2 of Swords

Fortune
 
9 of Cups

3 of Disks

10 of Disks
         
    The Querent    
   
The Universe

10 of Swords                 

2 of Cups
   
             
The Psychological Basis   Karma

Princess of Swords

The Hanged Man

5 of Disks
 
10 of Cups

The Tower

8 of Cups

 

 

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.

 

 

10 of Swords

Sun in Gemini – Ruin

The number Ten, Malkuth, as always, represents the culmination of the unmitigated energy of the idea. It shows reason run mad, ramshackle riot of soulless mechanism; it represents the logic of lunatics and (for the most part) of philosophers. It is reason divorced from reality.

The card is also ruled by the Sun in Gemini, but the mercurial airy quality of the Sign serves to disperse his rays; this card shows the disruption and disorder of harmonious and stable energy.

The hilts of the Swords occupy the positions of the Sephiroth, but the points One to Five and Seven to Nine touch and shatter the central Sword (six) which represents the Sun, the Heart, the child of Chokmah and Binah. The tenth Sword is also in splinters. It is the ruin of the Intellect, and even of all mental and moral qualities.

 

 

 

The Universe

Earth

Treat time and all conditions of Event as Servants of thy Will, appointed to present the Universe to thee in the form of thy Plan. And: blessing and worship to the prophet of the lovely Star.

The matter of the question itself, synthesis, the end of the matter, may mean delay, opposition, obstinacy, inertia, patience, perseverance, persistent stubbornness in difficulty. The crystallisation of the whole matter involved.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your Current Path

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

 

 

 

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 beneficent aspect of the force of Water.

 

 

 

3 of Disks

Mars in Capricorn – Works

The influence of Binah in the sphere of Earth shows the material establishment of the idea of the Universe, the determination of its basic form. It is ruled by Mars in Capricornus; he is exalted in that Sign, and therefore at his best. His energy is constructive, like that of the builder or engineer. The card represents a pyramid viewed from above the apex.

This pyramid is situated in the great Sea of Binah in the Night of Time, but the sea is solidified; hence the colours of the background are mottled, a cold thin dark grey with a pattern of indigo and green. The sides of the pyramid have a strong reddish tint, showing the influence of Mars.

 

 

 

10 of Disks

Mercury in Virgo – Wealth

Mercury rules this card in Virgo; and this may imply that the acquired wealth, being inert, will be dissipated unless put to further use by devoting its power to objects other than mere accumulation. The disks, or (as they have now become) coins, are arranged on the Tree of Life, but the Tenth coin is much larger than the rest; the image indicates the futility of material gain.

These disks are inscribed with various symbols of mercurial character except that the coin in the place of Hod (Mercury) on the Tree is marked with the cipher of the Sun.

 

 

 

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).

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

2 of Swords

Moon in Libra – Peace

The Moon is change, but Nature is peaceful; moreover, Libra represents balance; between them, they regulate the energy of the Swords.

In the card appear two swords crossed; they are united by a blue rose with five petals. This rose represents the influence of the Mother, whose harmonising influence compounds the latent antagonism native to the suit. The Rose emits white rays, producing a geometrical pattern that emphasises the equilibrium of the symbol.

 

 

 

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.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Psychological Basis

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

 

 

 

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 Hanged Man

Water

Let not the waters whereon thou journeyest wet thee. And, being come to shore, plant thou the Vine and rejoice without shame.

Enforced sacrifice, punishment, loss, fatal or voluntary, suffering, defeat, failure, death.

 

 

5 of Disks

Mercury in Taurus – Worry

The Number Five, Geburah, in the suit of Earth, shows the disruption of the Elements, just as in the other suits. This is emphasised by the rule of Mercury in Taurus, types of energy which are opposed. It needs a very powerful Mercury to upset Taurus; so, the natural meaning is Intelligence applied to Labour.

The symbol represents five disks in the form of the inverted Pentagram, instability in the very foundations of Matter. The effect is that of an earthquake. They are, however, representative of the five Tattvas; these hold together, on a very low plane, an organism which would otherwise disrupt completely. The background is an angry, ugly red with yellow markings. The general effect is one of intense strain; yet the symbol implies long-continued inaction.

 

 

 

Karma

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

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

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 miasma tic 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.