Horse Shoe Spread
The Horse Shoe is an old classic tarot spread. It is more advanced than the 3-card reading, yet simpler than most other spreads. It is a versatile method that can be used for most queries, though there are other spreads which would go into more depth. Like the simple Past, Present, and Future spread, it contains these cards in positions 1, 2, and 7, but also has 4 other cards that help the reader understand how to deal with the Future better. The cards are to be read as follows:
- The Past: This card represents past events that are affecting the question.
- The Present: This card represents the current state or immediately approaching influence.
- Hidden Influences: Things that you may not be aware of, or barely be aware of.
- Obstacles: This is the challenge. Obstacles might be avoided, or you may have to deal with them.
- External Influences: Attitudes and thoughts about this situation from people around the querent.
- Suggestions: Recommended course of action.
- The Final Outcome: This card represents what would happen if the suggestion is followed.
Your Horse Shoe Reading
2 of Wands
2 of Cups
9 of Disks
Princess of Cups
The Past Card represents past events that are affecting the question.
9 of Disks
Venus in Virgo - Gain
The number Nine, Yesod, inevitably brings back the balance of Force in fulfilment. The card is ruled by Venus in Virgo. It shows good luck attending material affairs, favour and popularity.
The disks are arranged as an equilateral triangle of three, apex upwards, close together; and, surrounded at some distance by a ring, six larger disks in the form of a hexagon. This signifies the multiplication of the original established Word-by the mingling of "good luck and good management". The three central disks are of the magical pattern as in earlier cards; but the others, since the descent into matter implies the gradual exhaustion of the original whirling energy, now take on the form of coins. These may be marked with the magical images of the appropriate planets.
The Present Card represents the current state or immediately approaching influence.
Courage, strength, energy and action, une grande passion; resort to magick, the use of magical power.
Hidden Influences - Things that you may not be aware of, or barely be aware of.
Hope, unexpected help, clearness of vision, realization of possibilities, spiritual insight, with bad aspects, error of judgment, dreaminess, disappointment.
Obstacle - This is the challenge.
Openness to inspiration, intuition, intelligence, second sight, childislmess, frivolity, thoughtfulness divorced from practical consideration, indecision, self-contradition, union in a shallow degree with others, instability, contradiction, triviality, the "high-brow".
External Influences - Attitudes about this situation from people around the querent.
2 of Wands
Mars in Aries - Dominion
This card, pertaining to Chokmah in the suit of Fire, represents the Will in its most exalted form. It is an ideal Will, independent of any given object.
"For pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result, is every way perfect." AL. 1. 44.
The background of this card shows the power of the planet Mars in his own sign Aries, the first of the Signs. It there represents Energy initiating a Current of Force. The pictorial representation is two Dorjes crossed. The Dorje is the Tibetan symbol of the thunderbolt, the emblem of celestial Power, but more in its destructive than its creative form. More, that is, in its earlier rather than its later form. For destruction may be regarded as the first step in the creative process. The virgin ovum must be broken in order to fertilize it. Fear and repulsion are therefore the primary reaction to the assault. Then, with understanding of the complete plan, willing surrender rejoices to co-operate. Six flames issue from the centre. This indicates the influence of the Sun, who is exalted in Aries. This is the creative Will.
Suggestion - The recommended course of action.
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.
The Outcome - What will happen if the suggestion is followed.
Princess of Cups
The Princess of Cups represents the earthy part of Water; in particular, the faculty of crystallization. She represents the power of Water to give substance to idea, to support life, and to form the basis of chemical combination. She is represented as a dancing figure, robed in a flowing garment on whose edges crystals are seen to form.
For her crest she wears a swan with open wings. The symbolism of this swan reminds one of the swan in oriental philosophy which is the word AUM or AUMGN, which is the symbol of the entire process of creation. She bears a covered cup from which issues a tortoise. This is again the tortoise which in Hindu philosophy supports the elephant on whose back is the Universe. She is dancing upon a foaming sea in which disports himself a dolphin, the royal fish, which symbolizes the power of Creation. The character of the Princess is infinitely gracious. All sweetness, all voluptuousness, gentleness, kindness and tenderness are in her character. She lives in the world of Romance, in the perpetual dream of rapture. On a superficial examination she might be thought selfish and indolent, but this is a quite false impression; silently and effortlessly she goes about her work.