Horse Shoe Spread

Horse Shoe Spread #1

 

 

Difficulty: Easy

The Horse Shoe is a classic tarot spread. It is more advanced than the three-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 four other tarot cards that help the reader understand how to deal with the future better. The cards are to be read as follows:

  1. The Past: Past events affecting the question.
  2. The Present: The current state or approaching influence.
  3. Hidden Influences: Things the reader may not be aware of (or barely be aware of).
  4. Obstacles: This is the challenge: obstacles may be avoided or may have to be dealt with.
  5. External Influences: Attitudes and thoughts regarding people around the reader.
  6. Suggestions: Recommended course of action.
  7. Outcome: The result of following the suggestions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your Horse Shoe Reading

  Obstacle

2 of Cups
 
Hidden Influences

6 of Swords
  External Influences

The Fool
The Present

5 of Wands
  Suggestion

Strength
The Past

10 of Pentacles
  The Outcome

The Hermit

 

 

 

 

The Past Card represents past events that are affecting the question.

 

10 of Pentacles

A man and woman beneath an archway which gives entrance to a house and domain. They are accompanied by a child, who looks curiously at two dogs accosting an ancient personage seated in the foreground. The child's hand is on one of them.

Divinatory Meaning:

Gain, riches; family matters, archives, extraction, the abode of a family.

 

 

 

 

The Present Card represents the current state or immediately approaching influence.

 

5 of Wands

A posse of youths, who are brandishing staves, as if in sport or strife. It is mimic warfare.

Divinatory Meaning:

Imitation, as, for example, sham fight, but also the strenuous competition and struggle of the search after riches and fortune. In this sense it connects with the battle of life. Hence some attributions say that it is a card of gold, gain, opulence.

 

 

 

 

Hidden Influences - Things that you may not be aware of, or barely be aware of.

 

6 of Swords

A ferryman carrying passengers in his punt to the further shore. The course is smooth, and seeing that the freight is light, it may be noted that the work is not beyond his strength.

Reversed Meaning:

Declaration, confession, publicity; one account says that it is a proposal of love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Obstacle - This is the challenge.

 

2 of Cups

A youth and maiden are pledging one another, and above their cups rises the Caduceus of Hermes, between the great wings of which there appears a lion's head. It is a variant of a sign which is found in a few old examples of this card. Some curious emblematical meanings are attached to it, but they do not concern us in this place.

Divinatory Meaning:

Love, passion, friendship, affinity, union, concord, sympathy, the interrelation of the sexes, and – as a suggestion apart from all offices of divination – that desire which is not in Nature, but by which Nature is sanctified.

 

 

 

 

External Influences - Attitudes about this situation from people around the querent.

 

The Fool

With light step, as if earth and its trammels had little power to restrain him, a young man in gorgeous vestments pauses at the brink of a precipice among the great heights of the world; he surveys the blue distance before him – its expanse of sky rather than the prospect below. His act of eager walking is still indicated, though he is stationary at the given moment; his dog is still bounding. The edge which opens on the depth has no terror; it is as if angels were waiting to uphold him, if it came about that he leaped from the height. His countenance is full of intelligence and expectant dream. He has a rose in one hand and in the other a costly wand, from which depends over his right shoulder a wallet curiously embroidered. He is a prince of the other world on his travels through this one – all amidst the morning glory, in the keen air. The sun, which shines behind him, knows whence he came, whither he is going, and how he will return by another path after many days. He is the spirit in search of experience. Many symbols of the Instituted Mysteries are summarised in this card, which reverses, under high warrants, all the confusions that have preceded it.

In his Manual of Cartomancy, Grand Orient has a curious suggestion of the office of Mystic Fool, as apart of his process in higher divination; but it might call for more than ordinary gifts to put it into operation. We shall see how the card fares according to the common arts of fortune-telling, and it will be an example, to those who can discern, of the fact, otherwise so evident, that the Trumps Major had no place originally in the arts of psychic gambling, when cards are used as the counters and pretexts. Of the circumstances under which this art arose we know, however, very little. The conventional explanations say that the Fool signifies the flesh, the sensitive life, and by a peculiar satire its subsidiary name was at one time the alchemist, as depicting folly at the most insensate stage.

Reversed Meaning:

Negligence, absence, distribution, carelessness, apathy, nullity, vanity.

 

 

 

 

Suggestion - The recommended course of action.�

 

Strength

A woman, over whose head there broods the same symbol of life which we have seen in the card of the Magician, is closing the jaws of a lion. The only point in which this design differs from the conventional presentations is that her beneficent fortitude has already subdued the lion, which is being led by a chain of flowers. For reasons which satisfy myself, this card has been interchanged with that of justice, which is usually numbered eight. As the variation carries nothing with it which will signify to the reader, there is no cause for explanation. Fortitude, in one of its most exalted aspects, is connected with the Divine Mystery of Union; the virtue, of course, operates in all planes, and hence draws on all in its symbolism. It connects also with innocentia inviolata, and with the strength which resides in contemplation.

These higher meanings are, however, matters of inference, and I do not suggest that they are transparent on the surface of the card. They are intimated in a concealed manner by the chain of flowers, which signifies, among many other things, the sweet yoke and the light burden of Divine Law, when it has been taken into the heart of hearts. The card has nothing to do with self-confidence in the ordinary sense, though this has been suggested – but it concerns the confidence of those whose strength is God, who have found their refuge in Him. There is one aspect in which the lion signifies the passions, and she who is called Strength is the higher nature in its liberation. It has walked upon the asp and the basilisk and has trodden down the lion and the dragon.

Divinatory Meaning:

Power, energy, action, courage, magnanimity; also, complete success and honours.

 

 

 

 

The Outcome - What will happen if the suggestion is followed.

 

The Hermit

The variation from the conventional models in this card is only that the lamp is not enveloped partially in the mantle of its bearer, who blends the idea of the Ancient of Days with the Light of the World It is a star which shines in the lantern. I have said that this is a card of attainment, and to extend this conception the figure is seen holding up his beacon on an eminence. Therefore, the Hermit is not, as Court de Gebelin explained, a wise man in search of truth and justice; nor is he, as a later explanation proposes, an especial example of experience. His beacon intimates that – where I am, you also may be.

It is further a card which is understood quite incorrectly when it is connected with the idea of occult isolation, as the protection of personal magnetism against admixture. This is one of the frivolous renderings which we owe to Eliphas Levi. It has been adopted by the French Order of Martinism and some of us have heard a great deal of the Silent and Unknown Philosophy enveloped by his mantle from the knowledge of the profane. In true Martinism, the significance of the term Philosophe inconnu was of another order. It did not refer to the intended concealment of the Instituted Mysteries, much less of their substitutes, but – like the card itself – to the truth that the Divine Mysteries secure their own protection from those who are unprepared.

Divinatory Meaning:

Prudence, circumspection; also and especially treason, dissimulation, roguery, corruption.

 

 

 

 

 

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