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

The Star
 
Hidden Influences

Strength
  External Influences

3 of Wands
The Present

The Empress
  Suggestion

Queen of Pentacles
The Past

The Moon
  The Outcome

9 of Pentacles

 

 

 

 

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

 

The Moon

The distinction between this card and some of the conventional types is that the moon is increasing on what is called the side of mercy, to the right of the observer. It has sixteen chief and sixteen secondary rays. The card represents life of the imagination apart from life of the spirit. The path between the towers is the issue into the unknown. The dog and wolf are the fears of the natural mind in the presence of that place of exit, when there is only reflected light to guide it.

The last reference is a key to another form of symbolism. The intellectual light is a reflection and beyond it is the unknown mystery which it cannot shew forth. It illuminates our animal nature, types of which are represented below – the dog, the wolf and that which comes up out of the deeps, the nameless and hideous tendency which is lower than the savage beast. It strives to attain manifestation, symbolised by crawling from the abyss of water to the land, but as a rule it sinks back whence it came. The face of the mind directs a calm gaze upon the unrest below; the dew of thought falls; the message is: Peace, be still; and it may be that there shall come a calm upon the animal nature, while the abyss beneath shall cease from giving up a form.

Divinatory Meaning:

Hidden enemies, danger, calumny, darkness, terror, deception, occult forces, error.

 

 

 

 

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

 

The Empress

A stately figure, seated, having rich vestments and royal aspect, as of a daughter of heaven and earth. Her diadem is of twelve stars, gathered in a cluster. The symbol of Venus is on the shield which rests near her. A field of corn is ripening in front of her, and beyond there is a fall of water. The sceptre which she bears is surmounted by the globe of this world. She is the inferior Garden of Eden, the Earthly Paradise, all that is symbolised by the visible house of man. She is not Regina coeli, but she is still refugium peccatorum, the fruitful mother of thousands. There are also certain aspects in which she has been correctly described as desire and the wings thereof, as the woman clothed with the sun, as Gloria Mundi and the veil of the Sanctum Sanctorum; but she is not, I may add, the soul that has attained wings, unless all the symbolism is counted up another and unusual way. She is, above all things, universal fecundity and the outer sense of the Word. This is obvious, because there is no direct message which has been given to man like that which is borne by woman; but she does not herself carry its interpretation.

In another order of ideas, the card of the Empress signifies the door or gate by which an entrance is obtained into this life, as into the Garden of Venus; and then the way which leads out therefrom, into that which is beyond, is the secret known to the High Priestess: it is communicated by her to the elect. Most old attributions of this card are completely wrong on the symbolism – as, for example, its identification with the Word, Divine Nature, the Triad, and so forth.

Divinatory Meaning:

Fruitfulness, action, initiative, length of days; the unknown, clandestine; also, difficulty, doubt, ignorance.

 

 

 

 

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

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Obstacle - This is the challenge.

 

The Star

A great, radiant star of eight rays, surrounded by seven lesser stars – also, of eight rays. The female figure in the foreground is entirely naked. Her left knee is on the land and her right foot upon the water. She pours Water of Life from two great ewers, irrigating sea and land. Behind her is rising ground and on the right a shrub or tree, whereon a bird alights. The figure expresses eternal youth and beauty. The star is l'etoile flamboyante, which appears in Masonic symbolism, but has been confused therein. That which the figure communicates to the living scene is the substance of the heavens and the elements. It has been said truly that the mottoes of this card are Waters of Life freely and Gifts of the Spirit.

The summary of several tawdry explanations says that it is a card of hope. On other planes it has been certified as immortality and interior light. For the majority of prepared minds, the figure will appear as the type of Truth unveiled, glorious in undying beauty, pouring on the waters of the soul some part and measure of her priceless possession. But she is in reality the Great Mother in the Kabalistic Sephira Binah, which is supernal Understanding, who communicates to the Sephiroth that are below in the measure that they can receive her influx.

Reversed Meaning:

Arrogance, haughtiness, impotence.

 

 

 

 

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

 

3 of Wands

A calm, stately personage, with his back turned, looking from a cliff's edge at ships passing over the sea. Three staves are planted in the ground, and he leans slightly on one of them.

Reversed Meaning:

The end of troubles, suspension or cessation of adversity, toil and disappointment.

 

 

 

 

Suggestion - The recommended course of action.

 

Queen of Pentacles

The face suggests that of a dark woman, whose qualities might be summed up in the idea of greatness of soul; she has also the serious cast of intelligence; she contemplates her symbol and may see worlds therein.

Reversed Meaning:

Evil, suspicion, suspense, fear, mistrust.

 

 

 

 

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

 

9 of Pentacles

A woman, with a bird upon her wrist, stands amidst a great abundance of grapevines in the garden of a manorial house. It is a wide domain, suggesting plenty in all things. Possibly it is her own possession and testifies to material well-being.

Divinatory Meaning:

Prudence, safety, success, accomplishment, certitude, discernment.

 

 

 

 

 

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