The Love Triangle Spread
Difficulty: Somewhat Complicated
This spread can be used to determine the dynamics of the relationship between 3 people, whether or not romance is involved. This spread is drawn in the form of a hexagram, consisting of several large and small triangles. This spread is somewhat complicated, but only because of the complicated nature of this type of relationship.
The first step is to interpret the card for each individual position in the spread. Generally the querent asks about a relationship that he or she is involved with, but this does not have to be the case. Ordinarily the querent's representative card is #1, the querent's person of interest is #2, and the other person would be #3.
The second step fills in the downward triangle and involves further examination of the individuals through their views of the other people. Each person has 2 more cards showing the way they see and relate to the other members of the triangle. For example, Card #6 shows how Person #3 relates to Person #1, while Card #9 shows Person #1's attitude toward Person #3.
The next step completes the upward triangle and the hexagram, focusing on cards 10-13. It also completes the many smaller triangles and shows the potential for each relationship. The final card, #13 can be considered the significator of the reading, which shows the overall potential for this 3-way relationship.
Your Love Triangle Reading
1: Person #1
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.
Journey by water, route, way, envoy, commissionary, expedient.
2: Person #2
5 of Wands
A posse of youths, who are brandishing staves, as if in sport or strife. It is mimic warfare.
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.
3: Person #3
9 of Swords
One seated on her couch in lamentation, with the swords over her. She is as one who knows no sorrow which is like unto hers. It is a card of utter desolation.
Death, failure, miscarriage, delay, deception, disappointment, despair.
4: Person #1's view of #2
9 of Wands
The figure leans upon his staff and has an expectant look, as if awaiting an enemy. Behind are eight other staves - erect, in orderly disposition, like a palisade.
Obstacles, adversity, calamity.
5: Person #2's view of #3
The Hanged Man
The gallows from which he is suspended forms a Tau cross, while the figure - from the position of the legs - forms a fylfot cross. There is a nimbus about the head of the seeming martyr. It should be noted (1) that the tree of sacrifice is living wood, with leaves thereon; (2) that the face expresses deep entrancement, not suffering; (3) that the figure, as a whole, suggests life in suspension, but life and not death. It is a card of profound significance, but all the significance is veiled. One of his editors suggests that Eliphas Levi did not know the meaning, which is unquestionable nor did the editor himself. It has been called falsely a card of martyrdom, a card of prudence, a card of the Great Work, a card of duty; but we may exhaust all published interpretations and find only vanity. It expresses the relation, in one of its aspects, between the Divine and the Universe.
He who can understand that the story of his higher nature is imbedded in this symbolism will receive intimations concerning a great awakening that is possible, and will know that after the sacred Mystery of Death there is a glorious Mystery of Resurrection.
Selfishness, the crowd, body politic.
6: Person #3's view of #1
4 of Pentacles
A crowned figure, having a pentacle over his crown, clasps another with hands and arms; two pentacles are under his feet. He holds to that which he has.
The surety of possessions, cleaving to that which one has, gift, legacy, inheritance.
7: Person #2's view of #1
5 of Cups
A dark, cloaked figure, looking sideways at three prone cups two others stand upright behind him; a bridge is in the background, leading to a small keep or holding.
News, alliances, affinity, consanguinity, ancestry, return, false projects.
8: Person #3's view of #2
3 of Pentacles
A sculptor at his work in a monastery. Compare the design which illustrates the Eight of Pentacles. The apprentice or amateur therein has received his reward and is now at work in earnest.
Mediocrity, in work and otherwise, puerility, pettiness, weakness.
9: Person #1's view of #3
The design is an accommodation, mean or harmony, between several motives mentioned in the first part. The Horned Goat of Mendes, with wings like those of a bat, is standing on an altar. At the pit of the stomach there is the sign of Mercury. The right hand is upraised and extended, being the reverse of that benediction which is given by the Hierophant in the fifth card. In the left hand there is a great flaming torch, inverted towards the earth. A reversed pentagram is on the forehead. There is a ring in front of the altar, from which two chains are carried to the necks of two figures, male and female. These are analogous with those of the fifth card, as if Adam and Eve after the Fall. Hereof is the chain and fatality of the material life.
The figures are tailed, to signify the animal nature, but there is human intelligence in the faces, and he who is exalted above them is not to be their master for ever. Even now, he is also a bondsman, sustained by the evil that is in him and blind to the liberty of service. With more than his usual derision for the arts which he pretended to respect and interpret as a master therein, Eliphas Levi affirms that the Baphometic figure is occult science and magic. Another commentator says that in the Divine world it signifies predestination, but there is no correspondence in that world with the things which below are of the brute. What it does signify is the Dweller on the Threshold without the Mystical Garden when those are driven forth therefrom who have eaten the forbidden fruit.
Ravage, violence, vehemence, extraordinary efforts, force, fatality; that which is predestined but is not for this reason evil.
10: Overall relationship between persons #1 and #2
8 of Swords
A woman, bound and hoodwinked, with the swords of the card about her. Yet it is rather a card of temporary durance than of irretrievable bondage.
Bad news, violent chagrin, crisis, censure, power in trammels, conflict, calumny; also sickness.
11: Overall relationship between persons #2 and #3
3 of Cups
Maidens in a garden-ground with cups uplifted, as if pledging one another.
The conclusion of any matter in plenty, perfection and merriment; happy issue, victory, fulfilment, solace, healing.
12: Overall relationship between persons #1 and #3
As this final message of the Major Trumps is unchanged - and indeed unchangeable - in respect of its design, it has been partly described already regarding its deeper sense. It represents also the perfection and end of the Cosmos, the secret which is within it, the rapture of the universe when it understands itself in God. It is further the state of the soul in the consciousness of Divine Vision, reflected from the self-knowing spirit. But these meanings are without prejudice to that which I have said concerning it on the material side.
It has more than one message on the macrocosmic side and is, for example, the state of the restored world when the law of manifestation shall have been carried to the highest degree of natural perfection. But it is perhaps more especially a story of the past, referring to that day when all was declared to be good, when the morning stars sang together and all the Sons of God shouted for joy. One of the worst explanations concerning it is that the figure symbolizes the Magus when he has reached the highest degree of initiation; another account says that it represents the absolute, which is ridiculous. The figure has been said to stand for Truth, which is, however, more properly allocated to the seventeenth card. Lastly, it has been called the Crown of the Magi.
Inertia, fixity, stagnation, permanence.
13: Overall 3-way Relationship
8 of Pentacles
An artist in stone at his work, which he exhibits in the form of trophies.
Work, employment, commission, craftsmanship, skill in craft and business, perhaps in the preparatory stage.