The Love Triangle Spread
Casually referred to as the Love Triangle, this spread can be used to determine the dynamics of the relationship between three people, regardless of whether romance is involved. This spread is arranged in the form of a hexagram, consisting of several large and small triangles. This tarot spread may seem somewhat complicated, but it is not entirely that difficult.
The first step is to interpret the card for each individual position in the spread. Generally, one might ask about a relationship they are involved in, but this does not have to be the case. Ordinarily, the reader's representative card is #1, their main 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 two more cards showing the way they see and relate to the other members of the triangle. For example, Card #6 indicates how Person #3 relates to Person #1, while Card #9 stands for 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 hints at the potential for each relationship. The final card, #13 can be considered the significator of the reading, which suggests the overall potential for this three-way relationship.
Your Love Triangle Reading
1: Person #1
9 of Cups
A goodly personage has feasted to his heart's content, and abundant refreshment of wine is on the arched counter behind him, seeming to indicate that the future is also assured. The picture offers the material side only, but there are other aspects.
Concord, contentment, physical bien-?tre; also, victory, success, advantage; satisfaction for the Querent or person for whom the consultation is made.
2: Person #2
7 of Wands
A young man on a craggy eminence brandishing a staff; six other staves are raised towards him from below.
It is a card of valour, for, on the surface, six are attacking one, who has, however, the vantage position. On the intellectual plane, it signifies discussion, wordy strife; in business – negotiations, war of trade, barter, competition. It is further a card of success, for the combatant is on the top and his enemies may be unable to reach him.
3: Person #3
2 of Wands
A tall man looks from a battlemented roof over sea and shore; he holds a globe in his right hand, while a staff in his left rests on the battlement; another is fixed in a ring. The Rose and Cross and Lily should be noticed on the left side.
Surprise, wonder, enchantment, emotion, trouble, fear.
4: Person #1's view of #2
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.
Suspense, delay, opposition.
5: Person #2's view of #3
The naked child mounted on a white horse and displaying a red standard has been mentioned already as the better symbolism connected with this card. It is the destiny of the Supernatural East and the great and holy light which goes before the endless procession of humanity, coming out from the walled garden of the sensitive life and passing on the journey home. The card signifies, therefore, the transit from the manifest light of this world, represented by the glorious sun of earth, to the light of the world to come, which goes before aspiration and is typified by the heart of a child.
But the last allusion is again the key to a different form or aspect of the symbolism. The sun is that of consciousness in the spirit – the direct as the antithesis of the reflected light. The characteristic type of humanity has become a little child therein – a child in the sense of simplicity and innocence in the sense of wisdom. In that simplicity, he bears the seal of Nature and of Art; in that innocence, he signifies the restored world. When the self-knowing spirit has dawned in the consciousness above the natural mind, that mind in its renewal leads forth the animal nature in a state of perfect conformity.
Material happiness, fortunate marriage, contentment – but in a lesser sense than if upright.
6: Person #3's view of #1
Ace of Wands
A hand issuing from a cloud grasps a stout wand or club.
Creation, invention, enterprise, the powers which result in these; principle, beginning, source; birth, family, origin, and in a sense the virility which is behind them; the starting point of enterprises; according to another account, money, fortune, inheritance.
7: Person #2's view of #1
3 of Swords
Three swords piercing a heart; cloud and rain behind.
Removal, absence, delay, division, rupture, dispersion, and all that the design signifies naturally, being too simple and obvious to call for specific enumeration.
8: Person #3's view of #2
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.
9: Person #1's view of #3
10 of Cups
Appearance of Cups in a rainbow; it is contemplated in wonder and ecstasy by a man and woman below, evidently husband and wife. His right arm is about her; his left is raised upward; she raises her right arm. The two children dancing near them have not observed the prodigy but are happy after their own manner. There is a home-scene beyond.
Contentment, repose of the entire heart; the perfection of that state; also, perfection of human love and friendship; if with several picture-cards, a person who is taking charge of the Querent's interests; also, the town, village or country inhabited by the Querent.
10: Overall relationship between persons #1 and #2
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.
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.
11: Overall relationship between persons #2 and #3
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.
Disquiet, difficulty, opposition, accident, treachery; what is unforeseen; fatality.
12: Overall relationship between persons #1 and #3
Occult explanations attached to this card are meagre and mostly disconcerting. It is idle to indicate that it depicts min in all its aspects, because it bears this evidence on the surface. It is said further that it contains the first allusion to a material building, but I do not conceive that the Tower is more or less material than the pillars which we have met with in three previous cases. I see nothing to warrant Papus in supposing that it is literally the fall of Adam, but there is more in favour of his alternative – that it signifies the materialisation of the spiritual word. The bibliographer Christian imagines that it is the downfall of the mind, seeking to penetrate the mystery of God. I agree rather with Grand Orient that it is the ruin of the House of We, when evil has prevailed therein, and above all that it is the rending of a House of Doctrine. I understand that the reference is, however, to a House of Falsehood. It illustrates also in the most comprehensive way the old truth that – except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it.
There is a sense in which the catastrophe is a reflection from the previous card, but not on the side of the symbolism which I have tried to indicate therein. It is more correctly a question of analogy; one is concerned with the fall into the material and animal state, while the other signifies destruction on the intellectual side. The Tower has been spoken of as the chastisement of pride and the intellect overwhelmed in the attempt to penetrate the Mystery of God; but in neither case do these explanations account for the two persons who are the living sufferers. The one is the literal word made void and the other its false interpretation. In yet a deeper sense, it may signify also the end of a dispensation, but there is no possibility here for the consideration of this involved question.
Misery, distress, indigence, adversity, calamity, disgrace, deception, ruin. It is a card in particular of unforeseen catastrophe.
13: Overall 3-way Relationship
6 of Cups
Children in an old garden, their cups filled with flowers.
The future, renewal, that which will come to pass presently.