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
King of Swords
He sits in judgment, holding the unsheathed sign of his suit. He recalls, of course, the conventional Symbol of justice in the Trumps Major, and he may represent this virtue, but he is rather the power of life and death, in virtue of his office.
Whatsoever arises out of the idea of judgment and all its connexions – power, command, authority, militant intelligence, law, offices of the crown, and so forth.
2: Person #2
6 of Wands
A laurelled horseman bears one staff adorned with a laurel crown; footmen with staves are at his side.
The card has been so designed that it can cover several significations; on the surface, it is a victor triumphing, but it is also great news, such as might be carried in state by the King's courier; it is expectation crowned with its own desire, the crown of hope, and so forth.
3: Person #3
The Wheel of Fortune
The four Living Creatures of Ezekiel occupy the angles of the card, and the wheel itself follows other indications of Levi in respect of Ezekiel's vision, as illustrative of the particular Tarot Key. With the French occultist, and in the design itself, the symbolic picture stands for the perpetual motion of a fluidic universe and for the flux of human life. The Sphinx is the equilibrium therein. The transliteration of Taro as Rota is inscribed on the wheel, counter changed with the letters of the Divine Name – to shew that Providence is imphed through all. But this is the Divine intention within, and the similar intention without is exemplified by the four Living Creatures. Sometimes the sphinx is represented couchant on a pedestal above, which defrauds the symbolism by stultifying the essential idea of stability amidst movement.
Behind the general notion expressed in the symbol there lies the denial of chance and the fatality which is implied therein. It may be added that, from the days of Levi onward, the occult explanations of this card are – even for occultism itself – of a singularly fatuous kind. It has been said to mean principle, fecundity, virile honour, ruling authority, etc. The findings of common fortune-telling are better than this on their own plane.
Increase, abundance, superfluity.
4: Person #1's view of #2
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.
5: Person #2's view of #3
4 of Swords
The effigy of a knight in the attitude of prayer, at full length upon his tomb.
Wise administration, circumspection, economy, avarice, precaution, testament.
6: Person #3's view of #1
Ace of Cups
The waters are beneath, and thereon are water-lilies; the hand issues from the cloud, holding in its palm the cup, from which four streams are pouring; a dove, bearing in its bill a cross-marked Host, descends to place the Wafer in the Cup; the dew of water is falling on all sides. It is an intimation of that which may lie behind the Lesser Arcana.
House of the true heart, joy, content, abode, nourishment, abundance, fertility; Holy Table, felicity hereof.
7: Person #2's view of #1
Queen of Swords
Her right hand raises the weapon vertically and the hilt rests on an arm of her royal chair the left hand is extended, the arm raised her countenance is severe but chastened; it suggests familiarity with sorrow. It does not represent mercy, and, her sword notwithstanding, she is scarcely a symbol of power.
Widowhood, female sadness and embarrassment, absence, sterility, mourning, privation, separation.
8: Person #3's view of #2
7 of Pentacles
A young man, leaning on his staff, looks intently at seven pentacles attached to a clump of greenery on his right; one would say that these were his treasures and that his heart was there.
Cause for anxiety regarding money which it may be proposed to lend.
9: Person #1's view of #3
10 of Wands
A man oppressed by the weight of the ten staves which he is carrying.
A card of many significances, and some of the readings cannot be harmonised. I set aside that which connects it with honour and good faith. The chief meaning is oppression simply, but it is also fortune, gain, any kind of success, and then it is the oppression of these things. It is also a card of false-seeming, disguise, perfidy. The place which the figure is approaching may suffer from the rods that he carries. Success is stultified if the Nine of Swords follows, and if it is a question of a lawsuit, there will be certain loss.
10: Overall relationship between persons #1 and #2
Ace of Swords
A hand issues from a cloud, grasping as word, the point of which is encircled by a crown.
Triumph, the excessive degree in everything, conquest, triumph of force. It is a card of great force, in love as well as in hatred. The crown may carry a much higher significance than comes usually within the sphere of fortune-telling.
11: Overall relationship between persons #2 and #3
7 of Swords
A man in the act of carrying away five swords rapidly; the two others of the card remain stuck in the ground. A camp is close at hand.
Design, attempt, wish, hope, confidence; also quarrelling, a plan that may fail, annoyance. The design is uncertain in its import, because the significations are widely at variance with each other.
12: Overall relationship between persons #1 and #3
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.
Roguery, deception, voided project, bad faith.
13: Overall 3-way Relationship
The Last Judgment
The great angel is here encompassed by clouds, but he blows his bannered trumpet, and the cross as usual is displayed on the banner. The dead are rising from their tombs – a woman on the right, a man on the left hand, and between them their child, whose back is turned. But in this card there are more than three who are restored, and it has been thought worthwhile to make this variation as illustrating the insufficiency of current explanations. It should be noted that all the figures are as one in the wonder, adoration and ecstasy expressed by their attitudes. It is the card which registers the accomplishment of the great work of transformation in answer to the summons of the Supernal – which summons is heard and answered from within.
Herein is the intimation of a significance which cannot well be carried further in the present place. What is that within us which does sound a trumpet and all that is lower in our nature rises in response – almost in a moment, almost in the twinkling of an eye? Let the card continue to depict, for those who can see no further, the Last judgment and the resurrection in the natural body; but let those who have inward eyes look and discover therewith. They will understand that it has been called truly in the past a card of eternal life, and for this reason it may be compared with that which passes under the name of Temperance.
Weakness, pusillanimity, simplicity; also, deliberation, decision, sentence.