Comic Strip Spread
Note: This spread works best with decks like the Diary of a Broken Soul or Surrealist Tarot because they display scenes rather than pips and do not use reversals.
The Comic Strip Spread is a simple nine-card chronological spread that looks like a page of a comic book. This method should be used to get a glimpse of the future as it would pan out naturally. It may be insightful to use this spread in coordination with biorhythms. The spread is easy to read as a storyboard, just like a comic strip.
The main subject is apparent in the first card, while the story plays out through the following tarot cards.
It is important to pay particular attention to the cards and the relationships with their neighbours. Notice which directions the cards are facing, and how they interact.
Your Comic Strip Reading
|3 of Cups
||8 of Disks
||The Hanged Man
|Ace of Wands
||Knight of Cups
||8 of Wands
||10 of Disks
Card 1: 3 of Cups
Mercury in Cancer – Abundance
This card refers to Binah in the suit of Water. This is the card of Demeter or Persephone. The Cups are pomegranates: they are filled bountifully to overflowing a single lotus, arising from the dark calm sea characteristic of Binah. There is here the fulfilment of the Will of Love in abounding joy. It is the spiritual basis of fertility.
The card is referred to the influence of Mercury in Cancer; this carries further the above thesis. Mercury is the Will or Word of the All-Father; here its influence descends upon the most receptive of the Signs. At the same time, the combination of these forms of energy brings in the possibility of somewhat mysterious ideas. Binah, the Great Sea, is the Moon in one aspect, but Saturn in another; and Mercury, besides being the Word or Will of the All-One, is the guide of the souls of the Dead. The pomegranate was the fruit which Persephone ate in the realms of Pluto, thereby enabling him to hold her in the lower world, even after the most powerful influence had been brought to bear. The lesson seems to be that the good things of life, although enjoyed, should be distrusted.
Card 2: 8 of Disks
Sun in Virgo – Prudence
The number Eight, Hod, is very helpful in this card, because it represents Mercury in his most spiritual aspect, and he both rules and is exalted in the sign of Virgo, which belongs to the Decan, and is governed by the Sun. It signifies intelligence lovingly applied to material matters, especially those of the agriculturalist, the artificer and the engineer.
One might suggest that this card marks the turn of the tide. The seven of Disks is in one sense the fullest possible establishment of Matter – compare Atu XV – the lowest fallen and therefore the highest exalted. These last three cards seem to prepare the explosion which will renew the whole Cycle. Note that Virgo is Yod, the secret seed of Life, and also the Virgin Earth awaiting the Phallic Plough.
The interest of this card is the interest of the common people. The rulership of the Sun in Virgo suggests also birth. The disks are arranged in the form of the geomantic figure Populus. These disks may be represented as the flowers or fruits of a great tree, its solid roots in fertile land.
Card 3: The Hanged Man
Enforced sacrifice, punishment, loss, fatal or voluntary, suffering, defeat, failure, death.
Card 4: Ace of Wands
The Root of Fire
This card represents the essence of the element of Fire in its inception. It is a solar-phallic outburst of flame from which spring lightnings in every direction. These flames are Yods, arranged in the form of the Tree of Life.
It is the primordial Energy of the Divine manifesting in Matter, at so early a stage that it is not yet definitely formulated as Will.
Card 5: Knight of Cups
The Knight of Cups represents the fiery part of Water, the swift passionate attack of rain and springs; more intimately, Water's power of solution. He is clothed in black armour furnished with bright wings which, together with the leaping attitude of his white charger, indicates that he represents the most active aspect of Water. In his right hand he bears a cup from which issues a crab, the cardinal sign of Water, for aggressiveness. His totem is the peacock, for one of the stigmata of water in its most active form is brilliance. There is here also some reference to the phenomena of fluorescence.
The characteristics of the person signified by this card are nevertheless mostly passive, in accordance with the Zodiacal attribution. He is graceful, dilettante, with the qualities of Venus, or a weak Jupiter. He is amiable in a passive way. He is quick to respond to attraction, and easily becomes enthusiastic under such stimulus; but he is not very enduring. He is exceedingly sensitive to external in fluence, but with no material depth in his character.
Card 6: 8 of Wands
Mercury in Sagittarius – Swiftness
The card refers to Hod, splendour, in the suit of Fire, whence it refers to the phenomena of speech, light, electricity. The pictorial representation of the card shows the Light-wands turned into electrical rays, sustaining or even constituting Matter by their vibrating energy. Above this restored universe shines the rainbow; the division of pure light, which deals with maxima, into the seven colours of the spectrum, which exhibit interplay and correlation.
This card, therefore, represents energy of high velocity, such as furnishes the master-key to modern mathematical physics.
Card 7: The Fool
In spiritual matters, the Fool means idea, thought, spirituality, that which endeavours to transcend earth.
In material matters, it may, if badly dignified, mean folly, eccentricity, or even mania.
But the essential of this card is that it represents an original, subtle, sudden impulse or impact, coming from a completely strange quarter.
All such impulses are right, if rightly received; and the good or ill interpretation of the card depends entirely on the right attitude of the Querent.
Card 8: 10 of Disks
Mercury in Virgo – Wealth
Mercury rules this card in Virgo; and this may imply that the acquired wealth, being inert, will be dissipated unless put to further use by devoting its power to objects other than mere accumulation. The disks, or (as they have now become) coins, are arranged on the Tree of Life, but the Tenth coin is much larger than the rest; the image indicates the futility of material gain.
These disks are inscribed with various symbols of mercurial character except that the coin in the place of Hod (Mercury) on the Tree is marked with the cipher of the Sun.
Card 9: The Tower
Quarrel, combat, danger, ruin, destruction of plans, sudden death, escape from prison.