Comic Strip Spread
The Comic Strip Spread is an extremely simple 9-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. You may also want to check your biorythm. The spread is easy to read as a story, just like a comic book.
The main subject is apparent in the first card, while the story plays out through the following cards.
Pay particular attention to the cards and the relationships to their neighbors. Notice which directions the cards are facing, and how they interact.
Your Comic Strip Reading
|Ace of Swords
||Queen of Cups
||3 of Cups
|Prince of Swords
||3 of Swords
||Princess of Cups
|3 of Disks
||8 of Swords
||5 of Swords
Card 1: Ace of Swords
The Root of Air
The Ace of Swords is the primordial Energy of Air, the Essence of the Vau of Tetragrammaton, the integration of the Ruach. Air is the result of the conjunction of Fire and Water; thus it lacks the purity of its superiors in the male hierarchy, Fire, Sol and the Phallus. But for this same reason it is the first card directly to be apprehended by the normal consciousness of Mankind.
In nature, the obvious symbol of Air is the Wind "which bloweth whithersoever it listeth". It lacks the concentrated Will of Fire to unite with Water: it has no corresponding passion for its Twin Element, Earth. There is indeed, a notable passivity in its nature; evidently, it has no self-generated impulse. But, set in motion by its Father and Mother, its power is manifestly terrific. It visibly attacks its objective, as they, being of subtler and more tenuous character, can never do. Its "all-embracing, all-wandering, all-penetrating, all-consuming" qualities have been described by many admirable writers, and its analogies are for the most part patent to quite ordinary observers.
Card 2: Queen of Cups
The Queen of Cups represents the watery part of Water, its power of reception and reflection. She reflects the nature of the observer in great perfection. She is represented as enthroned upon still water. In her hand she bears a shell-like cup, from which issues a crayfish, and she bears also the Lotus of Isis, of the Great Mother. She is robed in, and veiled by, endless curves of light, and the sea upon which she is enthroned conveys the almost unbroken images of the image which she represents.
The characteristics associated with this card are principally dreaminess, illusion and tranquillity. She is the perfect agent and patient, able to receive and transmit everything without herself being affected thereby. If ill-dignified, all these qualities are degraded. Everything that passes through her is refracted and distorted. But, speaking generally, her characteristics depend mostly upon the influences which affect her.
Card 3: 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 4: Prince of Swords
This card represents the airy part of Air. This chariot is drawn by winged children, looking and leaping irresponsibly in any direction that takes their fancy; they are not reined, but perfectly Capricious. The chariot consequently is easy enough to move, but quite unable to progress in any definite direction except by accident. This is a perfect picture of the Mind.
The operation of his logical mental processes have reduced the Air, which is his element, to many diverse geometrical patterns, but in these there is no real plan; they are demonstrations of the powers of the Mind without definite purpose. In his right hand is a lifted sword wherewith to create, but in his left hand a sickle, so that what he creates he instantly destroys. A person thus symbolized is purely intellectual. He is full of ideas and designs which tumble over each other. He is a mass of fine ideals unrelated to practical effort. He has all the apparatus of Thought in the highest degree, intensely clever, admirably rational, but unstable of purpose, and in reality indifferent even to his own ideas, as knowing that any one of them is just as good as any other. He reduces everything to unreality by removing its substance and transmuting it to an ideal world of ratiocination which is purely formal and out of relation to any facts, even those upon which it is based.
Card 5: 3 of Swords
Saturn in Libra - Sorrow
This card is dark and heavy; it is, so to speak, the womb of Chaos. There is an intense lurking passion to create, but its children are monsters. This may mean the supreme transcendence of the natural order. Secrecy is here, and Perversion.
The symbol represents the great Sword of the Magician, point uppermost; it cuts the junction of two short curved swords. The impact has destroyed the rose. In the background, storm broods under implacable night.
Card 6: Princess of Cups
The Princess of Cups represents the earthy part of Water; in particular, the faculty of crystallization. She represents the power of Water to give substance to idea, to support life, and to form the basis of chemical combination. She is represented as a dancing figure, robed in a flowing garment on whose edges crystals are seen to form.
For her crest she wears a swan with open wings. The symbolism of this swan reminds one of the swan in oriental philosophy which is the word AUM or AUMGN, which is the symbol of the entire process of creation. She bears a covered cup from which issues a tortoise. This is again the tortoise which in Hindu philosophy supports the elephant on whose back is the Universe. She is dancing upon a foaming sea in which disports himself a dolphin, the royal fish, which symbolizes the power of Creation. The character of the Princess is infinitely gracious. All sweetness, all voluptuousness, gentleness, kindness and tenderness are in her character. She lives in the world of Romance, in the perpetual dream of rapture. On a superficial examination she might be thought selfish and indolent, but this is a quite false impression; silently and effortlessly she goes about her work.
Card 7: 3 of Disks
Mars in Capricorn - Works
The influence of Binah in the sphere of Earth shows the material establishment of the idea of the Universe, the determination of its basic form. It is ruled by Mars in Capricornus; he is exalted in that Sign, and therefore at his best. His energy is constructive, like that of the builder or engineer. The card represents a pyramid viewed from above the apex.
This pyramid is situated in the great Sea of Binah in the Night of Time, but the sea is solidified; hence the colours of the background are mottled, a cold thin dark grey with a pattern of indigo and green. The sides of the pyramid have a strong reddish tint, showing the influence of Mars.
Card 8: 8 of Swords
Jupiter in Gemini - Interference
The number Eight, Hod, here signifies lack of persistence in matters of the intellect and of contest. Good fortune, however, attends even these weakened efforts, thanks to the influence of Jupiter in Gemini, ruling the Decan. Yet the Will is constantly thwarted by accidental interference.
The centre of the card is occupied by two long Swords pointed downward. These are crossed by six small swords, three on each side. They remind one of weapons peculiar to their countries or their cults; we see here the Kriss, the Kukri, the Scramasax, the Dagger, the Machete and the Yataghan.
Card 9: 5 of Swords
Venus in Aquarius - Defeat
The intellect has been enfeebled by sentiment. The defeat is due to pacifism. Treachery also may be implied.
The hilts of the swords form the inverted pentagram, always a symbol of somewhat sinister tendency. Here matters are even worse; none of the hilts resembles any of the others, and their blades are crooked or broken. They give the impression of drooping; only the lowest of the swords points upwards, and this is the least effective of the weapons. The rose of the previous card has been altogether disintegrated.