The Golden Dawn or Thoth Method

Golden Dawn Spread

 

 

Difficulty: Complicated

Note: Tarot decks that use reversed cards such as the Rider-Waite do not work well with this spread, which was designed to be read using elemental dignity.

The Golden Dawn spread is best suited for use with the bifrost Tarot and especially the Book of Thoth, as these decks are meant to be read a certain way with the court cards. Princes and queens represent actual men and women connected with the matter, while princesses generally represent ideas; thoughts or opinions, and knights represent arrival or departure of a matter depending on the direction faced.

In this tarot spread, particular attention should be paid to a card's exact position in relation to its neighbours. Whether the neighbour cards bear the same energy (suit) determines whether a card is considered well-dignified or ill-dignified. Opposite suits ill-dignify each other, while other suits are considered friendly. Tarot cards of the same suit or element strengthen each other.

As with other tarot spreads, it is important to count the cards' tendencies, such as whether there is a lot of one particular suit or number pattern. The patterns reveal special messages. Having several majors present indicates higher forces at work, several cups suggest strong emotions, etc.

Card #1 represents the reader and the nature of the topic at hand.

Cards #2 & #3 are read in extension of #1 to further comprehend the nature of the topic.

The two sets of three tarot cards at the top of the spread represent chronological sets of events. The current path as it would unfold naturally is represented by cards #4, #8, & #12. The alternate path that could be taken is represented by cards #13, #9, & #5. However, if the reader gets the feeling these cards are telling them they go together, then the alternate path is to be considered an extension of the current path, and to be read chronologically in this order: #4, #8, #12, #13, #9, #5. Just keep in mind: this is only if the two paths seem particularly similar.

Cards #14, #10, & #6 shed light upon the psychological undertones of the current issue.

Cards #7, #11, & #15 represent the influences of karma and destiny beyond the reader's control. These cards suggest adapting to this, as fate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your Golden Dawn Reading

 


The Alternate Path
(or Extension of Current Path)
  Your Current Path
 

8 of Wands

The Devil

The Universe
 
Queen of Swords

10 of Swords

Ace of Cups
         
    The Querent    
   
Adjustment

8 of Cups                 

6 of Cups
   
             
The Psychological Basis   Karma

4 of Swords

Knight of Swords

3 of Disks
 
The Aeon

Princess of Wands

The Magus

 

 

 

The Querent

cards represent the querent and the nature of the topic at hand. The first card (in the center of the spread) represents the very core of the matter, and the other two cards around it are added to it in order to further comprehend the nature of the topic.

 

 

8 of Cups

Saturn in Pisces – Indolence

Lotuses droop for lack of sun and rain, and the soil is poison to them; only two of the stems show blossoms at all. The cups are shallow, old and broken. They are arranged in three rows; of these the upper row of three is quite empty. Water trickles from the two flowers into the two central cups, and they drip into the two lowest without filling them. The background of the card shows pools, or lagoons, in very extensive country, incapable of cultivation; only disease and miasma tic poison can flourish in those vast Bad Lands. The water is dark and muddy. On the horizon is a pallid, yellowish light, weighed down by leaden clouds of indigo.

 

 

 

Adjustment

Libra

Balance against each thought its exact opposite. For the Marriage of these is the Annihilation of Illusion.

Justice, or rather justesse, the act of adjustment, suspension of all action pending decision; in material matters, may refer to law suits or prosecutions. Socially, marriage or marriage agreements; politically, treaties.

 

 

 

6 of Cups

Sun in Scorpio – Pleasure

This card shows the influence of the number Six, Tiphareth, in the suit of Water. This influence is fortified by that of the Sun, who also represents the Six. The whole image is that of the influence of the Sun on Water.

The lotus stems are grouped in an elaborate dancing movement. From their blossoms water gushes into the Cups, but they are not yet full to overflowing, as they are in the corresponding card below; the Nine. Pleasure, in the title of this card, must be understood in its highest sense: it implies well-being, harmony of natural forces without effort or strain, ease, satisfaction. Foreign to the idea of the card is the gratification of natural or artificial desires. Yet it does represent emphatically the fulfilment of the sexual Will, as shown by the ruling Sephira, planet, element, and sign.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your Current Path

cards represent your current path as it would unfold naturally. These cards are read in chronological order from left to right.

 

 

 

Queen of Swords

Libra

The Queen of Swords represents the watery part of Air, the elasticity of that element, and its power of transmission. She is enthroned upon the clouds. Her helmet is crested by the head of a child, and from it stream sharp rays of light, illuminating her empire of celestial dew. In her right hand, she bears a sword; in her left hand, the newly severed head of a bearded man. She is the clear, conscious perception of Idea, the Liberator of the Mind.

The person symbolised by this card should be intensely perceptive, a keen observer, a subtle interpreter, an intense individualist, swift and accurate at recording ideas; in action confident, in spirit gracious and just. Her movements will be graceful, and her ability in dancing and balancing exceptional. If ill-dignified, these qualities will all be turned to unworthy purposes. She will be cruel, sly, deceitful and unreliable; in this way, very dangerous, on account of the superficial beauty and attractiveness which distinguish her.

 

 

 

10 of Swords

Sun in Gemini – Ruin

The number Ten, Malkuth, as always, represents the culmination of the unmitigated energy of the idea. It shows reason run mad, ramshackle riot of soulless mechanism; it represents the logic of lunatics and (for the most part) of philosophers. It is reason divorced from reality.

The card is also ruled by the Sun in Gemini, but the mercurial airy quality of the Sign serves to disperse his rays; this card shows the disruption and disorder of harmonious and stable energy.

The hilts of the Swords occupy the positions of the Sephiroth, but the points One to Five and Seven to Nine touch and shatter the central Sword (six) which represents the Sun, the Heart, the child of Chokmah and Binah. The tenth Sword is also in splinters. It is the ruin of the Intellect, and even of all mental and moral qualities.

 

 

 

Ace of Cups

The Root of Water

This card represents the element of Water in its most secret and original form. It is the feminine complement of the Ace of Wands, and is derived from the Yoni and the Moon exactly as that is from the Lingam and the Sun. The third in the Hierarchy. This accordingly represents the essential form of the Holy Grail. Upon the dark sea of Binah, the Great Mother, are Lotuses, two in one, which fill the cup with the Life-fluid, symbolically represented either as Water, as Blood, or as Wine, according to the selected purpose of the symbolism.

Above the Cup, descending upon it, is the Dove of the Holy Ghost, thus consecrating the element. At the base of the Cup is the Moon, for it is the virtue of this card to conceive and to produce the second form of its Nature.

 

 

 

The Alternate Path

cards represent the alternate path that you could choose to take in lieu of the Current Path. However, if the cards that come up seem to indicate that they go along with the Current Path, these three cards should be interpretted not as an Alternate Path, but as a chronological extension of the Current Path (also read from left to right).

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

The Devil

Capricorn

With thy right Eye create all for thyself, and with the left accept all that be created otherwise.

Blind impulse, irresistibly strong and unscrupulous, ambition, temptation, obsession, secret plan about to be executed; hard work, obstinacy, rigidity, aching discontent, endurance.

 

 

 

The Universe

Earth

Treat time and all conditions of Event as Servants of thy Will, appointed to present the Universe to thee in the form of thy Plan. And: blessing and worship to the prophet of the lovely Star.

The matter of the question itself, synthesis, the end of the matter, may mean delay, opposition, obstinacy, inertia, patience, perseverance, persistent stubbornness in difficulty. The crystallisation of the whole matter involved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Psychological Basis

cards shed light upon the psychological undertones of the current problem.

 

 

 

4 of Swords

Jupiter in Libra – Truce

Chesed refers to Jupiter who rules in Libra in this decanate. The sum of these symbols is therefore without opposition; hence the card proclaims the idea of authority in the intellectual world. It is the establishment of dogma, and law concerning it. It represents a refuge from mental chaos, chosen in an arbitrary manner. It argues for convention.

The hilts of the four Swords are at the corner of a St. Andrew's cross. Their shape suggests fixation and rigidity. Their points are sheathed – in a rather large rose of forty-nine petals representing social harmony. Here, too, is compromise.

Minds too indolent or too cowardly to think out their own problems hail joyfully this policy of appeasement. As always, the Four is the term; as in this case there is no true justification for repose, its disturbance by the Five holds no promise of advance; its static shams go pell-mell into the melting-pot; the issue is mere mess, usually signalised by foetid stench. But it has to be done!

 

 

 

Knight of Swords

Gemini

The Knight of Swords represents the fiery part of Air; he is the wind, the storm. He represents the violent power of motion applied to an apparently manageable element. He is a warrior helmed, and for his crest he bears a revolving wing. Mounted upon a maddened steed, he drives down the Heavens, the Spirit of the Tempest. In one hand is a sword, in the other a poniard. He represents the idea of attack.

The moral qualities of a person thus indicated are activity and skill, subtlety and cleverness. He is fierce, delicate and courageous, but altogether the prey of his idea, which comes to him as an inspiration without reflection.

 

 

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.

 

 

 

Karma

These cards represent the influences of karma and destiny that are beyond your control. They suggest adapting to this fate.

 

 

 

The Aeon

Fire

Be every Act an Act of Love and Worship. Be every Act the Fiat of a God. Be every Act a Source of radiant Glory.

Final decision in respect of the past, new current in respect of the future; always represents the taking of a definite step.

 

 

 

Princess of Wands

The Princess of Wands represents the earthy part of Fire; one might say, she is the fuel of Fire. This expression implies the irresistible chemical attraction of the combustible substance. The Princess is therefore shewn with the plumes of justice streaming like flames from her brow; and she is unclothed, shewing that chemical action can only take place when the element is perfectly free to combine with its partner.

This card may be said to represent the dance of the virgin priestess of the Lords of Fire, for she is in attendance upon the golden altar ornamented with rams' heads) symbolising the fires of Spring. The character of the Princess is extremely individual. She is brilliant and daring. She creates her own beauty by her essential vigour and energy. The force of her character imposes the impression of beauty upon the beholder. In anger or love she is sudden, violent, and implacable. She consumes all that comes into her sphere. She is ambitious and aspiring, full of enthusiasm which is often irrational. She never forgets an injury, and the only quality of patience to be found in her is the patience with which she lies in ambush to avenge.

 

 

 

The Magus

Mercury

The True Self is the meaning of the True Will: know Thyself through Thy Way. Calculate well the Formula of Thy Way. Create freely; absorb joyously; divide intently; consolidate completely. Work thou, Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omni present, in and for Eternity.

Skill, wisdom, adroitness, elasticity, craft, cunning, deceit, theft. Sometimes occult wisdom or power, sometimes a quick impulse, a brain-wave. It may imply messages, business transactions, the interference of learning or intelligence with the matter in hand.

 

 


 

 

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