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
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.
2: Person #2
7 of Wands
Mars in Leo – Valour
This card derives from Netzach (Victory) in the suit of Fire. But the Seven is a weak, earthy, feminine number as regards the Tree of Life, and represents a departure from the balance so low down on the Tree that this implies a loss of confidence.
Fortunately, the card is also attributed to Mars in Leo. The army has been thrown into disorder; if victory is to be won, it will be by dint of individual valour – a 'soldiers' battle'.
3: Person #3
9 of Disks
Venus in Virgo – Gain
The number Nine, Yesod, inevitably brings back the balance of Force in fulfilment. The card is ruled by Venus in Virgo. It shows good luck attending material affairs, favour and popularity.
The disks are arranged as an equilateral triangle of three, apex upwards, close together; and, surrounded at some distance by a ring, six larger disks in the form of a hexagon. This signifies the multiplication of the original established Word-by the mingling of 'good luck and good management'. The three central disks are of the magical pattern as in earlier cards; but the others, since the descent into matter implies the gradual exhaustion of the original whirling energy, now take on the form of coins. These may be marked with the magical images of the appropriate planets.
4: Person #1's view of #2
Combination of forces, realisation, action based on accurate calculation; the way of escape, success after elaborate manoeuvres.
5: Person #2's view of #3
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.
6: Person #3's view of #1
Transformation, change, voluntary or involuntary, in either case logical development of existing conditions, yet perhaps sudden and unexpected. Apparent death or destruction, but such interpretation is illusion.
7: Person #2's view of #1
9 of Wands
Moon in Sagittarius – Strength
This card is referred to Yesod, the Foundation; this brings the Energy back into balance. The Nine represents always the fullest development of the Force in its relation with the Forces above it. The Nine may be considered as the best that can be obtained from the type involved, regarded from a practical and material standpoint. This card is also governed by the Moon in Sagittarius; so here is a double influence of the Moon on the Tree of Life. Hence the aphorism 'Change is Stability'.
The Wands have now become arrows. There are eight of them in the background, and in front of them one master arrow. This has the Moon for its point, and the Sun for the driving Force above it; for the path of Sagittarius on the Tree of Life joins the Sun and Moon. The flames in the card are tenfold, implying that the Energy is directed downwards.
8: Person #3's view of #2
Prince of Wands
The moral qualities appropriate to this figure are swiftness and strength. But he is sometimes inclined to act on impulse; sometimes easily led by external influences; sometimes, especially in trifles, a prey to indecision. He is often violent, especially in the expression of an opinion, but he does not necessarily hold the opinion about which he is so emphatic. He states a vigorous proposition for the sake of stating it. He is in fact very slow to make up his mind thoroughly on any subject, but always sees both sides of every question. He is essentially just, but always feels that justice is not to be attained in the intellectual world. His character is intensely noble and generous.
He may be an extravagant boaster, while slyly laughing both at the object of his boast and at himself for making it. One of his greatest faults is pride; meanness and pettiness of any kind he holds in infinite scorn. His courage is fanatically strong, and his endurance indefatigable. He is always fighting against odds, and always wins in the long – the very long-run. This is principally due to his enormous capacity for work, which he exercises for its own sake, 'without lust of result'.
9: Person #1's view of #3
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 has 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 symbolised 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.
10: Overall relationship between persons #1 and #2
2 of Disks
Jupiter in Capricorn – Change
The number Two, Chokmah, here rules in the suit pertaining to Earth. It shows the type of Energy appropriate to Two, in its most fixed form. According to the doctrine that Change is the support of stability, the card is called Change.
The card represents two Pantacles, one above the other; they are the Chinese symbols of the Yang and Yin duplicated as in the Hsiang. One wheel is dextro- and the other laevo-rotatory. They thus represent the harmonious interplay of the Four Elements in constant movement. One may in fact consider the card as the picture of the complete manifested Universe, in respect of its dynamics.
11: Overall relationship between persons #2 and #3
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.
12: Overall relationship between persons #1 and #3
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.
13: Overall 3-way Relationship
Prince of Disks
The Prince of Disks represents the airy part of Earth, indicating the florescence and fructification of that element. The figure of this Prince is meditative. He is the element of Earth become intelligible. In his left hand he holds his disk, which is an orb resembling a globe, marked with mathematical symbols as if to imply the planning involved in agriculture. In his right hand he bears an orbed sceptre surmounted by a cross, a symbol of the Great Work accomplished.
A steadfast and per severing worker, he is competent, ingenious, thoughtful, cautious, trustworthy, imperturbable. He constantly seeks new uses for common things, and adapts his circumstances to his purposes in a slow, steady, well-thought-out plan. He is lacking almost entirely in emotion. He is somewhat insensitive, and may appear dull, but he is not; it so appears because he makes no effort to understand ideas which are beyond his scope. He may often appear stupid, and is inclined to be resentful of more spiritual types. He is slow to anger, but, if driven, becomes implacable.