Today I want to play with my Signature Spread a little more, give it a new name, and introduce elemental dignities to it to show you how much fun you can have when you work in triads. The card pairing in the first post still applies, but with a slightly new layout to accommodate the elemental dignities, we will be adding a couple more pairings to the list.
So without any further ado, let’s have some fun with this spread, the Magic Square, and see what else I can find out that may help with my question of yesterday.
Changing the Layout to Accomodate Elemental Dignities
This is only a subtle change, the sequence of the cards won’t be changing at all.
When working with elemental dignities, we need to assess the middle card in a triad – the central card. The two cards either side of the central card are called the modifiers.
For a more comprehensive explanation of the rules used in elemental dignities, please see the The Elemental Dignities Dictionary.
In order to assess the central card and modifiers of the last three cards that I laid out in my Tarot reading yesterday, cards seven, eight and nine, we need to change the layout from this:
Notice I haven’t changed the order of the cards, all I have done is move card nine to the right.
Your new full layout should look like this:
What you now have is your own Magic Square and while the numbers themselves don’t add up to 15, you can create your own magic by using elemental dignities to assess the 24 triads that I can see in these nine Tarot cards – pretty something eh?!
I’m now going to bombard you with a series of graphics to illustrate where these triads are so you can have a play around with them once you’re finished reading. I’ve only highlighted one of the triads in their set, but please remember that there will be between three and four possibilities for them, so make sure you cover all bases when you check your triads. And no, I’m not going to do all the work for you, that wouldn’t be much fun for you – this way to get to play and practice, if you need it.
Let’s look at the obvious triads first:
Check all the horizontal triads – there are three of them, the top, middle and bottom rows…
…and then the vertical triads, again there are three of them, the left, middle and right columns…
…then finally in this section, check the diagonal triads. There are two of them and they both run through the top central card – number 8.
What we have here are the most obvious triads and it would be perfectly fine to stop here, so let’s do that for a moment and assess what we have so far.
Elemental Dignities and the Magic Square
Earlier I called this new layout the Magic Square – and you’re about to see why. Using the reading I published yesterday in Part One of this Tutorial, I worked out the strongest cards from all eight triads.
If you look back over the triads I have highlighted, you should have the following:
From the horizontal triads
- Seven of Wands…
- …is the strongest, though it could be argued that the Three of Disks is the strongest card from the top set, but I’m applying pure Golden Dawn rules here and so while the Five of Cups (water) naturally weakens the Seven of Wands (fire), the Three of Disks (earth) acts as a bridge to support it, restrengthening it. I would also be happy to accept the Three of Disks in that list too – it’s a cool card for my reading!
- Six of Cups…
- …because as a water card, it is strengthened on both sides by water and earth cards, the Ace of Cups and the Princess of Disks respectively. This card is extremely strong in this triad.
- Six of Wands…
- …as a fire card, it is strengthened by the Tower (fire) and is friendly with the Seven of Disks (earth).
Notice how the strongest cards were all the central cards too.
From the vertical triads
- Ace of Cups…
- …supported by another water card, the Five of Cups and a complimentary earth card, the Seven of Disks, the Ace of Cups is extremely strong in this triad.
- The Central Column
- There is no single strong card from middle column. The central card, the Six of Cups, is a water card and is extremely weakened by the two fire cards either side of it – the Seven and Six of Wands. These two cards have strengthened each other and are putting the Six of Cups under extreme pressure.
- The Princess of Disks…
- …wins here as earth is friendly with the fire (The Tower) and is supported by the other earth card in this triad, the Three of Disks.
From the diagonal triads
- The Six of Cups…
- …(water) wins in this set with ease in both directions.
It’s extremely well supported in the diagonal that runs from bottom left to top right as it has two earth cards supporting it, the Seven of Disks and the Three of Disks.
In the remaining diagonal triad, although under pressure from the fire of the Tower, the Six of Cups is also supported by the water of the Five of Cups, which acts as a bridge between them, elementally, and restrengthens the Six of Cups.
So what did we find out by looking for the strongest cards? We found the better cards, the ones I would have hoped for in my reading, were vying for my attention. I’m encouraged by this, but I still have a lot of work to do before I succeed in my plans. Just because we have identified some great cards as now being prominent, we cannot forget the antagonistic ones – not least of all the Tower.
Clarifying the Six of Cups
You may at this point be wondering what has been happening with the Six of Cups in this analysis. It’s strong in all but one of the triads we have analysed, which may be seen as confusing or a contradiction. This though is the whole point of elemental dignities – to show the subtle interactions between the cards and the elements, not just the obvious ones.
The vertical triad containing the Six of Cups is showing me that I need to pay attention to any romantic notions of success. The success is there, but by being weakened, I can now see that despite having such a great potential outcome, I must keep my feet and my head, firmly on the ground.
This is further explored and explained in the comments section below. If you have anything to add regarding this section, please join in the discussion!
Let’s now take a look at how the Card Pairing has been affected by changing the layout of the spread.
Card Pairing the Magic Square
The card pairing in the previous post will still stand, as we never paired the top three cards, and the Scene Setters haven’t changed. The top three cards have though, seven, eight and nine. Let’s have a look now at our new card pairings:
- Ace of Cups and the Princess of Disks
- A perfect pairing – bravery, courage, creativity, connections, being on the right path, universal blessings – I could go on with this pairing but I think you will all agree this is the stuff that dreams are made of.
- Ace of Cups and the Six of Cups
- Another wonderful pair, full of happiness and the right attitude to proceed. The only thing wanting is the passivity of all this water – I need to be careful I don’t get lost in my dreams while trying to make them real.
- Six of Cups and the Princess of Disks
- Enjoying the process of moving on, growing and developing. The Princess of Disks isn’t one to get lost in sentimentality, so the Six of Cups is her joy in all that lies ahead – now that I like!
There are more pairings I could make – the top three cards can be paired vertically with their neighbours, like I did in Part One. I’m not going to do that here, but I’m going to let you work out what they are – I’d love to hear what you interpret.
Summary of My Reading so Far
I think it’s safe to say that laying out the top three cards in preparation for their elemental dignity analysis proved very helpful. It was encouraging to see more positivity coming from this set of cards – especially as these are the cards that are pulling the reading together and indicating the potential outcome for the question.
Using elemental dignities helped to level some of the less desirable cards, but what’s important to remember, I feel, is that despite that levelling, their sheer presence shouldn’t be overlooked. I’ve always maintained that if a Tarot card appears in a reading, it’s there for a reason. What elemental dignities will do is show you how important that card is in relation to your question, and indeed the rest of the cards in your reading.
The card pairing also gave me a tremendous sense of hope for my future business plans, and while I didn’t display them all, I certainly checked them. They were a fair mix of optimism and reality – life is full of ups and downs and mine is no different. I’m very aware after checking my cards in greater detail that some of my plans will be found wanting, some will be slow to take off, some are disastrous while others will be just the ticket. I have a fair idea of which ones are which – one of the benefits of reading for yourself!
I hope you’ve had as much fun as I have analysing my reading in the Magic Square. I’m going to take the concept a little further in the next post and really stretch your elemental dignity muscles. And without revealing any more, I shall bid you adieu and see you very soon.
The Signature Spread Tutorial Series Index
- The Tarot Elements Signature Spread
- Having Fun With The Magic Square© – The Tarot Elements Signature Spread©
- The Magic Square©: Secondary Triads and Timing