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The Golden Dawn or Thoth Method

Golden Dawn Spread

 

 

Difficulty: Complicated

Note: 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 dignities.

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 spread, particular attention should be payed to a card’s exact position in relation to its neighbors. Whether the neighbor cards bear the same energy (suit) determines whether a card is considered well- or ill-dignified. Opposite suits ill-dignify each other, while other suits are considered friendly. Cards of the same suit strengthen each other.

As with other 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 will reveal special messages. Lots of Majors indicates higher forces at work, lots of cups suggest strong emotions, etc.

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

Cards #2 & #3 are used in conjunction with #1 to further comprehend the nature of the topic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your Golden Dawn Reading

 


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

The Hanged Man

The Empress

Ace of Wands
 
Prince of Disks

The Priestess

3 of Cups
         
    The Querent    
   
Queen of Swords

9 of Disks                 

The Devil
   
             
The Psychological Basis   Karma

5 of Wands

Prince of Swords

Lust
 
Knight of Disks

Ace of Cups

5 of Swords

 

 

This spread is set up to 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 spread particular attention should be payed to a card's exact position in relation to its neighbors. Whether the neighbor cards bear the same energy (suit) determines whether a card is considered well- or ill-dignified. Opposite suits ill-dignify each other, while other suits are considered friendly. Cards of the same suit strengthen each other.

Also it is important to count the cards' tendencies, such as whether there is a lot of one particular suit or number pattern. Patterns reveal special messages. Lots of trumps means higher forces at work, lots of cups means strong emotions, etc.

 

 

 

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 2 cards around it are added to it in order to further comprehend the nature of the topic.

 

 

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.

 

 

 

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 symbolized 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.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your Current Path

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

 

 

 

Prince of Disks

Taurus

The Prince of Disks represents the airy part of Earth, indicating the florescence and fructification of that element. The figure of this Prince is meditiative. 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.

 

 

 

The Priestess

The Moon

Purity is to live only to the Highest; and the Highest is All; be thou as Artemis to Pan. Read thou in the Book of the Law, and break through the veil of the Virgin.

Pure, exalted and gracious influence enters the matter. Hence, change, alternation, increase and decrease, fluctuation. There is, however, a liability to be led away by enthusiasm; one may become "moon-struck" unless careful balance is maintained.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

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 3 cards should be interpretted not as an Alternate Path, but as a chronological extension of the Current Path (also read from left to right).

 

 

 

The Hanged Man

Water

Let not the waters whereon thou journeyest wet thee. And, being come to shore, plant thou the Vine and rejoice without shame.

Enforced sacrifice, punishment, loss, fatal or voluntary, suffering, defeat, failure, death.

 

 

 

The Empress

Venus

This is the Harmony of the Universe, that Love unites the Will to create with the Understanding of that Creation: understand thou thine own Will. Love and let love. Rejoice in every shape of love, and get thy rapture and thy nourishment thereof.

Love, beauty, happiness, pleasure, success, completion, good fortune, graciousness, elegance, luxury, idleness, dissipation debauchery, friendship, gentleness, delight.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Psychological Basis

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

 

 

 

5 of Wands

Saturn in Leo - Strife

This card is referred to Geburah of the suit of Fire. Geburah itself being fiery, it is a purely active force. It is ruled also by Saturn and Leo. Leo shows the element of Fire at its strongest and most balanced. Saturn tends to weigh it down and to embitter it. There is no limit to the scope of this volcanic energy.

The symbol represents the wand of the Chief Adept, showing that the authority is derived from the superiors; were it not so, this card would be thoroughly disastrous. Moreover, there are also two wands of the Second, or Major Adept. They have the head of the Phoenix, which gives the idea of destruction (or rather purgation) through fire, and the resurrection of the energy from its ashes.

 

 

 

Prince of Swords

Aquarius

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.

 

 

Lust

Leo

Mitigate Energy with Love; but let Love devour all things. Worship the name _______, foursquare, mystic, wonderful, and the name of His House 418.

Courage, strength, energy and action, une grande passion; resort to magick, the use of magical power.

 

 

 

Karma

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

 

 

 

Knight of Disks

Virgo

The Knight of Disks represents the fiery part of Earth, and refers in particular to the phenomena of mountains, earthquakes, and gravitation; but it also represents the activity of Earth regarded as the producer of Life. This warrior is short and sturdy in type. He rides through the fertile land; even the distant hills are cultivated fields.

Those whom he symbolizes tend to be dull, heavy and pre-occupied with material things. They are laborious and patient, but would have little intellectual grasp even of matters which concern them most closely. Their success in these is due to instinct, to imitation of Nature. They lack initiative; their fire is the smouldering fire of the process of growth.

 

 

 

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 accord ingly 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.

 

 

 

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.