An Example Reading with the Personalized Astrological Spread

I performed a reading with the personalized astrological spread I described in my last post. The question was “How will our planned cross-State household relocation go this Summer?” I used the Thoth deck for the house/sign template and the Liber T, Tarot of Stars Eternal as the reading deck.

My Significator, the Knight of Cups, showed up in the 11th House pack, which in my Equal House chart is occupied by Virgo but in my “official” Placidus chart begins at 10° of Libra. One important goal of our move is to expand our social horizons and have considerably more public contact, a decidedly 11th House objective that has more in common with Libra than Virgo. I read the Virgo connection as showing that this is predicated on successfully uprooting our current domestic arrangement and replanting it in a more favorable social climate.

All images © U.S. Games Systems, Inc, Stamford, CT and Lo Scarabeo, Torino, Italy

I set up the Significator’s pack in a circle with the Knight of Cups at the top. (You can ignore that fact that I mistakenly got the 5 of Cups and 6 of Cups reversed; it wasn’t intended and won’t be read that way.) The Knight of Cups faces to the right, so I counted “4” in that direction per the Golden Dawn instructions and landed on the 8 of Wands, titled “Swiftness” and associated with Mercury in Sagittarius, which suggests that haste is of the essence if we hope to meet our self-imposed deadline. Counting “8” from the 8 of Wands (note that the count always continues in the original direction, and begins with and includes the last card you landed on), I came to the Prince of Swords. I’m going to have to get tough with myself and really “get crackin'” for the same reason, since that Knight of Cups can be more than a little lackadaisical. Counting “4” from the Prince of Swords brought me to the Sun, an excellent harbinger for success (and in the bright, sunny summertime too). Counting “9” from the Sun, which is a “planetary” trump, I arrived back at the already-counted 8 of Wands, which ends the sequence. Since the ending card isn’t read twice, the outcome of the reading in this case was the Sun.


The preliminary “story” in this reading is therefore framed by the Knight of Cups (me), the 8 of Wands, the Prince of Swords and the Sun. I need to recognize the need for urgency, get out the whip and drive onward toward a glorious new dawn. The Golden Dawn often used the phrase “success after effort,” which I think perfectly summarizes the situation here.


The first pairing step resulted in the 6 of Cups matched with the Sun. In the Thoth deck, the 6 of Cups corresponds to the Sun in Scorpio and is titled “Pleasure;” Crowley calls it “one of the best cards in the deck,” as is the Sun card itself. It looks like nothing is standing in our way once things gets rolling. The second pair was the Prince of Swords and the 5 of Cups, related to Mars in Scorpio and titled “Disappointment.” I believe this combination is saying that I must mentally “slay the beast of remorse” that attends giving up our home of the last 38 years and starting over from scratch. With the RWS version of the 5 of Cups, I often advise querents to “take the best and leave the rest.” The 8 of Wands was unpaired, and according to Christopher Hyatt in Israel Regardie’s The Complete Golden Dawn System of Magic, cards without mates are to be treated as “footnotes” to the reading. In this case, the 8 of Wands emphasizes the importance of haste as the keynote of the entire narrative.


This was a highly instructive exercise that also happened to reveal a happy ending. It didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know about the urgency, just sort of “rubbed my nose in it.” I would not have expected less from the cards.

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