The 5-card Pentagram Spread is a time-honored layout that is almost as prevalent as the line spread. But I have always felt that something is lacking in its construction, principally in the sequencing of the cards as commonly practiced. Many readers start with Card #1 at the upper point of the diagram, others work from left-to-right, but the direction of movement between positions strikes me as rather arbitrary. There doesn’t seem to be any agreed-upon rhyme or reason to the progression of cards in a reading.
In casting around for a reasonable working model to bring some order to the apparent chaos, I hit upon the elemental “Invoking Pentagrams” of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Although their purpose is to summon spiritual entities of the appropriate element in the performance of ceremonial magic, I figured it would be worth looking at whether they might be useful for querying those same spirits for advice via the cards. Since elemental spirits are notably capricious, it may be advisable to apply whatever method of grounding or protection you use for other astral work. If you aren’t versed in working with spirits, it might be best to gain some knowledge and experience before diving into this. (On the other hand, if you presently believe that all insights obtained via the cards are channeled from the astral plane via the subconscious, you’re already there and know how to cope.)
Here is a primer on the subject of elemental – or nature – spirits:
Here is a brief overview of my agenda:
Elemental Pentagram Spreads in Brief
Pentagram of Fire Spread: The goal of this spread is to examine the developmental potential arising from one’s enterprise and initiative, whether in starting a business, finding a new job or embarking on any creative endeavor. Its objective is to query the “spirit of industry.”
Pentagram of Water Spread: This spread is intended for situations where relationship matters are uppermost in the querent’s mind. Such would be anything to do with achieving emotional satisfaction: seeking a partner; solidifying a current connection; recovering momentum in a stalled one; etc. Its objective is to query the “spirit of love.”
Pentagram of Air Spread: This spread is intended for situations where mental exigencies are uppermost in the querent’s mind. Such would be anything to do with problem-solving; planning; brainstorming; researching; negotiating; etc. Its objective is to tap the “spirit of inquiry.”
Pentagram of Earth Spread: This spread is intended for use in any situation involving material considerations like income, investments, property, security, physical well-being, etc. The potential for attaining wealth or avoiding poverty are two obvious applications, but any type of mundane purpose is fair game. Its objective is to query the “spirit of prosperity and abundance.”
My first attempt at this approach is the Pentagram of Earth spread. I will post the other three elemental spread designs as soon as I finish them.