The Proverbial “Spaniard:” An I Ching/Tarot Reading Attempt

John Lennon once wrote a book called A Spaniard in the Works. Its title appears to have been a puckish allusion to the British expression for an unforeseen problem: “a spanner in the works.”

As it turned out when I attempted to use this spread, my memory was faulty. Not all of the Thoth Minor Arcana have I Ching correspondences in The Book of Thoth (and the 777 tables were no help either), so I went to the Haindl deck, which has hexagrams on all small cards from the Two to the Ten. But then I found that two of the three hexagrams I cast had no associations in either deck, mainly because there are 64 hexagrams and only 40 small cards. I went looking for a table on-line to tie it all together, and instead of a Thoth cross-reference I found this alternative system, which brings trump and court cards into the mix. I haven’t closely examined the rationale for the assignments, but it’s probably as good a system as any for experimentation.

I have extracted the interactive table I intend to use.

I The Magician

1. The Creative
Асе of Wands

2. The Receptive
Асе of Swords

31. Influence
Асе of Cups

32. Duration
Асе of Pentacles

II The High Priestess

3. Difficulty at the Beginning
Two of Cups

4. Youthful Folly
Two of Pentacles

33. Retreat
Two of Swords

34. The Power of the Great
Two of Wands

III The Empress

5. Waiting
Three of Cups

6. Conflict
Three of Swords

35. Progress
Three of Wands

36. Darkening of the Light
Three of Pentacles

IV The Emperor

7. The Army
Four of Swords

8. Holding Together
Four of Pentacles

37. The Family
Four of Wands

38. Opposition
Four of Cups

V  The Hierophant

9. The Taming Power of the Small
Five of Cups

10. Treading
Five of Pentacles

39. Obstruction
Five of Wands

40. Deliverance
Five of Swords

VI The Lovers

11. Peace
Six of Cups

12. Standstill
Six of Swords

41. Decrease
Six of Wands

42. Increase
Six of Pentacles

VII The Chariot

13. Fellowship with Men
Seven of Swords

14. Possession in Great Measure
Seven of Cups

43. Break-through
Seven of Wands

44. Coming to Meet
Seven of Pentacles

VIII (XI) Justice

15.  Modesty
Eight of Swords

16. Enthusiasm
Eight of Wands

45. Gathering Together
Eight of Pentacles

46. Pushing Upward
Eight of Cups

IX The Hermit

17. Following
Nine of Pentacles

18. Work on What Has Been Spoiled
Nine of Swords

47. Oppression
Nine of Wands

48. The Well
Nine of Cups

X Wheel of Fortune

19. Approach
Ten of Pentacles

20. Contemplation
Ten of Cups

49. Revolution
Ten of Wands

50. The Caldron
Ten of Swords

King of Wands

21. Biting Through
 XI (VIII) Strength

22. Grace
King of Pentacles

51. The Arousing
King of Swords

52. Keeping still, mountain
King of Cups

Queen of Cups

23. Splitting Apart
XII The Hanged Man

24. Return
Queen of Swords

53. Development
Queen of Wands

54. The Marrying Maiden
Queen of Pentacles

Knight of Swords

25. Innocence
XIII Death

26. The Taming Power of the Great
Knight of Cups

55. Abundance
Knight of Pentacles

56. The Wanderer
Knight of Wands

Page of Pentacles

27. Corners of the Mouth
XIV Temperance

28. Preponderance of the Great 
Page of Wands

57. The Gentle
Page of Swords

58. The Joyous, Lake
Page of Cups

29. The Abysmal
XV The Devil

30. The Clinging, Fire
XVII The Star

59. Dispersion
XVI The Tower

60. Limitation
XVIII The Moon

61. Inner Truth
XIX The Sun

62. Preponderance
XXI (0) The Fool

63. After Completion
XX Judgement

64. Before Completion
XXII (XXI) The World

Clicking on the links reveals that the author used the RWS cards for his associations, which I think may be useful for my purpose since it breaks the connection between the incomplete Book of Thoth references and the I Ching. Unless I come across a more complete index for the Thoth deck, I will be running with this one, opening up the possibility of using other decks. I will probably augment the RWS-style decks with the Thoth-based Haindl when there is an I Ching cross-tie between them. An example reading will be forthcoming in a future post.

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