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Monday, 4 March 2013

A reading using the Golden Dawn spread

Paula T has volunteered to be the guinea pig for my first go at the Golden Dawn spread. And here it is:

 Golden Dawn Spread for Paula T
4th March 2013

Golden Dawn Spread, 7 cards up

Focus of spread: What guidance is there for Paula with regard to her 2013 Year Card, The Hermit?

I shuffled the deck and searched for the Hermit card as card number 1, then laid out the next 14 cards in the shape of the Golden Dawn spread. I turned over cards 1 -2- 3, and the middle card from each 3-card cluster, cards 8 - 9 - 10 - 11.

What is the truth about my current situation?
2-1-3 'The Querent' –Tower, Hermit, 7 of Wands   
The Hermit is caught between Tower and 7 of Wands, which represents both tremendous upheaval and a battle which requires great valour. Whatever is going on within you is very big, important and life-changing.

What must I adapt to or accept?
7-11-15 'Destiny/Karma' (those things that are more or less beyond the control of the querent; this usually reflects past influences on the current situation, as those are usually the sorts of things that can't be undone and have to be adapted to or accepted) Prince of Swords, 2 of Cups, The  Priestess

The 2 of Cups turned over on its own led me to believe that the thing that is unchanging in your life is your relationships, in particular your love partnership. This is good news in most situations. But I wanted to know more, so I turned over the cards on either side of the 2 of Cups, and the message expanded. The thing that must be accepted or adapted to is the spirituality of your loved ones. The image of the Prince of Swords and The Priestess flanking the 2 of Cups makes me think at once of your family and friends, but in particular your partner, being particularly inflexible in areas of spirituality. I believe that The Hermit is going to take you on a journey in which you question or test traditional beliefs; I see in this combination of cards that no amount of debate is going to sway your family or partner or friends to understanding the new revelations or breakthroughs you may make. Be prepared that if you choose to share them, you may be met with resistance.
What is under my control? ie, What can I do or change?
14-10-6 'Psychological basis' (the underlying psychology of the situation; this would usually end up as possible advice or suggestions for change to the current situation)   The Devil, Knight of Wands, 8 of Wands

I turned over Knight of Wands, which of course made me think at once of swift energy and enthusiastic action. The thing that is under your control is, of course, your actions. And the way to approach your actions, according to this card, would be to go with your instincts, be fiery in your enthusiasm. I just had to know more, so I turned over the other two cards and revealed The Devil to the left and 8 of Wands to the right. Both cards reinforce to the central Knight of Wands card. The Knight of Wands in this card is charging right toward the Devil. That sounds scary, but it doesn’t have to be. The Devil is not just about temptation, excess, or consequences. Of course, it can be about those things, but The Devil is also about exploration of  things that we have simply forbidden ourselves. Maybe the things that are forbidden aren’t really so awful. Maybe they’re forbidden out of tradition and nothing more. Maybe what you’ve been told was wrong isn’t really wrong. These cards represent the ‘psychological basis’ for your situation, and the suggest to me that you are doing some deep internal exploration of long-held beliefs. What is right? What is wrong? What is acceptable? What is unacceptable?  Who says? Why should I believe them? What do I really believe? The Devil card shows you may be exploring your beliefs in these new ways, which might feel scary. The Devil card is on the left side, which to me represents outward appearances, so yes, your explorations may appear 'of the Devil' to others. Dangerous, risky patterns of thought or behaviour, they may say. But are they? You will need to decide. And the Knight of Wands makes the suggestion that you not shy away from this important exploration. You should charge right into it. The 8 of Wands, the card of Swiftness, is behind the Knight of Wands, urging him on with great energy.

Golden Dawn Spread, 15 cards up

Where might I be heading?
4-8-12 'Likely outcome' (this might be where the querent is heading if he or she continues on their current path with no change) 3 of Cups, Knight of Disks, 5 of Wands

The middle card, Knight of Disks, is a steadfast soul, dependable, careful, stalwart and true. On his left side, the outside, is the 3 of Cups. On his right side, the inside, is the 5 of Wands. The 3 of Cups is the happiness card, the celebration card, and from the outside, it might very well look like you have every reason to be ‘happy’. But on the inside, there is the 5 of Wands, the card of constant niggling struggles and strife and irritation. The card combination shows me a person who everyone can depend on, whose life seems like it ought to be great, but who has a lot of internal conflict. This is the path you may be headed down if you make no changes at all to your current situation. (Though I have to be honest, the Tower card in position 2 suggests that you would not be able to maintain this stasis forever. This result would have to come down eventually).  

13-9-5 'Possible outcome' (this might be the outcome if the querent takes the advice of the spread, or takes some action of any kind, rather than making no change at all) 2 of Wands, 6 of Wands, Death.

I was delighted to see 6 of Wands in the outcome position, because this was your goal in that previous reading I did for you! The very same card, which I wrote extensively about for you in your last reading. Well, when that card came up, I had to turn over the other two. The 6 of Wands is flanked by 2 of Wands and Death. The victory of the 6 of Wands, that wonderful feeling of triumph and accomplishment, is shored up by the 2 of Wands, which just represents exactly what it looks like, with its two crossed wands, reinforcing and strengthening one another – Dominion, dominance, strength. All you need to do to understand the feeling of the 2 of Wands is make your hands into fists and cross your forearms across your chest like a mighty warrior! And if you want to go ‘Rooooaaaar!’ when you do, I can understand that. Because look who’s battling away to the right side, it’s Mr Death. What could he be cutting down? Old, worn out habits? Old beliefs? The old you? I think so!

Thank you very much for letting me try out my version of the Golden Dawn Spread for the very first time on you. I hope this reading has been helpful to you, and look forward to your feedback. 


  1. Brill, I don't suppose i could volunteer too? :-/

    1. Sorry, Tim, I've closed the offer. But you never know when another one may come along. :)

  2. Wow Carla!
    It may take me a little time to process everything here. Thank you for the free reading and I will give you plenty of feedback soon as I have a little time to think it over! You ended up with all 15 cards turned up. Do you feel like you could lay out the spread and stick to 5 cards. I think because they are all laid out the temptation to turn them over would be so great that it would be almost impossible to not look at them, or were you experimenting with the center card only and making sure that your instincts with the center cards were backed up by the other 2?

    1. You're right, the temptation to turn them over was too great! For the most part, the outer cards reinforced the centre card, but in some cases, expanded the interpretation a great deal. If I wanted to keep the card count down, I would have to simply not lay them all out, I feel.

      On the other hand, I didn't expand as thoroughly here as I would have done had I been charging £75 for interpretation of each separate card. But still, knowing that this was a freebie made me feel free to synthesize cards rather than go into great detail about each one. Also, I have come to see from this experiment that the 3-card clusters seem to need to be read as a whole, rather than having one or more paragraphs devoted to each single card, as I tend to do in my readings.

      I think if I had stuck to 7 cards, would carry the same messages, for sure.

      Lots to think about with this spread. It was fun to do. I look forward to your feedback!

  3. This was a lovely, powerful reading. I agree with Paula, though, that I don't think you could ever resist the temptation to just take a peek at the hidden cards - I certainly couldn't! :) Interesting to try synthesising the cards, rather than reading them individually. This actually tempts me to try this spread, though I normally prefer my readings short and sweet ;)

  4. My apologies that posting feedback has taken a few days! I want to start by saying that the Golden Dawn Spread was able to offer up much for me to think about and consider. It seems to me, the combination of the three cards gives the querent a significantly deeper look at a situation, and because of the interplay of three cards being considered together I think the interpretation should be carefully explored.

    The Golden Dawn Spread was indeed a powerful reading and I can't say I was very shocked by it. I have been experiencing some upheaval or at the very least changes in my life. The first three cards addressed the question, "What is the truth about my current situation." Carla chose to lay the Hermit in the first card position because I asked her to provide information about the Hermit being my card for the year. I believe the combination of cards 2-1-3 and the interpretation of this combination as big, important and life-changing is completely accurate.

    The next question was "What must I adapt to or accept?" Those things that are more or less beyond my control or Karma were addressed here. Cards 7-11-15 were drawn: Prince of swords, 2 of Cups, and the Priestess. No doubt about it…. A family issue exists. Words that Carla used in her interpretation like inflexible, tradition, revelation, and resistance would all be words I would use to describe how this family issue feels much of the time.

    "What is under my control or what can I do or change?" Cards 14-10-6 were drawn: the Devil, Knight of Wands, 8 of Wands. As I understand, this is where the underlying psychology of the situation exists and also where "I" might find some advice or suggestion from the reading. Surely, everyone can see a lot of energy here. My actions, and beliefs are central to these cards. I am extremely amazed at how closely every card nailed it!!!!

    Now the one thing that makes this particular spread so interesting to me is 2 different "outcomes" are really addressed. The spread suggest that remaining static or continuing on your current path will lead to the likely outcome in cards (4-8-12) but that taking the advice of the spread and making those changes could lead to the possible outcome of cards (13-9-5). Giving the querent so much to reflect on or contemplate.

    I think the Golden Dawn Spread is a great option for someone who is facing a major decision or change. However, I also think it is a quite a complex reading and that having a skilled reader provide an informative and useful interpretation can lead to a greater understanding of the situation and the choices available.

    Thank you Carla for your time and skills! You are very generous and thoughtful. And I have a lot to think about! Best Wishes  Paula

    1. Thank you, Paula, for your generous and detailed feedback! I'm really glad you found so much food for thought in the spread. Hugs. :)

  5. Carla, Thank you for sharing this. I look forward to trying this out for myself. May even use my Tarot Year card as the center card as you did here with Paula's reading. I had the Hermit last year, now geared up to go round and round with the Wheel of Fortune. :)