Sunday, 14 September 2014

Share a Spread Sunday - Umbrae's Relationship Spread

This is an advanced and tricky spread created by Umbrae, of Aeclectic Tarot. Originally shared by Umbrae in 2002, this is a fascinating piece of spreadcrafting, and it deserves to be studied. I've used it for a client and it proves quite illuminating. (The cards in the illustration are from the Daniloff Tarot.)


The spread examines a relationship from the point of view of the sitter (or client), the other person in the relationship, and the relationship itself. The spread is broken down by row and column, and then looked at as a whole.



Row A ('Feels') is concerned with emotional baggage, as Umbrae puts it 'the stuff we drag around with us,' and as such, it is also the past.

Row B ('Needs') is what Umbrae called 'intellectualised emotion', which can also be described as hopes and fears (such as in the Celtic Cross), or as very deep needs that we may not even be consciously aware of. Thus it is also the present.

Row C ('Expects') could be called 'expected outcome', or what the person wants to get from the relationship. It can be seen as the future.

All three of these rows are closely related and should not be read as separate entities but as a unit, just as we ourselves are aggregates of many states.

Column 1 is the 'other person' and Column 2 is the sitter or client. Column 3 (middle column -- numbered Column 3 because it is laid out last) is the relationship itself, which in many ways is its own entity. Card 7 can be seen as the core of the relationship, what it is founded on. Card 8 is what the relationship needs, 9 is what we can expect of the relationship, and the bottom card is the probable outcome of the relationship.

Begin by reading the two outside columns downwards, examining the individuals in the relationship. Them move to the central column, the relationship. The centre cards should not be read by themselves, but should be informed by the two outside columns. It's obvious that the relationship will be deeply affected by the two individuals involved in it!

The final step of interpretation is described by Umbrae and I really must quote:

Step 3, the most difficult and strange. Look at the unit as a whole, not as 10 cards, but as a flow. Look for how the power or love or passion play out. Here's a thought - go to a gallery or museum first. Look at art. Look at some Monets. Not online. Real stuff. Look at all kinds of art. Immerse yourself in art. How does it make you feel? Remember fingerpainting as a child? The feel of the paint between your fingers? That's the flow you want to look at when looking at this spread. Forget meanings. Think art. Think how does it make you feel. 


Umbrae then advises taking off one's glasses, getting up and moving away from the spread until you can't see the detail anymore, and failing that, to look at the spread through a piece of plastic kitchen wrap to blur it. LOL

I dare you to try this spread. Even more so, to try it about your own relationship. Prepare to spend some time on it. Definitely record your findings. Lots of scribbling and pondering with this one.

From my spread notebook 

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