Caitlin Matthews offered me this Cygnus Spread as an option for a birthday reading, as yesterday was my birthday. Here's my reading using Caitlin's spread with the Original Rider Waite Tarot:
The cards are laid out from left to right in a line of 7, then card 8 is laid above and card 9 below. The first three cards are the past, fourth card is the 'blessing', last three cards are the future. Card 8 is where you're navigating, and card 9 is how you're steering.
The spread moves in this way: Emperor - 6 of Swords - Ace of Cups - High Priestess - Ace of Swords - 10 of Cups - Strength. I am navigating toward 9 of Cups and steered by 9 of Pentacles.
Something's happened in the recent past to break open my heart, to move me from a place of rulership and dominance to a more vulnerable, open and receptive state. (This process is not finished.) The blessing of this is beginning to learn when to speak, and when to keep still. It is a knowledge that some lucky folk seem to automatically have. Others of us have to acquire the skill through hard practice.
The future holds a decision to create a happy home through this softer approach. On a more mundane level, it denotes the decision to buy a house, and suggests a strong outcome. (Good news!) The Strength card does face in toward the spread, toward the 10 of Cups, suggesting closure and completion of that particular sequence of cards. I hope that means we really will buy a house this year. I am steering toward self-satisfaction, and navigating by my personal definition of 'domestic tranquility'.
I notice that four of the figures in the spread face us, looking square at us, and not at the spread itself. This to me signifies growing self-awareness. I have become aware of my Emperor-like qualities, and more significantly, the vertical line down the middle of the spread consists of forward facing figures: 9 of Cups - High Priestess - 9 of Pentacles. 'Nine heralds change,' as the saying goes, so 'changes in love, family and friends,' and 'changes in money, wealth, means and ends' both stem from the mysterious lady in the centre, who reads from her book of wisdom and plumbs the depth of her insight. I've certainly learned a lot over the last couple of years, and have a lot more to learn, there's no doubt about it. Some things that were secret came to light, and nothing will ever be the same.
If we mirror the cards in the wings of the cygnus, I can see more transitions: from iron rule to interplay, from retreat to joy, from emotionalism to determination.
In summary, my birthday spread confirms where I've come from, the coping strategies I employed that were not very helpful. It suggests I have gained some insight as a result of these experiences, and that the course I now steer is one that may lead to greater happiness and fulfillment. All in all, quite a positive selection of cards.