Elemental Pentagram Spreads: An Esoteric Tarot Variation

The 5-card “Pentagram” spread is a time-honored layout that is almost as ubiquitous as the common line spread. But I have always felt that something is lacking in its construction, principally in the sequencing of the cards as commonly dealt. 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 about 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 solemn 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 psychic protection you use for other ethereal work. If you aren’t versed in working with discarnate entities, 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 subtle planes of existence via the personal subconscious, you’re already there and know how to cope.)

Public-Domain Clip-Art

Here is a primer on the subject of elemental — or nature — spirits:

https://www.summitlighthouse.org/elementals-nature-spirits/

Here is an overview of my proposed methods:

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 a creative endeavor of any kind. It begins on the moral “high ground” of principled aspiration (Spirit), moves toward self-actualization (Fire), then into a dispassionate critique of the resulting acts of fruition (Air) and their emotional (Water) and practical (Earth) consequences; this can be an “act first, think later” sequence. Its objective is to query the “spirit of industry.”

Copyright 2018, Parsifal’s Wheel Tarot & Astrology

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. It begins with the “ideal” of harmonious communion (Air), moves unerringly toward emotional fulfillment (Water), then cross-examines itself in pragmatic (Earth), ethical (Spirit) and instinctual (Fire) terms. Its objective is to query the “spirit of love.”

Copyright 2018, Parsifal’s Wheel Tarot & Astrology

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. It begins with an emotional urge to clarify one’s feelings on a subject of interest (Water); crystallizes that impulse into workable ideas (Air); acts creatively on those thought-forms (Fire); tests the ethical and moral legitimacy of such actions (Spirit); and experiences the practical outfall of the evolving chain of events (Earth). Its objective is to tap the “spirit of inquiry.”

Copyright 2018, Parsifal’s Wheel Tarot & Astrology

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. It begins with an elevated sense of purpose (Spirit), immediately takes root (or, alternatively, becomes mired) in prosaic pursuits (Earth), then weighs the emotional (Water) and intellectual (Air) costs of one’s ambitions before taking action to either mobilize or extricate oneself (Fire). Its objective is to query the “spirit of prosperity and abundance.”

Copyright 2018, Parsifal’s Wheel Tarot & Astrology

I’ve been involved in the esoteric arts since 1972, with a primary interest in tarot and astrology. See my previous work at www.parsifalswheeldivination.com.

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