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Preface: The Workings of Tarot

Hello, /x/. My name is Thoth !/C7qr/PcE. I have read tarot, and performed divination for /x/ for
nearly three years. This document will serve to exemplify the several of the spreads and techniques I
have created while working with the Tarot, as well as some tips for beginning and experienced users
alike. When I first began creating this document, I was planning to write it as a formal document with
headings, structure, etc etc. I’ve decided against it. I speak much clearer when I speak as though the
reader is sitting in front of me.

First, I want to explain how I feel the tarot works, personally. This part may seem dogmatic,
preachy, or forced. If you find it so, feel free to skip down to the section on the spreads themselves, and
read from there. You won’t miss out.

The tarot is a system devised from an odds-based card drawing system. Put simply, it is left to the
odds (assuming everything is shuffled properly.) So, one may ask, are we telling fortunes and reading
events based on luck? Is that what this amounts to? Some would argue yes, and that we simply find
valuable, psychosocial thoughts that we otherwise would be unaware of by reading these cards. My
idea differs, and, more or less is based on a specific model of time that I subscribe to.

Now, if I were to explain, in complete depth, all of this, it would take several pages’ length. I won’t.
My view on the tarot isn’t wholly important, but I do want the reader to understand by which mental
processes and thoughts I’ve arrived at using the spreads you will find below. I believe mortal time is a
straight line, with branches here and there to represent various possibilities that timeline may take over
its course. This timeline is surrounded by an ever-present sphere, known as “Eternity”. From Eternity’s
viewpoint, everything happening in our linear progression of time can be happening all at once. This
can be reasoned to mean that everything, to a certain degree, is set in stone. The ripple effect of casting
a stone into water, if you will. One can, essentially, view our timeline from any point in this previously
mentioned Eternal area of the Astral. From these observations, one can divine the future, past, alternate
continuities, and etc.

So, this is to say that, if you were to cast a spread to see if you should have dinner at a certain
restaurant, and the 10 of Swords appeared in a certain position in said spread, implying that you should
NOT eat that restaurant, I would be the one to argue that such a card falling in such a position was
“destined” from the beginning of time, and that the odds worked together to bring to the physical plane
signs from the astral/spiritual.
Tarot then, is a tool. It is a tool to feel and interpret the ripples that occur on our very small pond. That
is to say, using the above viewpoint, we can say that whatever card is brought out from this deck has
been meant to do so from the beginning of ordained time. Whether this force that sets the ripples and
manipulates the events is conscious, unconscious; whether it is a living being or simply a function of
the Sacred Geometry of the Universe-- that is not for me to say, nor the realm of this essay.

I’m rambling, though. There are correspondences to this line of thought in the ideas of Kabbalah
and Hermeticism. The concept of the physical, mental, and spiritual spheres. These aren’t subjects to go
into detail on here, and you can find information on such metaphysics readily on Google. Here, I will
attach a model of what I speak of, from my point of view, and move on to other subjects.

The above will make sense to some, to others it will be mindless rambling. This is fine. The way
one views tarot really doesn’t matter; what matters is that Tarot works. It’s a dependable, stable system
of interpretation of the events that surround our everyday lives, and is fluid enough that one doesn’t
even need to think of how it functions to make it function.
For Beginners
One thing I knew that I wanted to put into this guide, was a small section for those looking
into beginning the tarot; who may be too intimidated to pick it up for one reason or another. So, here I
will add a short section for general tips for those looking to learn tarot, and then move on to the spreads
themselves. Those who have been reading for a period of time may find these tips useful as well.

 Do not let over-religious families keep you from pursuing tarot if you truly want to become a
diviner. Tarot cards are easily hidden, easily obtained (bookstores, Amazon, curiosity shops, etc)
and are very affordable.

 The visuals on the card will give away its meaning. Some decks are easier to understand
visually than others, and some decks make traditionally negative cards positive ones. That’s
why it’s important to choose a deck that you vibe with.

 Learn by using large spreads. The Golden Dawn spread is prime for this. Having fifteen cards in
front of you at a time forces you to learn each card, as well as learn how it can change its
meaning based off cards that neighbor/support it. This will also move you out of the neophyte
stage of giving short, three-card readings.

 Do not doubt your intuition. Most of the time, your first take on a reading will be the correct
one. Second guesses will destroy your entire divination process. I once could’ve perfectly
divined a girl I had no knowledge of had a sickly, male twin. I, however, second-guessed the
specificity of such a interpretation, and found out, to my dismay that the first reading was

 Find a deck that you really can bond with. This will be key for your growing process. As you
grow, your interpretation of the deck and its cards will shift and mature, further facilitating great

 There is nothing psychic about tarot reading. You need no special abilities in order to begin
reading cards. Anyone who claims to be psychic by virtue of their tarot abilities is surely not.
And while one can be what we would call psychic, and read tarot also-- one does not have to be
psychic to read tarot, or vice versa. Do you see?

 Always feel free to ask for help. /x/ has a variety of qualified diviners who can help when
you’re stuck on a card’s interpretation, deck recommendations, and other various questions.
For Intermediate Readers
 Try to develop a base in astrology, learn it as much as you can. Some cards have astrological
correspondences, which deepen their meaning.

 Familiarize yourself with numerology, which will deepen the cards’ meaning.

 Familiarize yourself with the Kabbalah. While not all tarot practitioners acknowledge a
connection, some decks will have Kabbalic significators on the cards, and knowing their
meaning will facilitate learning of the Tarot.

 Try branching out into other areas of the occult. Whether it be rune reading, chaos magick,
Hermeticism-- all areas will facilitate growth in your Self and in your understanding of the

 Once you’ve developed a fair understanding of the cards for yourself; dump every meaning out
of your mind, and re-examine them. No booklets, no guides. Just intuitively judge each card by
its own merit. Pay attention to any cues that stand out to you-- visual, astrological,
numerological, Kabbalic. Whatever works for you.
 You will never get 100% accuracy with all of your readings, unless you’re some sort of deity.
Do not be discouraged. There will always be critics.
 Learn to remove your ego and preconceptions from readings. This will greatly help you in your
ability to read yourself. This is one of the most difficult things to accomplish, and I still struggle
with it regularly.

 Never stop learning.

Runes and Tarot
Combining Foreign Systems

Outside of tarot, there is a system of divination using an ancient Norse alphabet,

known as Runemal, or rune casting. Traditionally, it works similar to the casting of lots; the diviner will
reach into a bag of runes, and either choose blindly the runes to lay out, or cast them and judge the
situation based off landing positions. Some will argue this is a modern invention, as we have few
historical records from the geographical areas that these runes originate from; and the ones we do
have are non-specific. While I will not argue one way or another for the historical usage of runes in
divination, I will say this: it is entirely unimportant. A diviner, if skilled enough, can read omens from a
coffee cup; or a leaf falling from a tree. What is important is that great meaning and purpose is behind
the runes, and that makes them a very potent source of divination, as well as other magick.

Now, at this point, one may be asking: Is this not an article on Tarot? Why are runes
here? And the answer is simple. Over the past few months, I have practiced using runes alongside the
tarot to divine further meanings from the cards, and with great success. This has fallen under some
criticism here, some speculation there, and so I will explain how I work this odd combination of
divination. (From here on out, note that “runes” refers to those from the Elder Fuuthark set.)

Runes, compared to the Tarot, are very primal, very naturalistic. If the Tarot were a
garden, the Runes would be a rain forest. This is not to say one is better than the other; it is simply to
say that they have entirely different energies behind the both of them, and so tarot may be better
suited to one purpose while runes are used for another.

So, when I began to learn the Runes, and how to read them, my initial challenge was
that, at face value, they are not as meaning-specific as tarot. I wanted to learn the runes by giving
readings with them, but I could not do it with my conscious weighing on me; that I may have given
readings that were too vague. My hurdle to overcome then, was how to give proper, accurate
readings; while also using the runes as a main feature of the reading. And so I began to lay them over
tarot spreads to signify further meaning for the cards, and to bring their own energies to such

An example is due at this point. A favorite spread of mine for tarot is the Golden Dawn
spread. It consists of fifteen cards, arranged in five sets of three. Each set represents a different
aspect of the querent’s life. I found myself improving upon this spread by laying runes upon the center
card of each set, to describe the tone and atmosphere of the sets they lay above. So, in the end, I had
fifteen cards, five sets, and five runes. And now, a further example.
The reading above is using a spread you will find later in this document. The spread itself is
of little importance here, outside of the final set of three-- where we have the 10 of Swords, supported
by the Moon and the Star. You’ll notice that a rune sits atop the 10 of Swords; this rune is Sowilo,
which represents the Sun. Now, this brings a curious meaning into the reading. What would be an
entirely unproductive final outcome turns into a soft-landing, learning experience. Further, the presence
of all three major astronomical bodies in a single reading is a marvelous sign of great progress, great
meaning behind the undertaking the reading was addressing.

So now, let’s look at it as though no runes were used, and the final outcome instead showed
the Sun, supported by the Moon and Star, with the 10 of Swords absent entirely. One could deduce a
rather confusing situation; where everything turned out fine, but so many elements of darkness and
staleness were still present. It would not read the same as the cards in the picture. Using the runes on
top of the cards allows us to bring out a deeper meaning to everything; so instead of simply having the
Sun next to two signifiers, we have the deeper meaning of what causes the unrest in the situation, along
with a signifier from the runes that shows the hopeful and joyous light of the outcome.
I’ve explained my method of combining the two systems, but how does one even begin to
use the runes for divination? Runes, while growing in popularity for divinatory measures, are mostly
unheard of compared to tarot.

The first thing one needs to do is this: go out, buy yourself a set of runes, and preferably, a
companion book with them. The most recommended book I could bring up would be Edred Thorrson’s
works on the subject. Runecaster’s Handbook in particular, as it focuses mainly on divination using
runes. Thorrson is a pen-name of the author, who has worked on various other books including those of
Hermetic rituals. He’s a damn good writer, and can more aptly state that which I will attempt to teach
you regarding basic rune readings over the next few paragraphs.

After runes have been obtained, familiarize yourself with them. Below, I have copied down
a list of runes along with some basic meanings.

Fehu(fay-hoo)- Prosperity, achieving goals, possessions, community wealth.

Uruz(oo-rooze)- Strengthened will, sexual energy, strength, the aurochs

Thurisaz(Dur-ee-saz)- Aid in study and meditation, self discipline, gateway, giants, demon, Thor

Ansuz(ahn-sooze)- Wise decisions, success, help in magic, signals, divine utterances, Loki

Raido(ride-oh)- Journey, charms, soul after death, protection for travelers, change

Kano(Kah-no)- Opening, torch, aid in study, ancestral power.

Gebo(gay-boe)- Relationships, luck, gifts, offerings to loyal followers

Wunjo(wune-joe)- Joy, destruction of sorrow and pain, success

Hagalaz(Hag-ah-lahz)- Breaking habbits, destructive forces, wrath of nature, disruption

Nauthiz(now-these)- Completion, constraint, lessons, hardships, human sorrow, necessity

Isa(ee-saw)- Standstill, to stop a process, primal form, ice, freezing

Jera(yare-aw)- Fertility, growth, needed change, harvest

Eihwaz(aye-waz)- Defense, avertive powers, profound change, protection

Perth(purth)- Initiation, a secret matter, aid in magic, divination, psychic enhancement

Algiz(all-geeze)- Protection, nature, warding off evil

Sowelu(soe-wee-low)- Energy, success, strength, healing, wholeness, the sun, light

Teiwaz(tee-waz)- Protection, victory, strength, will power, healing, warrior, victory

Berkana(bear-kahn-oh)- Healing of infections, growth, rebirth, fertility

Ehwaz(aye-woh)- Movement, communication, sending spells, power, course of the sun

Mannaz(man-nahz)- Social relationships, group gatherings, the self, human race

Laguz(lah-gooz)- Flow, water, sea, psychic enhancement, revealing secrets, healing the mind

Inguz(ing-gooz)- Growth, health, balance, fertility, heroicness

Dagaz(dahg-ahz)- To bring a positive outcome, awakening, awareness, breakthrough, day,

God’s light, prosperity.

Othila(owe-thee-law)- To complete a project, acquiring land, seperation, heredity, home

Void Rune- Also known as Odin’s Rune, it represents the unknowable(such as the future),
divinity in the heavens, the divinity of man, and emptiness(the void).

After scanning through the meanings above, you may be able to work out how different runes are
from tarot, when it comes to reading them. They have so many contexts, whether it be cultural or
spiritual, that reading them in small sets of three or five doesn’t do them justice unless one is highly
experienced with their work. Though, practicing by doing such is nothing to be ashamed about, and I
openly encourage those new to the runes practice in whatever way they find comfortable.

Once one has developed some basic understanding of the runes’ meanings, they will begin to
perform readings. Typically, the reader will want to keep his/her runes in a small, velvet bag. When
drawing them out for readings, they will move their hand over the runes inside the bag, feeling out the
energy of each of them (if you are wondering HOW you’re supposed to feel said energy, you will
understand when you attempt this). Once one rune in particular sticks to the reader’s fingertips, he will
draw it out and place it in the position accordingly. If lain on their own, runes are to be placed from
right to left, in such a way that a basic rune reading would look like this:
3 <- 2 <- 1.
In the reading structure mentioned above, the first rune would represent the current state of the
querent. The second rune would represent a challenge to be overcome, and the third rune would
represent the way to overcome it.

Runes, altogether, are a very potent way to divine for others and one’s self, and I personally find
it far easier to disconnect my personal bias from the runes, than disconnecting such from the tarot. If
you are drawn to more primal, natural forms of energy, magic, divination, whatever-- then take up the
A question was asked recently, regarding whether or not the runes have correspondences in the
tarot. Thorsson actually has a correspondence chart in the back of his book. Does this mean that the
runes are the parents of the tarot? I don’t believe it matters, in the end; and I believe the answer is no.
Without digressing into historical contexts and discussion, I believe that while the runes may have
tarot cards that resemble them in meaning, such as the Star and Isa; Death and Ihwaz, the Sun and
Sowilo-- I do not believe their meanings match up to a degree where I would say they represent the
exact same meanings and intricacies.

At this point, we’ve come full circle. I will briefly describe the process of using the runes with
tarot, and then move on to other subjects. This section of the Rune essay assumes that you have a basic
knowledge of both the tarot, and the runes. I will list the steps, in order, and that should be enough for a
reader of the document to learn the method, as well as invent their own processes from it. There is a
spread, at the end of the spread sections, that was designed to be used with runes. Use it for practice.
While it is a large spread, when used in combination with the runes, all sorts of details about one’s life
can be determined.

1. Select the tarot spread to be used.

2. Set the cards out accordingly.
3. Decide if you will use a spread for the runes, or if they will simply overly the tarot cards.
4. Place them accordingly.
5. Interpret.

Nothing to it.
The Spreads
This section, obviously, will detail the various spreads I have come up with while working with
the Tarot, and each spread will have a description under it to give any important details regarding its
function. In these spread chats, you will see placements for Norse Runes around the cards, as modifiers.
One using the spreads does not need to use Runes to accompany them, but I traditionally, in my own
work, use them to help divine extra meanings that I may not pick up with the cards. Some may be
opposed to the mixing of the two systems, and that’s fine. However, I’ve had concrete, measurable
results from such, so I will always advocate for those with the time to take up the runes and learn them,
before or after a base in tarot has been establish.

In these spread sheets, the cards and runes will be shown by the following symbols.

The Windmill
For choosing between options.
Cards 1 & 2: The general description/nature of the choice
Cards 3 & 4: A Negative for the choice
Cards 5 & 6: A Positive for the choice
Cards 7 & 8: Underlying motives for following said choice
Cards 9 & 10: Final Outcome of Each Choice
This reading is fluid, in that, if there are more than two choices to be picked from, you can simply increase the number of
sets, laying out the cards according to the same pattern, and go from there, boosting the reading to fifteen cards for three
options, twenty for four, etc. The reader can request that the querent assign a number to each of the options, and keep it
hidden from the reader. In this way, Card 1 and its set will be assigned a specific option in the querents head, that the reader
is unaware of. Once the reading comes out, should the set reflect accurately the option the querent had in mind, it reinforces
the accuracy of the reading.. Further, you can lay three runes out in between the two options, and use the runes present as a
compass to point towards which choice may be more profitable, should both have similar outcomes.

The Window Into Life

For Help With Domestic/Romantic Issues
Card 1: The Early Life
Cards 2 & 3: Aspects surrounding card one.
Card 4: The Recent Past in Domestic Life
Cards 5 & 6: Aspects Surrounding
Card 7: Current Domestic Relations/Conflicts
Card 8: Hidden factor affecting 7
Card 9: Way to make best of situation
Runes can be lain alongside the shoulder card to further divine their meanings. This spread is rather broad, and would
make challenging, but good, exercise for the newbie readers among us. The Early Life and Recent Past Sets can be taken to
show the roots of deep issues that may be affecting the querent and their domestic life. This set can be used for romantic
situations as well, with early life being exchanged for the early era of the relationship; the beginning of it. Cards 2 & 5 can
be taken to have happened earlier in an event timeline, whereas 3 & 6 would happen later.

The Torch of Hecate

For Guidance in All Aspects of Life
General Readings
Card 1: Current State of Querent
Card 2: Near Future Journey/Events
Card 3: Troubles to overcome, either future or present
Card 4: Advice regarding spiritual life
Card 5: Advice regarding psychological/subconscious life
Card 6: Advice regarding mundane/physical life
Runes can be lain out for cards 4, 5, and 6 to further look into their meanings. Those who are comfortable working
with godforms/ spirits can ask Hecate to bless the reading before proceeding with it-- such actions would be most profitable
at night, under a New Moon. I would argue that the spread, while always greatly effective, is best used under a New Moon,
for tradition’s sake. Though, there is nothing wrong with using it as the go-to general query spread, and I encourage it to be
used as such.

Three Realms Spread

Advice For Spell Work
Card 1: The Nature of The Spell Itself

Card 2: Ways in which the spell can backfire

Card 3: What you hope the spell will accomplish
Card 4: The Methodology Behind the Spell (purpose)
Card 5: Unknown/Subconscious influences
Card 6: Ways to improve casting method
Card 7: Final Outcome of Spell
Card 8: Warning signs to watch out for following
Card 9: Positive signal of spell’s effect
Runes, if used, are to be lain over the central card of each set, and further broadcast their meaning. There is a very
large lack of spreads dedicated to helping mages through magickal undertakings, so this spread was borne. The structure of
the spread is based around the model of spirituality that states magick operates on three planes: the spiritual, mental, and
physical (refer to The Kybalion). If picture the spread in a three-dimensional plane, one can view how I structured it.
Similar to the way a cube is drawn, except on three planes instead of two.

The Mortician’s Scale

A Harsh Reflection on a Querent’s Life
General Readings
Cards 1, 2, 3: Current State of Querent’s life
Card 4: Challenges to overcome in Querent’s Life
Card 5: Love in Querent’s Life (how they treat others, how it reflects on them)
Card 6: Materialistic/Earthly Desires Affecting Querent’s Life
Card 7: How Conflict Can Be Overcome via Adjustments in Querent’s Life
Card 8: Unsolved Issues in Querent’s Life
Card 9: Needed Spiritual Growth
Card 10: What they must Accept to progress
Card 11: Further trials they must overcome throughout further life
Card 12: Their greatest/most helpful quality
Card 13: Deadly Vice, Unfortunate Quality of Querent
Runes are meant to be lain on every card aside from 2 and 3. The entire reading is dualistic in nature; the tarot
cards are to be read in a lofty/spiritual way, while the runes are meant to be read in a primal way. In this way, you can get
many meanings, even from a single placement. This is a difficult spread, even for myself, in that it deals with a multitude of
meanings. It can take some time to do. It is a great spread for querents who desire to know about their spiritual progress.

In Closing
This concludes the spreads that will be included in this document. I hope that those who
read this will find them highly useful, and will use them accordingly and frequently. It would be the
highest honor for others to find these spreads worthwhile. Much work was put into the creation of each
spread, and their structure is full of meaning. There are many things I know I have missed in this
document. This article may be updated from time to time with frequent questions I see posted
around /x/ regarding tarot. Check back frequently.
The finishing of this project marks the end of an era for myself, and as such, I will be dropping the
name and tripcode in favor of one which others will be unaware of, so that I may avoid the temptation of ego,
and begin a new project. I will remain on /x/, and in /div/, just without this identity. I appreciate everyone who
has allowed me to perform readings for them through the years-- you have been the source of great growth and
maturation for myself, both spiritually and otherwise. I hope I have been able to help some of you as much as
you have helped me.

Thank you.