I designed this spread in 1988, and wanted a spread that would use a lot of cards. Due to using 26 and looking something like a lantern, I gave it the name "Lantern 26."
I'd call it a past/present/future type of spread, except that it offers up quite a bit of detail.
Step 1: Card #1 is the revelation of the querent. Interpret the card's meaning based upon the following factors:
- The meaning of the card.
- The nature of the question in relation to the subject.
- The interpretation of cards #2 and #3 and how they affect card #1.
Form a summary of the above in how they relate to the answer to the question, in the above context.
Step 2: Interpret card #4. Earth's power is the second strongest elemental power that can affect the querent. This card impacts the stability of the situation in question. When interpreting this card, always use a strong defined meaning.
Interpret card #5. The power of Air is also strong, and counters, balances out or boosts the power of Earth. When interpreting this card, always use a strong defined meaning.
Prepare your summary of these effects.
Step 3: Interpret the sixth card. This is the power of Fire. It is the strongest to affect the querent, reprensenting the darker nature of the situation in question (worries, fears, etc.)
Interpret the seventh card. This is the power of Water. The power of Water modifies the effect of Fire's power.
Prepare a summary of the effect.
Step 4: Interpret cards 8,9, & 10. These represent the querent in the past. Use all three in your summary of the life of the querent in the past as it may relate to these cards.
Step 5: Interpret the following groups of cards: 11-13, and 14-16 from left to right. Each of these three card groups represents a potential path for the querent in the future. Summarize the paths obtained from these grouped cards.
Step 6: Interpret cards 17-19 from left to right. These represent the forces beyond the querent's control. Use the divination obtained so far as an additional factor when summarizing the effect of this group of cards.
Step 7: Interpret cards 20 and 22. These are the North and South Winds. These counteract or complement each other. The effect of the North and South Winds are indirect, affecting more of the environment around the querent, rather than upon the querent directly. Summarize the effects or lack thereof upon the environment around the querent.
Step 8: Interpret cards 21 and 23. These are the East and West Winds. These counteract or complement each other. The effect of the East and West Winds is indirect, and affect the stability of the querent's path. Summarize the effects or lack thereof upon the stability of the querent's path.
Step 9: Interpret cards 24,25 and 26. These represent the world in relation to the querent. Include in your interpretation the interpretation of cards 20 and 22. Summarize the world of the querent and its effects.
Step 10: Summarize the overall reading and how it relates to the querent.
I've used this spread many times over the years, and have always got readings that took at least a page or two to write down.
I've only shared it with a couple of people up until now. Enjoy and feel free to spread it to tarot spread archives.