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Melanchollic's "Simple Cross" Spread


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Melanchollic  Melanchollic is offline
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Melanchollic 
Melanchollic's "Simple Cross" Spread


I present for your divination pleasure some of my methods for, and reflections on the Tirage en Croix, or the Simple Cross Spread, as I call her.

This is one of the two spreads I have used and pondered exclusively for the last 15 years or so.

The beauty of this spread is her modesty. So seemingly simple, yet she veils great depth. I never bore of her, and she always reveals a new side to herself as my understanding of her increases. She is a masterful lover who accommodates herself to the your needs, yet she is never artificial or pretentious. She is always herself. She can be general and yet unbelievably exact in divination. She is flexible, despite her 'boxy' shape. I have researched the methods of all the 'big name' practitioners of the simple cross; Stanislas de Guaita, Papus, Wirth, Marteau, Hades, Hadar, learned every popular variation, and distilled my own approach, but still, I feel I am just scratching the surface of her profundity.

More to come...
Top   #1
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Verdi  Verdi is offline
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Verdi 

Hi Melancholic!
Unfortunatly I'm not sure i get this spread and its so nice of you to share. Could you be more specific?
Verdi
Opps, just saw more to come......
Top   #2
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Bernice  Bernice is offline
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Bernice 
The Spread.


Verdi said:
Quote:
Opps, just saw more to come......
Snap! Hopefully it will be the spread. Sounds comprehensive.

Bee
Top   #3
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Melanchollic  Melanchollic is offline
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Melanchollic 
A Little Background


The Tirage en Croix is a four card spread, the cards layed in a cross, that is considered by many, including Alejandro Jodorowsky and Kris Hadar, to be the first spread/method one should master. The spread traditionally uses only the 22 Trump cards (Major Arcana).


..........3..........
......................
......................
1.......(5)........2
......................
......................
..........4..........


The basic layout has not altered in over one-hundred years, though the meanings of the specific positions have several differing interpretations. Some users add a fifth card as a synthesis, or overview.

The Tirage en Croix Spread, as Stanislas de Guaita first presented it dates from around 1870. This was the version used by Oswald Wirth.


Philippe d'Encause (Papus) published his cross spread in 1889. It is a rather unorthodox version of the Tirage en Croix:


..........4..........
......................
......I......II......
1...................3
.........III.........
.....................
..........2.........


The Arabic numerals are minors, and the Roman numerals are majors.


A.E. Waite first presented the Celtic Cross Spread in 1910 in his book The Pictorial Key to the Tarot. I would assume Waite's cross is derived from the older French cross. One thing I like about Waite's Cross Spread, is how the order of card placement mimics the Sign of the Cross gesture done by Christians (Although oddly abandoned by the Reformist Protestants). It is a powerful mystical gesture.

Paul Marteau published in 1947, the first version of the spread that included a fifth center card. This card, which is usually seen as a 'synthesis' of the other four cards, is obtained by adding the numerical value of the first four cards to obtain the number of the fifth card.

In the year 2000, Kris Hadar published in French, the first book devoted exclusively to this spread, Le Tirage en Croix du Tarot. It has 535 pages!
Top   #4
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Melanchollic  Melanchollic is offline
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Melanchollic 
The Basics


René Guénon on the meaning of symbol:

"A further consequence of this law of correspondence is the plurality of meaning contained in every symbol. Anything and everything can in fact be regarded as representing not only the metaphysical principles, but also realities of all orders higher than its own, even if still contingent, for these realities, on which it also more or less directly depends, play the part of 'secondary causes' in respect of it; likewise, the effect can always be taken as a symbol of the cause, at any level whatsoever, because it is nothing more than the expression of something inherent in the nature of that cause. These multiple and hierarchically superimposed symbolical meanings are not in any way mutually exclusive. On the contrary, they are perfectly concordant because they express the applications of one and the same principle to different orders; thus they complete and corroborate one another, while being integrated in the harmony of the total synthesis."1


The cross is one of the oldest and riches symbols in the world, and is found in every culture. We won't go into all the possible symbolic meanings of the cross, as they are many, but a few relevant ones for this spread.

Two lines crossed. Simple enough. The core idea is of course, duality. It is believed that the earliest crosses symbolized sexual penetration.

...... Male .....
.....(Active)....
.........O.........
.........O.........
...OOOOOOO... Female (Passive)
.........O........
.........V........



This idea led to the idea of active/passive, and eventually to a celestial active/passive idea, namely heaven and earth, or 'macrocosm' and 'microcosm'.

.....Heaven.....
...(Celestial)...
.........O.........
.........O.........
...OOOOOOO... Earth (Mundane)
.........O........
.........O........



This is the first polarity. A second polarity is made within each line - the two ends. Polarities within polarities. The vertical axis takes on the original polarity - heaven and earth. The horizontal axis traditionally was seen as the male/female polarity within the mundane plane. The alchemists would have seen this as a duality which blocks the ascent from the mundane to the celestial, and it was the goal of the alchemist to transcend this duality.


.....Heaven.....
...(Celestial)...
.........O.........
.........O.........
...OOOOOOO... The Duality of the World
.........O........
.........O........
Earth (Mundane)


The point of heaven, the sky, would predictably represent the element of Air. The Earth represents the element of Earth. The mundane duality of male/female was symbolized by the Sun and Moon, often represented as a King and Queen. Empedocles associated each element with a god. "Hera rules the fruitful earth, he wrote. "Hades the central fire, Zeus the luminescent air, and Persephone the mollifying water." A similar archetypal arrangement can be seen in the tarot trumps. The Pope as the Sky Father and Elemental Air. In medieval astrological illustrations, Jupiter (Zeus) is often shown as a Pope. The Papessa is the Earth Mother, Hera. The Emperor is Hades, ruling Fire, and the Empress is his queen Persephone, her tears - Water.

In two simple lines is expressed a symbol pregnant with potential - the intersection of 'macrocosm' and 'microcosm' and the subtle interplay of the Divine penetrating into our mundane world.

The traditional placement of the cards in the Tirage en Croix supports this analogy - (1) Fire, (2) Water, (3) Air, (4) Earth. This also matches the elemental arrangement on the cross of the Golden Dawn, though that was not an influence on my theories.

.............V................
............Air...............
.............O................
IIII.........O..........III...
Fire..OOOOOOO..Water
.............O................
.............O................
..........Earth..............
.............II................



Central to the understanding of the cross symbolism is this idea from an anonymously written medieval text, A Hundred Aphorisms Containing the Whole Body of Magic:

"SOUL generates BODY and SPIRIT is the mean between them."

To the magus or alchemist of the time this would mean -

Soul=Fire=Sulfur (Soul Fire) (Card #1)
Body=Water=Salt (Card #2)
Spirit=Air=Mercury (Card #3)

or, for our needs -

'Card #1' generates 'Card #2' and 'Card #3' is the mean between them...

We'll go deeper into this idea when we get around to the actual method of the spread itself...





____________________________________________






1. Guénon, René. The Symbolism of the Cross. Trans. Angus Macnab. Hillsdale: Sophia Perennis, 1931.
Top   #5
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Melanchollic 
Elemental Dignities Part I


Use of Elemental Dignities plays an important role in the method of judgement in this spread, so a little background may be helpful.

John Opsopaus writes,

"If we want to understand the Elements as spiritual entities, we must go deeper than metaphors based on material substances; we must grasp their essences. This was first accomplished by Aristotle in the century following Empedocles, who based his analysis on the four Powers (Dunameis) or Qualities, which were probably first enumerated by Empedocles. This double pair of opponent Powers, Warm versus Cool and Dry versus Moist, are the key to a deeper understanding of the Elements. Like the Elements, they must be understood as spiritual forces rather than material qualities (warm, cold, dry, moist)."

The names of the classical elements, Fire, Air, Water, Earth are not literally describing actual fire, air, water. earth, but certain metaphysical qualities, which from the time of the ancient Greeks have described specific tendencies in the way energies operate in the cosmos, and how these energies manifest in the mundane world. When these tendencies are clearly grasped, one truly becomes like Neo in the film The Matrix, and can clearly see how reality is operating on a very deep level.

John Opsopaus’ essay, The Ancient Greek Esoteric Doctrine of the Elements is an excellent introduction to the four elements.

http://www.cs.utk.edu/~mclennan/BA/AGEDE/index.html


Understand the elements, not as nouns, but as ADJECTIVES or ADVERBS. The absolute best way to start understanding the elements is by looking at the traditional attributes of reaction time and duration.


Elemental Fire has a fast reaction time, and long duration.
Elemental Air has a fast reaction time, and short duration.
Elemental Water has a slow reaction time, and a short duration.
Elemental Earth has a slow reaction time, and a long duration.


As every action that could possibly occur is subject to a measure of time to assert itself, and to a measure of time in its continuation, all phenomenon is subject to theses four characteristic or combinations there of.


In Elemental Fire, the fast reaction time is manifested as impulsiveness, decisiveness, quickness to anger, and mental quickness at grasping ideas. The long duration manifests as vindictiveness, ability to see those quick decision through, a sense of pride and honor, and a need to control.

In Elemental Air, the fast reaction time is manifested also as impulsiveness, quickness at grasping ideas, enthusiasm and wit. The short duration means that air becomes bored easily, and is fickle and restless.

In Elemental Water, the slow reaction time manifests as calmness, frugality, and indecisiveness. The short duration makes water lazy, timid, hesitant and unambitious.

In Elemental Earth, the slow reaction time manifests as cautiousness, indecision, irresolution and being withdrawn. The long duration makes earth introspective, deep, penetrating, unforgiving, with a tendency to dwell in the past.

Nursed for 2500 years by some of the worlds greatest thinkers, the simple elegant brilliance of the elemental system starts on the metaphysical level, explaining how the energies behind everything operate; expanding, contracting, separating, uniting. It builds outward, taking in every possible phenomenon in creation. If you understand how the energies of each element can operate on all the possible levels, in every possible manifestation, and in every possible situation, and if you can, through the law of correspondences, correctly relate these energies to the cards, then correctly interpret them, you have a symbolic system that is both all encompassing, and amazingly precise.


More to come...
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firecatpickles 
Tarot de la réa Spread


I meant to post this earlier & couldn't find it.
Attached Images
 
Top   #7
rcb30872  rcb30872 is offline
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rcb30872 

Thanks kilts_knave, just had a quick peak. Makes a lot of sense.



Bec
Top   #8
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Melanchollic 
Elemental Dignities Part II


Here are the elemental correspondences I use. I include them here since I'll be using them for examples of the method later on. The pattern is based on the CRVX CVBIS XXII. In actual practice you can use any system you prefer.


Red = Fire
Yellow = Air
Blue = Water
Green = Earth
White = Quintessence




...........................F.........................
................16................6.................
.......15.............5/20...............7......
14.........4/19.....1/21......3/18..........8
......13..............2/17...............9......
...............12.................10..............
.........................11.........................
Top   #9
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Melanchollic  Melanchollic is offline
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Melanchollic 
Elemental Dignities Part III


Above (post #5) we saw the natural (or neutral) placement of the four classical elements on the cross.



................Air.................
.................O..................
.................O..................
Fire.....OOOOOOO....Water
.................O..................
.................O..................
..............Earth................





This is important, as it suggests the function and meaning of the four positions, which are supported by, and in turn support the symbolic meanings suggested by the geometric symbolism inherent in the cross figure. Heaven over Earth, crossed by the mundane duality of Fire and Water (Yin and Yang). This sort of perfect mutual harmony of separate symbolic 'angles' recalls our ancestor's poetic vision of a divinely inspired, mathematically precise, and interconnected cosmos, and opens our minds to the cutting edge theories of quantum physics and thinkers like Ken Wilber.

(Note: Although the natural rotation of the elements is Fire>>Air>>Water>>Earth, the most common association to Number is actually ONE=Fire... TWO=Water... THREE=Air... FOUR=Earth... The Tirage en Croix quite cleverly preserves BOTH the pattern of natural rotation, and the numerological implications. Stanislas de Guaita was certainly on the ball the day he thought this spread up!!)

Secondly, and essential to the method, we have established the inherent direction in which the elements are rotating in this model - CLOCKWISE.
Top   #10

 

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