The Tetractys Spread

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BodhiSeed's Avatar
BodhiSeed  BodhiSeed is offline
Join Date: 14 Oct 2004
Location: Under a Sycamore Tree
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The Tetractys Spread

The Tetractys is a triangular figure consisting of ten points arranged in four rows: one, two, three, and four points in each row. As a mystical symbol, it was very important to the followers of the secret worship of the Pythagoreans.


The first row of a single position represents the Premise of the reading, forming a foundation for understanding all the other cards.

The second row of two positions respresents the cosmos and the individual and their relationship.

The Light Card to the right represents the influence of the cosmos leading the individual to an action.
The Dark Card to the left represents the reaction of the cosmos to the actions of the individual.
The third row of three positions represents three kinds of decisions an individual must make.

The Creator Card is rightmost, representing new decisions and directions that may be made.
The Sustainer Card is in the middle, representing decisions to keep balance, and things that should not change.
The Destroyer Card is leftmost, representing old decisions and directions that should not be continued.
The fourth row of four positions represents the four Greek elements.

The Fire card is rightmost, representing dynamic creative force, ambitions, and personal will.
The Air card is to the right middle, representing the mind, thoughts, and strategies toward goals.
The Water card is to the left middle, representing the emotions, feelings, and whims.
The Earth card is leftmost, representing physical realities of day to day living.


Many blessings,
Top   #1
shininglion's Avatar
shininglion  shininglion is offline
Join Date: 11 Sep 2006
Location: Kansas, USA
Posts: 116

This spread covers a lot of very nice "universal" aspects. Individual/Cosmos. Light/Dark/Nuetral. The Four Elements.

To me, this is a very useful "thinking outside the box", spread, that shows those powers in our life that are beyond our reach and we just can't control.

Thanks for bringing this spread to our attention bodhran.

Am I correct in assuming that the order of the cards is this?

Top   #2
irongoddess's Avatar
irongoddess  irongoddess is offline
Join Date: 13 Feb 2008
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 20
Tetraktys spread is my new favorite spread

I just recently discovered this spread and have found it very powerful.

My favorite resource for explaining the spread is here:

By that description, one lays out the spread top to bottom and right to left, all cards face down, and then reads the spread bottom to top and right to left.

I just love the sense of the left side of the spread being in shadow, revealing what is hidden, and the right side of the spread being light, revealing what is visible.
Top   #3
theora's Avatar
theora  theora is offline
Join Date: 24 Oct 2009
Location: California, USA
Posts: 240

I came across this spread (in its bare-bones form) posted on wikipedia, then came here and found this thread. after reading the page irongoddess posted, I tried it out - amazing! this is one of those for serious contemplation, and especially focusing on the relationships among the cards. it's really well thought out.

the link below (originally posted by irongoddess) has a ton of great information, including a symbolic key to the card positions.

great stuff! I'll be thinking on this one for a while.
Top   #4
Glass Owl's Avatar
Glass Owl  Glass Owl is offline
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Glass Owl 

According to Leigh-Ann Andersen at the layout of the cards is like this but I think that what matters is if the layout works for you.

Top   #5

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