Dynamic Hexagramme Spread


Preamble ___________________________

I had a quick look through the rather incredible spreads index started by Alissa and maintained by Moonbow* to see if anyone else had suggested or proposed a spread such as the one that follows, and did not find any.

I would presume that this spread may be listed under 'I-Ching' - though in the sense I intend it, it is not related to the I-Ching per se, but rather utilises an aspect of its hexagrammes: its 'dynamic' aspect, if I can call it that.

For those familiar with the I-Ching, I do not here propose any 'moving' lines. In fact, I do not propose any 'lines' at all, but rather simply six positions, from left to right. The similarity to the I-Ching will be obvious to those who use its 'invisible' trigrams.

The Spread ___________________________

 _______       _______       _______       _______       _______       _______
|       |     |       |     |       |     |       |     |       |     |       |
|       |     |   [color=chartreuse]A[/color]   |     |   [color=chartreuse]B[/color]   |     |   [color=chartreuse]C[/color]   |     |       |     |       |
| [color=chartreuse]Open[/color]  |     |       |     |       |     |       |     |       |     | [color=chartreuse]Close[/color] |
|       |     |       |     |   [color=chartreuse]D[/color]   |     |   [color=chartreuse]E[/color]   |     |   [color=chartreuse]F[/color]   |     |       |
|_______|     |_______|     |_______|     |_______|     |_______|     |_______|

 [color=orange]1             2             3             4             5             6[/color]

The Reading ___________________________

Once the cards are layed six-in-a-line they may be read in the following manner

Opening Card
The opening card (card 1) gives what is present as an underlying impulse in the situation at hand, whether this be a relationship, a work situation, or whatever it is the reading is about.

It may also indicate what the reading is actually about in cases where either there is no specified question, or where the ensuing reading seems to address other than the supposed question.

Central cards (2, 3, 4, 5)
Cards 2 and 3 can first be looked at as part 'clarification' cards for card 1.

Then, the situation at hand is described as it manifests in ABC (cards 2, 3 and 4). This is basically a three card reading which may be show forth various pertinent aspects (financial, physical effort, psychological, etc).

The situation is of course never static, but in a permanent state of transformation. This is what DEF (cards 3, 4 and 5) now show as a 'new' three card reading.

The suggestion sees the sequence ABC transformed to DEF.

Closing card (6)
The Closing card (6) gives an indication for the manner in which the future pulls the situation into its sphere. Again, here, cards 4 and 5 can be looked at as clarification cards for the final or closing.

Wheels within wheels ___________________________

In a nutshell, the six-card spread has the dynamic virtue of the manner in which an I-Ching Hexagramme may be read. Here, what is the basic pattern are repeated 3-fold readings:
  • firstly as Opening -> 2, 3, 4, 5 (as a group) -> Closing;
  • secondly as the convergence of impulses from the past (1, 2, 3) meeting impulses from the future (4, 5, 6);
  • thirdly, as the manner in which the situation ABC is in the process of transformation to its new state DEF; and
  • finally (for now), the way in which this situation (ABC -> DEF) has its two forces playing in from the opening and closing cards.

Some further remarks ___________________________

I personally do not advocate a strict position='specified meaning' type reading, so the above is to be read, if taken as intended (of course anyone adopting it will transform it to their own preferred style), as dynamic and very much influenced and re-worked according to the specific cards layed out, and as to whether or not other mitigating factors (such as the preponderance of a particular suit, or figures, or colour, etc) play into the layout.

Coming up offer _____________________________________________________

In a few weeks (for the weekend of the 20th of May 2006), I'll offer up to three exchange readings (I'll post it in the exchange Forum) using specifically this spread, and using a Schaffhouse deck. The exchange will be for feedback within six weeks of the given reading.


As someone who rarely uses 'set' spreads, this sounds very interesting to me. I have a few spreads which I like but otherwise tend to read 5 or 7 cards in a line. Recently though I've done a few readings where there was no question involved, (or so they said, but in fact they did have an issue on their minds which they didn't want to express), and I think this would have been ideal for them. I'm familiar with I-Ching so I see where the similiarities are and I'll be practicing this spread for a while. :)

Thanks jmd... I'll be watching the readings you do too.


This is brilliant, jmd!
I love the fluidity.... and the three-dimensional effects.
It gave me immediate hits, followed by many hours of delving the intertwinings.
I love it!
Thank you.


I've used it twice now for readings. One for me and one for someone else. Someone else has also used it for me in the Minchiate Reading Exchange. I like very much. :)

It's enlightening to see the way the cards flow into each other but also give separate areas for discussion. I think it has also helped me to read other spreads in a more in depth way. I find myself using this method in all spreads now too.


Fascinating spread! I do read I Ching.. .or have. lol.

I will definitely be trying this one out!


Glad to see it has its appeal...

if anyone has suggestions for improvement, or improving the way I describe it is the opening post, it will be welcomed!


I've tried this one a couple of times now, and it gives nice in-depth readings. Thank you for posting, JMD!



In case anyone is interested, I have finally posted the three offered readings in the Reading Exchange Forum.

I am sure that anyone else using it has (and will) of course adapt it to their own individual style.

I must admit to being more pleased with the manner in which the spread lends itself to reading than I anticipated - and that irrespective as to how far off the mark I may have been.

I'll probably also have a go using it for some political readings later in the coming months.


One of my favourite spreads

Thank you very much for this spread, jmd.

I am very attracted to the I-Ching (came across it via John Cage and his use of the I-Ching for composing music), so this spread came naturally to me.

I like how flexible and open it is, and at the same time very precise. The development between start and end card with the two 3 card readings is simply beautiful and allows for complex insights, for me.

I use it a lot for myself - and also used it when I posted my very first reading here, in the marseille section: http://www.tarotforum.net/showthread.php?t=163383

Anyone else using this spread here?


Establishing the I-Ching

Thank you for this spread!

It has wonderful connections with the I-Ching hexagrams. The flow of the change process is clearer. I will be adapting this with my I-Ching readings. :)