The Chatelaine Spread
from the Vintage Wisdom Oracle
by Victoria Moseley (U.S. Games, Inc.)
As promised, here is a reading with the Vintage Wisdom Oracle using The Chatelaine Spread, which appears on pages 78-79 of the guidebook that accompanies this deck.
To read my review of this deck, click HERE.
Victoria Moseley tells us: “The origins of the term chatelaine date back to Medieval times and referred to the person responsible for carrying the keys to the house. The chain on which the keys hung was also called a chatelaine and during the 18th and 19th centuries evolved into a pin from which all manner of practical household tools were suspended from chains.”
The Positional Definitions and the cards I drew into those positions appear below.
Such an appropriate card to draw, given that my Sun sign is Sagittarius, the foremost “freedom loving” sign of the zodiac. On the card we see castle walls, symbolizing austerity and containment, against a darkened sky. In the foreground, a dove (symbol of purity) is about to be released from the hand of a young maiden. Birds are well-known living metaphors for freedom of the soul. This card suggests that my foremost issues have something to do with feeling limited, held back, perhaps even victimized. Freedom may seem desirable, but I need to remember that “every freedom carries responsibility” and I need to use it wisely.
“Surrounded by a field of wildflowers, an exasperated fairy-child stands with her head buried mournfully in her hands.” When I first saw this image, I thought of a child playing hide-and-seek, counting to whatever number was decided upon before being allowed to seek the children who are hidden. It’s only a game, but it does require patience!
My patience tends to grow thin in the face of delays or obstacles that block my chosen path. Is this because I really am waiting an unbearable amount of time? Or is it because our society has conditioned us to expect immediate gratification? Impatience is the “unwanted influence” here, and in my search for Freedom, patience will be my ally.
Card 3. The Magnifying Glass – Hidden areas, which are either buried or in need of confrontation
This is one of the images in this deck that strikes me as just plain silly. We are supposedly looking at an exotic dancer holding a “rapturous pose.” I see the woman as artificial and self-conscious, and I have trouble equating her with the beauty of the natural world. However, the card also incorporates wildflowers, seed heads, sky, sea, fire (the sun), and earth. Red poppies loom large in the foreground, symbolizing death, remembrance, and renewal. My deep affinity with Nature could be seen as my “healing strengths to the world,” and it is important that I keep my energies aligned with that.
This adorable vignette shows two little children dressed in their Sunday best. To many people, the past does seem like a safe haven compared to modern-day realities, and a vintage picture like this really brings that home. Whether it’s 100% accurate or not, our perception of the past is often that it was a kinder, gentler time – innocent and decent – when we trusted each other. This, then, is the lens through which I need to consider my foremost issue: Freedom. How would I have defined Freedom as a child? How can I learn to appreciate the Freedom I do have in a child-like way? How will this change in perception affect feelings of judgment, guilt, or blame towards myself or others?
Like The Hanged Man in the Tarot, the woman in this card is “caught in a poignant moment of realization.” Butterflies float from her open palm, and tiny seed heads are carried upward on a gentle breeze. The woman is letting go, releasing attachments that no longer serve her purpose. She relinquishes control, opening her heart and mind to a Higher Power. The butterfly is a symbol of transformation and renewal. To open my secret door to new possibilities, I need to “step bravely into the unknown,” embracing change, leaving behind whatever prevents me from becoming what I could become.