From Mary’s post: “Jean-Claude Flornoy’s book Seeing the World: Tarot Signposts on the Path to Perception (translated from the French by David Vine), features what Flornoy describes as “the cadillac of readings… Flornoy was a French artist and tarotist who died in 2011. He was the foremost recreator of the earliest French tarot decks beginning with the Jean Noblet deck (Paris, 1650)… What thrilled me most was Flornoy’s introduction to a spread concept I hadn’t seen before that he learned from Parisian Jean Assens. With David Vine’s permission I’m presenting it here.”Mary Greer modified the spread somewhat, and I am choosing to use her version.
Directions for the Spread (from Mary K. Greer)
1. Using only the Major Arcana, ask your question, then shuffle and lay out all 22 cards, face down, in the 21-position pyramid layout (see below) beginning on the bottom left. The positions are the same as the Major Arcana laid out in numerical order, but you’ll be putting face down cards from your shuffled deck into each position, in order from 1 to 21 plus one card that lies outside the pyramid.
2. The final, 22nd, card goes on the right; Flornoy called it the “Outside Card.” You start by interpreting this Outside Card in relation to the question.
3. The next card to be turned over should be the card in the pyramid layout that corresponds to the number of the Outside Card. For instance, if you get 9-Hermit as the Outside Card, then the next card you turn face up will be the card in the 9th position. If that card is 6-Lovers, first you interpret it, and then you turn up the card in the 6th position, and so on, interpreting each card as you go.
4. Continue until you turn up The Fool. As The Fool has no number, the reading stops here.
You may reveal, in total, as few as two or three cards or almost the entire Major Arcana! Unrevealed cards are either in their own position or form their own group of mutually linked cards. You don’t look at or read the unrevealed cards at all.
Flornoy says that if you need more information you can pull supplemental cards from a second deck (but he doesn’t explain what you do with these).
In Mary’s version, she takes the archetypal card’s position into consideration. This is similar to reading an astrological planet in its “house” in a chart. To ascribe uniqueness to each item in the pair, she thinks of the preceding card as asking a question of the card that lands in its position.
My question is: What would be a good way to go about solving this problem?
I start by laying out out all 22 of the Major Arcana cards in The Gilded Tarot by Ciro Marchetti (Llewellyn Publications). To see more of Ciro's fabulous work, click here: https://www.ciromarchetti.com/
Below you will see all of the cards I turned over, followed by descriptions and interpretations.
|The Gilded Tarot by Ciro Marchetti|
This card is all about structure, stability, order, rules, and control.
The question it asks of the next card is: “How, why, or in what area will an increase in structure and stability help me solve this problem?”
Answer (from the card in position 4): THE MOON (18), reversedQuestion asked by The Moon of the next card (in position 18): “What is it that I need to see more clearly? Where am I being led astray?”
I am currently not seeing clearly or being led astray in some way. What I think I see is not what is actually there. Structure and stability can help me put my feelings and subconscious impulses in context, into a framework so they can be given direction and purpose.
Answer (from the card in position 18): THE HERMIT (9), reversedQuestion asked by The Hermit of the next card (in position 9): “What will help me focus inward less and reach out more?”
By withdrawing and focusing too much within, I am not seeing life on the outside of myself clearly. If I focus on searching too long, I may not assume the leadership-guide role The Hermit represents because I am not aware of where and how I can fulfill that role.
Answer (from the card in position 9): THE HANGING MAN (12), reversedQuestion asked by The Hanging Man of the next card (in position 12): “What will help me adopt a different perspective?”
In order to focus inward less and reach out more, I need to focus less on my own inner counsel and seek the wisdom of others. I might also want to focus less on the physical, material world and adopt a completely different perspective, “above the ground.”
Answer (from the card in position 12): THE EMPRESS (3), reversedQuestion asked by The Empress of the next card (in position 3): “Where should my focus be if not on constant growth and progress?”
What will help me adopt a different perspective about solving this problem is to stop trying to do too much too fast, stop obsessing over how much “growth” or “progress” I see from day to day. Accept a slower, more gradual pace and understand that forward motion is not always possible or even desirable.
Answer (from the card in position 3): WHEEL OF FORTUNE (10), reversedQuestion asked by The Wheel of Fortune of the next card (in position 10): “What sign will show me I am on the right path towards solving this problem?”
I need to focus on staying centered (in the middle of the Wheel) rather than on the rise and fall of my position or on trying to spin The Wheel faster. Sometimes The Wheel turns in reverse, covering old ground or putting a different “spin” on things. I can remain stable and centered the whole time.
Answer (from the card in position 10): THE HIGH PRIESTESS (2)Question asked by The High Priestess of the next card (in position 2): “Once I receive this sign, what should be my next step?”
My sign will be a sense of knowing based on intuition, inspiration, and inner illumination. I will be aware of this sense of knowing no matter where I am or what I am doing.
Answer (from the card in position 2): TEMPERANCE (14)Question asked by Temperance of the next card (in position 14): “What will help me achieve balance and moderation?”
Once I receive the sign symbolized by The High Priestess, my next step should be to bring my life into balance, to seek moderation in all areas of my life, and to bring my internal beliefs into harmony with my external actions.
Answer (from the card in position 14): THE MAGICIAN (1)Question asked by The Magician of the next card (in position 1): “What will help me increase my skill with the tools available for my use in solving this problem?”
Using all the tools available to me – physical, spiritual, emotional, mental – to channel energy from “above” to “below” will help me achieve balance and moderation. I am capable of doing this. Everything I need is available.
Answer (from the card in position 1): JUDGEMENT (20), reversedQuestion asked by Judgement of the next card (in position 20): “How can I stop over-judging myself based on other people’s expectations?”
What will help me increase my skill is to stop judging myself based on other people’s standards, to stop holding back or hanging back due to a fear of failure or not “measuring up” to someone else’s expectations. Stop over-judging everything I do.
Answer (from the card in position 20): STRENGTH (8)Question asked by Strength of the next card (in position 8): “What will help me gently and confidently bring my ‘higher” and ‘lower’ natures into mutually supportive harmony?”
I can stop over-judging myself based on other people’s expectations if I accept, acknowledge, and continue to remind myself that I have more strength, power, and courage than I realize – and any “base desires” can be channeled and used productively rather than being allowed to control me.
Answer (from the card in position 8): JUSTICE (11), reversedQuestion asked by Justice of the next card (in position 11): “What will help me make wise, fair decisions going forward?”
What will help me gently and confidently bring my “higher” and “lower” natures into mutually supportive harmony is to accept and acknowledge that I have made and continue to make mistakes and poor decisions that affect my present and future. Life has not always been fair, and neither have I.
Answer (from the card in position 11): THE LOVERS (6), reversedQuestion asked by The Lovers of the next card (in position 6): “How will making the best, wisest decision or choice affect the problem I am trying to solve?”
I am more likely to make wise, fair decisions and choices going forward if I consider all the facets of a situation before committing to a particular course of action. I need to avoid letting one element of a choice overshadow everything else. I must weigh the pros and cons with equal emphasis on reason and emotions.
Answer (from the card in position 6): THE TOWER (16)Question asked by The Tower of the next card (in position 16): “What can I build upon the ruins of The Tower?”
Making the best, wisest decision or choice will contribute to the destruction of a false foundation or the loss of something that was relied upon too heavily and perhaps foolishly. On the surface, this doesn’t sound pretty, and it may not be. Even so, if my decision or choice prompts needed changes that were likely to occur anyway, that could help lessen the chaos somewhat.
Answer (from the card in position 16): THE HIEROPHANT (5)Question asked by The Hierophant of the next card (in position 5): “How can I honor and incorporate tradition and convention without becoming legalistic or inflexible?”
Upon the ruins of The Tower I can build new structures based on tradition and spiritual knowledge that has been previously established. There can be value in taking a conventional, established approach to a problem once the debris of a failed system or approach has been cleared away.
Answer (from the card in position 5): THE SUN (19)Question asked by The Sun of the next card (in position 19): “How can I come closer to becoming one with the Universe?”
I can honor and incorporate tradition and convention without becoming legalistic or inflexible by being constantly aware of the vastness of the Universe, its layers of meanings, its workings, and its power. By seeking to be one with the Universe, I will not be likely to narrow my views to the point of dogmatic conviction.
Answer (from the card in position 19): THE STAR (17), reversedQuestion asked by The Star of the next card (in position 17): “What will help me remain optimistic about my connection to the Universe?”
I can come closer to becoming one with the Universe if I trust in the Universe, have faith, and never give up hope.
Answer (from the card in position 17): THE WORLD (21), reversedQuestion asked by The World of the next card (in position 21): “How can I improve my chances of completing my goal of bringing the problem to a successful conclusion?”
What will help me remain optimistic about my connection to the Universe is to realize and accept that setbacks and missteps are possible even when one is connected to the Universe. Just because something doesn’t come to a nice, round, successful completion doesn’t mean contact with the Universe has been lost or destroyed. That connection can help me discover what went wrong and how to fix it.
Answer (from the card in position 21): DEATH (13), reversedQuestion asked by Death of the next card (in position 13): “What will help me let go of old, outworn ideas?”
I can improve my chances of completing my goal of bringing the problem to a successful conclusion by letting go of old, outworn ideas and by welcoming change and transformation. I need to avoid playing any part in efforts to stall or prevent that change.
Answer (from the card in position 13): THE CHARIOT (7)Question asked by The Chariot of the next card (in position 7): “How can I harness conflicting energies and get them to pull together?”
Exercising willpower and control will help me let go of old, outworn ideas. A key part of this is to resolve conflicting energies within myself such as the mind and emotions. I need to know that I am in charge of where I go and what I keep with me and what I discard.
Answer (from the card in position 7): THE FOOL (The End!)Wow, I turned over every card except one (THE DEVIL, reversed) before I got to the end of my reading. It appears that the problem I mentioned in my original question is not likely to be solved quickly or easily. But then, I asked “What would be a GOOD way to go about solving this problem?” not what would be a QUICK way or an EASY way.
I can harness conflicting energies and get them to pull together by taking a leap of faith and perhaps a bit of a calculated risk as well. Various approaches may succeed or fail, but I won’t know until I try.
Many thanks to Mary K. Greer for sharing this spread with her modification. It took me on quite a journey (basically The Fool’s Journey, minus The Devil and in random order!) Here is the link to Mary’s blog post again: https://marykgreer.com/2018/08/27/the-cadillac-of-readings-the-pyramid-spread/