Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Caitlín Matthews | When Significators Meet....

Here is a spread that I invented for the New York Reader’s Studio in 2011. It doesn’t involve reading more than 6 cards, even though it looks very impressive when laid out.  It means that you can get out ALL of your court cards and have fun. In fact, you will also need another standard tarot deck. Yes, that’s TWO tarot packs. (I know that you have more than one about the house because now you are addicted!) You will have to choose which deck is your reading deck: from the other deck you only need the court cards, which are used to frame the tableaux. You will also need a clear table, floor or bed to lay the cards for this one because it’s a big one.

Use this spread when the issue concerns two people who are in a relationship as lovers, partners, boss and employee, room-mates etc. The ethics about asking questions concerning another person than the client is something we should take seriously:  to ask about someone else is like psychic surveillance, and we have far too much of that already in the world! The questions in this spread are framed in such a way that the emphasis falls upon the nature of the contract between the two individuals involved.   
1. Lay out 16 court cards from another deck in a square: 4 on each side, leaving an indentation at each corner so that, within the square, there is room to lay at least 16 cards inside it. Order doesn’t matter. It should look like this, with a space at each corner, as the 16 Courts form the basis of the grid:

Like this:                        not like this:     
      *  *  *  *                                  *  *  *  *
       *                *                              *          *
       *                *                              *          *
       *                *                              *  *  *   *
       *                *
          *  *  *  *                                  
2. The client now chooses two Significators from the rows of courts to represent each party in the issue, one for her/himself and one for the other party. Ensure that one Significator is on a horizontal line and the other on a vertical line.  Move them to a different place if necessary.

3. The client shuffles the reader’s pack, and the reader deals the whole pack face down onto the 16 positions within the square. There will be 14 cards over and these are set aside as the Ally Pack.

4. Now comes the part where you check the map and orientate this relationship. Which is the square that marks where the 2 Significators meet? Use that single pile of four cards only.

5. The positions of these 4 cards, read in order, show:
      A. The understanding/disagreement between the two.
      B. What can work out between them.
      C. What has to be negotiated between them.
      D. What’s still to be uncovered/revealed between the two.

6. You can also draw one Ally Card for each individual or further cards from the Ally Pack to amplify, enhance or clarify a difficult card.  The Alliance Pack cards are resources you can draw upon.

copyright: Caitlín Matthews 2012


  1. Thank you Caitlin,

    I had heard about your great workshop at Reader's Studio.I am grateful to try this spread!

  2. Caitlin,this is an intriguing spread and I'm eager to use it. One question: are the sixteen cards used as a frame dealt face down or face up?

    Thank you!