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Spreads

Spreads: The French Cross (Tirage En Croix)

Serge Pirotte demonstrates the French Cross

Watching the recent video (above) on the French Cross, by the excellent cartomancer Serge Pirotte, has rekindled my interest in this type of spread.

In large part, that’s due to the way that Serge has presented his interpretation, especially how he uses the synthesis position.

The French Cross as presented by Serge Pirotte

In the video, Serge describes that synthesis as the ‘state of mind’ of the querent towards the question and the example he uses illustrates that perfectly. It’s also the first card he turns over even though it’s the last card placed. This, for me, adds context and allows for a more nuanced interpretation

I very much appreciated this approach as I don’t usually see spreads where the state of mind of the person getting the reading (self-readings included) is being considered.

Recapping the positions as I’ve recorded them:

  1. Pro – What’s in your favour
  2. Con – What’s working against you
  3. Judge – Advice on how to resolve positions 1 + 2
  4. Result – Answer to the question
  5. Synthesis – the perspective of the querent has of the question

As this is already an adaption, I don’t think I will calculate the synthesis card, or use just the majors, but use it in the way Serge has suggested.

As a decision making spread this is one I am certainly to be adding into my active repertoire.

I have looked into the history of the spread a little as I always thought it originated with Oswald Wirth but it seems he got it from Josephin Péladan, though I don’t have the original sources of either to compare.

But in the links below from Tony Louis and Mary Greer’s respective blogs you’ll be able to compare Péladan’s reported crucifixion of Christ model with Wirth’s more legal model of interpretation.

Is this a spread you use? Please let me know in the comments.

Oh, and if anyone has any more sources please drop them in the comments too.

Further Information

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Thoughts

Reflection on: Reading Non-Representational Tarots: A Guide

Tom Benjamin is one of my favourite Tarot educators. With this YouTube tutorial, Tom must have known that I’d just bought the 20th anniversary edition of the Margarete Petersen Tarot despite knowing that abstract images on tarot cards scares me.

I bought it as I know Tom and Colin creator of the OceanDry Tarot (and YouTuber) both enjoy it. And I really wanted to experiment and experience a reading style outside my comfort zone. But I wasn’t sure what to start.

The Muse must have whispered in Tom’s ear, as this is exactly what I needed to hear.

In this video, Tom gives advice on how to use the tools that are already exist in your Tarot toolbox and gives permission (he gave it to me at least) to bring those into play during your reading.

He neatly demonstrates how (before you have the context of the question) you can build a series of connections that can be confirmed/or refuted when you know the context of what the querent wants to know.

Tom encourages us to embrace each tarot reading as an experiment. To see what talks to you from the cards on the table, and then add what you know about their meanings and connection so you build up the layers of meaning and understanding.

Thanks to this video, I now have a framework, based on the Pages, to experiment with the abstract image Tarot decks in my collection (which at the moment is only the Petersen). How long can I hold out before getting the Shimmering Veil’s 2nd edition?

I’d highly recommend this tutorial for those with abstract decks or for those who want to shake-up their reading style.