Difficulty: Kind of tough
The Ankh Spread is for deeper questions about the causes behind trends. It is similar to the Celtic Cross and Secret of the High Priestess spreads, but it covers the reasons behind the circumstances in question differently, perhaps giving a better explanation of why things are the way they are.
The loop of the upper section of the ankh shows the deeper spiritual background and causes of the situation, while the stem of the base shows your prospects for the outcome.
The first 2 cards represent the 2 parent causes of the situation. They will either compliment each other or show 2 opposing sides of a conflict, depending on how they relate. These are the significator cards of the Ankh spread.
3. This card shows the early causes of the trend in question.
4. Shows the causes that triggered the current situation.
5. Reveals the spiritual perspective of the subject at hand.
6. This card informs the querent of the reasons why the spirit demanded this course of action to unfold, in that it was a means to this end. This can not be avoided.
At this point, you want to pause to soak in the meaning of the first 6 cards before moving forward to the last 3 cards. The last 3 will show your prospects for the future.
7. The Next Step gives clues about the immediate future.
8. Surprising Experiences encountered en route to the end result.
9. This represents the end result.
Your Ankh Reading
|Early Causes||Higher Perceptions
Princess of Cups
10 of Swords
8 of Cups
8 of Wands
10 of Cups
2 of Wands
Ace of Swords
8 of Cups
Saturn in Pisces - Indolence
Lotuses droop for lack of sun and rain, and the soil is poison to them; only two of the stems show blossoms at all. The cups are shallow, old and broken. They are arranged in three rows; of these the upper row of three is quite empty. Water trickles from the two flowers into the two central cups, and they drip into the two lowest without filling them. The background of the card shows pools, or lagoons, in very extensive country, incapable of cultivation; only disease and miasmatic poison can flourish in those vast Bad Lands. The water is dark and muddy. On the horizon is a pallid, yellowish light, weighed down by leaden clouds of indigo.
8 of Wands
Mercury in Saggitarius - Swiftness
The card refers to Hod, splendour, in the suit of Fire, whence it refers to the phenomena of speech, light, electricity. The pictorial representation of the card shows the Light-wands turned into electrical rays, sustaining or even constituting Matter by their vibrating energy. Above this restored universe shines the rainbow; the division of pure light, which deals with maxima, into the seven colours of the spectrum, which exhibit interplay and correlation.
This card, therefore, represents energy of high velocity, such as furnishes the master-key to modern mathematical physics.
Justice, or rather justesse, the act of adjustment, suspension of all action pending decision; in material matters, may refer to law suits or prosecutions. Socially, marriage or marriage agreements; politically, treaties.
Princess of Cups
The Princess of Cups represents the earthy part of Water; in particular, the faculty of crystallization. She represents the power of Water to give substance to idea, to support life, and to form the basis of chemical combination. She is represented as a dancing figure, robed in a flowing garment on whose edges crystals are seen to form.
For her crest she wears a swan with open wings. The symbolism of this swan reminds one of the swan in oriental philosophy which is the word AUM or AUMGN, which is the symbol of the entire process of creation. She bears a covered cup from which issues a tortoise. This is again the tortoise which in Hindu philosophy supports the elephant on whose back is the Universe. She is dancing upon a foaming sea in which disports himself a dolphin, the royal fish, which symbolizes the power of Creation. The character of the Princess is infinitely gracious. All sweetness, all voluptuousness, gentleness, kindness and tenderness are in her character. She lives in the world of Romance, in the perpetual dream of rapture. On a superficial examination she might be thought selfish and indolent, but this is a quite false impression; silently and effortlessly she goes about her work.
Pure, exalted and gracious influence enters the matter. Hence, change, alternation, increase and decrease, fluctuation. There is, however, a liability to be led away by enthusiasm; one may become "moon-struck" unless careful balance is maintained.
10 of Swords
Sun in Gemini - Ruin
The number Ten, Malkuth, as always, represents the culmination of the unmitigated energy of the idea. It shows reason run mad, ramshackle riot of soulless mechanism; it represents the logic of lunatics and (for the most part) of philosophers. It is reason divorced from reality.
The card is also ruled by the Sun in Gemini, but the mercurial airy quality of the Sign serves to disperse his rays; this card shows the disruption and disorder of harmonious and stable energy.
The hilts of the Swords occupy the positions of the Sephiroth, but the points One to Five and Seven to Nine touch and shatter the central Sword (six) which represents the Sun, the Heart, the child of Chokmah and Binah. The tenth Sword is also in splinters. It is the ruin of the Intellect, and even of all mental and moral qualities.
The Next Step
10 of Cups
Mars in Pisces - Satiety
This card represents a conflicting element. On the one hand, it receives the influence of the Ten, Malkah the Virgin. The arrangement of the cups is that of the Tree of Life. But, on the other hand, they are themselves unstable. They are tilted; they spill the water from the great Lotus which overhangs the whole system from one into the other. The work proper to water is complete: and disturbance is due.
2 of Wands
Mars in Aries - Dominion
This card, pertaining to Chokmah in the suit of Fire, represents the Will in its most exalted form. It is an ideal Will, independent of any given object.
"For pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result, is every way perfect." AL. 1. 44.
The background of this card shows the power of the planet Mars in his own sign Aries, the first of the Signs. It there represents Energy initiating a Current of Force. The pictorial representation is two Dorjes crossed. The Dorje is the Tibetan symbol of the thunderbolt, the emblem of celestial Power, but more in its destructive than its creative form. More, that is, in its earlier rather than its later form. For destruction may be regarded as the first step in the creative process. The virgin ovum must be broken in order to fertilize it. Fear and repulsion are therefore the primary reaction to the assault. Then, with understanding of the complete plan, willing surrender rejoices to co-operate. Six flames issue from the centre. This indicates the influence of the Sun, who is exalted in Aries. This is the creative Will.
Ace of Swords
The Root of Air
The Ace of Swords is the primordial Energy of Air, the Essence of the Vau of Tetragrammaton, the integration of the Ruach. Air is the result of the conjunction of Fire and Water; thus it lacks the purity of its superiors in the male hierarchy, Fire, Sol and the Phallus. But for this same reason it is the first card directly to be apprehended by the normal consciousness of Mankind.
In nature, the obvious symbol of Air is the Wind "which bloweth whithersoever it listeth". It lacks the concentrated Will of Fire to unite with Water: it has no corresponding passion for its Twin Element, Earth. There is indeed, a notable passivity in its nature; evidently, it has no self-generated impulse. But, set in motion by its Father and Mother, its power is manifestly terrific. It visibly attacks its objective, as they, being of subtler and more tenuous character, can never do. Its "all-embracing, all-wandering, all-penetrating, all-consuming" qualities have been described by many admirable writers, and its analogies are for the most part patent to quite ordinary observers.