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
8 of Swords
5 of Cups
10 of Wands
10 of Cups
10 of Swords
4 of Pentacles
10 of Cups
Appearance of Cups in a rainbow; it is contemplated in wonder and ecstacy by a man and woman below, evidently husband and wife. His right arm is about her; his left is raised upward; she raises her right arm. The two children dancing near them have not observed the prodigy but are happy after their own manner. There is a home-scene beyond.
Contentment, repose of the entire heart; the perfection of that state; also perfection of human love and friendship; if with several picture-cards, a person who is taking charge of the Querent's interests; also the town, village or country inhabited by the Querent.
10 of Swords
A prostrate figure, pierced by all the swords belonging to the card.
Whatsoever is intimated by the design; also pain, affliction, tears, sadness, desolation. It is not especially a card of violent death.
5 of Cups
A dark, cloaked figure, looking sideways at three prone cups two others stand upright behind him; a bridge is in the background, leading to a small keep or holding.
News, alliances, affinity, consanguinity, ancestry, return, false projects.
10 of Wands
A man oppressed by the weight of the ten staves which he is carrying.
A card of many significances, and some of the readings cannot be harmonized. I set aside that which connects it with honour and good faith. The chief meaning is oppression simply, but it is also fortune, gain, any kind of success, and then it is the oppression of these things. It is also a card of false-seeming, disguise, perfidy. The place which the figure is approaching may suffer from the rods that he carries. Success is stultified if the Nine of Swords follows, and if it is a question of a lawsuit, there will be certain loss.
8 of Swords
A woman, bound and hoodwinked, with the swords of the card about her. Yet it is rather a card of temporary durance than of irretrievable bondage.
Disquiet, difficulty, opposition, accident, treachery; what is unforeseen; fatality.
Occult explanations attached to this card are meagre and mostly disconcerting. It is idle to indicate that it depicts min in all its aspects, because it bears this evidence on the surface. It is said further that it contains the first allusion to a material building, but I do not conceive that the Tower is more or less material than the pillars which we have met with in three previous cases. I see nothing to warrant Papus in supposing that it is literally the fall of Adam, but there is more in favour of his alternative - that it signifies the materialization of the spiritual word. The bibliographer Christian imagines that it is the downfall of the mind, seeking to penetrate the mystery of God. I agree rather with Grand Orient that it is the ruin of the House of We, when evil has prevailed therein, and above all that it is the rending of a House of Doctrine. I understand that the reference is, however, to a House of Falsehood. It illustrates also in the most comprehensive way the old truth that - except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it.
There is a sense in which the catastrophe is a reflection from the previous card, but not on the side of the symbolism which I have tried to indicate therein. It is more correctly a question of analogy; one is concerned with the fall into the material and animal state, while the other signifies destruction on the intellectual side. The Tower has been spoken of as the chastisement of pride and the intellect overwhelmed in the attempt to penetrate the Mystery of God; but in neither case do these explanations account for the two persons who are the living sufferers. The one is the literal word made void and the other its false interpretation. In yet a deeper sense, it may signify also the end of a dispensation, but there is no possibility here for the consideration of this involved question.
According to one account, the same in a lesser degree also oppression, imprisonment, tyranny.
The Next Step
A stately figure, seated, having rich vestments and royal aspect, as of a daughter of heaven and earth. Her diadem is of twelve stars, gathered in a cluster. The symbol of Venus is on the shield which rests near her. A field of corn is ripening in front of her, and beyond there is a fall of water. The sceptre which she bears is surmounted by the globe of this world. She is the inferior Garden of Eden, the Earthly Paradise, all that is symbolized by the visible house of man. She is not Regina coeli, but she is still refugium peccatorum, the fruitful mother of thousands. There are also certain aspects in which she has been correctly described as desire and the wings thereof, as the woman clothed with the sun, as Gloria Mundi and the veil of the Sanctum Sanctorum; but she is not, I may add, the soul that has attained wings, unless all the symbolism is counted up another and unusual way. She is above all things universal fecundity and the outer sense of the Word. This is obvious, because there is no direct message which has been given to man like that which is borne by woman; but she does not herself carry its interpretation.
In another order of ideas, the card of the Empress signifies the door or gate by which an entrance is obtained into this life, as into the Garden of Venus; and then the way which leads out therefrom, into that which is beyond, is the secret known to the High Priestess: it is communicated by her to the elect. Most old attributions of this card are completely wrong on the symbolism - as, for example, its identification with the Word, Divine Nature, the Triad, and so forth.
Fruitfulness, action, initiative, length of days; the unknown, clandestine; also difficulty, doubt, ignorance.
The variation from the conventional models in this card is only that the lamp is not enveloped partially in the mantle of its bearer, who blends the idea of the Ancient of Days with the Light of the World It is a star which shines in the lantern. I have said that this is a card of attainment, and to extend this conception the figure is seen holding up his beacon on an eminence. Therefore the Hermit is not, as Court de Gebelin explained, a wise man in search of truth and justice; nor is he, as a later explanation proposes, an especial example of experience. His beacon intimates that - where I am, you also may be.
It is further a card which is understood quite incorrectly when it is connected with the idea of occult isolation, as the protection of personal magnetism against admixture. This is one of the frivolous renderings which we owe to Eliphas Levi. It has been adopted by the French Order of Martinism and some of us have heard a great deal of the Silent and Unknown Philosophy enveloped by his mantle from the knowledge of the profane. In true Martinism, the significance of the term Philosophe inconnu was of another order. It did not refer to the intended concealment of the Instituted Mysteries, much less of their substitutes, but - like the card itself - to the truth that the Divine Mysteries secure their own protection from those who are unprepared.
Concealment, disguise, policy, fear, unreasoned caution.
4 of Pentacles
A crowned figure, having a pentacle over his crown, clasps another with hands and arms; two pentacles are under his feet. He holds to that which he has.
The surety of possessions, cleaving to that which one has, gift, legacy, inheritance.