The Love Triangle Spread
Difficulty: Somewhat Complicated
This spread can be used to determine the dynamics of the relationship between 3 people, whether or not romance is involved. This spread is drawn in the form of a hexagram, consisting of several large and small triangles. This spread is somewhat complicated, but only because of the complicated nature of this type of relationship.
The first step is to interpret the card for each individual position in the spread. Generally the querent asks about a relationship that he or she is involved with, but this does not have to be the case. Ordinarily the querent's representative card is #1, the querent's person of interest is #2, and the other person would be #3.
The second step fills in the downward triangle and involves further examination of the individuals through their views of the other people. Each person has 2 more cards showing the way they see and relate to the other members of the triangle. For example, Card #6 shows how Person #3 relates to Person #1, while Card #9 shows Person #1's attitude toward Person #3.
The next step completes the upward triangle and the hexagram, focusing on cards 10-13. It also completes the many smaller triangles and shows the potential for each relationship. The final card, #13 can be considered the significator of the reading, which shows the overall potential for this 3-way relationship.
Your Love Triangle Reading
1: Person #1
4 of Swords
The effigy of a knight in the attitude of prayer, at full length upon his tomb.
Vigilance, retreat, solitude, hermit's repose, exile, tomb and coffin. It is these last that have suggested the design.
2: Person #2
The figure is seated between pillars, like the High Priestess, and on this account it seems desirable to indicate that the moral principle which deals unto every man according to his works - while, of course, it is in strict analogy with higher things; - differs in its essence from the spiritual justice which is involved in the idea of election. The latter belongs to a mysterious order of Providence, in virtue of which it is possible for certain men to conceive the idea of dedication to the highest things. The operation of this is like the breathing of the Spirit where it wills, and we have no canon of criticism or ground of explanation concerning it. It is analogous to the possession of the fairy gifts and the high gifts and the gracious gifts of the poet: we have them or have not, and their presence is as much a mystery as their absence. The law of Justice is not however involved by either alternative. In conclusion, the pillars of Justice open into one world and the pillars of the High Priestess into another.
Equity, rightness, probity, executive; triumph of the deserving side in law.
3: Person #3
6 of Wands
A laurelled horseman bears one staff adorned with a laurel crown; footmen with staves are at his side.
Apprehension, fear, as of a victorious enemy at the gate; treachery, disloyalty, as of gates being opened to the enemy; also indefinite delay.
4: Person #1's view of #2
As this final message of the Major Trumps is unchanged - and indeed unchangeable - in respect of its design, it has been partly described already regarding its deeper sense. It represents also the perfection and end of the Cosmos, the secret which is within it, the rapture of the universe when it understands itself in God. It is further the state of the soul in the consciousness of Divine Vision, reflected from the self-knowing spirit. But these meanings are without prejudice to that which I have said concerning it on the material side.
It has more than one message on the macrocosmic side and is, for example, the state of the restored world when the law of manifestation shall have been carried to the highest degree of natural perfection. But it is perhaps more especially a story of the past, referring to that day when all was declared to be good, when the morning stars sang together and all the Sons of God shouted for joy. One of the worst explanations concerning it is that the figure symbolizes the Magus when he has reached the highest degree of initiation; another account says that it represents the absolute, which is ridiculous. The figure has been said to stand for Truth, which is, however, more properly allocated to the seventeenth card. Lastly, it has been called the Crown of the Magi.
Assured success, recompense, voyage, route, emigration, flight, change of place.
5: Person #2's view of #3
Ace of Swords
A hand issues from a cloud, grasping as word, the point of which is encircled by a crown.
The same, but the results are disastrous; another account says - conception, childbirth, augmentation, multiplicity.
6: Person #3's view of #1
8 of Cups
A man of dejected aspect is deserting the cups of his felicity, enterprise, undertaking or previous concern.
The card speaks for itself on the surface, but other readings are entirely antithetical - giving joy, mildness, timidity, honour, modesty. In practice, it is usually found that the card shews the decline of a matter, or that a matter which has been thought to be important is really of slight consequence - either for good or evil.
7: Person #2's view of #1
King of Cups
He holds a short sceptre in his left hand and a great cup in his right; his throne is set upon the sea; on one side a ship is riding and on the other a dolphin is leaping. The implicit is that the Sign of the Cup naturally refers to water, which appears in all the court cards.
Fair man, man of business, law, or divinity; responsible, disposed to oblige the Querent; also equity, art and science, including those who profess science, law and art; creative intelligence.
8: Person #3's view of #2
3 of Swords
Three swords piercing a heart; cloud and rain behind.
Mental alienation, error, loss, distraction, disorder, confusion.
9: Person #1's view of #3
Page of Swords
A lithe, active figure holds a sword upright in both hands, while in the act of swift walking. He is passing over rugged land, and about his way the clouds are collocated wildly. He is alert and lithe, looking this way and that, as if an expected enemy might appear at any moment.
What is unforeseen, unprepared state; sickness is also intimated.
10: Overall relationship between persons #1 and #2
6 of Pentacles
A person in the guise of a merchant weighs money in a pair of scales and distributes it to the needy and distressed. It is a testimony to his own success in life, as well as to his goodness of heart.
Presents, gifts, gratification another account says attention, vigilance now is the accepted time, present prosperity, etc.
11: Overall relationship between persons #2 and #3
The sun shines in the zenith, and beneath is a great winged figure with arms extended, pouring down influences. In the foreground are two human figures, male and female, unveiled before each other, as if Adam and Eve when they first occupied the paradise of the earthly body. Behind the man is the Tree of Life, bearing twelve fruits, and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is behind the woman; the serpent is twining round it. The figures suggest youth, virginity, innocence and love before it is contaminated by gross material desire. This is in all simplicity the card of human love, here exhibited as part of the way, the truth and the life. It replaces, by recourse to first principles, the old card of marriage, which I have described previously, and the later follies which depicted man between vice and virtue. In a very high sense, the card is a mystery of the Covenant and Sabbath.
The suggestion in respect of the woman is that she signifies that attraction towards the sensitive life which carries within it the idea of the Fall of Man, but she is rather the working of a Secret Law of Providence than a willing and conscious temptress. It is through her imputed lapse that man shall arise ultimately, and only by her can he complete himself. The card is therefore in its way another intimation concerning the great mystery of womanhood. The old meanings fall to pieces of necessity with the old pictures, but even as interpretations of the latter, some of them were of the order of commonplace and others were false in symbolism.
Failure, foolish designs. Another account speaks of marriage frustrated and contrarieties of all kinds.
12: Overall relationship between persons #1 and #3
Queen of Pentacles
The face suggests that of a dark woman, whose qualities might be summed up in the idea of greatness of soul; she has also the serious cast of intelligence; she contemplates her symbol and may see worlds therein.
Evil, suspicion, suspense, fear, mistrust.
13: Overall 3-way Relationship
7 of Pentacles
A young man, leaning on his staff, looks intently at seven pentacles attached to a clump of greenery on his right; one would say that these were his treasures and that his heart was there.
These are exceedingly contradictory; in the main, it is a card of money, business, barter; but one reading gives altercation, quarrels - and another innocence, ingenuity, purgation.