Tarot Hermeneutics LogoTel: 919-542-5719
Fax: 919-869-1643

Tarot Hermeneutics

Exploring How We Create Meaning with Tarot

The 'Elemental Power Spread' as Introduced by Johanna G Sherman from The Sacred Rose Tarot.

About the Elemental Power Spread
Illustration for the Elemental Power Spread

Excerpt from Guide to the Sacred Rose Tarot by Johanna Gargiulo-Sherman 208-210(Copyright- all rights reserved)

I use this spread as a general overview of the subject's use of energies. It helps focus in on where the subject is coming from, strengths and weaknesses, and what improvements they may need to implement.

Using the Hebrew letters of the Tetragrammaton (YodHeh-Vau-Heh) and placing them in the correct position of reading right to left (not our customary left to right), you will start at the far right with the element of Fire (Yod) or Physical Reality.

1-FIRE- YOD - This card position represents the state of health or physically surrounding influences. It is the creative force, or fiery goal, the physical reality. It can be the obvious or apparent motivating force, but not the true underlying energy. It is the actual physical and present reality of the subject.

2-WATER-HEH - The next card position is the element of Water (Heh) or emotional reality, the hidden force that many times motivates us for better or worse. This card can also give a clue to the basic needs of the individual that many times are not expressed. It is also interpreted as the spirit or intuition of the subject.

3-AIR- VAU - The third position is the element of Air (Vau) or mental reality. It is how the subject is thinking, and communicating. It may be an indication of a future agenda or soon to be coming communication.

4-EARTH-HEH - The fourth card position is the element of Earth (Heh, in its feminine influence) or tangible reality. It is the grounding of the combined energies of Fire, Water, and Air that produce their result—Earth.

You can now stop the reading or continue to pull two more cards (5 and 6). Card 5 is placed on the bottom and is read as the foundation or true motivating force behind the subject's inquiry. Many times this is a deep psychological state that is revealed or a phobia that hinders the subject from furthering their growth. Card 6 denotes the final long-range future result, and crowns the cards already laid out. This position indicates the far-reaching consequences, or the ultimate karma.

Need more clarification? Remember the number 9: consciousness? Deal three additional cards from the top of the deck and place them in the formation of an upright Fire triangle.

7  6  9

Read cards 7, 8, and 9 as a total arch of influence, keeping in mind the clarification desired.

Cards 7 and 9 explain the foundational energies of card 6. Card 8 is the crown or apex that indicates further insight into card 6; so read cards 8 and 6 together.

Template Elemental Power Spread
David Atwood's Tree of Life Elemental Power Spread