Sunday, March 10, 2013

The 12 Houses Spread

Today's spread comes from the Opening of The Key spread, which is long and complicated. This is actually one section of five operations- however, going through the spread, I noticed it's possible to use each different step as a stand-alone (and perhaps a little more accessible) spread. This particular spread deals with the 12 different houses of the Zodiac (not the signs, just the divisions of the natal chart) and what they represent to the individual. This spread is useful for either addressing a specific point in time or a specific question, just as the natal chart identifies the "initial conditions" at the time of an individual's birth.
In a natal chart, the sky is divided into 12 positions, or houses. The location of the planets across these 12 houses is said to indicate a good deal about each person's mental, emotional and spiritual makeup. However, for purposes of this spread we're concerned with what area of life each of the houses influences, and what cards appear in that house. So in many ways the spread does operate similarly to the idea behind a natal chart, though instead of using the influence of planets, we'll be examining the cards that appear in each house. 
Like the natal chart, this spread is composed of 12 positions, set up counterclockwise, beginning with what in the natal chart would be the Ascendant position. The divisions of the natal chart is shown here:



The houses begin with the Ascendant, at number 1 here, and move counterclockwise. Each of these "pie slices" represents a different aspect of the individual, and how they relate to the world. Each position can contain one or more cards, though there is a danger here of over-complicating the spread. Let's look first at each position and what information it provides about the querent. 

  1. (Ascendant) Here is the querent's image of themselves- their ego, self-esteem and core characteristics. What makes up the querent's self image, as well as driving factors and long-term goals, will appear here.
  2. The second house deals with income, assets and values- how the querent uses the things at their disposal to an end will be shown here, as well as any resources they may have overlooked or not taken full advantage of.
  3. The third house addresses communication primarily- what the querent communicates to the world, either intentionally or unintentionally, will be expressed here. Also in the third house are matters relating to writing and siblings, so how these factors enter into the question at hand can also appear here.
  4. (Imum Coeli) In the fourth house, family is addressed. What does the querent feel towards their family, history and roots? How these factors come to bear on the present situation is expressed here. Look also for any longer-term trends, as well as long-term forecasts for life.
  5. Creativity and romance are in the fifth house- relationships, courtship and how the querent expresses themselves creatively (I.e. talents, predispositions toward an area of study or art) will appear here.
  6. The sixth house tells of work and health- here look for any physical or otherwise limitations on the querent, as well as their work style, and how this can help or hinder them in life.
  7. (Descendant) In the seventh house marriage and partnerships are addressed- it may at first seem odd that this is not addressed in the fifth house, but here longer term and not necessarily romantic unions are addressed. Lifetime partnerships, such as marriage, are expressed here, though there is a correlation between the Seventh and Fifth Houses.
  8. The Eighth House deals with renewal and re-development, as well as picking up the pieces from past trouble, as well as psychic and emotional resilience. What legacy the querent leaves is often expressed here.
  9. The Ninth House covers journeying and seeking, and associated concepts such as philosophy, religion and the relationship the querent has with the world around them, both seen and unseen. How the querent's religion and/or philosophy factors in to their life can be seen here
  10. (Midheaven) In the Tenth House the querent's status, career and esteem by peers is shown, and how this affects their life. How the querent is seen, as well as how they wish to be seen, is indicated here.
  11. The Eleventh House deals with peers and friends, as well as aspirations. How do these friends and peers either help or hinder the querent? This is expressed in this house.
  12. The final, Twelfth House contains unconscious factors, things that the querent may be carrying and unaware of. Likewise, untapped potential and unrealized assets or weaknesses are here. 

    From this, we can see that this spread may likewise be used with multiple cards, as a separate spread or as a preliminary spread to more specific questions. Be sure to look also for patterns across the cards and positions- are there corresponding patterns across different houses, and what can these patterns tell us? Multiple cards, numbers and also Major Arcana cards can provide a good indication of important factors at the present time. 

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