Sample Reading: Golden Dawn Spread

The Golden Dawn spread is a little more complicated than some spreads, but considering that there are fifteen cards, it’s really not that bad! It is, however, a bit esoteric to some people, so in addition to the overview I provide in the previous post, I wanted to provide a sample reading. This isn’t the reading of this month’s lucky free-drawing winner, who actually hasn’t been chosen yet at the time of my writing this. It’s the reading of someone for whom I’ve done many readings, so there’s more familiarity to it and references to past readings than in a typical one-off reading. There’s a touch of tough love, too, but it’s as well received as it is well intentioned.

The deck used in the reading is the Tabula Mundi Tarot by M. M. Meleen, which is a deck in the Thoth style, using descriptions of some cards directly from the Golden Dawn’s own Book T. You can find more information about it in my tarot interview with the deck and in the list of decks available for readings.

Below is an excerpt from the very long reading, but you can download the whole sample reading here.


Excerpt from the whole reading

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There’s a central theme to this whole reading, and it makes me wonder one main question: What is your relationship to the archetypal struggle between change and stasis? It’s a question you should ask yourself as you read through the individual triads and consider those messages in light of this fundamental question.

Central Triad (Querent at Present)

With your current career and side hustles and your aspirations for what could emerge from them, there seems to be a fundamental tension between a desire for stability—security and steady building of authority and power—and a desire for intellectual expansion and freedom to constantly shift. These are uneasy partners. The airy intellectual desires, as seen in the Eight and Seven of Swords, erode the sturdy foundation of the Four of Disks that you seem to want (or want to want), as surely as wind can chip away at a mountain. That doesn’t mean that you can’t form a strong foundation with your current direction, but you need to accept that the further out you expand, the less sure your defenses will be because you have to put resources into shoring up greater and greater tracts of your dominion. Yes, over time, you can slowly build those up, devoting lots of time and energy and resources, but before that happens, you may be leaving yourself vulnerable, and you’re certainly limiting the ability to build upward or dig deeper: it’s the familiar struggle between developing broadly and developing deeply. 

Given what I already know about you, there’s a tendency to build ever outward, rather than focusing on a small slice of perfection. There’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, it’s wonderful that you’re able to continue stretching outward: not everyone has the resources or talents to do it, and you have reason to be grateful about this “good” problem of yours. But this inner conflict does raise some important questions. Do you truly even want stability? Or do you simply think that you’re supposed to want it? There’s a surprising difference between the two, and the presence of the two Swords on either side of that central card (and Swords elsewhere) suggests an internal, mental conflict about the whole situation. With the Seven of Swords as a card showing the failure to plan for all contingencies and the Eight of Swords as an expansion of options (Jupiter in Gemini), there are simply too many variables at play to really find that sturdy base as hoped for with the Four of Disks.

Thinking back to the range of desirable outcomes you suggested for an ideal job, we can see a challenging list of potentially contradictory aspects. You can certainly strive for all of them, but it’s worth recognizing that some are quite hard to marry together, and you may want to prioritize them for now. What’s more important: the ability to work remotely and travel or the ability to put more money into your savings? What’s more important: the status and power that comes with reaching the next rung on the corporate ladder or having sufficient free time to regularly pursue hobbies and side hustles? What are you willing to give up in order to have what you really want? You may not have to give it up, but you need to be prepared to make that decision when the time comes.


The cards pictured here are from the Tabula Mundi by M. M. Meleen, published by Atu House. See the Tabula Mundi website for more complete of information on the creator, her decks, and how to purchase this deck.