The “Chaldean Mirror” Daily Meditation Spread

Having given up on single-card daily draws years ago as relatively meaningless for most “real-world” purposes, I’m constantly tinkering with more advanced ways to increase the mileage I get from daily, weekly and monthly self-readings. Here is my latest effort. It uses the Golden Dawn’s Chaldean wheels of astrological correspondences (developed by and offered free to the tarot community by an old Aeclectic Tarot forum mate, “Richard”) to derive a set of cards for contemplation/mediation on whatever periodicity you choose. Two decks are required for this layout. (These wheels are based on the Thoth model; use of other decks will require some translation.) Although the spread is designed around a daily approach, it can be adapted for any timeframe you choose.

The key card in the layout, the zodiacal trump card that heads the four-card “Heart of the Matter” section, is either drawn randomly from Deck #1 or chosen according to the month in which the reading occurs (see the list below). The associated Court, Ace and Pip cards are then located on the applicable wheel and inserted into the spread. Next, three random cards are pulled from a second deck to represent outward circumstances for the period in question, and the “mirrors” of those cards, showing more veiled aspects of the outlook,  are found on the opposite side of the Chaldean wheels. (If a planetary or elemental trump card is drawn, identify the zodiacal counterpart for that card and use the card opposite as the “mirror.”) If you decide to use reversals in this reading, the mirror cards should match the orientation of the randomly-drawn cards.

The seven planetary and three primary elemental trump cards don’t play a formal part in this experiment. Their proper classification is a topic for another day. However, they have a connection to the zodiacal trumps through the planetary and elemental rulerships of those cards, and in some cases their shared numerological derivation. As counterparts to the zodiacal trumps, they can be brought into the reading to gain a fuller appreciation for the deeper aspects of the situation. Here are the twelve zodiacal trump cards and their suggested counterparts:

Aries – The Emperor, Trump IV (March 21 – April 20); Counterparts – Mars, the Tower; Death, Trump XIII
Taurus – The Hierophant, Trump V (April 21 – May 20); Counterparts – Venus, the Empress; Temperance/Art, Trump XIV
Gemini – The Lovers, Trump VI (May 21 – June 20); Counterparts – Mercury, the Magician/Magus; the Devil, Trump XV
Cancer – The Chariot, Trump VII (June 21 – July 20); Counterparts – Moon, the High Priestess; the Tower, Trump XVI
Leo – Strength/Lust, Trump XI (July 21 – August 20); Counterparts – Sun, the Sun; the High Priestess, Trump II (If using an RWS-based deck, Strength is Trump VIII and the counterparts are the Sun, ruler of Leo, and the Star, Trump XVII)
Virgo, Trump IX – The Hermit (August 21 – September 20); Counterparts – Mercury, the Magician; the Moon, Trump XVIII
Libra – Justice/Adjustment, Trump VIII (September 21 – October 20); Counterparts – Venus, the Empress; the Star, Trump XVII (If using an RWS-based deck, Justice is Trump XI and the counterparts are Venus, ruler of Libra, and the High Priestess, Trump II)
Scorpio – Death, Trump XIII (October 21 – November 20); Counterparts – Mars, the Tower; the Emperor, Trump IV
Sagittarius – Temperance/Art, Trump XIV (November 21 – December 20); Counterparts – Jupiter, the Wheel of Fortune; the Hierophant, Trump V
Capricorn – The Devil, Trump XV (December 21 – January 20); Counterparts – Saturn, the World; the Lovers, Trump VI
Aquarius – The Star, Trump XVII (January 21 – February 20); Counterparts – Saturn, the World; Strength or Justice, Trump VIII, depending on the system used
Pisces – the Moon, Trump XVIII (February 21 – March 20); Counterparts – Jupiter, Trump X; the Hermit, Trump IX

The elemental trump cards are the Fool, Trump 0, Elemental Air; the Hanged Man, Trump XII, Elemental Water; Judgement, Trump XX, Elemental Fire. They can be applied as tertiary counterparts to the zodiacal trumps as follows. (Note that the Golden Dawn system doesn’t use the three outer planets, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto.)

Fool/Air – the Lovers; Justice/Adjustment; the Star* (Modern astrological associations – Uranus/Aquarius; mirror card – Strength/Lust)
Hanged Man/Water – the Chariot; Death; the Moon* (Modern astrological associations – Neptune/Pisces; mirror card – the Hermit)
Judgement/Fire – the Emperor; Strength/Lust*; Temperance/Art (Modern astrological associations – **Pluto/Scorpio; mirror card – the Star)

*The zodiacal attributions for these cards were used to determine the “mirror” cards for elemental trumps.

** In the case of Pluto, the modern sign of its exaltation, fiery Leo, and its mirror, the Star, were used instead of the rulership sign, watery Scorpio and its mirror, the Hierophant.

Here is a quick link to all of my other tarot spreads and spread-design commentary:

One thought on “The “Chaldean Mirror” Daily Meditation Spread

  1. Pingback: Trumps and Mirrors | Parsifal's Wheel Tarot & Astrology

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