Tetractys Spread



The Tetractys Spread


This is a Pythagoran geometric - an equilateral triangle consisting of 10 cards arranged in four rows. This symbol was very important to the ancient followers of Pythagoras, as it was seen as demonstrating that Creation proceeds downward thru intermediate levels of emanation.

The cards should be laid out, one row at a time, from top to bottom and right to left. Working upward from the bottom row, turn over one row at a time to read the spread.

Tetrad - the Material World

These four cards represent the opportunities, conflicts, and interrelationships among the different areas of your life. They may indicate barriers in some areas, balanced by progress in others. They tend to be descriptive, rather than judgmental. It is worthwhile to study this row for awhile before revealing the other cards, concentrating on possible courses of action that acknowledge the situations depicted in each of the four elemental cards.

Reading from the Right:

Card 7 - The Fire card

Represents your dynamic creative force, ambitions, and personal will. This card addresses the questions "What do I want?" What is interfering with achievement of my goals?"

Card 8 - The Air card

Representing your mind, thoughts, and strategies toward your goals. It brings logic and objectivity to the situation, as it pertains to questions like "What plans should I make?" and "What is aiding or interfering with my clarity of thought?"

Card 9 - The Water card

Represents your emotions, feelings, and moods. This card can show attachments, things that drive us inward towards security rather than outward toward adventure. It can also show subconscious feelings and/or intuitive ideas and feelings.

Card 10 - The Earth card

Represents the physical (financial and practical) realities of day to day living. Questions it answers are "What makes me feel safe?" and "What keeps me grounded?"


Triad: The Spiritual Forces

The Triad represents the spiritual forces; underlying causes of the situation emerge, giving us a deeper understanding of the material influences we just previously read. The Sustainer in the center represents the capacity to work productively with all aspects of life. Besides presiding over the elements on the bottom row (and their distinctive decision-making strategies), the sustainer also holds the creator and destroyer in a balance, recognizing that both are necessary but neither is sufficient. It is the sustainer card that holds the promise of resolving the issue and living with any and all consequences.

Reading from the Right:

Card 4 - The Creator Card

Represents new decisions and directions that may be made; the power through which new things are brought into being. These may be either positive or negative, for both bring opportunity. Questions relevant to the Creator position include "Why do I feel the need to go in a new direction?" "What's making me feel the need to change my old habits?"

Card 5 - The Sustainer Card

Represents balance in the midst of change. It lends objectivity and decision to which things should and should not change. If Grounding equals Balance to you, one of the questions this card should answer is "what keeps me grounded when change is all around me?" "How can I stand apart from the changes, objective and non-emotional, and see the whole instead of the parts?"

Card 6 - The Destroyer Card

This is the position of limitations and endings. This card represents old decisions, habits, ways of being, and situations that, for whatever reason, should not be continued.


The Dyad: Essential Principles

The second row of two positions represents the cosmos, the individual, and the relationship between the two.

Reading from the Right:

Card 2 - The Light Card

Represents the influence of the cosmos which leads the individual to an action. It is a conscious, deliberate manifestation, and can be understood as the Yang - the active, male principle. Questions it addresses include "What idea is making itself known?" "What is striving to come into being?" "What is insisting on expression and acknowledgement?"

Card 3 - The Dark Card

Represents the reaction of the cosmos to the actions of the individual. It is the Yin, the female, passive principle. It addresses questions like "How does the Universe respond?" "What is the other side of the coin?" "What is hidden?"


Monad: The Theme

The first row of a single position represents the Premise of the reading, forming a foundation for understanding all the other cards. Every card in the spread can be compared with the theme card, to understand how the theme is developed at each level of the pyramid.