This is part three of my exploration of a Celtic Cross spread about my current relationship situation.

Part 1 is here. It gives the overview of the spread and the cards, and starts to look at the overall elemental structure using elemental dignities.

Part 2 is here. It continues the overall analysis, exploring beyond the cards that were examined previously, and it looks the the rest of the central cross plus the staff.

Card Counting

Now, I’d like to try card counting, to take a look at that Death card. Card counting has been a part of cartomancy for ages. I’ve mentioned it previously on my blog, in conjunction with playing cards, and it is used sometimes with the Lenormand cards as well. Counting cards produces a sequence of cards in an order other than that in which they are laid out. The counted cards are woven together to tell a story.

This particular method of card counting comes from the Victorian era magical order, The Golden Dawn. Each card is assigned a certain counting value. When counting from a card, its value is used to count to the next card. This technique has been refined in recent times by Paul Hughes-Barlow. Some reference sources you might like to study if you want to learn more about this technique:

The Linear Spread

My cards, taken from the original Celtic Cross but placed in linear order for counting, are as follows.

8 of Wands, 4 of Swords, 5 of Swords, Emperor, 5 of Pentacles, Queen of Wands, 7 of Cups, 3 of Wands, 5 of Wands, Death

Does Death Count?

I chose to start with the Death card for counting, partly because it’s so prominent and dramatic; and partly to have a juicy start for this analysis.

Going right, Death counts to the 8 of Wands; to 3 of Wands; and back to Death. This closes a loop, so to speak; we always stop counting when we hit a card that was previously counted. In this case, it’s interesting that Death brings me back to Death. This is not always the case!

Starting with the 8 of Wands and it’s surrounding cards, I can say: change will occur quickly through communication, likely an uncomfortable message that requires trying to keep some mental distance from the current circumstances.

The 3 of Wands is (elementally) slightly uncomfortable as well; I realize that I have unrealistic imaginings for things that could be in a relationship, and at the same time I’m just frustrated and angry at the way things have been. So I haven’t been very comfortable in my own skin.

Finally back to Death, where I struggle and argue with myself over what do say or do; and what to look for, to encourage or avoid change, depending on my thoughts and in some cases, discussion with friends.

This short counting cycle shows that change is inevitable, and things have to end, one way or another. Perhaps the short cycle shows that the time will be soon too? Maybe communication initiated by me will hasten whatever Death wants to bring to my relationship.

Counting from Death to the left: Death, 5 of Wands, 5 of Pentacles, 8 of Wands, Emperor, 5 of Swords and 5 of Wands. A more interesting series. A brief interpretation: change will require uncomfortable confrontation, perhaps of my own strengths and limitations. Loss will occur; perhaps a loss of authority through the agency of the Queen of Wands. This refers back to how I felt earlier, where I saw the Emperor as my control and the Queen as perhaps being a new personality I need to take on.

This will cause a feeling of loss, perhaps because of the fundamental conflict between controlling things and stepping back to let things flow. Ultimately it brings me back to the 5 of Wands, and an inherent conflict that seems to be be ongoing. Having this card in both counts, and being a key card as the end of this counting sequence, gives me food for thought. Does it mean there is fundamental discord in my relationship? Logically, I don’t think so, although who knows what may lie deeper. This is something for me to think on, especially as this card of Strife mediates between Established Strength and Death. Hmmm…

My Thoughts; Now Yours

That’s as far as I will take this analysis today. I would like to share with my readers that I did have a positive event occur at home last night, which really helped with some of the things that have been recently lacking in my relationship. I also established that we both felt this, although there was no arguing or fighting involved. (Whew!)

I welcome your thoughts on this card reading process, or on my interpretations, if you wish to add to them. If you have feedback on my presentation of this material, or would like clarification on anything, then let me know that as well.

So hit me up in the comments, if you are inclined.