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Tarot Spreads from Judith Laura
Three-Ring Horoscope Spread

11                 9
12                          8
  1               *              7
       2                     6
          3              5

In Loving Memory of
Brian Williams
January 30,1958-April 15, 2002

This 37-card spread is inspired by Brian Williams' Minchiate Tarot.  The Minchiate deck is a 97-card deck originally popular in the Italian Renaissance.  In addition to the Majors we moderns are used to, it has cards representing the 12 astrological signs, 4  Elements and Virtues. It also contains the Minors (courts and pips) .

This spread can be done with the Minchiate deck only, or with Minchiate and one other deck, or with Minchiate and two other decks.   

The Three-Ring Horoscope Spread uses three rings or concentric circles  of 12 cards each; only one is shown above for ease of graphic representation. The outer circle is the usual horoscope of signs/houses. The second circle of cards represents natal or general traits (but not necessarily the same as what is in a person's astrological natal chart) and combines the meanings of the astrological houses with the card meaning; the third ring, or circle, can have variable meanings.

  * in the center above represents the deck from which card 13 of the third ring (37 of the entire spread) is drawn.

When using the Minchiate deck alone:

First (Outer) Ring: Take from the Minchiate, the 12 cards depicting astrological
signs.  Using the circle above as guide, place them as follows: Card 1, Aries; 2, Taurus; 3, Gemini; 4, Cancer; 5, Leo; 6, Virgo; 7, Libra; 8, Scorpio; 9, Sagittarius; 10, Capricorn; 11, Aquarius; 12, Pisces. 

Second Ring: Separate Minchiate Majors, Elements, and Virtues from rest of deck.
Setting rest of deck aside, shuffle and randomly select 12 cards from the Majors/Elements/Virtue cards. Lay each one next to the first ring cards, beginning again with position 1, forming a second ring. The cards in the second ring represent how the energies of the houses manifest in your life in general (similar to natal horoscope chart). After laying down the 12, put the unused cards in pack in middle of the circle.

Some common meanings attributed to the astrological houses are:
1 - Self, physical body
2 - Personal resources: money, land, other property
3 - Communications, short trips, siblings, neighbors
4 - Home, homeland, parent (traditionally, mother), soul
5 - Creativity, love affairs, children, recreation
6 - Health, work, service to others
7- Partnership, marriage, public relations
8 - Partnered money matters, sex, death
9 - Higher education, publications, philosophy, religion, long (or foreign) trips
10-Profession, public recognition, other parent (traditionally, father)
11-Friends, hopes, goals
12-Hidden factors, confining factors, psychic or mystical matters

So, for example, some meanings for The Chariot as Card 1 in the second ring could be: a person who is always on the move; a person for whom body movement is important; a high-achiever with clear goals; a controlling personality.

Third Ring: Using courts and pips, shuffle and randomly select a third ring of
12 cards. Lay them out  as the innermost circle, beginning with position 1. This ring can represent a number of different things (decide before the reading which one) such as: how the energies of these houses are manifesting in your life now; or the answer to a specific question; or (especially when done at beginning of year or at  birthday) how things will go for you in the year ahead. For people who want to answer the question "when?" you can either look at the astrological sign, which will tell you time of year, or you can count months beginning with card 1, whichever works for you. When you are through placing the cards, put the unused remainder on top of the center stack.

* Card 13 of 3rd ring/Card 37 of entire reading: Select this card from stack in the center in any random manner you see fit. Meaning is also up to you, some possibilities: Overall outcome; message; advice; more information on specific area of life querent specifies.

When using 2 decks: Use Minchiate for Rings 1 and 2, and another full tarot deck for Ring 3. Don't put remainder of Minchiate deck in center. Use only remainder of  the second deck (used for ring 3) for the center stack from which card 13/37 is selected.

When using 3 decks: Use Minchiate for Ring 1, the Majors and Courts from a second deck for Ring 2, and a full third deck for Ring 3.  Only the remainder of the full deck used for Ring 3 goes in the center for selection of card 13/37.

Other things can also be done with this spread, such as comparing the cards in the same number positions in the three rings.

Those adept at astrology can  derive additional meaning by comparing cards that are opposite and squared to one another (and in other astrological aspects), and by combining the spread with information from the person's natal chart, giving extra emphasis, for example, to the astrological sun, moon and ascendent positions of the querent. However, in-depth knowledge of astrology is not needed to use this spread as a tarot tool.

Copyright 2002 by Judith Laura. All rights reserved. But feel free to print out this page for personal use.

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