Written by: Emma Sunerton-Burl

In response to the recent post on Celebrating Beltane, we had a few responses, with members kindly interpreting the spread. Here is the much appreciated second reading, from Emma Sunerton-Burl:

1. The Virgin: What is offering a fresh start? 9 cups I see this as the start of the journey to more consistent happiness and connectedness with people. There is a new way of embracing happiness in life through transformation as shown above.

2. The Faery: Which mischief do we need to get past? Ace Wands The distractions of too many possibilities – being in a situation where ‘sparkly and glittery things’ at whatever level, are distracting us from our own truth and pathway forward. It is like an abundance of ideas in a creative project – or the masculine force within, starting too many things without considering the resources to bring each to completion, in the relationship or sexual realm – perhaps being too distracted by the first flush of romance or the possibilities before one, and not looking at what will give happiness in the longer term, something that perhaps needs to be more stable and long lasting, than a fleeting fancy.

3.  Fire: What do we need to transform? Princess cups – This seems to me to speak of the need to not be all things for all people – perhaps we ‘over offer’ ourselves for others benefit. Asking too often “What do you want of me?” then striving to be all that is required without thought to what we require ourselves. Standing perhaps in the knowledge that we are self sufficient and strong and can ‘handle’ giving to others, but not recognising that this has happened so often that we have forgotten ourselves in the list of people who’s needs need to be met. As we transform the princess of cups so we take the side of her that is about self love, self esteem and connection with the highest self first and foremost. Also it is the idea of musing over things, perhaps taking more space to listen to the inner creativity speaking softly to us. We perhaps need to transform in order to do this, and perhaps where we do this – more along the lines of quality time, than snatched moments in between meeting others needs

4. Fertility: What is abundant right now? Queen swords It is the right time to do this work as there is the ability to take a more observer view and we are likely to find ourselves more open to the truth and to searching for it. We have a good ability to discern, which will help us move away from unrealistic distractions, perhaps potential partners who are attractive but not available for example, and towards what holds the greatest depth and truth for us. The truth is out there! Perhaps discern what our true vision is if left to our own devices and not thinking about how our choices affect others before we understand what our desire is for ourselves. In seeing the truth we can respond with greater clarity and awareness and bring forth a more stable happiness in life and in our relationships.

5. New growth: What should we nurture? Queen disks This speaks of developing ourselves physically – through exercise and good food – through exploring our own personal sensual nature, what really turns us on. Also a sense of reflection over the past and how we have got into the habits we have, through needing to survive in more challenging times – either just through simple circumstances, bringing up small children for example, or through a tough set of experiences in the family of origin, but whatever, we are now in the position to see the strengths gained from these times and to recognise we are not to same people in the same place as we were then, so we can now grow into a new way of being. It can also point us to spending time in nature reflecting, and using the natural world as metaphor to help us understand ourselves and our journey thus far.

6. Honour: How can we honour the Gods? Knight Disks We can honour the Gods by do what needs to be done – even though this movement forward requires effort and overcoming inner resistance and fear – perhaps of change. Like walking up a mountain – its going to be tough and thinking about it could put us off.. if we however simply take one step at a time and don’t rush, we will find ourselves there before we know it. So we need to face the truths we uncover – dare to look where we have hidden our true selves and acknowledge there is more of us to express in partnership with others and with ourselves, and indeed, in the sexual realm. It honours the gods to start this journey and release the past – despite misgivings, fears or reluctance..

7. The Goddess: What is within? Knight Swords Deep in there, alongside the reluctance, there is a knowing of how things will progress and what direction your truth lies in. Once you allow yourself to see this you will be able to align with it easily – things move forward swiftly and your intuition continues to inform you when you need to make small adjustments to your course due to the terrain. You know logically what needs to be done – once you uncover your resistance (knight disks) to being more than ’only receptive’, (princess cups), to the world and take action in a definite direction of your choosing (knight swords) things begin moving more quickly and with clarity.

8. The God: What is manifesting? 4 cups This is the idea of emotional stability, not being blown about by others (ace wands/princess cups) but being emotionally resilient in yourself and having the strength to weather any storms that come about around you. As people react to your changes, and sometimes are not comfortable with them, so you stay on your own course rather than ever weakening your own perspective to accommodate another’s discomfort, rescuing them from honestly asking their own questions about how they could improve their experience of happiness in life. This is not about riding over people, or ignoring the need for consent in sexual situations, but about taking responsibility for one’s own experiences in relationships and sexual situations and not diminishing yourself for it. At some point a time will come where there will be a need to flow more emotionally, to risk something, but the first manifestation will be the practicing, and recognition, of emotional security in one’s own skin and experience. Later time will come where a risk of trust and openness will need to be taken. But this sense of being ok in oneself needs to be enjoyed for a while first so it feels normal and comfortable and the danger of slipping back into old patterns reduced.

9. Union: How can we pull together? 8 disks This talks of relying on the skills developed – the roots that have been put down over time and nourished the truck in strength and sustenance. Its not quite time to bloom – but to allow things to develop patiently – perhaps a new relationship has been the subject of this reading for you – then don’t rush the process and if you feel unbalanced slow it down, and return to reflection in solitude for more of the time – this enables the flower to bloom naturally in its own time, organically, having been fed and nourished with the truth and inner resilience of the path to that point.


This can be read as a reading about the relationship between our inner masculine and inner feminine and the harmony we are seeking with these two forces within ourselves and also it can relate to relationships around us, sexual or otherwise, and how we honour our own desires and experiences in relationships more strongly rather than just seeing our value in how we can be there for another.

This is just my initial take – all be it the second writing of it as the first post didn’t make it to the site, there is much more that could be said given the time. It feels like a really positive shifting process through Beltane energy.

 I really love the spread – I think it is very well designed and useful for Beltane explorations



Emma welcomes any comments on this article or the visualisations you do following this method. Email her on emma@tarot-training.co.uk.

Emma works as an intuitive psychic tarot reader and runs one to one online training courses on reading with the Thoth tarot deck using a unique blend of intuition and psychological techniques. This has now been extended to working intuitively with RWS style decks too. She also mentors other professional and non-professional tarot readers. She offers visualisation MP3 downloads for intuition development, tarot readings F2F, telephone or distance, and healing – see her website for details: http://seeds-of-light.co.uk/ 

Emma has a Bsc in Psychology and is a trained counsellor, counselling supervisor and trainer. She integrates this experience in her Tarot work, and in her self-written training courses for personal development, Tarot, and Tarot mentoring.


Kate · May 10, 2018 at 1:47 am

Oh Emma. This is quite freaky. QUITE??? I mean…. OMG I am freaked out. Absolutely. You have very much hit the nail on the head. There really are no secrets where this is all concerned, are there?

Quite seriously, tho, I love how you handle this deck. Your reading of these cards seems so positive and supportive. You seem to draw out the best in these cards… which I haven’t been able to do. Now I am wondering how much of my response to these cards is based on the cards themselves, and how much is based on what I have heard about them and their creator.

As I said to my mentor, I simply LOVE the artwork in this deck, it is far superior to any of the other Golden Dawn decks (in fact, any deck I have seen, in my opinion); so I would love to be able to work with them. But then… my mentor breathed a sigh of relief when I promised I’d put them back into my cupboard. (He, apparently, had to dig them off the back of a dark shelf and blow the dust off when I ventured into this territory!!!) Now…. well, now I’m tempted…

Thank you very much x

Emma Sunerton-Burl · May 10, 2018 at 8:26 am

I am glad it has inspired you Kate! It really is quite a wonderful deck, whatever negatives are said of Crowley he was very well educated in the esoteric schools of thought and I feel he really did put so many layers of correspondances in this deck that once you open to them you connect with the collective unconscious in a deep way. The timeless expression of the psyche 😀 I am glad it has enthused you to get the deck out again 😀

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