Creative Spreads

Spread of the Month: The Spotlight Spread

Spread of the Month: The Spotlight Spread

By Pengwen

Retrogrades are a great time to really focus on one particular area of our life: to deep-dive into what we haven’t been paying attention to, so that we can resolve what might be holding us back. Every single planet goes retrograde at least once in 2020, and you can tailor this reading to any of them. I thought I’d start by looking at one of the three planets that is already retrograde now: Jupiter.

To set up the reading, I’m going to choose four areas ruled by Jupiter that I want to examine in my own life. I’ve chosen wealth, learning, family, and spirituality.

Then I assign each area a suit, based on the element that relates most closely to that suit:

  • Wealth = Earth = Pentacles
  • Learning = Air = Swords
  • Family = Water = Cups
  • Spirituality = Fire = Wands

If the areas don’t fit a suit exactly, I let my intuition guide me.

Now I draw the first card, asking, “What should I look at?” This tells you what area (as we’ve set up above), and also the more specific topic (the card itself). If you draw the 3 of Pentacles, you’re looking at wealth, in the context of working with others. It’s more straightforward if you set the Major Arcana aside for this reading, but do see my note below.*

I drew the Knight of Swords (Air), so I’m looking at learning, and hurrying up about it! Now we can interview the card:

Pengwen’s Spotlight Spread


Your six questions are, going clockwise from the bottom:
1. What is the background of this card? i.e. Why this one?
2. What might happen if I expand or develop this energy?
3. What might happen if I contract or limit this energy?
4. What is this card *not* about?
5. What am I missing about this energy that I need to address?
6. An advice card for going forward.

I ask question number 4 as a kind of boundary, to help eliminate possibilities. It’s a really useful placement for any reading, especially if there’s an ambiguity around the central question.

If you wanted to use this reading for Venus retrograde, then you could use the four topics of Love, Beauty, Art, and Home, assigning an element (and its suit) to each. I can interpret:

  • Love = Water = Cups
  • Beauty = Air = Swords (it’s a perception, after all, and can have a huge effect on our mental state);
  • Art = Fire = Wands
  • Home = Earth = Pentacles

I hope this spread is fruitful for you! Stay safe and well.

*You can use the Major Arcana for the initial draw, by following which sign rules each card and which element that sign rules. For example, The Hermit is ruled by Virgo; Virgo is ruled by Mercury, which is an Air sign = Swords. In the case of Major Arcana cards with two elements, e.g. The Empress (ruled by Venus, who rules Taurus/Earth and Libra/Air), you could draw another card to help you choose which one you should investigate, or just choose the one that resonates.

Jupiter photo credit: NASA