Creative Spreads

Magenta’s Musings: The Compass Point Spread

The Compass Point Spread

By Magenta

I’m sure many of you are familiar with the Chinese system of Feng Shui which is based on the Eight Mansions, each named after a direction on a compass and each Mansion governing an area of life.

This Spread, as the name suggests, is based on these main 8 directions and again, each direction covers a particular aspect or area. It can be used for a general reading or for a particular question, as each position shows how other areas in life could be affecting the situation.

It is a very adaptable spread, using 9 cards or 18 (or more) and is good for a general oversee of a client’s current situation.

After shuffling & preparing the deck in your usual manner, the cards are laid starting at the top with Card 1 North then laying each clockwise in a circle. The cards’ positions are:

  • Card 1 – North – Career, work, practicalities
  • Card 2 – North East – Education, learning, self development
  • Card 3 – East – Communications, mental activity
  • Card 4 – South East – Finances, money, prosperity
  • Card 5 – South – Love, pleasure, relationships
  • Card 6 – South West – Friends, platonic relationships
  • Card 7 – West – Emotions, feelings, needs
  • Card 8 – North West – Travel, movement, disagreements
  • Card 9 – Heart – placed in the centre of the circle – shows the ‘Heart’ of the matter
The basic 9 card spread example

I start with Card 9, as being the Heart of the matter, this will often show what is troubling the client or what the situation is. The 3 of Pentacles could suggest work & money is the issue in this reading.
A very brief interpretation of the cards in this example could be:

Card 9 – Heart – 3 of Pentacles – Skill, co-operation, teamwork, planning
Card 1 – North – Ace of Wands – New beginnings, fresh start, energy, creativity
Card 2 – North East – Knight of Wands – Activity, energy, passionate, impatience
Card 3 – East – Temperance – Self control, compromise, moderation
Card 4 – South East – The Devil – Bondage, temptation, living a lie
Card 5 – South – 9 of Pentacles – Self reliance, accomplishment, abundance
Card 6 – South West – High Priestess – Intuition, secrets, mysterious influences
Card 7 – West – 4 of Cups – Doubt, hesitation, lack of motivation
Card 8 – North West – 7 of Swords – Dishonesty, theft, deception

After interpreting each position, you might now like to look at the four opposite pairs; North & South, North East & South West and so on and the relationship they have with each other and also what effect they have on Card 9, the Heart of the matter.

For instance, in this example North East (Education etc), Knight of Wands and South West (Friends etc), High Priestess could suggest that an energetic friend is acting mysteriously! Another example South East (Finances etc), The Devil paired with North West (Travel etc), 7 of Swords could suggest that something really is not right and someone could be telling porkies! (Cockney slang for lies, ‘porky pies’).

I mentioned earlier that this spread can be used using 18 cards. You now place two cards at each position, either to expand the message of the cards or to show the positive & negative aspects in each area.

18 card spread example

In this example the first card is the positive, the second is the negative:

Card 1 & 10 – North – Ace of Wands & 2 of Swords – New beginnings, fresh start, energy, creativity plus stagnation, denial, blockages.

Card 2 & 11 – North East – Knight of Wands & Queen of Wands – Activity, energy, passionate, impatience plus energetic woman, activity, creativity

Card 3 & 12 – East – Temperance & Ace of Pentacles – Self control, compromise, moderation plus rewards, gain, prosperity

Card 4 & 13 – South East – The Devil & 3 of Cups – Bondage, temptation, living a lie plus friendship, celebration, indulgence

Card 5 & 14 – South – 9 of Pentacles & 8 of Swords – Self reliance, accomplishment, abundance plus restriction, barriers, isolation

Card 6 & 15 – South West – High Priestess & The Fool -Intuition, secrets, mysterious influences plus impulse, new beginnings, enthusiasm

Card 7 & 16 – West – 4 of Cups & The Tower – Doubt, hesitation, lack of motivation plus disruption, unexpected events, revelation

Card 8 & 17 – North West – 7 of Swords & 5 of Cups – Dishonesty, theft, deception plus loss, disappointment, regret

Card 9 & 18 – Heart – 3 of Pentacles & The Emperor – Skill, co-operation, teamwork, planning plus power, authority, leadership

This now expands the interpretation and message of the cards in each position. For example Cards 3 & 12 East, Communications etc – Temperance & Ace of Pentacles – this would suggest that self control and moderation is called for when dealing with gain and prosperity; you need to watch your money!

You can again also look at the opposite positions and how the cards interact with each other; North & South, North East & South West and so on which could offer another layer of possible meanings.

As an adaptable spread, this offers several options, so do have a play around with it and see how it works for you!


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