Goddesses in Every Position - Spread by Diane Wilkes
I created this spread more than five years ago. I had just finished reading Jean Shinoda Bolen's Goddesses in Every Woman and was quite taken with it. Naturally, my affection for the book translated into a tarot spread. At the time, there were almost no Goddess Divination decks, so I used the Deva Tarot Queens and Princesses to represent the seven goddesses Bolen so brilliantly brings to life: Artemis, Athena, Hestia, Hera, Demeter, Persephone, and Aphrodite. With the influx of new Goddess decks, you can replace the female court cards with the "real thing"--or a reasonable facsimile thereof.
1 2 3 7 4 5 6
Artemis Athena Hestia Aphrodite Hera Demeter Persephone
Formulate a question to which you'd like specific, oracular advice in response. Think about the question as you shuffle until the deck feels ready. Separate the deck with your left hand into seven piles, and place each one under its designated (numbered) position.
Below are some possible questions for each Goddess, but they are merely suggestions to help you get started. This is your dialogue with the Goddess. Make it your own.
One is Artemis, Goddess of the Hunt and Moon, who is the Sister, Competitor, and Feminist. Questions you might ask Her: What do I need to do in order to win? What are the losses I might incur? Will anyone involved in the situation need defending? Is anyone involved in the situation furious or ruthless, and, if so, how will this effect me? Where is the best place for me to find my quarry? What qualities do I most need to incubate in order to triumph in this situation?
Two is Athena, Goddess of Wisdom. She is the Strategist and Father's Daughter. Questions you might ask Her: What is the next step I must take in order to get what I want? How close am I to completing this task? What plans need adjustment? Is my goal ultimately worthwhile? Who are my allies and who are my enemies? Am I playing fairly? Are the others involved in the situation being fair to me--and am I being fair to them? How can I "father" myself in this situation? What do I need to do to attain my power responsibly and with wisdom?
Three is Hestia, Goddess of Spirituality and the Hearth. She is the Virginal Crone and Wise Woman. Questions you might ask Her: What do I need to do (or not do) to achieve spiritual balance in this matter? What alterations in my home environment do I need to make it more spiritually rewarding? Are there too many--or too few--people in my life right now, in terms of preventing me from attaining what I most desire? What steps do I need to take in order to purify my life?
Four is Hera, Goddess of Marriage and Partnership. She is the Wife and Keeper of Commitments. Questions you might ask Her: How does my partner (or lack thereof) relate to my question? Is he/she supportive or detrimental to my present desire? What resolutions need to be kept in order for me to get what I want most? Am I clinging to societal strictures that do not support me? Is there anyone I'm blaming for my own or another's wrongs?
Five is Demeter, Goddess of Nature. She is the Great Mother and Nurturer. You might ask Her: Who nurtures me and whom do I nurture? How can I mother myself in this situation, giving myself what I need to succeed and thrive? How can I nourish my proposed project and make it grow? In which ways am I empty? In which ways am I replete? Am I giving freely? Am I fostering unhealthy dependencies? Is someone giving to me freely, or setting up a co-dependent relationship? What do I need in order to ground myself? What do I need to let go of? Is there a compromise I can make in order to get what I most need?
Six is Persephone, Maiden and Queen of the Underworld. She is the Mother's Daughter and Psychic. Questions you might ask Her: In what way am I a novice in this situation? What are the fantasies/dreams from my youth that I should try to make into reality? Which childhood fantasies do I need to put on the shelf, because they interfere with my most powerful dreams? What psychic message do I need to bring into the light? What is below the surface that I have refused to acknowledge? Am I lying to myself (or another) about something pertaining to this question? What am I hiding from myself? Which tarot card should I use to incubate my dreams? Am I fantasizing about the results of this situation? What am I "in the dark" about?
Seven is Aphrodite, Goddess of Love and Beauty. She is the Lover and Creative Woman. I place her in the center because she is the only Goddess who fuses focused achievement of goals (Virgin Goddess qualities) with intimate relationships (Vulnerable Goddess qualities). Bolen describes her as the Alchemical Goddess because of this Temperance-like attribute. Questions you might ask Her: What in this situation inspires me? What can I optimally create in my life regarding this situation? What in this situation is irresistible to me? What will bring me the greatest joy? What responsibilities have I not owned in relation to this situation? What issues am I ignoring? What past (similar) experiences have I had from which I refused to learn or see? What do I find beautiful about this situation?
There are numerous ways to use this spread. Choose the Goddess whom you believe holds the answers you need to hear most, or approach each Goddess in order, turning over the card(s) on the top of each Goddess' pile. You can limit yourself to one card, or use a different card for each question. You don't have to have a formal idea of how many cards you're going to use. I like to pull one card and ask several questions. If the card I have chosen answers all my questions (via the Goddess), I don't pull more. If I want clarification, or if the answer seems incomplete, I choose another card for the question that isn't fully answered.
I envision this spread as a dialogue between the querent and the archetype/Goddess. If I am reading for another person, I might take on the voice of the archetype/Goddess, allowing the querent to ask the questions to which he/she wants answers.
Play with this spread in any way you think will be valuable to you. Let me know if you develop variations or find a particular reading using this spread "divinely inspired."
Spread and Page © 2000 Diane Wilkes