Lighthouse Spread (Imbolc)

In today’s Tarot Timetravel, we use the Lenormand Oracle (or any other oracle deck) to get a balance between our past and future, in a one-off spread to be used only on Imbolc. We also see how to read positive oracle cards in negative positions, and negative cards when they appear in a positive position.

At Imbolc, February 2nd, it is a pivotal time between the seasons, and we begin to see the first light of Spring and Summer to follow. We have a brief moment to reflect on what we have learnt in the often quieter time of dark winter, and what we wish to take into the light. In effect, now is the time to consider our resolutions, not at the artificial start of the calendar year. So let us time travel to the seasonal time, rather than our calendar clock time, and align ourselves for the future.

As this year we are re-discovering the “Tarot of Antiquity”, particularly such decks as European decks including Kipper Decks, Lenormand Oracle decks and the Marseilles and Swiss IJJ, I am going to be featuring a lot of the Lenormand type of decks. Today I am using the Lenormand Blue Owl deck, although this spread will work with any oracle deck. An oracle deck is often better for this method as the cards are usually more literal and mundane – Marcus Katz prefers his Psycards deck for this one.

Let us imagine we stand on a rock upon the coastline, inbetween the sea and land. Ahead of us is a great lighthouse, with two beams rotating into the early dawn light. We stand for a moment inbetween time and space, past and future, here and now.

Shuffle your deck and consider your past and future. How has it been, where do you want to go?

Then pick out 7 cards and layout the spread as below, as a lighthouse with two beams of light coming from it:


CARD 2 – CARD 3 – CARD 4                                                           CARD 5 – CARD 6 – CARD 7

The first card is laid out at the top and this is the lighthouse or beacon card, its power crowns the spread, the light splits in two and radiating its energy left and right, each card depicts the nature of steering towards or away.

There are three cards laid out in a row (or you can lay them out in a column) on the left and three on the right. The left is indicative of what you should steer away from, the right is what you should steer towards. You can read them together, or break the positions into the following context.

These cards are also signposts – you should learn to see that if you go past one card, you will reach the next. This gives you at least three levels of warning before making bad decisions, or three levels of “warmer – hotter – found it!” on the positive side of the reading.

On the left (negative/past) side:

The first card on the left column (2) represents the tip of the iceberg. This card shows what will show up first when you are going the wrong way in the future, based on the mistakes of the past.

The second card on the left column (3) represents the shallow reefs. This card shows what will start to happen if you miss or ignore that warning. You know what this card means, as it as probably happened before.

The third card on the left column (4) represents the Sirens. This card shows the final last-chance warning you will receive before committing a bad mistake in the future. Ignore it at your peril.

Now on the more positive side, we have the three cards representing the signs we can follow in our future that will guide us to our safest dock, our home, and create destiny from our fate.

The first card (5) on the right column represents the coastline. This is the card that tells you what to look out for, even if it appears not to be important, as part of your souls quest of return.

The second card (6) on the right column represents the Harbour. This tells us what you should expect to see in your life if you are heading the right direction.

The third card (7) on the right column represents the Dock. This final card indicates the nature of our destiny, and suggests what will be happening when we are closest to our own true path.

To illustrate the deceptive power of this spread when conducted on this one sacred day, here is an example which I conducted for someone last year:

The Beacon/Lighthouse: 34 (The Fishes)

Whilst most see this traditionally as a card of material gain, to me this card is about spiritual self-discovery, taking the opportunity to rise to the call and look to a new adventure.  The fish are very much in the forefront of the card, the water symbolic of the emotions that we wallow in. This is Neptunian realms of emotions; we are motivated by emotional stimulus. It suggests that rather than being a lighthouse, your call is to follow the tide of your emotions – trust them and they will lead you to where you need to go – a true sense of “going with the flow”. In this position the card bodes well, for there is little struggle suggested in the year ahead – you have learnt to trust your tides.

We then look at the warning signs to be heeded in the year:

The Tip of the Iceberg:  19 (The Tower)

The Tower can be used as a look-out post, the presence of this card in the spread counsels to be aware of impending risk or danger that you may be exposed to. You need to plan for any outcome good or bad. Build up a defence system around yourself, protect yourself from negativity. Imagine that you are safe and protected behind the walls of this tower. This is also a card advising getting a better perspective of a situation that has arisen, look at in a more objective manner, be practical about this, do not become too subjective or over emotional, rise above the situation and figure out a solution! You will know you are at the tip of the iceberg any time you feel defensive. This is when you should bail out, retreat, or make your way around the arising situation.

The Shallow Reefs: 18 (The Dog)

When you feel trusted, or called upon to give trust to someone, this is a further warning – you are being drawn into the shallow reefs. Whilst usually the most delightful card of the oracle, here it shows that your trust has led you astray in the past, and will be a sign in the future that you are going astray again. Be more of a fish than a dog, then!

The Sirens: 4 (The House)

Again, a most stable and positive card here is in a position which is negative. It shows how the house can be a prison – a stable environment has suffocated you in the past. If you find yourself too comfortable this year – you are perilously close to losing yourself to the siren song. It may even be too late, so be aware this coming year that every moment you are “out and about” is keeping you from your doom. Get out there!

Then on the future/positive beam from the lighthouses beacon:

The Coastline:  9 (Flowers/Bouquet)

When people are praising you, when giving you gifts or compliments, do not run away! This is the welcoming coastline that beckons you closer. You may not be used to this, having been away from this shore for so long. Perhaps you have not gained or been given recognition in the past, but that is about to change. Whilst it may seem counter-intuitive to you, seek the limelight more often, be the happy centre of attention. When you open your arms, flowers will follow.

The Harbour: 8 (The Coffin)

A negative card, perhaps, in an entirely positive position. So here, like we saw with our positive cards in negative positions, the poles are reversed again. The coffin indicates that our safe harbour is to be found when we put things in the grave – when we bury what is outworn and obsolete. When we dig deep and discard all that we do not want to carry into a new life. This is a sign, then, that our harbour is waiting for us. Following our course to the coast, we have opened ourselves to others and been changed – it is then up to you to bury your old self. When you find yourself thinking of loss, this can be taken as a sign you are even closer to the dock of your future.

The Dock: 30 (The Lily)

How will you know that you are on your path, that you have learnt from the darkness of the year and are making your way to the light of the future? The Lily shows a certain sense of purity and virtue – a clean spring feeling of light. It indicates that you will sense a great clarity as you hone in on your own path, a quietness, even a calm so profound it feels empty. After you have buried your old self, your new self will seem fresh and clean – waiting to be gifted again to the world. You will know that you are on the right beam of the lighthouse every moment there is clarity – avoid confusion or being overburdened. The answer lies – for you this year – in pure simplicity itself.

I hope you have enjoyed this spread and the use of the Lenormand deck, and I look forward to any comments if you decide to try it yourself – use this method as an excuse to dust off an oracle deck, or use a new one! Safe sailing until our next time-travelling instalment!


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