I thought I’d write up something a little more practical. What’s more practical than a tarot spread, right? A lot of things, I suppose, but never mind that now. I was fiddling with my cards a few days ago and decided that the Deathly Hallows, from Harry Potter, would make a good set of interlinked images to build a spread on.
If you’re thinking there’s no way this is a unique idea, you’re right. I did a quick Google search and found tons of sites with DH spreads. Here’s a Pinterest with a ton of tarot spread ideas, including one that’s DH themed. I in no way want to diss this spread — it looks like it’s doing some interesting things with intersections. However, I tend to like my personal tarot spreads simple. I don’t even do the Celtic Cross anymore, when I’m reading my own cards. I usually just put five cards in a row and think about how they all bleed together at the edges. So when I prototyped this spread (and it’s still a prototype, really), I kept it simple: three cards for three hallows. That’s it.
I’m not going to make an image, since the cards will all interrelate with one another no matter what — the hallows were the artifacts of three brothers, after all. So I’ll just provide some descriptions.
The Elder Wand
This is the wand that’s unbeatable in duels. It’s also the wand that gets its first owner killed, because he’s a jackass that picks fights. Uh, Beedle the Bard spoilers here, I guess, if that’s really a thing. This Peverell gets his throat cut in his sleep. So, you know, the wand can make you unbeatable, but not invincible. There’s a difference there. Standard fairy tale stuff, right?
So this position in the card spread would be about something that is both winning and losing. So if you finally got that job, but it fucking sucks, this card would be telling you about it.
The Resurrection Stone
This stone summons the dead back to life, but in standard ghoulish liminal space style that sucks hardcore. The Peverell brother who gets this one summons his wife, feels crappy about her plight, and kills himself. Neat.
This card represents what has been lost and will not, cannot, come back. (This was the simplest one to do, if that wasn’t obvious).
The Invisibility Cloak
This one everyone knows. It’s a fucking cloak that makes you invisible. In the story, this Peverell brother uses the cloak to hide from Death for a while, has a good life, passes it on to his son, and dies. He “greets Death like an old friend.” This story is better if you imagine Pratchett’s Death trying to figure out what’s wrong with these two assholes and their normal brother.
As vague as the Elder Wand’s description might sound, this slot was the hardest to figure out. But I think it makes sense that this slot describes what you’ve come to accept. What’s out there, bigger than you, that no longer bothers you? That’s what goes here.
So I had to try it out, right? As with all tarot spreads, the first thing to do is come up with a topic. And, well, how about Harry Potter (the character, not the books, or the fandom I guess)? OK then!
Elder Wand: Four of Coins.
Coins are earthy, so think of roots. The deck I used has a slightly non-traditional four of coins — it depicts a man burying four giant coins in a grave. That is… suggestive. Harry’s past is always what he beats and what beats the shit out of him. Everything he deals with is always something from his past coming into the present, and he prevails — but it also erodes him every time it happens. That sounds about right.
Resurrection Stone: Six of Coins
More coins! What’s lost and will never return? Harry’s innocence and his childhood. This card depicts children, one handing a coin over to the other. Coins, in the sixth position, are all about the heights of earthly perfection, which we never have after childhood (mostly). He’s certainly not going to, that’s gone and gone again.
Invisibility Cloak: King of Staffs
Fire is all about power, will, and creativity. The king in this deck is a fucking dragon. He will fuck your shit up. Harry has to accept his own power — as a wizard and a person, really. I think the thing that really gets a lot of people into Harry Potter is Harry’s insistence that he’s just this kid, you know? Not in the “humble not a famous douche” way, but the “oh, people probably don’t notice me except to get mad at me” way. Because that’s how basically everyone feels, particularly in their teenage years. Harry finally accepts that he can be important — not because he already is, but because he has a will in the world and can do things. I sort of don’t like the last book all that much, but it’s actually startlingly important, given this tarot spread’s insight, that Harry fucks off from school. It shows him finally doing something active, rather than sitting and waiting.
And yes, I know, there are plenty of fanfics about that.
That’s it! It’s a simple spread, with a lot of ways to poke at you, or whoever you use it on. I think it may be particularly useful for characters in fiction, since they’re guaranteed to have the elements described here, at least in some way. Have fun with it, and let me know if you get anything particularly good — or bad, I guess. Either way.