Deeper Analysis of the Abbey Theatre Reading
The table below summarises an analysis of Annie Horniman’s reading for the poet and leader of the Golden Dawn, W.B. Yeats. Annie Horniman was more or less following the rules of the Opening of the Key Spread, which meant that she only counted from the chosen significator.
Rather than count through every card, I have included the count in both directions for the 10 Wands, and all the courts. To keep things simple, I have not reversed direction for any of the courts during the counting sequences.
The extra un-numbered cards are the last cards in the counting sequences. Although we have not counted from all of them, we see several outcomes developing. The Queen Swords is a popular last card, so Horniman’s significator has to do a lot of the work herself.
We have not counted from the 3 Disks, Works, but it is part of almost every counting sequence in both directions. The 8 Disks is almost as popular, on work. Justice, suggesting relationships or legal work is prominent.
Thus far, the Emperor is not counted in either direction. Horniman’s respect and love for Yeats, could well suggest that he would be the Emperor. If you do the counting you will find that the Emperor counts to 2 Swords, peacemaking, while the 10 Wands is hit in the opposite direction. The Emperor appears to have a bipolar nature.
The 3 Cups, good things to come, is also absent from the count so far.
Both the Emperor and 3 Cups are good examples of the subtleties of counting. Both can easily be ignored since they are not counted but actually, when we count from them, we find they start the counting sequence.
With practice, these patterns build up in the mind, and you will find shortcuts to understanding these patterns. After the first count from any card in both directions, count from one not before counted from. If you hit one before counted, then try another uncounted, and so on.
The Source of the Nile
The longest, and most common sequence of counts tells you of the most likely direction the reading will take. From the evidence below, the longest sequence is from the Queen Swords to the 3 Wands, but there is a trap. If we only count from the Queen Swords, this is true, but from the other direction the 3 Wands counts to the Queen, a hidden influence that may have to be taken into account for the interpretation.
Counting from the significator, the Queen of Swords results in a very small loop – we land up on the significator herself. Either she is so incredibly self-centred that she thinks the world revolves around her, or she is not going anywhere fast. No wonder she counted in the opposite direction.
The top is the 10 Wands, which she interpreted as ‘anger in the mind’, most apt since this sequence was in the Air pile. As a professional tarot reader, I would probably have not read the Air pile since it can open a whole can of worms. 10 Wands suggest that she is the problem. Possibly Annie Horniman was somewhat intimidated by the Devil in the Earth place. Purchasing a building for a theatre might be interpreted as creative, but it is also a business proposition, suggested from the Devil. However, the sequence is not available to us. What we can do is interpret the top of the Air pile, the 10 Wands, which, is counted onto by the significator, the Queen of Swords, representing Annie Horniman. Since the minor arcana have no direction, we can count in both directions to see what is the best outcome.