Apprentice of Bells
VIII Crystallization
XVIII The Moon Three of Bells
Five of Bells
Five of Coils
Seven of Spikes II Red Earth
0 The Lodestone
XVII The Star Star Spread
The Three Star Spread is based on this picture. One woman stands on iron ore and watches a basket star swimming in the sea. Another woman stands on fossil crinoids (relatives of the sea star) and watches a falling iron meteor. Each woman tries to attract the other's attention, though they do not look at each other. A single glowing eye unites the women, their visions, and the ground they stand on.

This layout is used to clarify a relationship between two people. Odd numbers represent one person, even numbers represent the other. Card 9 unites the two. Try reading both sides for each person. The spread can also be read for one person: Odd numbers represent what you think and do in the world and how others see you. Even numbers represent the subconscious, the imagination, and how you see yourself. Card 9 balances the two.

Cards 1&2: The ground that each person stands on: home and work, responsibilities, and the past as it affects the current situation.
Cards 3&4: Each person now: priorities, self image, role in life or in the relationship.
Cards 5&6: What each person is looking at next and/or wants the other person to see.
Cards 7&8: Division: an inner obstacle or outside interference.
Card 9: Point of connection or reconciliation.

0 - The Lodestone (The Fool): A little girl holds a magnetite crystal that diverts her compass needle. All magnetite will attract a magnet, but the lodestone variety is a magnet itself, and attracts small pieces of iron. Innocent but curious, she begins her journey without a guide, trusting the earth to reveal her path. Red ochre handprints hint at the Black Metal's potential.
VIII - Crystallization (Justice): A pyrite "sun" dissolves in black acid springwater and reprecipitates as crystals and a sparkling coating on three hazelnuts that have fallen into the water. Balance is sometimes maintained in unexpected ways that are difficult to recognize unless viewed objectively.
II - Red Earth (The High Priestess): The extinct Australian Pleistocene horned tortoise, Meiolania, carries a shell of iron ore stromatolites (fossil algae), one of the earth's oldest life forms. Unknowable guardian of earth history and geological secrets, she is a guide to true knowledge and opens the door to new mysteries we would not have guessed existed.
Apprentice of Bells: Earth of Earth. Hidden in a natural sandstone rockhouse in the forest, she collects iron ore pebbles and grinds them into pigment with a mortar and pestle, guarded by tiger bells tied in her hair. She loses and finds herself in her work and in the earth materials that she gathers and uses.
Three of Bells: Bells inspired by wild gourds give three plain but carefully-crafted interpretations of a simple design from nature.
Five of Coils: A broken high-carbon steel chain of brittle stars surrounds a living brittle star with a broken arm. This steel shatters if quenched, and must be cooled in sand for strength. When something feels too fragile to work with, stress must be relieved slowly. Before giving up or remaking what is broken, touch the wisdom in the break.
Seven of Spikes: A stag beetle and tiny iron antlers shaped like those of the extinct Pleistocene Giant Deer (Megaloceros) crown a shaman's hair comb ornament. Carbon antler fungi (Xylaria hypoxylon) are like ashy burnt antlers. One who accepts initiation enters the wild land to confront and claim power.
XVIII - The Moon: The coyote as moon goddess stands at a gate of Moonwort ferns contemplates her skeleton or talks to an ancestor, her hands trailing in the water that flows between worlds. The moon is shown full and in eclipse, bringer of strange dreams and wishes, prophetic visions or confusion, clarity or madness. Moon shells show the moon's bright and hidden sides.
Five of Bells: The heat from newly-forged flower bells causes a sacred datura flower to unfurl in a swirl of perfume. When strength and creative work fails, return to the earth and be open to the comfort of unexpected wonders.

Online Free Reading from the Ironwing Tarot by Lorena Babcock Moore.

Ironwing Tarot

All artwork, electronic images, and text are copyright ©2001-2004 by Lorena Babcock Moore. Script copyright ©2004 by Daniel Moore.