II Red Earth
Five of Blades
Apprentice of Blades XIX The Sun
Shaman of Blades
Eight of Spikes
Madrone of Blades XI Strength
Ore of Spikes
XVII The Star Star Spread
XVII - THE STAR
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.

Ore of Spikes - Hematite: An antlered torch blazes above jasper-banded hematite, igniting the imagination. Ore glows in the furnace, an image of the birth of inspiration. Hematite is the most important iron ore, and other ores must be heated to fully oxidize them to this mineral before smelting. It is the mineral pigment red ochre.
Five of Blades: A feather-crowned shaman contemplates a ritual ladder of hawk-shaped sawblades. To pass the test and ascend to the sky, she must grow wings or climb without fear that the blades will injure her.
XI - Strength: The shaman's ribs become burning bone flutes that a tutelary spirit replaces with iron horns. Hair grows hooks that capture soul fragments that are restored as quartz crystals. A helping spirit in the form of a tiger bellows blows new breath and life into her heart. She reunites spirit and body as both are transformed and healed.
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.
XIX - The Sun: She stands under a flaming iron sunwheel, absorbing its brightness until she begins to glow and become a sun herself. She makes a door for others in the red curtain of flame, and controls her own crackling black blaze and cool white glow at will.
Eight of Spikes: When the timing is right, iron feathers on a shaman's costume transform into real feathers, heated in magical flight. A bird bone flute summons a caracara spirit, Garuda of the desert grasslands. The shaman's stories inspire people and remind them who they are.
Madrone of Blades: Water of Air. Crowned with madrone leaves, she holds an owl feather pen and a knife for cutting reeds to make papyrus and a gourd reed pipe. She is a record-keeper and the source of the River that flows between worlds. Her wisdom and tight emotional control are hard-won, but she willingly shares her learning and clear thoughts.
Apprentice of Blades: Earth of Air. She holds a winter orchid (Aplectrum hyemale) and an ancient Greenland eskimo knife, cold-hammered from a flake of meteorite iron. Orchid flowers decorate her hair, and seeds blow when she plays the xun, a Chinese ocarina. Seeking intellectual challenge, she studies form and pattern in nature and applies it to practical design.
Shaman of Blades: Fire of Air. Masked as a snowy owl, she holds claw-shaped ceremonial knives on poles that claim land. She uses a bone spiritcatcher to capture, keep, and transmit lost souls with her breath, and travels to the Upperworld on reindeer antler bridges. She is the guardian of sacred places, spirit speaker, interpreter of nature.

Online Free Reading from the Ironwing Tarot by Lorena Babcock Moore.
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All artwork, electronic images, and text are copyright ©2001-2004 by Lorena Babcock Moore. Script copyright ©2004 by Daniel Moore.