Apprentice of Coils
II Red Earth
Eight of Spikes Seven of Blades
Five of Blades
Gatemaker of Coils
Five of Coils Three of Blades
Six of Blades
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.

Six of Blades: A heron of wooded swamps and a sandhill crane of the prairies entwine bird scissors. A bird-masked person reaches the end of a long journey and leaves her boat to swim in disguise to an unknown shore. Hope dawns and solid ground is reached when Science, Art, and Spirit are one.
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.
Three of Blades: Masked shrikes with hooked beaks wield broken thorns. A trident flashes three sharp words, breaking a trefoil mirror that becomes a window on the night rain that dispels fears, false symbols, and illusions.
Apprentice of Coils: Earth of Water. From a sacred spring surrounded by rare ferns, she carries clean water for drinking and for quenching hot iron. Her ancient Chinese cauldron becomes a black mirror for scrying. Open and sensitive, she lives in a world of moods, atmospheres, and hidden connections.
Seven of Blades: Skeleton hands reach through an African wrist knife surrounded by finger knives. Two Bald Ibises (Geronticus eremita) face off in ritualized conflict, when wielding power and avoiding it are equally risky.
Gatemaker of Coils: Air of Water. She peers from the misty cypress swamp into a lake or river, and calls the paddlefish water spirits. Compassionate and trusting, she inspires songs and poetry that express the strangest or most frightening feelings and visions so they can be shared in beauty.
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.
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.
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.

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.