Gatemaker of Spikes
Shaman of Bells
Six of Spikes Ten of Spikes
Three of Blades
III The Forge
Two of Coils II Red Earth
I The Magician
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.

I - The Magician: Masked for secrecy and drama, she communicates expertly but shows only what she wants us to see. She carries iron symbols of the four elements that she summons and combines at will, with innate talent, but without knowledge or experience.
Shaman of Bells: Fire of Earth. A turkey vulture journeys while playing the bones, gourd and pomegranate rattles, bells forged from her feathers, and a tambourine. Her skull is an egg hatching a baby vulture shaman. She is the psychopomp who guides the dead to the Otherworld and the living through the maze of grief or transformation.
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.
Gatemaker of Spikes: Air of Fire. Crowned with sewing needles and a winglike fan of magical protective fabric, she separates the fire of heart and hearth from explosive wildfire. Her hair is twisted into ropes for the shaman's ascent to the starry sky. Intense and innovative, her creativity combines intricate beauty with protective power.
Ten of Spikes: Ten malevolent-looking pins surround a desert pinacate beetle that stands on its head in self-defense. Entomologists use black pins for mounting insects. Some shamans remove harmful intrusions as black pins, in a burst of purifying energy that burns out to exhaustion and release.
III - The Forge (The Empress): The forge is a pomegranate filled with fiery seeds of life, the inexhaustible womb of creativity, a comfort and a challenge that draws the smith back again and again. With each piece of iron it heats, the world is new.
Two of Coils: Twisted steel snakes assist each other's hatching and devour each other's tails, a double Uroboros. The end of one attachment flows into the beginning of another, a mutual exchange and a swirling, changing flow of feeling between opposite poles.
Six of Spikes: An iron agave stalk holds sparkling seedpod lamps, and the base holds a honeycomb. These spike-leaved desert plants take years to mature, then they flower in a blaze of midsummer glory before dying. Young rosettes of new plants are hidden under the dead leaves.
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.

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.