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A Square Tarot de Marseille—Why? As I considered my goals, the benefits of the square format became apparent. I’ll name just 3 here (others are explained in the large book):

1. A Trump image may suggest a more nuanced interpretation when it can fall in any one of 4 different orientations.

2. Pips 1-10 of a suit can appear on just 3 squares when the card is divided into 4 segments, and since the triadic reading method divides them into 3 groups of 3 cards each, a single square defines each group with card 10 added to the last. This makes the triadic reading method easy to learn. The 4 royals of a suit share a square. Only the top triangle is read.

3. This economy of presentation means that the 14 cards of each suit are now on just 4 squares greatly reducing the size of the deck.


Limitations: A customer questions the limitation of never having certain near-adjacent cards of the same suit in a reading. RESPONSE: Actually, this limitation clarifies the reading. Remember that any undertaking in life has 3 major stages (see bullets below); and, in a 78-card deck, each stage has its own 3 cards that further divide that major stage (such as Ace, 2 & 3 of the Triad of Commencement). In the Triadic Tarot, those three are grouped on one square card, so when the Triad of Commencement comes up, the top triangle tells you where in that major stage you are at present.

  • Commencement (a new undertaking)—Ace, 2 & 3
  • Opposition (the difficulties one encounters)—4, 5 & 6
  • Equilibrium (the mature, stable result)—7, 8 & 9

If the 3 of a suit comes up, we know we are at the highest level of a new undertaking in the realm of that suit. In the suit of Rods (birth, growth and development) we are concerned with a new creative project, or perhaps an educational program. The 3 tells us that the new project is established. We are past the first idea (the Ace) and past the stage of second thoughts and doubts (the 2). Those cards cannot come up, but they would serve no purpose. We know the new undertaking is established.

Staying with the realm of Rods, if the 5 of Rods (Opposition of Opposition) comes up, it brings help to counter outside opposition to a project. The opposition itself, would have been indicated by the 4; but because we are at the 5, that opposition or the expectation of opposition is presumed. There is still reason to believe that the goal of the project will be achieved so there is no need to make the CHOICE required in the 6, and indeed, the 6 cannot come up. The important thing now (the message to you or the querent), is to consider the nature and source of the help being offered, and whether there may be strings attached.

Can you see how just one of the three pips of a major stage clarifies the current concern?

What if the 8 of Cups had followed the 3 of Rods? The 8 (Opposition of Equilibrium) indicates a situation that requires a quick and competent response. Cups is the emotional and spiritual realm, so there might be a family crisis that requires immediate attention.

If a Trump card had followed the 3 of Rods, it would have given a whole new coloration and perhaps deeper significance to the newly established project. Was this helpful?     ###