The tarot spread that I'm going to share with you today is one that I use when performing my Pathwalker reading for others. I typically perform it at the start of the reading to get a nice snapshot of what strengths and particulars my querent is dealing with in the moment. It is meant to be personal, insightful and reflective. I then go on to perform the rest of the reading made up of a few different components, but it occurs to me that this small 4 card spread can be a total standalone - and so I wish to share it with you!
I should mention that while talking about the cosmos, the positions that make up this spread should not be confused with astrological associations. What is uncovered in this reading can change at any moment; as we grow or enter new stages, whereas our natal chart remains static. I also want to add that when we look at a spread like this and discuss concepts such as path and purpose, understand that you - your path and your purpose can shift - can change and evolve over time. So when you're performing this spread, consider it a snapshot of the moment! It's not to say these traits haven't been there all along, or forever even, but we must also leave room for that possibility that our strengths and shadows may shift as we grow.
The spread itself is pretty simple and straight forward - just 4 cards! Below I have outlined what each position represents and following that, I will provide some tips and share insight into how the landscape may be interpreted.
Card 1 (placed at the top) Sun: This card represents how you project to the world or are easily seen by others. This could be an obvious aspect of your personality and one that you feel comfortable to embody and express.
Card 2 (placed to the right) Moon: This card represents your inner world. This may showcase your emotional landscape or how you deal with and process feelings.
Card 3 (placed to the right) Star: This card will showcase an innate gift or gifts which you posses. These should come fairly naturally, however, they could also be untapped! Consider this the potential card if it's not a skill you recognize and understand that this is how you can be of service and shine brightly for yourself and others.
Card 4 (placed at the bottom) Shadow: This card represents an aspect of ourselves we may be yet to assimilate. It could be something you are unaware of, hide or even deny. This is likely something that burrows deep, but rears its ugly head from time to time. This could be a trait that you're ashamed of, but which informs your reactions unknowingly. It could be a theme that seems to play out over and over that you can't quite get a handle on. Whatever it is, it is presenting itself to you so that you may do the work to understand and accept it. You should control this aspect and not the other way around!
Considering that any of the 78 cards could potentially fall in any of these positions, I think its important to note that there is the possibility you will find a perceived negative card in a positive spot, say The Devil in The Star position. When this occurs (not specifically with the devil but any perceived negative or challenging card) we need to re-frame or dig intuitively to understand what the card is saying. Perhaps your innate strength, like in the case of the Devil, is in being able to help yourself and others free yourself from attachment. Perhaps you're able to easily see through a facade and don't fall victim to temptation. Maybe this clarity can help others who can't so easily see what they're getting themselves into?
I'll even use the reversed example. Say you receive a perceived positive card in the shadow spot. Let's even say you see The Sun in the Shadow spot - surely there's no shadow lurking there! But, perhaps what this is telling you is that you're spending so much time in the sun, you've yet to address any of your shadow. A shadow unchecked is a shadow run a muck - and yes, it's great to be focused on the positive, but it's another thing to ignore these aspects of your personality all together. There must, with anything, be balance.
And of course, take a step back when you've pulled all your cards and take a look at the whole of the landscape. Are there common themes among the cards pulled? Is there an element that seems to be dominating the spread? Or maybe 3 out of the 4 cards are Major Arcana - this could be evident that you're in a critical period in your own self development making it even more important to be doing this work and paying attention to the messages!
So what are you Sun. Moon, Star and Shadow? I'd love to hear how you fair if you give this spread a go!