The inverted pyramid is a seventy-eight card Tarot spread attributed to Etteilla. Several variations of the original spread are circulated nowadays.
Alternatively, there is a fifty-five card version of the spread.
The cards are laid down in ten lines from right to left. The first line has ten cards, the second nine, the third eight, and so on. The cards are interpreted not in triplets – sets of three cards, but pairs. The first card is interpreted in correlation with the card twenty-eight; the second card is interpreted with the card twenty-nine; the third card with the card thirty, and so on. The last card, respectively fifty-five, represents an extra clue, something important such as a secret or something which requires the inquirer attention.
The fifty-three cards version is an exclusive adaptation for playing cards of the fifty-five card spread.
The cards are laid down in nine lines from right to left. The first line has ten cards, the second line nine cards, the third line eight cards, and so on while the last line has only one card.
The first three pair of cards refer to the present – current situation.
The second triad refers to the past, respectively, the cause – or the root – of the current situation.
The third triad represents the first projection of the future – near future.
The fourth triad deals with desires: what one wants.
The fifth triad deals with emotions and hopes.
The sixth triad deals with thoughts and fears.
The seventh triad deals with what it is possible, those things within the inquirer’s current reach.
The eight triad presents external influences and other people.
The ninth triad reveals the future, respectively, the probable outcome according to the current course of events. The last card may hold the key, the solution to the issue in question.
The most simplified version is a twelve cards pyramid.
The cards are laid down in four lines. The first line has six cards, the second line has three cards, the third line has two cards, and the fourth line has one card.
The cards are interpreted in the old-fashioned way, respectively reading the cards in a set of threes.
Starting from right to left, the first three cards present the current situation. The second set of three cards indicate the past, respectively shows the root of the problem. The cards from the second line reveal clues regarding issues and possible involvements of other persons. The card in the middle is central to the inquirer’s question. The last three cards indicate the probable outcome according to the current trends.
(Excerpt from the book “The Cartomancers Handbook, Fortune-telling with playing cards” by Attila Blága. Full or partial use of this text for commercial or non-commercial distribution by any means whatsoever is strictly prohibited unless expressly authorised by the author.)
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