Skip navigation

Opening of the Key

Welcome to part two of my autumn equinox Opening of the Key tarot reading. You can find part one here. As I alluded to before, the Opening of the Key is not for the faint of heart, and this will be a long, detailed post. If you wish to continue, be prepared for a firehose-spray of information and interpretation.

Second Operation

Operation 2

This phase represents the “development of the matter,” or the way in which the answer to the question develops in the more immediate future according to the Houses of the Zodiac. Each House represents a different aspect of a person’s life. There are four steps.

  • After shuffling, deal 12 cards from the top of the deck out into a circle. Continue laying out the cards in this circular pattern. You should decide which position you want to represent the first House before turning any cards over (or, ideally, before laying any cards down)
  • Turn each stack over. Interpret each card facing up according to the symbolism of the 12 Houses.
  • Find the Significator. Whichever stack it is in will be the subject with the most bearing on your question. Spread out the pile in the same method as the first operation, and interpret the cards in the same fashion
  • Pair the cards

Traditionally, you are supposed to guess which house your Significator is in, and if you are wrong you must abandon the divination. I’m inclined to ignore this rule, even though in this particular reading I guessed correctly every time it was required (I suppose that makes it “officially” legitimate). It seems a bit extraneous to me, however.

As a reminder, the question I chose at the beginning of this reading was: “How will my spiritual path unfold in the course of the next year?”

House of Aries – The Self. The Ascendant House represents one’s personality and natural demeanor, as well as one’s personal outlook on the world. It is the House of beginnings. As it happens, this House is dominated by my Significator, the Ace of Swords. This suggests that everything that I am is colored by this desire for Awakening, and that my personality is built around applying logic and reason to establish the truth – and then following that truth, not because it makes me feel good, but because it is the right thing to do.

House of Taurus – Value. This House represents material and immaterial things that contain value, including, but not limited to, money, property, and possessions. It is the house of self-worth and personal growth. This house is dominated by the King of Swords, which symbolizes ideals and a rational viewpoint. This suggests that what I choose to spend money on is governed very strictly by my personal beliefs, whether it be about health, spirituality, or money itself. I have very strong opinions about how money should be spent, and I stick to them.

House of Gemini – Communication. This House represents higher education, intelligence, achievement, and how one expresses himself verbally or in writing. This House is dominated by the King of Pentacles, which is the card of self-reliance and playing it safe. This suggests that I am very conservative in my relations with others in conversation; I hold much back so as to not dominate the discussion. However, when I do speak I am very confident in what I say, and I don’t let others sway me easily.

House of Cancer – Family. The Imum Coeli represents the home life, which includes parents and siblings, and the nature of one’s childhood environment. It is the house of getting back to your roots. This house is dominated by Seven of Pentacles, which stands for weighing your options, standing at a crossroads, and possibly questioning your choices. This suggests that I need to change my direction in regard to how I relate to my family, and possibly re-evaluate the path that lead me to some of my conclusions about them. It could also mean that the way I was raised will have a huge impact on my life decisions in the future.

House of Leo – Pleasure. This House represents things that are made for enjoyment and entertainment – games, media, recreational activities – as well as love and self-expression. This house is dominated by the Wheel of Fortune, the card of transcendence, transition, and new beginnings. This suggests that a (possibly surprising) turn of events will simultaneously move me in a new direction and develop my awareness of the patterns and cycles of my own life as I seek to express myself. It may be that I find opportunity when I least expected to as I simply try to enjoy myself.

House of Virgo – Health. This House represents the routine of everyday life, such as employment, overall well-being, and caretaking of the self and the home. This House is dominated by the Ace of Wands, which is primarily concerned with passion and one’s own creative force. It could be that I will use a little clever thinking to figure out a better way of handling daily responsibilities, or that I will find a new career path that will allow me to exercise my creative expression.

House of Libra – Partnerships. The Descendant House represents close, confidante-like relationships, such as one’s spouse, best friend, or trusted work colleague. It is the house of diplomatic relations and attraction to qualities we admire in others. This House is dominated by the Five of Swords, primarily symbolizing self-interest and experiencing conflict. This suggests that in looking out for myself I need to be careful not to become stuck on myself or sacrifice my integrity for the sake of “winning.” Perhaps I am unwittingly using someone for my own reasons under the pretense of friendship, or not giving as well as I get; or perhaps there is someone in my life I can’t easily get rid of who treats me this way, and I need to rethink how I deal with them.

House of Scorpio – Transformation. This House represents the Death/Rebirth cycle, regeneration, and power. It is the House of all things hidden. This House is dominated by the Eight of Pentacles, symbolizing diligence and paying attention to detail, as well as pursuing a greater understanding. This seems to be saying that my own renewal and increasing of personal power will be primarily a test of endurance and effort; it will be a process rather than an extremely emotional, enlightening event. As seeds must be buried in the ground to grow and bear fruit, I must methodically lay to rest those things which hold me back as I receive those things which lift me up and empower me.

House of Sagittarius – Philosophy. This house represents spirituality, ethics, higher learning, and experiential knowledge. It is the house of journeys. This House is dominated by The Fool. This card becomes especially strong in this position, since it has to do with having faith, staying open, and being true to yourself, which are primary tenants of the spiritual journey. This card compels me to let go of expectations, let go of fear and worry, and trust in the flow as I rush headlong into the unknown. It may very well be that my entire spiritual journey hinges on being able to do these things.

House of Capricorn – Ambition. The Midheaven House represents motivation, career, and status in society. This house is dominated by the Three of Wands, representing foresight and leadership. This could be suggesting that the way for me to expand my horizon lies in taking the long view, playing the long game, and taking a leadership role in my community; or at least that I want to be seen as a leader.

House of Aquarius – Friendship. This House represents groups, clubs, and people with like-minded attitudes, as well as one’s hopes and wishes. This house is dominated by the Hanged Man, which represents introspection, changing of perspective, and sacrifice. This includes making yourself vulnerable and giving up control, which are two things that I often struggle with. This card seems to suggest that I need to start putting others before myself in the name of a higher cause – and soon.

House of Pisces – Undoing. This House represents places of seclusion, such as hospitals, prisons, and institutions, as well as things that are unclear to yourself but clearly seen by others. It is the House of unknown unknowns. This House is ruled by the Devil. Another card that is especially strong in its position, it symbolizes losing independence, overindulging in the senses, and choosing to stay in the dark due to fear of the unknown. This card tells me that the forces which come against me that make me feel confined will be very strong, and may lead to a loss of personal agency and a sense of despair. However, because the Ace of Swords and the Fool are so strong in their positions, I feel this loss of agency, if it occurs, will be only temporary as long as I can remain steadfast and keep my eyes open. Everything in this spread up to this point has told me to persevere and be patient, possibly to prepare me for the event or events that this card is foretelling.

So…after that nice bit of introspection, it’s time to unpack the House of Aries, which holds my significator. This will be done in the same manner as the first operation, although there will be fewer cards in the lineup. As before, these cards must be viewed through the lens of Aries, which is associated with fire (creativity) and the self.

Ascendant Aries

The Ace of Swords is flanked by the Five of Pentacles and the Hermit. The Five of Pentacles signifies some type of struggles, be it mental, emotional, or physical, due to not getting what you need. The Hermit, a card representing solitude or withdrawal, which seems to magnify or be magnified by the Five of Pentacles. It could be that the lack of support I receive in my creative endeavors will lead me to retreat into myself, which will hinder the process of my awakening. However, with the Ace of Swords linking them, there seems to be a sort of oscillation presenting itself. It may happen that as a result of my focusing inward, the truth and inspiration that I find will help me rebound and gather the strength to overcome those same challenges.

Counting five from the Ace of Swords, I land on the Six of Cups, flanked by the Two of Wands and the Ten of Swords. The Six of Cups represents sharing joy and having a clear conscience, while the Two of Wands speaks of having personal power and showing originality, and the Ten of Swords depicts reaching rock bottom and feeling powerless. Although the Two and the Six can be said to compliment each other, the Ten of Swords seems to contrast them both. This leads me to believe that instead of being in harmony, the Six and the Ten actually represent two different possible paths that the Six of Cups can lead to. It could be that my good intentions only serve to pave the road to my personal hell, and I will pay for indulging in blissful ignorance a la the Ten of Swords. On the other hand, acting charitably and surrounding myself with goodness could lead to having more control over my destiny and make it possible to achieve my goals.

Counting six from there, I land on the Queen of Swords, flanked by the Hermit and the Two of Wands. The Queen of Swords represents being sharp, staight-forward, and candid. As elucidated by the other two cards, these qualities lead to or are driven by a sort of inner peace and confidence. This seems to say that through my creative works I will seek to actively share the knowledge and insight gained from my extended introspection and that sharing it in a creative and original way will empower me.

Counting four from the Queen of Swords, I land on the Ten of Swords, flanked by the Six of Cups and Five of Pentacles. This seems to illuminate the nature of the struggle mentioned earlier. It would appear that the feeling of being forced to take a back seat in the road trip that is my life will be primarily caused by my material troubles. The silver lining, if it can be called that, is that I will know that the events that caused my circumstances are not my fault, and I will learn to be content in the midst of my troubles.

Counting ten from there, I land on the Ace of Swords, which brings us full circle and leads us to the next step of this operation: pairing the cards. Cards are paired from either end of the lineup, or horseshoe, and interpreted together. Again, let’s keep this brief.

The Hermit & Ace of Swords

Meditation and reflection will be my implements for cutting through confusion and doubt.

Queen of Swords & Five of Pentacles

Facing the unpleasant truth of my circumstances is the only way to overcome them

Two of Wands & Ten of Swords

Daring to be bold could lead to coming under personal attack; but it’s the only way to move forward

Six of Cups

Throughout everything, I must remember to be blessed and bless in return

That wraps up the second operation of the Opening of the Key. The third operation will be posted tomorrow. It took me most of the day to do this write-up, but hopefully tomorrow will go more smoothly. Thanks for reading!


Most of my information about the card meanings was pulled from

Most of my information on the astrological Houses was pulled from Astrotheme and this wikipedia article.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: