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Astral Projection Tarot Card Spread

This post was written by Donald Michael Kraig
on June 25, 2012 | Comments (15)

Last night, I had a dream. In it, I was observing a friend as she astral projected. Now, that was interesting enough, but suddenly, I saw, superimposed, the backs of Tarot cards. I immediately knew what this meant: a design for a new Tarot spread.

First, here was something like the image I saw:

This image is a modification of a photo I took as a design basis for illustrations in the latest edition of Modern Magick. My model was Regan, known as High Priestess, who is a talented dancer, actress, composer and musician. In this style of astral projection you visualize your astral self turning to face your physical self and pushing up and away from the physical body. This method is typically done during a lucid dream. That is, when you realize you are dreaming and take control of the dream.

Here is the image with Tarot cards on it, face down, as I saw in my dream:

The three cards at the bottom are placed down from right to left. Then move back to the right and place the cards moving up and to the left, ending with the last card, in the upper left, which is above the rest of the cards. Here is how to interpret them:

The Physical Plane

Card 1: The Head. This card reveals what is on your mind concerning the issue. When interpreting the card in this position be aware that it may refer to your unconscious mind. This is especially true when the card seems to make little sense. Instead of trying to “force” a meaning or rationalize the card that is revealed here, accept it as what your combined conscious and unconscious really need to know.

Card 2: The Heart. Although card 1 reveals what concerns your mind, card 2 concerns what is in your heart. When these cards are complementary it is a good sign. Your emotions and your will are united over the issue. If they disagree, however, it implies a lack of clarity about the issue. You may wish to put aside this reading for awhile and see if you can determine what you really want.

Card 3: The Feet. This is the firm basis upon which the question is asked. It gives insight as to the physical plane or “real world” issues concerning your initial question. It will help you understand the inner reasons you feel you are on shaky footing and need advice to resolve this question.

The Silver Cord

The next three cards follow the path of the so-called “Silver Cord” that links your physical and astral bodies. The first is the one closest to your physical body:

Card 4: The Link. This important card is the link between astral and physical. Because it is between two worlds or planes it is often difficult to analyze. This is because you need to approach it from two levels. Ask yourself, “What is the message my physical self wants to send to my astral self?” as you interpret the card first. We’ll come back to this card later.

Card 5: The path. This is a card of transition. You’re half way between the physical and the astral. While not as challenging to interpret as card 4, its place between two planes can make the interpretation murky. That’s okay. As you interpret the rest of the cards, you may find that the message of this card becomes more clear. It reveals the transitions you have made or will need to make to overcome hardships and assure success in this matter.

Card 6: On the Astral. This card will usually have a clear and obvious meaning. It is the message from the astral plane to your physical self. It is the key and the solution to this issue. It has your answers.

Return to Card 4: The Link. After you have interpreted card 6, return to card 4. As you reinterpret the card, ask yourself, “What is the message my astral self wants to send to my physical self?” Note that this usually is in harmony with card 6 and may only require a brief notice. It can give added information or direction or advice to this message. Occasionally there is a contradiction, something that can be jarring. Ask yourself, “How should I interpret the message of card 6 to understand this apparent difference?” Alternatively, ask yourself what the cards indicate you can do to follow any advice in order to manifest what you have learned (if positive) or prevent it from occurring (if negative).

The Astral Plane

The last three cards are also read from right to left. The first two give you information from the astral plane. Chances are you are not aware of this information and these additions will give you added insight into why you should follow the advice of the cards. The last card, in the upper left, is the final outcome.

Cards 7 and 8: Astral Wisdom. These two cards will give you previously unknown information, often about events or individuals, which at best you only suspected. It’s far more likely that you’re not even aware of these things taking place. If you wonder why the cards in this reading have given certain advice, you will find your answers here. They may also have advice for what to do after the original question is resolved in order to maintain or even improve the results.

Card 9: Final Outcome. This card reveals what will happen if you take the advice the cards have given. If the outcome seems negative, it is likely what will happen if you do not follow the advice of the cards.


Mix the cards according to your usual pattern. If you do not have a usual methodology, simply shuffle the cards any way you like until you get a feeling you should stop (it may be a very subtle feeling). Cut the cards, to your left, into three piles. Pick them up from right to left.

You do not need to use a significator in this reading. If you feel you must use a significator in some way, and know how to choose one, after you shuffle and cut the deck as above, turn the deck over so you can see the faces of the cards. Fan out the cards until you see the significator. Take all of the cards that are above the significator (as you turn the deck face down) and cut them to the bottom so the significator is now the top card of your face-down deck. Turn it over and place it to the side so it can “watch” the reading. Then continue as above.

One More Thing…

Obviously, there’s one more thing you need to be able to do, interpret the meanings of the cards against the background of the spread. To learn the meaning of the cards is beyond a simple blog post. Luckily, there are some great books that teach the meanings of the cards. Here are some I suggest:

I’ve already found this spread useful in a couple of readings. How about you? Give it a try and share your experience.

How would you improve it?

What would you do differently?

Reader Comments

Written By Jim Nammack
on June 25th, 2012 @ 11:41 am

Dream images are always metaphors for other things entirely. This means that if you have a dream about your driving a car, the dream will be about how you are navigating your life. A dream image of a car will never have anything to do with a car in your waking life.

Likewise, dream images of tarot cards never have anything to do with tarot cards in your waking life, but are metaphors for something else. We use tarot cards to receive messages from another dimension of reality, and that is what this dream image meant for you, but not in the sense of having anything to do with divining. This is a reference to a conscious, otherworldly source that is trying to help you empower yourself even further.

The dream image of your friend astral projecting symbolized some aspect of you that you associate with that person. That she was astral projecting symbolized your otherworldly you, or in other words, the you that your nonphysical entity is trying to help you make manifest.

Written By Donald Michael Kraig
on June 25th, 2012 @ 11:57 am

Thank you for your comment, Jim, however I must respectfully disagree. While it’s true that dream images MAY be metaphors, it doesn’t mean they are ALWAYS metaphors.

Sometimes, dream images are just the mind wandering, recalling aspects of the day. They have no metaphoric meanings. Other times, as in prophetic dreams, they can be explicit and specific.

Is it possible that my dream images were metaphors? Absolutely! Is there any way to know that? Most often the answer is “Not from one dream.” That’s why I encourage people to keep a record of their dreams and observe imagery over time. In some instances different images in wildly different dreams will have an underlying similarity, indicating that, indeed, they are a metaphor for other things, often just one thing.

Be that as it may, the dream, metaphor or not, led me to the creation of this Tarot spread. I’m thankful to the Goddess for her gift of this insight!

Written By Garnie
on June 25th, 2012 @ 3:01 pm

Sorry Jim Nammack but I think you way off and should not try to tell DMK what is in DMK’s head. How would you know? Have you been in there recently to take a peek around?

Your Quote “A dream image of a car will never have anything to do with a car in your waking life.”

Really? SERIOUSLY..?

I dreamt of a car once, one that I had never seen before, not even in pictures. The dream was ultra-detailed and quite vivid with color and sound. I did not get the name, but I knew the details of that car front to back. The next day after a discussion with my wife-to-be and revisiting the idea of purchasing a car, she agreed she also had been thinking about it again as well. So we went out looking together, we found the lot from my dream, even though I had not been there and guess what… we found the car. It was the smae one she had been looking at in magazines with her sister, though mine was black and hers was blue, but had not mentioned it to me yet. Yes, we bought it, the blue one. We should have got the black one, but that’s another story.

While I’m really NOT trying to be snoggish about your comment, it’s just way too humorous for anyone to tell another person just exactly what their head might be thinking or envisioning in a dream.

Dream interpretation was, is and shall ever ALWAYS be at the sole discretion of the dreamer. Period.

To say that you know what or specifically you may know better than the dreamer, is merely interjecting yourself into that persons dream and in doing so you’re bringing in your vision, paradigms, history, beliefs and quite frankly for that matter, ALL YOUR baggage. NONE of which has absolutely anything to do with DMK or his noodle, though I may be wrong on that last point because I have no idea if either of you has met other personally. Regardless, it doesn’t matter.

That said, To DMK I would comment, that at its root the Tarot relates the story of a journey and this layout you have given here superimposes that journey upon another type of journey in a way that is very interesting, and logical, for my mind at least. I am quite glad it was shared and will experiment with it as well and appreciate the additional options it gives.

Thanks for sharing.

Written By Donald Michael Kraig
on June 25th, 2012 @ 3:30 pm

Hi, Garnie, and thanks for your comment.

I find it interesting that people have been drawn to this with strong opinions. I was just hoping that people might find the Tarot spread useful!

However I respectfully partially disagree with your statement,
“Dream interpretation was, is and shall ever ALWAYS be at the sole discretion of the dreamer. Period.
“To say that you know what or specifically you may know better than the dreamer, is merely interjecting yourself into that persons dream and in doing so you’re bringing in your vision, paradigms, history, beliefs and quite frankly for that matter, ALL YOUR baggage.”

I think you’re correct that it’s easily possible for someone to bring their own baggage into a dream interpretation. The same is true for Tarot interpretation. In some instances, this can actually be a positive, especially if you’ve successfully dealt with issues presented in the dream or reading.

Unfortunately, the dreamer also brings his or her baggage into the interpretation. The dreamer can be so caught up in the baggage that they cannot get an objective interpretation of the dream. IF a person is trained or instinctively capable of objectivity, that person may be able to give a better interpretation of a dream than the dreamer.

The problem, of course, is figuring out if the interpreter is not only being objective, but also accurate. In my experience, when the interpreter makes a “hit” the dreamer will know it. The accurate interpretation of a dream can hit the dreamer like a big bag o’ truth, cut through all the baggage, and reveal what the dreamer’s unconscious needed to share.

Now, would anyone like to try out the Tarot spread and share their experience?

Written By Gilbert Warda
on June 25th, 2012 @ 9:59 pm

Fantastic post! It was Astral travel & Lucid dreams at a young age of 7 that led me to read very book I could find which then led me to learning the Occult.

I found a book called “Modern Magick” By Donald M Kraig 31 years later.

After reading and still working on LBRP and working with Tarot with the 22 Major Arcana Cards, I had my first dream(s) about my cards just the other night.

I dreamt of one of the minor arcana cards I am not familar with yet. I think it was the page of wands.

I am yet to look up why dreamt that particular card.

I have one question.

Do I use all Tarot cards or the method you have in you provide in your incredible life changing “Modern Magick’ book ?

Your student DownUnder

Gilbert Warda

Written By Jim Nammack
on June 26th, 2012 @ 8:30 am

I refer you to “Where People Fly and Water Runs Uphill” by Jeremy Taylor, a respected dream analyst and former president of the International Association for the Study of Dreams. I refer you to the works of Robert Moss, Patricia Garfield, Setephen Aizenstatt, Robert L. Van de Castle, and not to mention Carl G. Jung. It is pretty much agreed upon these days by professional counselors who also have expertise in dream analysis that dream images are metaphors. Always. And Jung’s contribution to dream analysis is that these metaphors are archetypes, or in other words have universal meaning.

The function of dreams is always to lead us in more enlightened and successful directions in life. One misconception about dreams is that they sometimes simply represent a wandering mind, or are our unconscious musings about the events of the day. The reality is that there has never been such a dream.

I agree with you that dreams can be representational and not metaphorical with regard to prophetic dreams, but strictly speaking, prophetic dreams emanate from a different function of our lives and are not truly dreams.

One way to understand dreams is to do divinations about them. I do divinations about all my dreams. I have two online groups in which people ask me to analyze their dreams, and in addition to providing standard analyses, I do divinations about each dream as well. Quite often a dream will describe a general problem, but will offer no clue as to what specific aspect of one’s life it refers to. But by doing a divination about it, one can often pinpoint the unstated target of the dream.

Written By Donald Michael Kraig
on June 26th, 2012 @ 10:37 am

Well, let’s see.
Robert Moss, creator of Active Dreaming. According to Wikipedia: “In 1986… he started dreaming in a language he did not know that proved to be an archaic form of the Mohawk language. Helped by native speakers to interpret his dreams, Moss came to believe that they had put him in touch with an ancient healer – a woman of power – and that they were calling him to a different life.”
That hardly seems like a metaphor to me.
Patricia Garfield is a co-founder of The International Association for the Study of Dreams. On their site they say, “It can be helpful to keep a dream diary and reflect on many dreams over a long period of time to get the truest picture of your unique dream life.” This is exactly what I have written. They also say, “Often nightmares are caused by stress, traumatic experiences, emotional difficulties, drugs or medication, or illness. However, some people have frequent nightmares that seem unrelated to their waking lives. Recent studies suggest that these people tend to be more open, sensitive, trusting, and emotional than average” and “There are many examples of dreams that seemed to predict future events. Some may have been due to coincidence, faulty memory, or an unconscious tying together of known information. A few laboratory studies have been conducted of predictive dreams, as well as clairvoyant and telepathic dreams, but the results were varied, as these kinds of dreams are difficult to study in a laboratory setting.” None of these examples of dreams have anything to do with being metaphors.

But look, we could throw different writers back and forth all day. Some of the writers, such as Jung, have a goal of using dreams for therapy. Period. When you have such a focus, call it “a hammer,” everything you see, even screws and nuts and bolts, will look like nails. If you look for metaphors, you’ll find them. But as Freud said, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

I agree with you that dreams may be metaphors. I respectfully disagree with you, as do the people you cite, that they are only metaphors.

Written By Inger
on June 26th, 2012 @ 2:15 pm

Thanks for this spread Donald! I have created a template tonight and will be doing the spread for myself soon, possibly tomorrow. So I will get back to you later this week when I have pondered it all and tell about my experience. I´m always on the search for new and good working spreads : )

Kind Regards

Written By Donald Michael Kraig
on June 26th, 2012 @ 4:24 pm

Thanks, Inger! Please let us know what you think of the spread. Also let us know if you have any suggestions to change or add to it.

Written By Inger
on June 27th, 2012 @ 1:02 am

Donald – this spread is amazing!!! I did the reading even though I was too tired last night. I did expect a complex and hard to understand reading – I was so wrong, and it turned out to be most interesting for me!

I asked about why I lately have had big problems with my exits (again – sigh…) & how I can resolve it. It has been so bad that I temporarly have given up on OBEs in hope for somewhere finding a solution but didn´t know where or how. Well it seems this was a fine way to get going and have some real progress.

The cards in my reading:

1)Knight of Pentacles
2)King of Swords
3)10 of Wands
4)The High Pristess
5)The Star
7)The Empress
8)The Tower
9)The World

Every single card in the spread showed to be most relevant/meaningful and have given me insight to the solution on my issue.

I will ponder the form of the spread and see if I can see any need for improvements.

So thank you again for this fine spread Donald, I´ll sure use it again when next problem with the astral arises. Do you have more spreads in your pocket? lol…

Kind Regards

Written By Jim Nammack
on June 27th, 2012 @ 9:11 am

Good grief. Well, let’s see. Over the course of many years all these individuals have uttered many sentences which have no bearing on dream images being metaphors. Sometimes they talk about the weather and a host of other topics.

If you will take the time to read some of these people’s books, including Patricia Garfield’s, you will find that there is agreement about dream images being metaphors. Just a few weeks ago I attended a workshop in Connecticut conducted by Robert Moss, and he confirmed several times that dream images are metaphorical.

All you have to do to check it out is do a tarot card divination about it.

And before being so dismissive of Jung’s insights, try reading him.

Written By Donald Michael Kraig
on June 27th, 2012 @ 9:54 am

Respectfully, Jim, nobody has been dismissive of Jung here. Saying that an expert woodworker may relate everything about wood to her woodworking isn’t being dismissive of her abilities or talents or insights, it’s recognizing her focus. The same is true of what I posted about Jung. I’ve not only read Jung, I studied many of his writings and concepts while a student at UCLA.

You’re correct. The people you discussed uttered many things “which have no bearing on dream images being metaphors.” My point was that in certain instances they clearly indicated that dream images were not metaphors.

So I repeat, “I agree with you that dreams may be metaphors. I respectfully disagree with you, as do the people you cite, that they are only metaphors.”

Written By Jim
on June 27th, 2012 @ 11:58 pm

Donald, four years ago I attended a workshop in Chicago conducted by Patricia Garfield, and I was able to converse with her a bit while I was there. I don’t recall every word of our conversation, but I’m sure I would have remembered if she had said something as stunning as dream images are not metaphors. I also read her book, Creative Dreaming, and I am not going to reread it to find all the references to dream images being metaphors, but, I’m sure it would have stood out in my mind had she claimed differently.

And I must say, when I read your characterization of Jung as being merely a “hammer” relentlessly pounding out his ideas and manipulating them to make them fit whatever situation he encountered, it made my jaw drop. That is not at all the Jung I encountered in his Red Book, for example. Never before have I read anyone else critiquing him in such a manner.

And I bring this up to you again: you could use the tarot to explore these topics if you wished.

But let us avoid rancor. I need to stay on your good side. I just ordered your book on evocation–from a used book dealer, it being out of print now–and I might have a question or two or three to ask you about it when I read it. I have been conducting an evocation exercise for the last five nights in a row, and I have much to learn. I have not visually seen anything yet, but my mind is being activated daily with new thoughts and perspectives about matters of importance to me, and I think that is a good indication. And my divinations about it assure me that I am making a good connection. I suppose that what I am doing is more of an invocation than evocation. My goal, however, is the evocation.

Written By Donald Michael Kraig
on June 28th, 2012 @ 2:38 am

Hi, Jim.

Thank you for ordering my little booklet on evocation. I hope it helps you on your path.

Respectfully, your comments seems to be a bit exaggerated. You say you would have remembered if Garfield had said “dream images are not metaphors.” I don’t know any modern theorist would would say that dream images are not metaphors. However, I also don’t know any theorist who would say all dream images are metaphors and nothing else.

I have stated twice, now, that some dream images are metaphors and some are not. It is clear that some dreams are simply the mind at play, often recalling images or ideas experienced during the day. They are not metaphors. They are not meaningful.

Other dream images (which may or may not be taken from recent experience) are definitely symbolic and metaphorical. Some dream images are a combination of metaphor and non-metaphor.

When people go looking for something, eventually they will find it. As an example, there are a couple of books that appear to show words hidden within advertising images. These supposedly will increase sales. However, there is absolutely no evidence that such images have any result. Are the words actually in there? If you look for them, you can find them. Why can we find them? Because the human mind seeks patterns.

Jung (and Freud before him) had the incredible insight that the imagery found in some dreams was meaningful. They looked for meaning and found it. But as Freud pointed out, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

Written By Inger
on July 1st, 2012 @ 1:31 pm

Donald, I don´t think that your AP Tarot Card Spread need any more than it already has. If ambigous cards show up one can easily flesh out the spread with a smaller “ambigous card spread” on the side – I did so with the two “Blind Spot” cards and got all the answers I could wish for 🙂

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