As I may have said before, the Nine Square, as well as a versatile reading tool, has become my favourite spread layout. In need of a bit of focus at the start of the year, I decided to create a spell to support me.
I was asked last week how to avoid overwhelm with larger spreads. The simple answer is to "chunk" them. It used to be said that a person could deal with 7 plus or minus 2 pieces of information at once, putting nine cards at the outside of human capacity if seen as individual bits of info. These days, the recommendation is actually 5 plus or minus 2 pieces of information. So, dividing the spread up into smaller pieces is the best way to be able to hold it all in mind.
One way to do that is to read the Nine Square in two chunks: the four corner cards as one piece; the five cards of the central cross as another piece. Another, and the one I tend to use in my spells, is to see it as three lines of three. I like the latter as a starting point, and then often also read it the other way for added information beyond what my intention was, which I'll do here.
The three lines here are:
Central Line - Stars, Lord, Scythe: Rational clarity to cut through what isn't necessary.
Upper Line - Songbirds, Book, Storks: Studying healing brings progress.
Bottom Line - Fish, Hill Fort (Tower), Letter: Institutional money form - that's a tax return!
My two main focuses in the short term are on a class I'm studying in a healing form that I hope will help me develop my understanding and practice, and getting taxes out of the way in my day job. For this, I need clarity, focus, and an incisive ability to prioritise.
Reading this with the corners as theme and the cross as action brings some different ideas into play.
Theme: Songbirds, Letter, Fish, Storks
Study - Writing about healing brings an expansive change, if I can get into the flow of it - I have an essay to write for my course.
Taxes - Anxiety around the paperwork about money can be overcome.
Action: Book, Stars, Lord, Scythe, Hill Fort
Study - Spiritual study in a rational form makes the cut at an institutional level. A reminder to keep my focus very much on the marking guidelines and learning outcomes, rather than going into the more intuitive side or getting sidetracked into other areas.
Taxes - Clear up any secrets through incisive logic that fits institutional requirements.
In both cases, not only do I need to stay clear and focused (as was my thought when creating this spell), but the 'reading' highlights that I need to keep clearly in mind the institutional requirements, both for my essay and for the tax paperwork.