The Sentinel’s Spread: A Sample Reading.

In my previous post, I explained the purpose of my Sentinel’s Spread, as well as the meanings of each position. I will now give a sample reading so anyone interested in trying this spread can see how it is laid out and interpreted. I should warn that this spread takes some time to interpret, so it’s best to use it when you’ve got an hour or two of free time.

I used the mini rws for this reading, because it’s small size was appropriate for this large spread, and because the court cards in it are the ones I would normally use for a reading like this.

I used only Major Arcana for the sake of simplicity.

1. The Foundation.

1. The Magician. This card is appropriate as the foundation of my Sentinel Tower, because the purpose of this spread for me is to gain a perspective on magical energies in my environment. With the Magician as my base card, I am especially attuned to the flow of these energies. Depending on which cards come up later on, I may also need to utilize the Magician’s ability to manipulate these energies.

2. The Body of the Tower.

2. The Moon. The first thing I notice is that this card actually pictures towers, which is apt considering its position as the body of my own tower. This card suggests that I’ve built upon my foundation with experience exploring the inner depths of my psyche. This is a good thing, because an understanding of myself is the first step to understanding my world, although it might suggest that it’s time I came back out into the light. It’s easy to lose myself in there, after all. I suppose I’ll see what the remainder of this spread suggests for me.

3. The Platform.

3. The World. This is the perspective from which I keep my watch upon the tower. It is the culmination of the previous two cards, and represents my current state of mind as I turn outward to gaze upon the horizon. I could not have pulled a better card for this spot. It means everything is clear from my perspective, and that I can expect as complete a view as possible from my tower. The four animals brings to mind the four cardinal directions, which will join this spread shortly.

4. The Sentinel.

4. The King of Pentacles. I selected this card ahead of time to represent myself. As I’ve explained in a previous post, this card represents my position on the Council as the Earth Wizard. I also selected the next four cards prior to laying out the spread. They represent the other members of the Council, the ones with whom I would communicate my findings as the Sentinel. Of course, should anyone else experiment with this spread, it should be understood that positions 5-8 can represent any number of things. I suggest familiarizing yourself with the position meanings through the link at the start of this post if this is in any way confusing.

5. Eastern Defenses.

5. The King of Swords. This is the significator of the Wind Wizard on the Council. He is the Guard.

6. Southern Defenses.

6. The King of Wands. This is the significator of the Fire Wizard on the Council. He is the Knight Errant.

7. Western Defenses.

7. The King of Cups. This is the significator of the Water Wizard on the Council. He is the Scout.

8. Northern Defenses.

8. The Emperor. This is the significator of the Wizard of Aether on the Council. He occupies the Northern quadrant, which would normally be reserved for the Earth Wizard, but because I am the Earth Wizard, and the Sentinel upon the watchtower, he fills in the spot. The cards up to this point represent the completed fortress. It looks pretty strong to me, so I will now turn my attention to the horizons. This is where the spread gets a little more difficult to interpret.

In the interest of saving space and time, I will do the next twelve cards in groups of three.

9, 13, 17. The Eastern Horizon.

9, 13, 17. The Hermit, The Tower, and The Wheel.

To the East, in the Realm of the Mind, I perceive the Winds of Change approaching, far off in the distance. The Hermit suggests that, at the moment, things are still and quiet. However, the Tower (an unsettling image to see, especially in the context of this spread) and the Wheel suggest that this tranquility will be short-lived, because storm clouds are on the horizon. The storm will shake things up quite a bit, and it will probably be distressing. But storms always pass. The Wheel suggests that things will definitely be different after the storm, although whether this change will be good or bad is difficult to say at this juncture. I will be keeping a close watch of the East. If any serious trouble arises in this area, I know I can rely on the King of Swords for help.

10, 14, 18. The Southern Horizon.

10, 14, 18. The Hierophant, The High Priestess, and Death.

To the South, in the Realm of the Spirit, I perceive, well, something. I’m not sure what. The combination of the Hierophant and High Priestess suggests development of spirituality, especially when coming from the South. This is actually very fitting, as will soon be revealed in a post I am currently working on. Death brings up the rear of this movement, which suggests that this spiritual development will be transformative. This is a welcome sign, as I have been experiencing something of a crisis of faith recently. I will be calling on the King of Wands to join me on this particular journey, and I suspect that he will not be unaffected by these forces.

11, 15, 19. The Western Horizon.

11, 15, 19. Strength, the Empress, and Judgement.

To the West, in the Realm of Emotions, I perceive rising tides. Things are looking up. Without delving too deeply into my personal life, I should say that my emotions have been running awry of late. I find comfort in both Strength and the Empress. They give me hope, and further off in the distance, Judgement sounds the Trumpet of Reconciliation. I hesitate to rejoice in this vision, for fear of disappointment. But the King of Cups will be there for me should I need a shoulder to lean on.

12, 16, 20. The Northern Horizon.

12, 16, 20. Temperance, the Star, the Fool.

To the North, in the Realm of the Body, I feel the guiding hands of the gods. That the Star should turn up here is very interesting to me, because the North Star has been a navigational tool for ages. Temperance also suggests guidance. The fact that both of these cards depict two vessels from which water flows is also interesting, although I’m not too sure what to make of it at present. The Fool is the furthest in the distance, but I can still make him out. I take it as a reminder to not take things so seriously all the time. He appears to be approaching, and I’ll be sure to welcome him into my fortress when he gets here. The Emperor has always given me sound advice in the past, and I expect he will continue to do so should I ever need it again. As the Realm of Body, the Northern quadrant is the physical culmination of the energies of the others. Things have not been easy for me recently, but this climb up the tower, above the world of my troubles, has helped to clear my head, and to assure me that better things are on the horizon. Even in the East, where things seem most troubling, I am not without hope.

21. The Alarm. Thus completes the Sentinel’s Spread.

21. Justice. The conclusion to this spread suggests that things are appropriately balanced, and I have no cause for alarm at the moment. It reminds me, however, to remain vigilant, because things can change in a moment.


Overall, I am pleased with this spread. Not everything is clear to me at the moment (despite my significator’s position atop the World card), but that is to be expected. I believe that with practice, this spread will become easier and easier for me to read. I also purposefully left out personal details from this sample reading. My intention here was only to show how this layout might be used. It has given me many insights tonight, and I will be returning to my post on the watchtower periodically. As the Sentinel, I can never be away from it for too long.

If anyone tries to use this spread for themselves, please share your thoughts on it here.


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