Sin 8: The 12 Houses.

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The last arrangement I'll share with you is the 12 Houses of the Zodiac, and it’s self-explanatory: you lay twelve cards in order of the 12 houses of the Zodiac. You can lay them in a line of 12 cards, two lines of six cards, three lines of four cards, even four lines of three cards. The aesthetic configuration doesn’t matter, so don't make this complicated: just put 12 cards on the table! 

twelve houses zodiac tarot spread

If you’re using the 12 Houses arrangement alongside another arrangement, then your anchor card will already be indicated, but if you’re using the 12 Houses on its own, then you’ve got a few other options at your disposal.

First, you can draw a thirteenth card as your anchor. Nothing wrong with that, and it’s a fine choice if you do.

Second, you can draw the 12 needed cards off the top of the deck, let the sitter select one randomly as the anchor card, and then shuffle it back into the mix before laying them down into the 12 houses. In this way, any of the 12 cards in any of the 12 houses can become the anchor card and express where the sitter has the greatest focus in his or her life right now.

Third, you can use the first house as the anchor card since the first house is, after all, the card of self, identity, and individual expression.

One unique challenge you’ll encounter with the 12 Houses arrangement is the occasional sitter who wants to ask you about astrology and to cross-check the narrative of your performance with his or her existing natal chart. Such sitters assume that you're an astrologer and start asking questions for which you have zero answers. Speaking for myself, there are few things more irritating to me than sitters who won't take a hint and just keep their astrology to themselves. On the occasion I meet one of them, I encourage them to take copious notes for future reference and then refer them to an astrologer I don't like.


1st House (7 of Clubs) + 5th House (The World)

John's 1st House is represented by the anchor card, the cardinal 7 of Clubs, and the 5th House is represented by the reference card, the antithetical Way of the World. In this combination, the cardinal 7 of Clubs supports the decadence of the World. More specifically, this shows that although John has passion and initiative, his ignorance engenders clumsiness and erodes the quality of rewards that may emerge from an increasingly limited pool of opportunities. 

1st House (7 of Clubs) + 11th House (Happy Squirrel)

The 1st House is represented by the anchor card, the cardinal 7 of Clubs, and the 11th House is represented by the reference card, the Happy Squirrel. In this configuration, John's cardinal 7 of Clubs reaches toward and sustains the Happy Squirrel. This combination is possibly a bad omen, but it's hard to know for certain because the cards are vague and mysterious.


If you’re in need of an absolutely massive arrangement, you can use the same grouping of arrangements that I’ve illustrated in past chapters but replace the five keys with the 12 houses. This creates a a 29-card arrangement which can easily fill up 45 minutes of time but sometimes longer depending on how much the sitter participates. Lay down the following arrangement of cards and I swear by the end you’ll think Alice had an easier time of it when she fell down the rabbit hole:

Needs, Habits, Desires

Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats
Open, Hidden, Blind, Unknown
1st House, 2nd House, 3rd House, 4th House
5th House, 6th House, 7th House, 8th House
9th House, 10th House, 11th House, 12th House
1-4 months, 5-8 months, 9-12 months
1-6 months, 7-12 months
1-12 months

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