Tarot de Marseille-Tirage en Croix- a study of relationship dynamics




I have been playing around with the concept of non Thoth Decks, the one which I am particularly drawn to is the Tarot de Marseille. I have chose to experiment with a case for the Tirage en Croix utilising the excellent council of the Major Arcanas. The question was- what is the natural evolution or outcome of the relationship between D and R? I chose a non postive or non negative question here– what I really want to know is should D dump R basically.. but to add a little finess and sense of refinement- I asked a scholarly question.  Thsi should help us visualise the dynamics of the relationship and therefore afford a yes/ no answer at the end.

The cross hairs ( Tirage en Croix) I’ve used is a lovely design based on elements (Fire opposes Water), (Air opposed Earth). Starting clockwise from left arm, Fire, Air, Water and Earth. There is also a lose postional meaning taken from tradition, Fire (you), Water ( the other party/ world), Air (Council of Thursday- or the heavens), Earth (manifestation the existential plane ie- perceivable outcome).

Lets break this down in the way I see it–

Position 1 (Fire)- Le Pendu ( Water) – so water in fire- water weakens fire- any positive active contemplation the Pendu is doing while hanging upside down is being extinguished by something, in a way we could look at it as though even in state of abject contemplation, D (the hanged man)’s energy is being tempered by water. Do we have an explanation why? lets look at the Popess

Position 2 (Water)- the Popess( Water)- water in water- elementally its like adding water to water- you just get more water. Is this good or bad lets see– excess water, not heat to fire it up, getting the situation steaming- in essence a state of placidity and non reaction. Just a state of passivity. Is this the drain that La Pendu is experiencing, the passivity is drawing him to a standstill. So far- there is no Yang to the Yin. Incidentally La popess can also represent the feminine side to a man, or the more feminine out of the 2– this make sthis reading all the more relevant in defining the dynamics between D & R. D is the masculine side tempered by the feminising energy of the Popess which is  extra passive and placid.

Position 3 (Air)- The Emperor (Fire)- the Council of Thursday which is suppose to represent divine intervention/ advice is always right despite the elemental value. This means- it offers the solution to why the problem is there. And so we have it, the problem and solution is represented by the Empereor- all that is masculine, the testosterone factor which is surely lacking in the interaction between 1 & 2. In this circumtance, the lack of drive to potentiate this realtionship is a definite stunter. Someone needs to make a decision to either move forward or backward. In this case- if you look closely, the Emperor is looking at La Pendu. His intent gaze is saying- be the man and make a decision. I know this is harsh, but, it is something a guy would say to another guy. You decide where this is gonna go- are you going to continue to hang and just kill time this way?


Postion 4 (Earth)- The Pape (Earth)- Very earthy combo earth+earth- also a non movement- passive interaction. Do I see this realtionship going anywhere- no! is it to stay – possibly in state of abject passiveness.Something i see with the pope is the idea of ritual worship and the word routine. I see this realtionship falling into a comfortable routine of neither progression nor regression.

So summary– now that I know the dynamics of this relationship and what is lacking, the only potential decision maker is currently taking a time out to contemplate his thoughts on his relationship with his partner. So for the foreseeable future, the relationship has fallen into state of routine, will continue as such until La Pendu makes a merciful decision to release the cords at his feet.

Tell me what you think– I look forward to some opinions on this method of reading the Marseille,, for your information I have the Oswald Wirth, Camoin, Hadar, Heron, (Noblet and Dodal – winging its way upon Roxanne and Jean Flornoys return from their holidays) TdM contemplating the universe. I’d love to have a reason to bring out them for a play session–



4 Responses to “Tarot de Marseille-Tirage en Croix- a study of relationship dynamics”

  1. Hi Stormy,

    This is an interesting, intricate reading. I don’t have any Marseille decks so I can’t really leave a well thought out comment.

    Someday, I’m going to try Thoth and Marseille.


  2. indianstorm Says:

    Sammie– no need for either– tell me what you see please- it is the first impression of the draw is what I am after– I’ve laid out just a general structure—- check the draw– and tell me what you think the dynamics are — a bit like Quantum physics– see who brings what energies into the story… 🙂


  3. Hi Stormy,

    Well, if I was reading thes cards for someone – I would think this shows a relationship that has a lot of potential for happiness and growth – however, it is hung up and in the air because of too much structure and too many rules. Perhaps one of the people is ultra controlling or is afraid to be involved with someone that isn’t in their own social or economic class or something like that.

    That’s my take anyway!

  4. indianstorm Says:

    Sammie girl— well done — you want some feedback i bet– well the concerned party ie- the La pendu was very impressed with your quick whip of the dynamics and confirms the structure and rules issue. It is hierarchical but not in social class way, the difference protrayed by the hanged man vs the popess– one is finds the element of restriction where the other imposes it without realising..

    fantastic!!!! fancy some more next time..?


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