The Opening of the Key is a Tarot spread. A great Tarot spread. There are 5 separate stages and each stage is called an ‘operation’. The first operation describes current events, whilst 2, 3 and 4 incrementally represent the future. Stage 5 is the outcome.
It was designed by the Golden Dawn.
It takes between 2-3 hours to complete a reading, and you’ll do so with accuracy, insight and understanding.
What makes this spread so attractive is the amount of information it provides. It tells a multi-layered story where each separate thread can be followed from the beginning to the end.
The Opening of Key was used by the Golden Dawn to predict ordinary, everyday events.
This form is especially applicable to Divination concerning the ordinary material events of daily life.
And to reinforce that …
… the “Opening of the Key,” which, as has been before said, is especially applicable to the daily events of life.
In other words, it’s good for divining the future.
There is also a spiritual component to this spread; a formal ritualised type. If you are not into the whole ritual thing, don’t worry about it. The Opening of the Key does not rely on ritual to make it work.
The ritual used is for practicing Golden Dawn magicians. Doing the ritual only makes sense, and would be effective, if you’re a practising Golden Dawn magician.
And then there is the spirituality that comes from working with the Opening of the Key. This kind of spirituality is experiential. You’ll discover that part of the spread on your own.
The techniques required
The Opening of the Key is essentially a non-positional spread. Not that it doesn’t have positions, it does. But they are abstract and unlike the standard positional meanings of past, present and future.
It’s best to get used to thinking of this spread as linear in nature.
The main techniques that are used are card counting, card pairing and Elemental Dignities. That’s it.
I remember someone saying that card pairing and Elemental Dignities are old techniques. Older than the Golden Dawn. If anyone knows more about the history of these techniques, I’d love to hear about them.
The point is, these techniques are useful no matter what spread you use.
Background information required
A lot. Particularly when reading from stage 2 to 5. A knowledge of Kabbalah, Astrology and the Tree of Life is needed to make the most out of those “operations”.
Perhaps one of the most important pieces of information you’ll need before you begin is this: there are different versions of the Opening of the Key.
Regardie, in the book called ‘The Golden Dawn’, describes one version. Crowley’s The Book of Thoth has another and Paul Hughes-Barlow has a separate, specialised form. Each one of these versions is valid. Each one of these versions works.
My approach will be to reference all three styles during this tutorial series. And when I have to make a choice between using one method over another, I’ll do my best to explain why I’ve chosen it.
Why are there different versions of the Opening of the Key?
The same reason there are different versions of the Celtic Cross spread. Most Tarot bloggers and authors have their own variations. There is now no longer the standard version. Just versions. The people that use them, adapt them. This is no different with the Opening of the Key. Crowley is different from Regardie is different from Paul Hughes-Barlow.
The rule of thumb is, “if it works for you, use it.”
What this tutorial series aims to do
To focus on the practical, not the theoretical.
I don’t want to get caught up in the trap of making this tutorial series larger than it needs to be. When I need to introduce theoretical information, I will be doing so in order to help you understand the techniques better.
If you have a specific area of the Opening of the Key that you would like me to cover, let me know in the comments.