The Vitruvian Square | The Labyrinth (Part 3)

Nature is a labyrinth in which the very haste you move with will make you lose your way.

– Francis Bacon

I have spent the last two weeks providing you with some of the basic attributes of something I call The Vitruvian Labyrinth – a remarkable add-on to The Vitruvian Square.

Vitruvian Square Overlay for Vitruvian Labyrinth

Today, let’s start touring how to use our well-built path for giving readings. Here are some incredibly simple but potent techniques for you to start playing with:


The Vitruvian Labyrinth is, if nothing else, an image of our travel through life. And, it is something more – it is about our experience of life. It is a visual provocation for all that we associate with where we are at any given moment. You can quickly see that one of the most all-embracing readings you can give someone – including yourself – is to examine initial, gut reactions to The Vitruvian Labryinth. Follow these steps and you will get an on-the-spot grasp of where a person believes they are right now and how they view their life.

STEP 1: Place The Vitruvian Labyrinth diagram (you will be getting one to print out next week) in front of your participant with the entrance to the path facing them. To help you visualize the orientation, Place of Power “0” from The Vitruvian Square would be closest to your participant and the bottom row of numbers (“7,” “8,” “9”) would be closest to you (presuming you are sitting opposite your participant).

STEP 2: Have your participant take a moment and stare at The Vitruvian Labyrinth.

STEP 3: Ask your participant to use their imagination and describe what they see before them using three adjectives. Don’t explain anything more to the participant. You are seeking their raw reactions to what they are viewing and experiencing.

STEP 4: Use the adjectives you are given to understand the participant’s current view of their life situation. While the participant has provided you with adjectives to describe what The Vitruvian Labyrinth is like, you will use those same adjectives (or words like those adjectives) to describe what life is for your participant.


This is the most expansive and wide-ranging of the readings I will provide to you and is designed to predict and analyze each of the 22 major turning points in a person’s life. It can be done with just the 22 Major Arcana (if you prefer to keep the discussion focused on just those archetypes), a full deck of Tarot cards, The Deck of Shadows, or any other oracular device that has at least 22 items at hand.

Before we delve into this rather lengthy and deep layout, you should first notice that The Vitruvian Labyrinth contains 22 hairpin turns/switchbacks that represent the transformations or turning points in one’s life. These twists/turns/bends/changes occur in a progressive pattern. There are 4 hairpin bends in the path in the North, 5 hairpin bends in the West, 6 hairpin bends in the South, and 7 hairpin bends in the East.

Vitruvian Labyrinth Hairpin Turns

You will also notice that (in keeping with my Lost and Found article) the major Moments of Truth in one’s life occur in the areas of Faith, Dreams, Desire, and Touch. You can read more about these areas here:

The Lost and Found Spread

STEP 1: Have your cards mixed and cut.

STEP 2: Deal four cards face-down and farthest away from you and closest to your participant (if you are using The Vitruvian Square – the matrix will have Place of Power “0” closest to the participant and Places of Power “7,” “8,” and “9” closest to you). Deal five cards face-down and put them to your left. Deal six cards face-down and place them closest to you. Finally, deal seven cards face-down to your right. Don’t worry about placing the groups of cards in the exact configuration shown, above, nor do you have to adhere to the numerical sequence in the diagram. Instead, for this reading, you will simply place the cards in four, five, six, and seven card groupings.

Moments of Truth Reading with The Deck of Shadows

STEP 3: Have your participant looks over the cards and ask them to hand you a card. Whichever card they decide upon is where they are starting in The Vitruvian Labyrinth. There is no right or wrong choice here. Rather, just take note of where they are beginning their journey. Take the card they have selected as their starting point, turn it face-up, and place it to your left and closest to you (below the layout).

STEP 4: Repeat Step 3 with all of the remaining 21 cards; each chosen card is turned face-up in turn and placed sequentially to the right of the card chosen before it. Be mindful of how your participant chooses their cards and any pattern that emerges in the selection process. For example, are they focused on only one group of cards or do they seem to be choosing haphazardly? Are they choosing cards in a circular arrangement or are they choosing cards that are positioned opposite of each other?

STEP 5: Look over the 22 cards and, beginning with the card that was selected first, let the cards tell the story of your participant’s journey through life. Bring all of the things you have noticed about the manner in which the cards were chosen and any selection patterns you observed into the story. Let your heart and your gut drive the story that unfolds for you. Push what your logical mind might otherwise be telling you aside. In other words, just go with the flow of what you see before you.


This is a quick three card reading that provides you tremendous insight into your participant and clearly tells them where they’ve just come from, where they are, and where they are going in the near future. It is built around the entrance to the labyrinth, the center of the labyrinth, and a point along the labyrinth’s path that has special meaning to your participant.

STEP 1: Have the cards shuffled and mixed.

STEP 2: Select a card and place it face-down closest to your participant. This is where they entered their personal labyrinth and represents where they have just come from.

STEP 3: Select another card and hand it face-down to your participant. Ask them, Where are you now? Have them place the card face-down on the table in front of them. Take note of where the card is placed and its relation to where the labyrinth would be if it was actually drawn on the table.

STEP 4: Select a third card and place it face-down in the center of the table. This is where your participant is going.

STEP 5: Turn the cards over and read them in relation to their positions and meanings.

ALTERNATE HANDLING: The Secret Path Reading just cries out to be handled similarly to my Slice of Life Reading. Take a look at the following links and you will easily see how you can modify The Slice of Life Reading to take the positioning of the cards and relate them to The Vitruvian Labyrinth path positions:

Slice of Life – Part 1

Slice of Life – Part 2


Finally, let’s explore one last spread you might consider; something I call The Way In and The Way Out. The spread uses 6 cards and is based on the six turns that get you into the labyrinth and bring you to the center (and back out, again).

Vitruvian Labyrinth Turns

STEP 1: Shuffle and mix the cards.

STEP 2: Lay out three cards face-down as shown in the diagram, above, in positions “1,” “2,” and “3.” These will be placed to your right and to your participant’s left.

STEP 3: Lay out three more cards face-down as shown in the diagram, above, in positions “4,” “5,” and “6.” These will be placed to your left and to your participant’s right.

STEP 4: Turn over cards “1,” “2,” and “3.” These represent what your participant brought with them that got them to where they are today. These cards make up the story of the path your spectator took into their current situation.

STEP 5: Turn over cards “4,” “5,” and “6.” These represent what your participant is about to learn that will lead them out of their current situation.



Before next week, if you would like to learn more, information about The Vitruvian Square can be found here:

The Vitruvian Square book

The Vitruvian Square Casting Cloth

If you enjoyed this, I’d be grateful if you click below to share this with others. That’s right, go ahead and help spread this information by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. Thank you!

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© 2012 by Scott Grossberg. All Rights Reserved.

2 thoughts on “The Vitruvian Square | The Labyrinth (Part 3)

  1. Pingback: The Vitruvian Square | The Labyrinth (Part 4) « Scott Grossberg | Thinking Magically™

  2. Pingback: Resources for Numbers 7:8 - 9

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