This stage is a monster. It uses 36 cards, as well as the significator. Its purpose is to drill down a bit more deeply into the signs. However, rather than look at the one sign that is most applicable to the question, this stage uses them all.
Let me give you a definition first. In astrology, each sign is split into three decanates or decans (periods of ten or eleven days, comprising 10º of arc). For instance, those born between, March 21 to March 31 are in the first decanate of Aries. In this stage of the reading, called the decanate stage, the 36 cards dealt are for the 36 decanates of the zodiac.
To begin this stage, the deck is reshuffled, as is the case for each stage. Then it is turned face up and the significator is searched for. Once it is found, it is placed on the reading surface and the next 36 cards are dealt, in groups of three, around it. This will make a circle of twelve groups, one for each astrological sign. Interpretation is then made for each group of three, giving some information from each sign. Then the cards are counted as in previous stages. Again, once a given card is touched a second time, that part of the stage is over. Finally, the cards are paired, like before, but in a different way. The card for the first decanate of Aries is paired with the first decanate card of Libra, second Aries with second Libra, etc. In this way, each card is paired with the one diagonally opposite it around the circle.
It’s a long and involved stage and, as I mentioned in the last post, I don’t use it unless the question is particularly complicated. It does yield a good bit of information, but it can seem like overkill for many questions.
The central themes or messages of the reading are obvious by now, and the only procedure that remains is to look to the particular sphere of the Tree of Life that pertains to the question.
Stage number five, the last stage, is coming up.