The Dragon’s Head, Caput Draconis, is a term applied to both the north node (astrology) and one of the sixteen geomatic figures. Here, we are utilising the name as a title for a five-card draw that mirrors the shape of the geomantic figure:

Caput Draconis

The Dragon’s Head

The first reference to this spread I saw was in Chita St. Lawrence’s It’s All in the Cards. There it was referred to as the short-reading. For St. Lawrence, the cartomante could use the layout either singularly or as part of three spread reading.

The spread is modelled on an older, seven-card version that St. Lawrence refers to as Masha’s Seven-Cards (St. Lawrence, 1999). This seven-card iteration appears to be the basis for a spread sometimes referred to as The Horns and taught as part of Dawn R. Jackson’s Hedgewytchery Method.

Here, the spread is adapted for the Petit Lenormand cards.

The Method:

After shuffling and cutting the cards, the cartomante deals the first two cards from the top of the deck. The cards are placed before the cartomante, face-up. If one of the two cards is not the Significator (either the Child, the Lady or the Gentleman) the cartomante deals the next two. Should neither of these two cards contain the Significator, the process is repeated until a pair containing the Significator is dealt.

Care should be taken to ensure that the discarded pairs are kept in order. Upon finding the pair that contains the Significator, the cartomante puts these two cards aside. She then returns the discarded pairs to the deck.

Once the deck has been made whole again, the cards can be fanned out, and three cards are drawn at random. These are placed in a vertical line beneath the pair that contains the Significator as shown below.

The Dragon’s Head

Cards 1 and 2 will always contain the Significator. Care should be taken to note whether the Significator faces or looks away from the other card. If the Significator has it back to the other card, the topic indicated by that card ordinarily refers to a past or present situation. The reverse is true if the Significator looks at the paired card.

The three vertical cards describe the development of that situation. St. Lawrence notes notes that the cards discuss events that will occur within four weeks’ time. I think this is a fair maximum estimate, however one it is not uncommon to see events playing out out within a week or so.

Example Reading #1

The first reading was done for a female client. She was due to return to work after a long absence after surgery. Her question was:

“How will my return to work go?”

The cards as they fell:

We found the Lady paired with the Serpent card indicating her return to work will involve a significant sidestep or deviation. The three vertical cards tell us that this will be because of a forced change (Serpent Stork) in the accepted arrangements (Flowers Ring).

Interestingly, of the five cards, we have three Queens which ordinarily indicates female rival. My feeling was that the required change to the planned return would come through the agency of a female senior staff member.

It transpired that the seeker’s supervisor complained to HR regarding the phased return. This meant that the querent had to go to another role until she was ready to return to full-time.

Example Reading #2

Our second example was performed in June 2020. The querent was male and did not pose a question. In such circumstances, the paired card will indicate the topic. Here it was the Mountain card denoting an obstacle.

The cards as they fell:

The Gentleman does not regard the Mountain, which indicates a pre-existing issue.

The seeker (Gentleman) is faced with a problem that has ruffled his feathers. Not that people have noticed, much to his consternation (Mountain Birds). This will continue for a short time yet (Birds Cloverleaf). However, assistance will come, which will restore calm and resolve the problem (Cloverleaf Lilies).

The Petit Lenormand © abCartomancy 2010 – 2020


St. Lawrence, C., 1999. It’s All In The Cards. 1st ed. New York: Perigree, pp.61-65.

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