Someone recently ask me in the comments section under the Kipper Lesson, ‘where is the Six-Card Hungarian Method?’ Conducting a brief and admittedly not complete search of the Symbolomancy section, I don’t know if I’d been careless or lazy, but I couldn’t find it. So here it is as a mini-lesson. The Six-Card Hungarian Method is one of the first card lay-outs I ever learned, so these instructions are coming from the late Eden Gray’s Mastering the Tarot. (To the best of my knowledge, that book is no longer in print, but might be a resource to check for those interested). I can’t believe I didn’t cover this lay-out, because it’s a great, simple, fast way of doing a reading with any sort of Symbolomancy set you care to name, whether it’s Tarot cards, Rune stones, Ogham staves, or any card deck, divinatory or otherwise.

Shuffle as you normally do, then cut the deck into three piles (ideally with your less-dominant hand, as that is considered the more receptive hand). Turn each pile over, then separate the top card from the rest of the pile and lay it above the pile. Reaching underneath each pile, peel-off the bottom card of the pile and place it below the top card for that pile. Lay the rest of the cards aside, because you’ve now got your six.

Traditionally, you’re supposed to read the cards in this lay-out from right to left, as shown in the illustration above, but I’ve also done this lay-out from left to right a score of times, and it doesn’t seem to affect the accuracy one iota. I will say this about that approach, though: if you’re going to do the reading from left to right, with the two cards on the left representing the past and the two cards on the right representing the future, then keep that thought clearly in your mind as you’re shuffling, so the correct cards end up in the correct place. But right-to-left IS the traditional order of the spread.

If you’re using another sort of symbol-set, such as runes, lithomancy stones, ogham staves, or any symbol set carved onto little wooden disks, you will fill-in the layout by choosing the symbols one-by-one from whatever container you keep them in. They should then be laid-out in the following order: top-right corner position, top-middle position, top-left corner position, bottom-right corner position, bottom-middle position, bottom-left corner position. This mimics the order in which the cards are laid-out. Again, if you’re going to invert the order and put the past symbols on the left and the future symbols on the right, keep that thought firmly in your mind as you’re selecting, so the correct stone, stave or disk ends up in the correct place.

Starting with the two cards in the past position, you will then do the reading by synthesizing the message of each card-pair into one coherent message for past, present and future. Remember that the two cards in the present position won’t necessarily reflect current actions, but could instead reflect attitudes or thoughts about the matter for which you are doing the reading.

For those who want a downloadable copy of the diagram above, here it is: