Philosophers Stone spread

Philosopher Stone

When trying to look into the changes that surround us. We use this spread when there’s something we are trying to understand. The philosophers stone spread is not so much for divination as it is for gaining an understanding of what is happening around us that we are neglecting to focus on.

In order to maintain continuity with other pieces we have written about the philosophers stone we’re going to refer to the three points on the triangle as 3, 6, and 9|0. If you want to take a deeper look into the philosopher’s Stone read our article on the construction of an enneagram.


The card 9 at the top of the triangle represents the beginning and the end of the octave. This card sets the mood of the entire spread. This card is what the spread is about. Everything begins and ends with this card.


The second card, at 3, represents things from the outside, that are automatic, that are going to affect whatever it is the first card represents. This is how the world is going to interact with the subject matter of the spread. There’s nothing we can do about the shock that this card delivers to our spread. The shock is coming from outside, it’s coming from the world around us. Often what’s happening at the second card is related with what happened at the first card. Sometimes what’s happening at card two is just happening in the world and its influence reaches many.


The third card, 6, is how these events or conditions, that are set up by the prior to cards, are going to be affected intentionally. How someone’s desire or emotions are going to affect the outcome. The third card represents something that requires will power. This card really boils down to what if anything can we do about it.

What’s the deal?

Keeping the basic meaning of each point of the triangle in mind, we shuffle. Usually we don’t need to ask a question the big things in life are just pressing on us to get out.

Once we shuffle three times cut three times shuffle three times cut three times shuffle three times cut three times… It’s time to lay the cards out. This is where we ask ourselves how do we feel?

If we feel like life’s just throwing us curveballs. If things are happening that are outside of our control and we’ve got to learn to deal with it. Things like the power going out, a war, a new boss at work. Then we set the first card down at 3 and then follow with the other two cards.

If we’re just feeling emotional we will lay down the card at 6 first. If it’s been a long day at work, mentally and physically beaten to death… We start at 6.

If we feel like we’re on top of the world and things are changing we start at 9. If it just seems like the clouds are clear and the sun’s about to shine through 9 is where we start.

Six is not like nine. Nine could easily be a desire to have something. But that’s not the true desire. The true desire, the will to overcome and to suffer to obtain that thing is at 6.

Nine is more like “what it is.” If you look at nine’s position it’s literally balancing what you want at six with what your getting from the world at 3. Nine is the sum total of what your experiencing from Life with what your experiencing on the inside.

As a Meditative Tool

The spread can be really useful if you select the particular cards you want to use and just set them there for meditation.

For example you might pull out a card that represents a desire that you want to see fulfilled and place that at the 0

Then you might select another card that represents the options life has sent to you and place that at 3

And finally at 6 set a card to represent how you would like to deal with it emotionally so that you succeed and obtaining your initial desire.

This allows us to take a problem we’re facing and to visualize in a geometric fashion how we are approaching it. By doing this visualization process of breaking down anything we face in life into these three aspects we simplify the processes of problem solving. We can take issues that are completely overwhelming categorize them like this and they become things that we can cope with mentally and begin to look for ways around and through our problems.