PART 3: INCORPORATING THE BOARD
Anthromancer’s board design reflects the aesthetics of the cards in the deck; The motifs of Earth, Water, Fire, Air, and Aether are clearly defined. The circles in the center of each edge and the central space were designed for use with alchemy and interact with cards to unlock another layer of complexity in Dragonfruit.

There are 5 Houses depicted on the Anthromancer board, associated with the same spheres as those of their colored elemental shapes:

  • The House of Earth (red) is tied to the Past. This house represents the earth, or foundation, of a situation, and the events that have led up to the present moment. It connects this to the themes of Source, as the source of our energy and our ability to access it is a major factor in how a situation develops.

  • The House of Water (orange) is tied to the Subconscious. This house represents the water, or emotion, of a situation, and the deep feelings we have related to it. It connects this to the themes of Pulse, as the pulse of our energy, and the urges and fears that arise in us beyond our control, must be contemplated if we are to truly master any situation we face.

  • The House of Fire (yellow) is tied to the the Future. This house represents the fire, or direction, of a situation, and the motion that our energy prompts as we flow into the future. It connects this to the themes of Path, as our goals and intentions for our energy are the most significant forces in determining how a situation unfolds.

  • The House of Air (green) is tied to the Conscious Mind. This house represents the air, or vibration, of a situation, and the attitude we project with our energy as we face our challenges. It connects this to the themes of Vibe, as our level of conscious awareness in any moment changes the way we navigate a situation, and the tribe we have to help us.

  • The House of Aether (blue) is tied to the Present Self. This house represents the aether, or creation, of a situation, and the great energy we possess in the present moment. It connects this to the themes of Voice, as the way we choose to manifest our energy into the physical world here and now is the ultimate decider of what comes next. All other houses are projections and interpretations of things that only exist in this moment; as such, this house is also known as the Yoke; it yokes together the entire process. All the symbolism present in the other houses is made meaningful through the house of Aether; through the reader and the querent’s collaboration in the present place and time.

Fig. 2.12: Houses and their themes.

Fig. 2.12: Houses and their themes.

Note: You may notice that, when viewing the board in standard orientation (with the center logo pointing up) the red house associated with the Past is on the right side of the board, and the yellow house associated with the Future is on the left. While this may seem counterintuitive to most western readers, you can think of the dimension of time being tied to the passage of the sun; it rises in the east and sets in the west. To get the most out of the Dragonfruit experience, we recommend that the board be placed with the houses in their appropriate cardinal directions. Knowing that the northern house is pointed towards magnetic north can help foster a sense of greater cosmic context.

Fig. 2.13: House alchemy.

Fig. 2.13: House alchemy.

House Alchemy
When using these houses in a spread, note the element of the cards that appear in them. A house’s energy can consume or be consumed by the energy of a card that appears in it. Likewise, it can alter the meanings of cards that appear in it (houses themselves cannot be altered). In the pictured example, the 6 of Claws (a water card meaning ‘Repair in the sphere of Source’) appears in the House of Air (the green house, representing the conscious), and the symbolic energy of the card can be thought of as feeding into the house. It could also be perceived in the inverse; the House of Air can be seen consuming the energy of the 6 of Claws. The same transfer of energy is occurring, but by changing what you perceive to be the active agent, you change the narrative.

On the one hand, repair in the sphere of Source may be manifesting in the conscious mind; perhaps its appearance heightens your conscious awareness of the situation at hand? But on the other hand, perhaps your conscious thoughts about this situation are prompting you to pull energy away from and weaken your source energy? As usual, this comes down to subjective interpretation.

This built-in ambiguity enhances the reflective nature of Dragonfruit; you choose to see what you want to see, and how you want to see it. If something calls out to you, or echoes what’s going on in your world, don’t hesitate. When you listen to your creative spark you can easily surprise yourself with unexpected significance. If you’re unsure of which alchemy interaction to assert, turn over another card or two as a catalyst, and see if they can offer context.

Sample Spread 3: The Small Cross
This spread contains 5 positions marked by the 5 Houses on the board, which represent the same elements as the suits in the deck. This spread can be performed without use of the Anthromancer board, though its colored motifs will help you remember their alchemy.

Fig. 2.14: ‘The Small Cross’ sample spread.

Fig. 2.14: ‘The Small Cross’ sample spread.

  1. Shuffle the deck several times.

  2. If this reading is being performed for a querent, instruct the querent to hold their query, if any, in their mind.

  3. Have the querent cut the deck.

  4. Turn over the top card of the deck (1), and place it face up in the House of Aether (blue, central position). This represents the quality of the querent at present; what is happening to the querent now, their character, or their current perspective in the situation at hand.

  5. Turn over the second card (2) and place it in the House of Earth (red, east position). This card represents the Past of the situation, and the source of the energy involved.

  6. Turn over the third card (3) and place it in the House of Water (orange, south position). This card represents a feature of the querent’s Subconscious, and their impulses, romantic entanglements, fears, and urges related to the situation.

  7. Turn over the fourth card (4) and place it in the House of Fire (yellow, west position). This card represents the Future of the situation, and the way that the querent’s goals manifest related to the situation.

  8. Turn over the fifth card (5) and place it in the House of Air (green, north position). This card represents the querent’s Conscious awareness in the situation, and the way in which the situation affects their connection to others in their tribe.

  9. Contemplate the full spread, and search for insights. Use alchemy to create deeper, more elaborate or satisfying interpretations. See if you can detect meaningful links between cards and houses. Can you infer any meaning from looking at houses together? Does the card in the central house seem to direct your attention anywhere specific? What stands out about the spread to you?

  10. When you feel satisfied, return the cards to the deck.