Pneumatic Tarot

The Pneumatic Tarot Spread

Pneumatic Tarot

In today’s post, I’m sharing The Pneumatic Tarot Spread, inspired by the teachings of Valentinus (c. CE 100 – c. 180). Valentinian Gnosticism is a branch of Christianity founded by Valentinus in the 2nd century CE. However, it is important to note that Valentinians themselves simply referred to themselves as Christians. Since history is written by the victors, Valentinians, along with other Gnostic Christian groups were labelled heretics and named according to their teachers rather than how they viewed themselves.

Valentinian Gnosticism presents a unique perspective on human nature and spiritual classification. According to Valentinus, humans belong to one of three categories: hylic, psychic, and pneumatic. These classifications are not merely psychological or philosophical but reflect the individual’s relationship with the divine.

Hylics: The Material Ones

The term ‘hylic’ comes from the Greek word hyle, which means matter. Hylics are the most materialistic of the three types. They are predominantly oriented towards the physical world and its pleasures, lacking interest in spiritual realities. Hylics are typically unaware of the divine spark within them, if it is present at all. Material desires and instincts ruler their lives. In Valentinian thought, hylics may struggle to achieve salvation unless they undergo a profound spiritual awakening.

My own take on this is that most of of us go through a phase of being hylics in any given incarnation since the programming in this third dimension strives to make us conform to materialism

Psychics: The Soulish Ones

Psychics are those who are in between the hylics and pneumatics, associated with the Greek word psyche, meaning soul. This concept has nothing to do with ‘psychic gifts’ the way we think of it in modern times. Psychics are aware of the spiritual and the material worlds. However, their rational soul governs their lives. They possess the potential for spiritual growth and are capable of achieving salvation through faith and adherence to religious practices. Psychics are responsive to religious teachings and can discern moral truths, which guides them towards a higher spiritual state.

Again, since I have been through this stage on my own personal journey, I’m prone to think that many of us pass through the psychic phase on the way to a true spiritual awakening

Pneumatics: The Spiritual Ones

Pneumatics, from the Greek word pneuma, meaning ‘spirit,’ are the individuals who are primarily oriented towards the spiritual realm. They have a direct and personal connection with the divine and are often seen as the true Gnostics. Pneumatics possess an innate understanding of spiritual truths and are predestined for salvation, having the divine spark brightly burning within them. They are considered enlightened and are tasked with helping others achieve spiritual awakening.

My take on pneumatics is that people who are born with this orientation have developed spiritually over many lifetimes. Some souls that fall into this category remember past lives or have a childhood OBE or NDE that triggers memories of past lives or spiritual realms.

The Pneumatic Tarot Spread

This Majors only spread can guide you through the stages of soul growth defined in Valentinian Gnosticism—hylic, psychic, and pneumatic—encouraging progression towards spiritual oneness and embodying Christ consciousness. Use this spread to understand where you are on your spiritual journey and to receive guidance on how to progress.

Tip: If you do not own a Majors only Tarot deck, simply separate the 22 Major Arcana decks from a regular 78-card deck. This is what I have done for the sample reading below since I wanted to work with the Majors from the Gnostic Tarot.

The Pneumatic Tarot Spread

Card Layout:

  1. The Hylic Card: This card represents your current engagement with the material world. It reveals the challenges and influences related to physical desires and instincts, helping you to recognise material attachments or distractions in your path.
  2. The Psychic Card: This card explores your soul’s connection to both the material and spiritual worlds. It highlights your understanding of moral and spiritual truths and reflects on how well you balance spiritual knowledge with everyday life.
  3. The Pneumatic Card: This card represents your spiritual orientation and potential for embodying Christ consciousness. It offers insights into how you can foster a deeper spiritual awakening and intimacy with the divine spark within.
  4. The Awakening Card: This card provides guidance on how to transcend the previous states and fully awaken to the spiritual reality of oneness with the divine, embodying the inner Christ.
  5. The Path Card: This card suggests practical steps you can take to progress from your current state towards full spiritual awakening. It can offer advice on actions, attitudes, or meditations beneficial for your journey.

How to Conduct the Reading:

Begin by meditating on your desire for spiritual growth, humbly admit your ignorance and ask for clarity in understanding your current spiritual state and the path forward. Shuffle your tarot deck while focusing on your intention. When you feel ready, draw cards from the deck to fill the positions as described.


Spend some time reflecting on each card and how they relate to each other. Consider not only each card’s specific meaning but how they interact as steps along a journey towards spiritual enlightenment.

Use this spread as a map for your soul’s journey, revisiting it as you feel necessary to gauge your progress and reassess your spiritual goals and alignment. This spread is not only a reflection of where you are but also a guide to where you have the potential to go.

Sample Hylic, Psychic and Pneumatic Tarot Reading

sample pneumatic tarot reading
The Gnostic Tarot

The Hylic Card: The Chariot

The Chariot in this position symbolises your current engagement with the material world. This card often represents victory, control, and determination. In the context of the Hylic nature, it suggests that you might be successfully managing your material circumstances and desires. However, it might also indicate a struggle or conflict with these material attachments, urging you to consider how your desires might be ruling over you.

In the Gnostic Tarot, Abraxas represents The Chariot. As this being is also known as ‘The Great Archon,’ I think it’s safe to say the material world still has a hold on me. I worry a lot about the state of the world and shift between despair over my powerlessness to wanting direct all my energy into trying to control and influence the perceptions of others. Seeing this card here brings an ‘aha moment’: Hard control will keep me stuck in the 3D Matrix. I’m better off surrendering to Spirit.

The Psychic Card: The Magician

As The Psychic Card, The Magician highlights your connection to both the spiritual and material realms. The Magician is a master of tools and resources, symbolising the ability to use what’s available in achieving your objectives. In this middle ground, it reflects your potential to harness your knowledge and skills for spiritual growth. The Magician encourages you to align your mental and spiritual faculties, using your awareness and understanding to balance everyday life with spiritual truths.

The Gnostic Tarot Magician is Simon Magus. I feel this card relates very much to my Mercurial Gemini Rising nature. I always feel like I need more facts and information before I can surrender when really, every breath is an invitation to surrender to the Spirit within.

The Pneumatic Card: The Empress

The Empress in the role of The Pneumatic Card demonstrates a strong presence of nurturing and creative energy, indicative of a profound spiritual connection. This card emphasises your potential for spiritual enlightenment, embodying the divine feminine aspect of growth, compassion, and love. The Empress encourages you to embrace and nurture the divine spark within, fostering a deep, intrinsic connection to the spiritual realm and your Higher Self.

Mary Magdalene represents The Empress in the Gnostic Tarot. In the guidebook, it says that some see Mary Magdalene as an avatar of Sophia, Holy Wisdom. Embodying Sophia resonates 100% with my deepest desire. This is why I dedicated myself on a Sophianic Path.

The Awakening Card: Temperance

Temperance as The Awakening Card provides guidance on achieving spiritual oneness. This card is about balance, moderation, and purpose. It suggests that your path to awakening involves integrating all aspects of your being—spiritual, mental, and physical. Temperance calls for patience and continuous effort in blending these aspects harmoniously.

In the Gnostic Tarot, Basilides is the representative of Temperance. In the Gnostic Tarot Workbook, we read the following: “The card possesses a unique challenge for introspection. As we work to integrate opposing forces, we cannot allow any external pressures to interfere with the transformation process. To uncover the precious gem within ourselves, we must delve inward.”

The Path Card: The Sun

The Sun appears as The Path Card, offering insights into the practical steps you can take towards full spiritual awakening. Symbolising clarity, joy, and vitality, The Sun radiates positivity and encouragement. It suggests that maintaining an optimistic outlook and focusing on clear, achievable goals are key to your spiritual journey. Embrace the joy of living, which illuminates your path and inspires others in their spiritual pursuits.

The Gnostic inspiration for this card, The Invisible Spirit, comes from the Secret Book of John: “The One is the Invisible Spirit. It is not right to think of it as God or as like God. It is more than just God. Nothing is above it. Nothing rules it. Since everything exists within it. It does not exist within anything. Since it is not dependent on anything. It is eternal.”

The Guidance from Gnostic Tarot Workbook is to ‘Allow yourself to unwind and embrace the dance, and you will attract compatible partners.’ This guidance reinforces the guidance in position one to let go of hard control and to surrender into a state of infinite trust in the Good.

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