Caridwen's Web Spread featuring the Necronomicon Tarot 


The Necronomicon Tarot, is published by Llewellyn Worldwide and is available on their website at

Necronomicon Tarot copyrighted by Llewellyn Worldwide and used by permission.

by Caridwen

Caridwen's Web is based on the ancient Norse pantheon and Well of Wryd. The Well of Wryd is under the World Tree near a womb like cave inhabited by three giant sisters: Urd, Verthandi and Skuld known collectively as Die Schreiberinnen. This translates roughly as 'the Writing Women' (not spinners as is commonly supposed). The sisters write the 'fate' of mortal and immortal alike on staves of wood or the Book of Destiny that contains all the mysteries of the universe.

The Well of Urd or the Well of Wyrd (Urdarbrunnr) has powers of eternal youth and also serves as the meeting place for the court of law of the gods. The roots of the World Tree are watered everyday by water from the Well which falls back to earth as dew. When deer graze on the moistened branches, their milk turns to honey mead; the food of the gods and elixir of life. 

As the sisters water the roots of the World Tree they chant the Orlog: the essential and unchanging laws of the universe that both drive and limit present events and situations. Thus the Well is the repository of the past and the World Tree (the present), is dependant on the Well for both growth and healing. In this way the present is continuously influenced by that which has gone before. The 'power of the past upon the present' is sometimes referred to as Wyrd. Once present events have happened, their effects and implications drip like dew from the tree back into the Well to either clarify or complicate the past. 

Orlog is both the law and lore (knowledge) of the universe – the ultimate plan of creation. Orlog is the Old Norse for 'cycle of fate', or for the unalterable destiny of the world. All things have their own Orlog, their own Path of Reality. This includes concepts and situations. It also includes Creation itself. All individual Orlogs are facets of the Universal Orlog, and all are part of the great Web of Fate being written by the Norns. Orlog is that which you are born with that the Norns already know. You are responsible for making a difference and held accountable for what you do be it good or bad in this lifetime. You are also responsible in this lifetime for paying back any debts or wrongs. 

Everybody is born with certain abilities, strengths and weaknesses. One's own Wyrd is the way these abilities lead you through life. If you work against your Wyrd, you will encounter problems. You can move off the path of Wryd but the Reality of Life or Web of Reality will always try to pull you back on course. Although we must learn to live with the Reality of ourselves, we must also attempt to make our weaknesses into strengths by accepting them and working with them. Wyrdness implies that while we are affected and constrained by our past actions, we are continually creating our own Wyrd by how we respond to the present.

The Spread

........................... Potitions One – Verthandi – 'that which is becoming' - Now

...4.................7..... Position Two- Urd – 'that which has become' - Past

............................ Position Three – Skuld – 'that which should become' - Future

2...........1 ............3 Position Four - Obligation

............................ Position Five - Intent

...6.................5..... Position Six - Rune

.......................... Position Seven - Account

The first three positions of the spread refer to the three sisters:

Thence come the maidens | mighty in wisdom,

Three from the dwelling | down 'neath the tree;

Urth is one named, | Verthandi the next,--

On the wood they scored,-- | and Skuld the third.

Laws they made there, and life allotted

To the sons of men, and set their fates.

From the Völuspá

The sisters are the "three mysterious beings" of the Prose Edda (an ancient Norse poem) : High-One, Just-as-High, and Third. Urd is the oldest of the sisters and guards the Well of Wyrd. She is represented as an old woman looking behind her to what has already happened. The Second sister is Verthandi and is usually depicted as a young woman looking forward. She is 'Being' and governs 'that which is becoming' (present). The youngest sister is Skuld or 'Necessity' – 'that which should necessarily be' (future). Necessity here is the necessity of repaying debts and our debt for life is death therefore, Skuld determines the length of each life. She's always facing the opposite direction of Urd, in order to see what is yet to come.

The Fourth position Obligation is related to Skuld and represents the moral debts or responsibilities incurred from past actions. Our moral debts are sometimes accumulated indirectly from the lives of any whose Wyrd has been woven together with ours such as ancestors and tribal members. It can be of a positive or negative nature depending upon the circumstances that induced it. Therefore we all have a responsibility to 'do the right thing' for everything we do has far reaching consequences that do not only effect us.

The Fifth position, Intent helps us to see what our or another's motive may be in the present situation. Sometimes our reasons for action are unclear even to ourselves and may be part of a cycle of behaviour derived from our personal Wyrd.

Position Six refers to the Runes Odin found after hanging for nine days and nights from the World Tree. The word Rune means mystery or secret and it is used in the spread to see that which is veiled from us or hidden at this time. It may point to something being kept from us or hidden that would have an effect on the situation if known.

Position Seven, Account, refers to what may happen should we not divert from our present course taking into account all that has gone before. It is the accumulation of our personal Wyrd thus far and takes into account the effects our possible decision will have on our Wyrd in the future. Every choice we make in the present builds upon and alters our Wryd.

The way to read the spread is to imagine being inside a giant spider's web that reverberates with every touch or action. The positions cannot be read separately from each other, they are as intertwined as our personal Wyrd is with Orlog. The overall weave of the web cannot be changed but the pattern is never fixed, it can be clarified or further complicated by new choices and situations. Thus everything must be taken into account before making a final decision or choice.

The object of the spread is to help us see our position within the Universe alongside our ancestors or, on a microcosmic level, the far reaching consequences of our present actions.


All articles remain the property of their respective authors. Tarot Reflections is published by the American Tarot Association - Copyright (C) 2007 

Questions? Comments? Contact us.