One of my favourite “spreads” – actually more of a method for card reading – is the 1st operation of the OOTK (Opening of the Key). It utilizes the tetragammaton – YHWH – in a clever way that can be adapted for many different uses.
So YHWH (Jahwe, Jehova et al) consists of four Hebrew letters – Yod Heh Vau Heh. These for separate letter form the word itself which, at its correct pronunciation could destroy the world. The creative and destructive traits of sound are quite famous around the world in many different cultures – we know the red trumpet of Gabriel (and the horns that will bring about the Rupture), and we know OM which also has the power to bring about Apocalypse. Sound creates and destroys and I think it is a fascinating approach – sound is a wave, and every frequency has something that resonates to it. If there is resonance to a chemical element (say, Hydrogen) and a certain frequency causes fusion, our world WOULD end. And after all, even science refers to the beginning of the world with a sound – a BANG.
Jehovah is what the ancient Greeks called the Demiurge; he is the creator of what we consider reality and the god of abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity) except Islam (although he is what Allah is to muslims).
In Hermetics, we have the four planes of existence, which is the Macrocosm, and the descending four levels of the Microcosm. Each letter refers to one of these planes. In addition, as you probably might have guessed, the four letters also represent a traditional element each and with that, a Tarot suit.
Yod represents Atziluh, the World of Emanations, where the light of Ain Soph radiates. In Tarot, it corresponds to the Fire element and the suit of Wands.
The First Heh represents Briah, the World of Creations, where the angels dwell. We correspond it with the suit of Cups and the element of Water
Vav is Yetzirah, World of Formations, where your ideas gain actual form. We correspond it with Air and the suit of Swords.
The Last Heh represents Assiyah, the World of Actions, our physical world, where the ideas have manifested physically in the material plane. This is obviously the element of Earth and the suit of Coins.
Since my last post was about the Magician, I thought I would share my thoughts on this as well. The Tetragrammaton represents control over the four elements in a way, suggesting that once you control all of them, you will become the master of elements – but in the process, Earth will be destroyed (when you utter the Name of God, the world will come to an end). But the Earth manifests in Assiah, the in the Final Heh – so once we gain control over all the elements, we bring about destruction and the cycle will take place again from the start (an idea).
What this knowledge gives us in readings is a solid understanding of how the elements are interlinked, which elements are together (the two Hehs are interlinked, Water and Earth) and what is the general hierarchy and organization of the elements.
There are several good explanations for the OOTK (my personal favourite being Benebell Wen and her wonderful blog which can be found here: Benebell’s post on OOTK
Using the tetragrammaton does not only have to be related to the OOTK – you can divide your deck into 4 piles any time and receive information about your/querent’s life this way. So when we lay out the piles, we go Fire-Water-Air-Earth for each pile (NB! Do not forget that Hebrew is written Right-to-Left). Each pile gives you information on that particular element in the querent’s life (good explanations can be found from Benebell’s post).