Rose and Snail: Love Tarot Spread

Reading time: 3 minutes

Rose and Snail: Love Tarot Spread and Downloadable PDF

Woman with rose in her hair reaches out to a snail on a branch. May refer to the Aesop Fable, The Rose and the Snail.

We all have our walls. Walls protect us and keep us safe. But sometimes we hide behind our walls. The Rose and Snail: Love Tarot Spread (complete with downloadable pdf) lets you examine how strong your protection is and how serious the threat is so you can decide whether it’s safe to open the gate or whether you’d better add an extra lock.

This is the second spread in a series started in March. The first was “The Frog Prince: Love Tarot Spread,” a spread designed around the folklore story popularized by the Brothers Grimm. Today’s spread is based on a fable attributed to Aesop, The Rose and the Snail. Although the story’s moral is never let down your defenses, the question is ultimately more complex.

Threats are everywhere. So let’s break it down and examine how real any given threat is. Safety is of utmost importance. But it’s possible to overdo it, causing isolation or even denying help from others. Use this spread to examine what is under threat, the protections you have in place, and the amount of damage your adversary can do.

Position 1: The Rose

In the story, the snail tells the rose that he admires her beauty and fragrance. Position 1 of our spread is The Rose, or the valuable thing that you are protecting. What part of you needs this protection? What makes you feel vulnerable? To what degree are you able to show off this part of yourself? Or do you always keep it completely bottled up?

Position 2: The Thorn

Art Nouveau image of woman in yellow dress contemplating snail shell. Pink roses in her hair and rose bushes at her feet.

Then the sneaky snail tells the rose that she is flawed — her sharp thorns scare off her admirers. If only she no longer had this ugly feature, then she would be perfect. Position 2 of the spread is The Thorn, or the protections you have in place. How do you defend yourself? How effective are these defenses? You might also consider what leaves you open to attack. For instance, in the story the rose succumbs to flattery. What method will your attacker most likely use to break down your defenses?

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Position 3: The Snail

Once the rose removes her thorns, the snail immediately destroys her. He eats her leaves, buds, and flowers, devouring everything. She even loses her signature scent. Now’s the chance to see how dangerous your perceived threat is. Is it like the snail in the story, something that can completely ruin you? Maybe your story is entirely different, and you are prickling at something that is harmless. The card that turns up here will provide more information about your perceived foe.

Rose and Snail Love Tarot Spread Downloadable PDF

Print out the pdf so you can take notes on your spread. Although perfect for relationships, this spread works for any time you wonder if you’re being overprotective. Keep it close to hand for whenever you have to choose whether to play it safe or take a chance!

Rose and Snail Love Tarot Spread handout illustrated with image of woman reaching out to snail on branch.
Click the image to open a pdf you can download! Rose and Snail: Love Tarot Spread

Author: Joy Vernon

Joy Vernon is an astrologer and tarot reader in Burien, Washington. Formerly, she served as the Organizer of the Denver Tarot Meetup and Denver Tarot Geeks, and now runs the Greater Seattle Tarot Meetup. She is passionate about teaching others to read tarot for themselves to bring clarity and guidance to their lives. Joy started Tarot in Love to share everything she's learned about love in the cards from her decades of work as a professional reader. Over the past ten years, Joy has published more than 250 free articles on tarot, astrology, qabalah, Reiki, and meditation on her other blog Completely JoyousSchedule a reading to see her philosophies in action.

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