This spread has four parts, each of them referring to key elements in the ballad. The first part is made of cards 1, 2 and 3 and represents the cemetery ground where the briar and the rose grow from; cards 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 are the second part and depict the briar; cards 5, 7, 9, 11 and 13 are the third part and depict the rose. The last card (14) crowns the whole picture and represents the true lover's knot formed by the intertwining briar and rose.
First part: The cemetery ground, the roots, the situation as it is – cards 1 to 3
Card 1. The roots of the current situation, the situation as it is right now, what the two lovers' feelings are like when the cards are drawn.
Card 2. The roots of the briar: what broke the relationship, the grievances that initiated the quarrel.
Card 3. The roots of the rose: the feelings of love that still exist despite the current misunderstandings and animosity.
Second part: The briar – the situation as Barbara sees it (cards 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12)
Card 4: The sorrow that causes Barbara's heart to turn to stone. The painful feelings generated by the actions and facts alluded to by card 2. The sorrow caused by the discord, and the resentment that keeps the two lovers apart.
Card 6: As she is hurt, Barbara refuses to listen to Sweet William. The reason why communication is not good between the two lovers.The lack of communication, why one refuses to communicate.
Card 8: Barbara hears about Sweet William's death and realizes that she loves him. This card shows the emotional shock that leads to understanding that a painful change is needed in order to focus on the situation with a different point of view. Only then will it be possible to determine whether the feelings of love are still there. One realizes what they have lost.
Card 10: As a consequence to William's death, Barbara's sorrow is stronger than her resentment and she blames herself for being so cruel to him; she thus follows him in the grave. This card represents what one will regret (not) doing or (not) saying and points towards the first signs of reconciliation.
Card 12: Barbara is buried next to Sweet William. This card shows what leads the two lovers to get together again.
Third part: The rose – the situation from William's point of view (cards 5, 7, 9, 11 and 13)
Card 5: Sweet William suffers from the situation and gets very sick. The consequences of the pain caused by the quarrel. This card shows what keeps the two lovers apart despite the feelings they share.
Card 7: Sweet William tries in vain to explain how he feels to Barbara. The communication attempts that were unsuccessful or that kept the two lovers apart instead of bringing them back together. The reasons why these communication attempts failed.
Card 9: Sweet William's death. Resignation. Accepting the situation as it is and the possibility of a definitive break-up, of non reconciliation. This card can also show one's good wishes for the other person. How one considers stepping aside and disappearing from the other's love life if there is no other solution.
Card 11: Sweet William is buried in the old churchyard. What one is willing to sacrifice to mend the broken relationship, what one is willing to let go or to forgive in order to facilitate reconciliation and go towards a peaceful future.
Card 13: The rose that grows from Sweet William's heart. The feelings that will survive and/or that will be reborn, helping the relationship to be peaceful again, giving it one more chance.
Fourth part: The true lover's knot – the reunion of the two lovers and the overcoming of all difficulties (card 14)
Card 14: The knot formed by the briar and the rose as they grow up the wall. How the quarrel will be resolved; how the two lovers will find each other again (or not). How the efforts will pay, thus leading to the resolution of the conflict. The final outcome of the situation.