Thursday, March 24, 2011

Simplcity in Creating Spreads

I've seen and read a lot of really excellent stuff about creating tarot spreads over the years that make it almost a science.  The need to place things in an exact order or the many ins and outs of why spreads should be created one way and not another.  While a lot of these are really great and there are some fantastic methods for making spreads for just about anything out there, I'm a lot more simple than a lot of other readers in that area.  I don't want to spend hours trying to create a spread and often I find that I need to create a spread on the fly for someone because I don't feel that any of my standard spreads I use will really do the trick.  So here are some thoughts and suggestions for creating spreads in a quick and simple way.

There are three questions to ask yourself:
  1. What is my big question?
  2. What are the details or little questions that I need to know?
  3. How many cards do I want to work with?
It really is that simple.  So let's say that someone is coming to you with a question about a relationship. 

  1. You determine that the larger, main question is "Should this couple consider marriage?"  
  2. After talking to your friend or client you determine that they want to know what challenges they face together as a couple, what things each of them bring to the relationship, what keeps them together, and how well they can handle difficulties as a couple.
  3. You know that you're OK with reading this in six cards.
What you want to do from here is assign each of the six cards a purpose or position.  You might also want to consider a shape for the actual layout.  This is something we'll talk about more in depth at another time, but for now let's work with a simple pyramid shape.

The shape of the cards when laid out will look something like this:
With the shape we want the 1,2,3 cards to represent foundational elements, the middle to be active or growing elements, and the top card, card 6, to be the outcome. 

So piecing together your layout might look something like this:
  1. What you bring to the relationship
  2. What they bring to the relationship
  3. What connects and bonds you to one another
  4. The challenges you face together as a married couple
  5. How you work as a couple to overcome them
  6. How the marriage will look overall
From these six cards you can help your friend or client piece together the potential that there is for this relationship to become a successful marriage.  Remember you can always pull additional cards to go deeper on an individual card too.  For example if you pull a card for position 5 and you don't feel you're getting a full grasp of how together these two deal with their marriage challenges, then you can always pull another card to add some clarification.  This card doesn't need it's own position, but it will add to what you're getting in that 5th card.

I have created spreads in the past looking at an image too.  For example taking the paw print of an animal and using that to determine the shape and number cards and using a question that is reflected in this shape, like looking for answers about making a journey.  Shape is something that I don't feel is nearly as important as determining the number of cards you're comfortable working with and then breaking down your question.  And, like I said, I'll talk about spread shape in the future.

Hope that gives you some inspiration and eliminates a little anxiety around creating your own spreads!