As we’ve only really scratched the surface of reading your cards, I felt that it was a good time to branch out into discussing the different types of spreads or readings that you can do. My aim is simply to give a brief overview, and I am hopeful that I can go into more detail in future posts.
For me, I would split readings with a single deck – as some people use multiple decks – into two main types.
Firstly, you have readings that are seeking an answer to something, i.e: the person you are reading for has a question (even if it is just a request for guidance.)
And secondly, there are readings that are purely predictive. With time you’ll get a feeling for which spread is best suited to which type of situation. For example, the Celtic Cross is very commonly used for both general guidance, and for answering specific questions. Whereas the ‘Relationship spread’ as the name suggests, is best for questions relating to romance.
You can probably guess from the name I’ve given, that a Predictive Reading is about divining the future. If you’ve been reading my posts from the beginning, you’re probably thinking, “But Danchou, you said you don’t believe it’s possible to actually predict the future.” Now you’d be right, generally speaking, that is what I believe: The reason being, that you will subconsciously choose differently as a result of the prediction.
How many of you would avoid going out on a particular day if you’d received a prediction that something bad would happen on that day? Or instead, let’s look at it a different way; have you ever had a gut feeling that you shouldn’t go somewhere only to find out that you had narrowly avoided some major event?
There are a lot of arguments to be made about whether we can or can not predict the future, but I’m getting off-topic. Even if, like me, you’re sceptical about their use, this type of reading can still be useful. A common one I’ve come across is the Calendar Spread or, the Year Ahead spread as it’s sometimes called. The idea is that you draw twelve cards in a clock face formation, the card in the one position representing January, and so on.
As the reading looks so far ahead, I would strongly recommend recording the reading. Take a photo, write down what card you got for each month or draw a diagram if you prefer in some sort of journal. That way, you can revisit it on the last day of the month. This can be an effective exercise to further your learning, why not see if you can relate any major events to the meaning of the card?
Readings to answer a Question
During the time that I’ve actively practiced Tarot Reading, this would be the sort of reading that I did the most often. General readings from people wanting to sate their own curiosity with a close second.
As I mentioned before, the Celtic Cross is one of the most well-known spreads used by Tarot Readers and it’s very useful for seeking answers. However, it is an extremely versatile layout to use and is generally found in the booklets accompanying Tarot decks.
If you’re looking for the next step after practicing with the single card, and three-card draws we’ve discussed previously, then this is a great spread to try next. In fact, for me, the Celtic Cross, even though I don’t use it often, really represents how Tarot is meant to be used.
Other layouts that are useful for helping you look into a situation from different perspectives include the Cross and Triangle, The Two Paths, The Creative Process, and The Hagall spread. All of which you can see illustrated on one of my favourite websites – Facade. The site is a useful tool for various divination methods, not just Tarot, and they also sell a handful of books and decks too.
Naturally, the more cards used in the reading, the more in-depth the answer you will receive from them will be. When deciding to read the cards, I decide on the amount of detail I wish to have when reading for myself, as well as which of my decks would be the best suited to that particular question. Although, there are readers who only have one deck, and use that deck for any reading. Both approaches are equally valid – even though I have a collection I usually still reach for my Vampire Tarot deck.
Your style will develop with you as you discover the kind of reader you are. Whether that’s somebody who likes to be in the same room as the client, or you prefer a bit more distance. If you prefer the more predictive readings, or the ones that seek answers, it’s all equally valid. Find what works for you, and what you feel comfortable with.
As always I thank you for joining me.