Right Foot Forward

February 26, 2012 § 1 Comment

Here’s a spread to help you set out on any new adventure with the right foot forward. I used it last week to set a course for my TABI free reading journey but I reckon it will suit for just about anything you might be embarking on. All kudos to Little Red for providing the inspiration and basis for this spread – which means, I borrowed hers and jigged it about a bit. ūüėČ

1 – What am I bringing with me on this journey?

(This card might highlight a personal quality that will help you or it may reveal something about your attitude as you embark on your adventure.)

2 – What is my biggest strength?
3 – How can I make the most of this strength?

4 – What is my greatest weakness?
5 – How can I improve on this weakness?

6 – What will be my biggest challenge?

7 – What can I do to improve my chances of success?

8 – What is the most likely outcome of this journey?

Uncertainty Spread

April 13, 2009 § 1 Comment

Last week I got the Tarot of the Imagination, an OOP Lo Scarabeo deck. It’s very colourful, very striking, but also a little odd, a little foreign to me. Reading it, I think, requires me to “suspend my disbelief” – a term used frequently in my Theatre Studies classes way back when in school. “Theatrical” is a good word to describe it; “impressionistic” is another. The images were painted/chosen to suggest a mood – as such they often veer wildly from typical RWS depictions. It’s a challenge for me as my reading style is very logical.

A few days ago I wanted to try a reading with it. The situation I was reading about was a nebulous, shifting situation. My thoughts kept going round and round in circles, bouncing from hope to fear to sadness to optimism and from question to question to question, without finding any answers. I needed to impose some sort of order to do a reading but didn’t know where to start so I came up with a new spread, one designed specifically to loosely hold the impressionistic images of this deck.

It seems like it would be a useful spread for any time you need to try and pin down a confusing situation.


The position meanings are:

1 РTHE DREAM, what I hope for the situation

2 – THE NIGHTMARE, my fears for the situation

3 – THE PAST, where the situation has come from

4 – THE FUTURE, where the situation is going

5 РREALITY, what I need to accept is true about the situation

6 – FICTION, what I need to realise is false

7 – THE PATH, the way out of the situation

My New Daily Reading

June 16, 2008 § Leave a comment

I never really got much from¬†the ‘Mind-Body-Spirit’ type of three-card spread. But as I was thinking about this a few days ago, I realised it wasn’t completely useless – I just needed to make some adjustments. So now I have a new 3-card spread that I’m using every morning and so far, it seems to be working very well.

I ask for advice for the day in the following areas:

1 – THOUGHTS. What should I focus my thoughts on? What do I need to pay attention to?

2 – DEEDS. What should I do? Where should I focus my energy today?

3 – RELATIONSHIPS. How should I relate to others today? What approach will help me?

As an example, here’s my reading from this morning. At the moment I’m using Kat Black’s beautiful Golden Tarot:

1 РTHOUGHTS Р8 OF PENTS : Last night I went to bed thinking about the idea of craftmanship and vocation. As I drew this card this morning, it encouraged me to keep pondering this issue and how it is perhaps absent from my life.

2 РDEEDS Р10 OF WANDS : This card told me to shoulder a burden. Early in the afternoon, I spotted an opportunity to do just that, and stepped in to take over from someone whose work was beginning to back up. This paid off later in the afternoon as we both managed to avoid a big last minute rush.

3 РRELATIONSHIPS РKING OF SWORDS : This card told me to use careful judgement and objectivity today Рto not get drawn into any petty squabbles. This turned out to be good advice and I managed to stay impartial when someone I came into contact with got into a heated argument with their ex.

The Gift Spread

February 3, 2008 § Leave a comment

This is a spread I haven’t tried yet, so it comes to you raw, but I will definitely be trying it out on myself at some point.

Some people seem to be aware of their calling even before they can walk. I remember one of my school friends being absolutely certain at age¬†eight that she would grow up to be a nurse (she did). Others, like me, are late bloomers. People like us seem to drift through life searching for that one big thing that can tell us who we are and why we’re here.* That seems to be how I spent most of my late teens and twenties. Now I’m in my early thirties, I’m starting to recognise my gifts but I’m still working out what to do with them. Maybe this spread will help me figure it out. I’ve done it in the shape of an arrow, to help¬†give a sense of direction.

The Gift Spread

1 – What is my gift?

2 – How can I develop this gift?

3 – Why do I have this gift? What can I do with it?

4 – What challenge will I face through developing/using this gift?

5 – What will help me meet this challenge?

6 – What is the long-term potential of this gift, if I put it to good use?

*Actually, I think Western society places too much importance on career and what you DO. Who you are should not be defined by your job – that’s just one part of you. But it’s¬†horrible to constantly feel adrift, like you don’t belong anywhere, and that’s what I wanted to address with this spread.

The Bad Day Spread

January 9, 2008 § Leave a comment

Today didn’t go particularly well and this evening I found myself pondering a spread which could help me reflect upon and let go of that bad day vibe. This is what I came up with.

Note: if you’ve had a really bad day, I recommend calming down first with a relaxing bath and a glass of something alcoholic (actually, that works for good days too).

 Bad Day Spread

1 – The overall energy that was at play today.

2 РWhat part did I play making it a bad day?

3 – What could I have done to improve things?

4 РWhat can I learn from this experience?

5 – How can I best get back on track tomorrow?

A Reading About Reading

January 6, 2008 § Leave a comment

A couple of weeks ago, I asked the question, “How can I make the readings I do more meaningful and beneficial to both myself and others?” I drew three cards from the Haindl, in a variation on the basic 3-card situation-advice-outcome spread. (This is a spread I am using more and more as it seems to make a reading less one-sided, and more like a conversation.)

1. Commentary – What do I need to understand?

2. Message – What do I need to hear?

3. Vision – What do I need to envision?

Haindl Daughter of Swords, 2 of Swords & 8 of Swords

In the first card, Isis wears a headband decorated with doorways. Rachel Pollack explains the significance of painted doors: “Since they were not real they could not open; only the dead spirits or the astral bodies of initiates could pass them.” This could suggest psychic development, or the kind of secret language that is involved in reading tarot. My first thought was, “doorways into the mind”. Isis has an open expression and she looks out of the card, towards some unseeable other. She listens rather than speaks; learns, rather than teaches. Without judgment or prejudice, she accepts the knowledge of others, soaks it up like a sponge. In the background of the card is Hathor. Rachel Pollack mentions how the Egyptians “tended to merge older deities into the current favourites, and some of Hathor’s attributes became associated with Isis.” This again could be seen as learning from those who have gone before and¬†who have valuable experience. The equivalent of this card in conventional decks is the Page of Swords.

As Commentary, this card touches on several aspects. First, it shows that it is important to approach each reading (and¬†tarot in general) with an open mind. It is not helpful to go into a reading with any pre-conceived ideas; it is far better to be a sponge or a blank slate, ready to receive the messages in the cards whatever they may be. Second, with Isis looking out of the card, it suggests the idea of an “other” which, in a reading,¬†would be¬†the querent. It is important therefore to listen to the querent, and to understand that¬†any concept I have of what¬†might be¬†“meaningful and beneficial” isn’t necessarily the same as what will be meaningful and beneficial to the querent. Finally, the card tells me it’s important to keep learning about the cards, from books, from other readers, and from¬†“older deities” whose experience and wisdom can help me grow. (I was going to add Rachel Pollack’s name as an example of an older deity but didn’t want to¬†insult her by calling her old!¬†Clearly though, the tarot world is full of these older deities, who have been reading and studying tarot for years longer than I have and from whom I can learn.)

The second card is the 2 of Swords, which in the Haindl Tarot is given the title ‘Peace’. I talked a little about this card in an earlier post.¬†The position it occupies in this spread is “Message – What do I need to hear?” I think the answer is very simple: when I read for others or for myself I need to hear nothing or, rather, I need peace. It is no good finishing work and then doing a reading straight away. My mind needs time to find stillness, to quiet down. Likewise, I know there are many readers who can whip out their cards, give them a quick shuffle, get their answer and put them away again, all in the space of two minutes, but I’m not one of them. I need time and space to consider the cards, to let the reading come together as a whole.

I have done many readings over the last few years which have been meaningful and beneficial, but I have done many more which have been meaningless. Usually, those are the readings I rushed, or that I did when my mind was distracted by other things. It will help me to take time to do readings properly, to find a quiet space where I won’t be interrupted and¬†take a few moments to calm my mind. Whatever is going on in my life has to be put aside –¬†suspended like the swords in this card – so I can better achieve the ‘blank slate’ openness of the first card.¬†

The final card is the 8 of Swords, titled ‘Interference’. ¬†It answers the question, “What do I need to envision?” The card shows the trunk of a tree, its branches stunted, with 8 swords criss-crossed in front and behind. It seems as if the swords are the reason for the tree’s restricted growth. The I Ching hexagram on this card resembles a mouth “biting through” the strong line in the middle. The hexagram can refer to the dogged persistance needed to get to the bare bones of a situation and also to reform. I believe (not being much of a gardener myself) that pruning some plants helps to shape or reform¬†their growth. So the effect of the swords (and therefore the “interference) shown in this card could be beneficial as well as being restrictive. The card shows a difficult situation: too much interference can do more damage than good and kill the tree; not enough may lead to failure.

Tarot readers do quite a bit of interfering in the business of others so I think this card is reminding me to take care in this respect.¬†Often those I’m reading for are complete strangers and I don’t know how they will be affected by what I tell them. I should make sure my words (swords) are beneficial rather than damaging. After opening my mind as shown by Isis, and finding the peace and stillness of the 2 of Swords, I must then “bite through” to get to the bare bones of the reading and use precision and careful judgement when explaining the messages of the cards. I need to envision myself in each reading helping the querent¬†to reform their life – not through unnatural restriction of their free will to grow as they please but¬†by pruning, shaping and guiding¬†the growth in the direction they wish it to go.¬†

The Killer in the Backseat

October 9, 2007 § 7 Comments

I know Halloween is still three weeks away, but that gives you plenty of time to try out this chilling spread. I’m a big fan of urban legends, so I thought I’d have a go at a spread based on one of the most famous urban legends of all: The Killer in the Backseat.

The Killer in the Backseat spread

1. You Рthe hapless victim Рmwahaha!

2. The Killer in the Backseat – a hidden danger, something that’s gonna getcha if you don’t act fast

3. The Dark and Lonely Highway – this is the route you definitely DON’T want to take (i.e. what not to do)

4. The End of the Road – this is the sticky end you’ll come to if you choose the wrong path

5. The Well-Lit and Extremely Safe Highway – take this road if you want to live…

6. Home Sweet Home – where you’ll end up if you manage to last the night

7. The Gas Station Attendant – something or someone that will help you

Have fun, and remember – don’t have nightmares. [Insert crashing organ music here.]

The Week Ahead Spread

August 26, 2007 § 4 Comments

I’ve been wanting to develop a spread for a while now that I could use for weekly readings – something that I could do on¬†a Sunday as a forecast for the week ahead. I came up with this simple 3-card spread this morning.

1 – Overall tone. This card shows what the prevailing theme will be for the week ahead. It’s something outside my control.

2 – Personal situation. This card shows a specific situation or issue that I’ll need to address in the coming week.

3 – Advice. This card shows the best course of action or an attitude that will help me this week.

I lay the cards out in a triangle shape, with card 1 at the top and the other two underneath.

And here’s my reading for the coming week. I used the Mythic Tarot:

1 – Overall tone: 8 of Swords. Ah yes, the ‘caught between a rock and a hard place’ card. Great.¬†I shouldn’t expect to make a lot of progress this week. This card indicates confusion, indecision and inaction. This card is a very good representation of what is referred to in the gaming world as ‘analysis paralysis’, where too many choices leave you unable to decide. Except – in the 8 of Swords – none of the choices you’re faced with are particularly appealing. It’s interesting in this card that the Furies wear black and Apollo wears white, leaving Orestes stuck in the grey area between them.

2 – Personal situation: 4 of Cups. In the Mythic Tarot this card represents ‘divine discontent’. On the surface, everything seems like it’s fine and dandy, but underneath there’s that feeling that something’s ‘just not right’. It’s all a little too ‘fine’, if you get what I mean. There’s nothing wrong with what you’ve got; it’s just not what you want.

3 – Advice: 7 of Swords. I should keep my thoughts and plans to myself. If I experience the ‘divine discontent’ shown in the previous card, it’s probably best not to say anything. Perhaps it’s just not the right time to bring it up, perhaps¬†others won’t sympathise,¬†or perhaps if I leave it a while those feelings will pass and it won’t seem like such a big issue anymore. I think the reason for keeping quiet is actually shown in the first card, the 8 of Swords. Talking about it won’t change the situation, there won’t be a way to get what I want without encountering either a rock or a hard place, so best to stay put in the grey area for the time being.

8 of Swords    4 of Cups    7 of Swords

A Friend in Need Spread

August 22, 2007 § 2 Comments

This is a spread designed to help you figure out the best way to support a friend or loved one who is having a hard time. The first five cards (the centre cards) all relate to your friend and the situation they’re in and the last four (the outer cards)¬†are advice cards for you.¬†In that way, the spread shows you creating a circle of support around your friend.¬†

Centre cards:

1. The heart of the matter – the problem or situation

2. Underlying cause or motivation – often an internal aspect which has contributed to the situation

3. Past influences – an external factor or event in the past which has led to the present situation

4. Manifestation – the effect the situation is having on your friend or those around them

5. Future potential – the opportunity for growth that lies in the situation

Outer cards:

6. What practical support can I give my friend?

7. What attitude can I adopt to help my friend?

8. How can I best communicate with my friend about this situation?

9. What emotional support can I give my friend?

A Friend in Need

Where Am I?

You are currently browsing the Original Spreads category at Archer Tarot.