Monday, June 19, 2017

Guilty Pleasures Blog Hop

The Tarot Rebels Blog Hop takes a look at Guilty Pleasures

From favorite decks and cards, to that little thrill when the Seeker validates something major in a reading, we all have guilty pleasures when we work with the Tarot. These are things that we admit to ourselves but don't necessarily let other people know about. This month the challenge is to admit to one guilty pleasure and share it with the world.

My guilty pleasure is not using spreads with fixed positions.

Oh I know that there are many spreads that can be used for specific situations and questions.  Past - Present - Future spread, Relationship spreads, Career spreads, and the overly complex Celtic Cross spread (that is disliked by as many readers and seekers as those who swear by it). Each of these assigns a meaning to the position that each card is placed in, and within that context the cards can be read as the representation of that aspect of the question being asked.

But what if we look at what the cards show us, rather than defining what they should tell us? If we trust the Tarot to show us things we need to know about, why do we feel the need to limit what it has to say by placing arbitrary restrictions on the placement of the cards? And if you don't think they are arbitrary, try looking at tall of the variations that the Celtic Cross can use, from positional meanings to the order that the cards are placed in the spread.

Steampunk Tarot     Moore /Fell

Look at the beauty of a spread that doesn't have any specified positional meanings.  All of the cards relate to each other in some way, and that relationship is not bound by anything. All of the relationships show an aspect of the question we are looking to answer, and the result, for me, is bigger than any limiting spread.

Just look at the cross in the center of the spread and see how much information is there. The central card shows someone trying to decide what to do and how to go about doing it (7 of Pentacles).  He knows what feels right to him (High Priestess), and he has passed the points of contention among his peers on the right path to take (5 of Wands reversed). There are choices  (7 of Cups) and decisions to be made (2 of Swords), but he will be successful (6 of Wands) and his friends will celebrate with him (3 of Cups).

If we look at the way the cards modify each of their neighbors throughout the spread, we can answer many questions that would come up around the main question. This kind of energy and exposition answers a simple sounding question with so much more than a simple answer, and it does not force us to limit what each card relates to based on where it lies on the table.

I don't always have the time to be able to work with this spread, depending on the circumstances under which I am reading.  A Street Fair is not necessarily the appropriate venue for this, but when I do an email reading or work with someone in a private consultation, this can be a very powerful way to get to the bottom of the matter at hand.

And because this spread isn't always practical for a given Reading situation, I like to use it whenever I can.  Of that, I am certainly guilty!


  1. I love what you have to say here - breaking out of using structured spreads has been one of my tarot projects this year, bc I have to admit that I adore designing spreads! The non-positional tarot read like you describe here is what I call a "storytime" read bc I look for the story in the cards. I have not gone quite so complex with a big spread like you show here - your post has gotten me thinking in new exciting ways to work with my storytime reads!

    1. Thank you, Lola! I was introduced to a 15 card spread by a mentor as a way to look deeper into the cards several years ago. I have since been learning more about the older deck forms, especially the Tarot de Marseilles. The combination of those seems to have come out more and more over the last year or so.
      I am glad I could help add another nudge to your thinking about these spreads. Have fun with the storytime readings - they can be a LOT of fun!