During my â€śI donâ€™t need no stinkinâ€™ spreadsâ€ť phase, I threw cards down in a long line or in several shorter lines in rows. I looked at the cards and often had no idea of how to start interpreting the reading. If any of you do practice this and can either explain or point me in the right direction, Iâ€™d appreciate it. I still want to try, but for now, I get too locked up to make any progress.
But there is something about a spread with few positional meanings or just general guidelines for interpreting that I have been enjoying lately. For most of my reading career, Iâ€™ve spent most of my time on the many possible meanings of a card. Going very deeply into a card is an amazing journey and leads to many insights. However, lately Iâ€™ve been focusing differently. Rather than taking one card and squeezing as much meaning out of it as possible, I like to look at the cards in relation to each other and let those relationships shape the interpretation. My reading experiments have been recently influenced by two blog: Tarot Elements and Tarot Eon.
That may sound very much like using Elemental Dignities. I cannot in good faith say that I use Elemental Dignities in any pure sense. The full-blown practice is a bit convolutedâ€”or can get a bit convolutedâ€”for me. Yes, I am a lazy reader. However, I do look at the elements present, as well as numbers, court cards, repeating symbols, patterns, or colors.
When I want to focus on the relationships between the cards I find positional meanings distracting. So, Iâ€™ve been drawn to spreads without positional meanings but with some structure. There are two that Iâ€™ve been playing with a lot. One is the Tarot Elements Signature Spread by Catherine Chapman and can be found here.
The other is one I recently made up and it has no name. Okay, in my head I call it my Magic Square spread. But donâ€™t tell anyone, okay? It looks like this:
It doesnâ€™t matter which order the ones around the edge are laid out, but I always lay the middle one last. I read the last card (in the center) as the person who is the subject of the question. Then all the cards around the center card represent the situation and energy that they are â€śin the middle of.â€ť Sometimes the columns seem to form a kind of past-present-future pattern, as in a three-card spread. But more often, a story emerges organically.
Thatâ€™s enough babbling from me for today. Tell me what you think about specific spread positions, no positions, or kind-of-sort-of positions.