Personalize Your Tarot
Readings Through Spreadcrafting
by Tierney Sadler
A good tarot reading is often like a story, reconstructing,
constructing, and forecasting relevant pieces of a person's life to
bring understanding about a particular topic. While our tarot cards
reveal the details of the story, it's the spread that provides the
outline and asks all the right questions. You can find spreads in books
or online, but the best way to make sure you get one to fully address
your specific question is to create it yourself.
The spread is the structure or the layout of a tarot reading. Each
position in the spread gives you a context for how to read the tarot
card that lands in that position. So, say you get the Three of Swords,
the traditional card for indicating heartbreak. If it lands in the Past
position of the spread, it might indicate that a past heartbreak is
influencing the current situation. Get the same card in the Hopes and
Fears position and it could suggest that you not only have a fear of
heartbreak, but that you might actually have a desire for your current
relationship to end, whether consciously or subconsciously.
What really goes into
crafting a spread?
Beyond providing the context in which your tarot cards are read,
spreads are complex animals. Each position is threaded together to form
a snapshot of the querent's situation—so when you create your own
spreads, you'll want to choose positions that tell the story you want
to hear about. Then you want to put them in an order that reveals the
story in a logical manner. Additionally, you may want to add shape to a
spread to focus its energy, like fashioning a love reading in the shape
of a heart or a Cupid's arrow.
If you really want to get nerdy about crafting your own spreads, you
may also want to consider the interplay between positions—how certain
spread positions work together to reveal a third position—and group
spread positions together accordingly in the spread's design. We see
this type of arrangement in a Celtic Cross, where the left side of the
spread gives a concise snapshot of the situation and the right side of
the spread shows how the attitudes of yourself and others impact that
snapshot to cause the outcome. It's also seen in the way all the cards
on the left of the Celtic Cross encircle the Situation and Crossing
positions, each exerting equal and direct impact on the pair of cards
in the center.
So, spreadcrafting can run the spectrum from a simple one-card spread
to more complex ones, depending on how deep you want to get into the
art and theory of the craft. As I started diving down into its
complexities, I realized that trying to craft a spread with pen and
paper just wasn't cutting it for me; if I wanted to move the cards
around or rename them, I had to scratch things out and it became all
too messy and frustrating. Then I lit on a better way—The Deck of 1000 Spreads.
How Can the Task of
Spreadcrafting Be Simplified?
The Deck of 1000 Spreads is a deck of oversized
cards with spread position names on each card. While you're crafting
your spreads, simply sift through the cards and pick out the positions
you want in your spread. Once you have your card positions chosen, you
can move the cards around into different order, switch positions out
with new ones, and move the cards into different spread shapes—without
ever putting pen to paper. It's a three-dimensional, visual system of
creating spreads faster, more easily, and more enjoyably than ever
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1. You've recently put
together The Deck of 1000 Spreads.
What inspired you to
create the deck?
Simply put, frustration is what inspired
me to create The Deck of 1000 Spreads. Most of the time when I
would give readings, it would be at a tarot meetup or over coffee with
a friend. Because of the spontaneous nature, I usually didn't have
paper with me, so I would make up a spread on the fly. As I was dealing
out the cards, I would say, "This is the Situation, and this is What is
Hidden, and this is what your Partner thinks," and so on. By the time I
was done, I'd have maybe seven tarot cards on the table, and usually
about the time I got to the third card, I'd forgotten what position I
said it was going to be! Even if I had paper available, having to write
stuff down while I was "in the zone" was annoying. Or if I was at home
creating a spread on my computer or on paper, the editing process and
logistics of it got on my nerves. I just felt there had to be a way to
craft spreads easier and without taking me out of the "zone." Then one
day it hit me—a deck of spread cards!
is already a great deal of books and decks about tarot spreads
available; what makes The Deck of 1000 Spreads
stand out from this crowd?
There are certainly books about spreads
and spreadcrafting out there, but there has never been a deck of cards
like The Deck of 1000 Spreads. It's a deck of
sixty-five cards, each with a different spread position name on it.
Choose the positions you want for your spread one-by-one, then move
them around and arrange them as you like. It's a visual, tactile,
three-dimensional way of creating spreads and, short of making your own
version, you won't find anything else like it for tarot. It's a whole
different category of tarot tool, and it opens the door to new
techniques people haven't been able to do before. The companion book
that comes with the deck has a lot of information about spreadcrafting
and has a number of sample spreads in it, but it distinguishes itself
from other spread books by describing the color-coded spreadcrafting
system of The Deck of 1000 Spreads itself. While there's a
lot of great information in the book, people will be buying this kit
for the cards and its simplified spreadcrafting system.
tarot experience is limited; would I still be able to use the deck to
create my own spreads?
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