Robert M. Place is the creator of several decks, including the Alchemical Tarot and the Buddha Tarot as well as the author of The Tarot: History, Symbolism, and Divination. He shared 2 techniques with the group. The first focused on energy flow within a three-card spread. The second was a large 21-card spread that built on the idea of the three-card spread, so it was, in essence, a seven-position spread with three cards in each position.

Looking at the energy flow within three cards being read together is incredibly helpful. It gives an added level of meaning and precision to an interpretation. Lay out three cards and look at the way that the main characters in the cards are facing. If, for example, they are looking to the right, the energy flows from left to right like a linear story. If two figures have their backs to each other, they are moving away from one another. If they are facing each other, they moving toward each other. If the two outside cards are both facing toward the center card and the center card is facing forward, the outside cards are both moving toward the same thing.

Writing it out makes it sound complicated, but it is not. In fact, it is surprisingly intuitive. Here is my reading from the workshop. We had to ask: What do I need to know about this technique that will help me?


The central figure in the first card is looking toward the center card showing a progression from the chaos of the 5 of Wands to the order of the 3 of Pentacles. The figure on the left in the center card is looking toward the Knight, showing a movement from creating something to having something of value to offer.

So I interpreted this reading as: When the cards present muddled energy and I cannot immediately sense/see the story in the cards (5 of Wands), I should slow down. By slowing down and consulting with the characters in the cards (3 of Pentacles) I will finally craft something of value to offer my querent (Knight of Pentacles).

This technique quickly found a place in my reading practice and has already become second nature. Let me know what you think.

Written by Barbara Moore
The tarot has been a part of Barbara Moore’s personal and professional lives for over a decade. In college, the tarot intrigued her with its marvelous blending of mythology, psychology, art, and history. Later, she served as the tarot specialist for Llewellyn Publications. Over the years, she has ...