Today I thought I’d share a bit from one of my favorite chapters in Tarot Spreads. The chapter is Techniques to Add to Any Tarot Spread.

Playing the Hand You Are Dealt

Usually when we do a reading, we shuffle and deal the cards off the top of the deck into their positions. In this way, tarot (or perhaps fate) determines not only what cards we get but where they land. This practice has definite philosophical connotations. Consciously or unconsciously, it accepts the idea of a predetermined future. Many readers emphasize that we are reading the energies present, no definite outcomes. The technique of playing the had that you are dealt assumes that the querent has more control over the energies present.

Shuffle the cards and let the querent draw as many as necessary for the spread (or simply count the requisite number off the top and hand them to the querent). The querent then lays out the cars in the positions however she wishes, and the reader interprets the cards.

Variation 1: Do a readin as usual, and then have the querent rearrange the cards. Explore why the querent would propose those changes and what can be done to shift the energy to reflect the querent’s ordering of the cards. I like this variation because it give us a baseline of the situation as it stands and then allows the querent to work within that reality, which resonates strongly with how I view a good tarot reading.

Variation 2: In many card games, players get to discard and draw cards. After doing the reading as usual, let the querent discard a card and draw one randomly to replace it. Discuss the selection and feelings about the new card.

Variation 2a: Let the querent discard a card and go through the deck to select the card she wants to put in its place. Again, discuss the choices and how to manifest that change.

In the book, I give three more variations, in addition to a bunch of other cool techniques. Well, at least I think they’re cool.

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 ...