Welcome to lesson 10
Now that you’ve studied the whole deck of 78 cards and practiced with the basic 3 card spread, we’ll move on to a couple of other spreads for you to work with.
In this lesson you will learn a technique to choose between 2 choices – eg Should I stay? OR Should I go?
Then you will learn how to get more information on each option.
You’ll also learn how to prepare for a reading.
Lesson 10 – Tarot Spreads Part 1
Preparation before Reading the Cards
To begin the preparation for a reading, I suggest you follow a ritual each time. Your ritual will be different from the next readers. That is totally cool. See the video with Blonde gypsy below to see her method and the different way she reads her cards. I will suggest a common method of preparation, however you should modify and find your own grove!
Idea for preparation:
- Cleanse the cards with a bell, holy water, or other magickal device before, after, and between readings.
- Shuffle the cards until it feels right.
- Asking the querent to concentrate on the question being asked while you shuffle is appropriate. “If they are busy blabbing, all sorts of strange stuff can enter the reading.”
- The cards are cut into three separate piles. Some readers will turn over each stack and read the three cards. This is called reading the cut. Others simply place the stacked cards backed together—right stack on top of left stack on top of the center stack.
- The cards are then laid out in the spread the reader chooses to use.
Some people read the cards differently, depending on whether they are reversed (upside down) or upright. This is a personal preference and one you need to decide for yourself.
Personally, I choose to get a feel from the spread as a whole, to guide me as to whether a card is indicating its negative or positive interpretation, and I ignore whether a card is reversed or not.You can do the same, but if you find that difficult, you can read upright cards as positive in meaning and upside down (reversed) cards, as negative in meaning.Interpreting the relationship between cards in their various positions is a little more difficult.
For now, simply understanding what each card indicates in a particular position in a spread will enable you to give a reasonable reading.
In this video Blonde Gypsy from Black Witch Coven shares with us her method for beginning a Tarot Reading. BG continues sharing her own reading style using the Gypsy Tattoo deck by Paris Debonair.
When you read for someone, this person can be referred to as ‘The Querant’ or ‘The Enquirer’ and they should shuffle the cards.
Some readers have a ritual they like to do before a reading:
- Drink a special tea
- Say a prayer
- Call to their deity or spirit guides
When they have finished shuffling you can spread the whole deck and ask them to pick the appropriate number of cards, or you could split the deck into 3 smaller packs and get them to pick a pack they are most drawn to.
Many people feel quite nervous when they come for a reading, especially for the first time, or if they are feeling distressed about something. Find your own way to make them feel at ease
I do this by explaining the process and what I believe the tarot is all about. I explain each of the spreads I use and often explain the meanings of the cards. However, many Tarot readers feel it is better not to do this, and only convey the message they see in the cards – it’s up to you to find your own way of working with the tarot and with the people you read for.
So, let’s move on to a spread.
You’ve been working with a classic 3 card spread, so let’s use this same reading to create a new one … by using it twice!
Teas for Divination
Spread 1. The Choice Reading (Choice A or B) – Using 6 cards
This is ideal when a querant has to choose between 2 options, for example – should I stay married or should I leave my spouse? Should I go out with Steve or Michael?!! Should I become a lawyer or a hair stylist? You get the idea!!!
Simply ask the querant to shuffle the cards and pick 6, and then spread the cards as below:
You then read each row as you would the 3 card reading you’ve been practicing:
1st card is – influences from the past
2nd card is – advice
3rd card is – outcome.
The idea of the spread is to help guide the querant to the most positive or favorable choice.
Of course both options could lead to seemingly equally negative or positive outcomes, in which case you can do an additional spread for clarification.
This could be …
Spread 2. Guidance Reading – 4 cards
In this situation, you could use the guidance reading to ask for more information on each option. Shuffle the entire deck again.
Lets say that Option 1 was – ‘should I go out with Steve?’
Lay the cards out as follows:
1st card is – the current situation
2nd card is – what is going for you
3rd card is – what is going against you
4th card is – the outcome
After finishing this reading, shuffle the cards again and do the same for Option 2 – ‘should I go out with Michael?’
If they still both have a similar outcome, then you have more work to do, or perhaps your querant will decide to go out with both of them!
The 4 card Guidance reading can be used to ask any question, it doesn’t need to relate to a choice. You could use it to get a feel for what’s going on around the querant generally, or to ask a specific questions such as:-
‘will I have love in my life soon’ ‘will my finances improve’
‘will I sell my house’
and so on and so on.
OK, so now you have 3 spreads to work with:-
Classic 3 card spread
6 card ‘choice’spread
4 card ‘guidance’ spread
Practical Exercise – your homework is to practice these on yourself and your friends and begin to develop your own way of working with the cards and your querant.
We will move on to a couple of bigger spreads in the following lessons.