As you have probably noticed, I’m finally getting around to writing the “novels” about my adventures at the Readers Studio. One of the things I briefly discussed was the spread that me and Theresa Reed crafted during Barbara Moore’s talk. I decided that I wanted to post it up here on the website as a freebie and I linked it there. I’m bringing it up again today because I wanted to discuss the spread a bit more in depth here.
Grab the spread here and print it out. As you read through this post, keep the spread handy to compare notes. Got questions? Leave a comment and I’ll get to ya.
Step One: Determine Focus
Barbara’s first step in spread creation had us either choosing a situation to focus our spread on, or drawing a random card as inspiration for brainstorm. We chose the random card draw method.
The 3 of cups imagery from the Hanson Roberts and the Sun and Moon tarot fueled our creative brainstorming. We decided that the card had elements of : play, moon, 3 women in ritual, happiness and that it invoked a sense of “what habits or rituals do I incorporate into my daily life to manifest abundance?” This was the initial basis that a formed our spread.
Step Two: Create Positions
Here we learned about single and multiple cards and what they mean to a spread. We also learned about the variances of patterns (triangle, square, circle, etc) and what those lent to a spread as well.
As Barbara went on to discuss how positions and the amount of cards in a spread work to guide a reading, we jotted down notes on what would work best for our Spread/Ritual. We settled on 5 cards: center the first card, for it acts a a focus. We labeled that the manifest desire position but as my friends pointed out, this first card can also be a significator card.
I don’t like to set anything in “stone” and this spread and the positions can be played with to accommodate your need (as you’ll see later). The rest of the positions “circle” around this first card and they act as energies that draw towards or away from the manifestation process. We decided to use the 3-dimensional idea of “up and down” to act as our north and south and labeled those as air and ground; going against a more traditional Pagan circle approach where the north position is Earth and South represents fire. Again, you are free to play around with your own designations based off where you live or what you believe in.
We also figured that we could add cards that crossed others, to add depth and clarity to the reading. I recall lifting up two cards so they hovered above another card, giving this spread a more 3-dimensional quality to it. Imagine reading the “what grounds you card” with 3 cards that divide body as the table level, mind, hovering a bit over that table card, and then a spirit card hovering higher over the mind card. Changes the game of what tarot spreads can do, doesn’t it? I think we’ll need a bigger spread cloth and a clear plastic setup for this design, as well.
We also figured that you could combine the outer circle cards by sliding them around to create even more meaning, or change the meaning of the readings, if you read them as a 3 card reading either left to right horizontally or up to down vertically (or vice versa). I loved the idea of reading these three cards as stepping stones to build energies or see patterns of influence.
Step Three: Accessorize
Here we learned some fun ways to add even more depth and personalization to the cards.
Barbara gave us ideas on dividing the deck out into parts so that a position of the spread could have aspects of only one of the suits, or court sets, or majors. Our Manifestation Spread is build that you could do this if you want to; but we wanted to keep the core idea simple where you just use the whole deck. You could also add in a second deck and work the first position as one deck and then use the second deck for the outer circle. We toyed with the idea that the majors could be position one, then pentacles as south, swords as north, wands as west, and cups as east. Then you can add court cards in to help focus energies or lend personality traits to the mix. Still with me on this? I hope so.
We also worked more with the idea of location where we could slide cards around, to move various energies to where “they need to be”. Or that you can strengthen various elemental cards by moving them to a more stronger location. I also told Theresa how you could turn the cards “on or off” to stall certain energies if you want. To do this, you just turn the card so it doesn’t flow with the others in the position. Of course, this is better explained in video than in writing, but perhaps I’ll do that in another day.
It occurred to me as we were making this spread that one could build more into it as they needed. Therefore, we ended up just posting a very simplistic version and hoped that the spirit of play would allow people who used it to mix and match and build off it as they wished. I felt power in this spread, so much that I think I may use this spread and focus as the capstone for what I am aiming my tarot practice (both in service to others as well as in spirituality) to become. Now if you excuse me, I think I’ll step away from the system to go play with this creation and see just how well it works in reality.