A question about prediction

Predictions, Tarot Spreads 3 Comments »

A friend whose cards I read recently was querying why her reading hadn’t warned her about the problems with her relationship, which appeared a few weeks after her reading. She had asked ‘was there anything she needed to do with this relationship’ and had been told that all seemed fine. A few weeks later it became apparent that her man was unbearably insecure and was capable of complete meltdown when things didn’t go his way. She wondered if the limitation had been her own thoughts – that is, that the reading gave her a reflection of her hopes, not about what was about to happen.

Well, it’s a good question. Could a client influence their reading to that extent? I think it’s possible, if they are particularly focused on getting what they want (and don’t want to hear any negatives), but they themselves would have to have fairly powerful psychic gifts. And many tarot readers refute the idea that tarot is a predictive tool. I have seen it predict accurately on many occasions, though I usually warn against taking a reading as a certainty (given the complexity of the future, all we can do is predict possibilities), but in the reading I did for my friend, the man’s insecurities would have been there, albeit hidden. How is it I didn’t pick up the looming difficulties?

After thinking about this, I wondered if perhaps we should have asked a few more searching questions – one of them being the likely outcome of the next few months. Querying what she needed to do with the relationship, and getting the answer that it seemed really good, must indicate a limitation in my reading (relationship readings are not my speciality), but we were perhaps playing it safe by avoiding a card for the likely outcome. I’m surprised we didn’t, as I usually make a point of taking an outcome card to close the reading.

Alternatively, I could have used the spread below which should cover all eventualities! (Click on the image to see a readable version.)

relationship spread lg

New Spread

Tarot Spreads 2 Comments »

This is a spread I created a couple of days ago. It doesn’t pull any punches, or didn’t with me. I’d welcome feedback, so please have a go and let me know what you think.

I – Physical
1 – Body issues
2 – Anything you need to do
3 – Story (past)
4 – Story (present)

II – Emotional
5 – What are you feeling?
6 – Anything that needs to be expressed?
7 – What do you need emotionally?

III – Intellectual
8 – Career / intellectual challenges
9 – Anything you need to do intellectually?

IV – Spiritual
10 – Your spiritual path
11 – Next steps on spiritual path

V – Integration
12 – Challenges to integration
13 – The gift within integration
14 – Your essence (and what to do to regain it)


Update on this spread – trying it out on a couple of willing guinea-pigs, it has continued to be very powerful. Unfortunately it is not available as an online spread, though. You’ll have to do it with a real tarot deck!

Tarot Spreads – the Spiral Life Spread

Tarot Spreads 3 Comments »

This is a big spread – both in terms of numbers of cards and its subject-matter, which is a pretty comprehensive life path spread. The layout is given together with the positions, which are fairly self-explanatory.

1 – Who am I?

2 – Soul purpose, soul contract

3 – What energies do I need?

4 – What is my highest dream?

5 – What stops me getting it?

6 – How do I see myself in the future?

7 – What’s my greatest gift?

8 – Strengths, hidden resources

9 – What I need to release

10 – Ancestral or past life issues

11 – Blind spots

12 – Male-female energy

13 – Money, the material world

14 – Anything I need to do now

15 – Long term love/partnership issues

16 – What’s still missing?

17 – Benevolent energies

18 – Fate, apparent problems (may be your greatest gifts)

19 – New paradigm choices

20 – The unexpected

21 – A last core issue to be processed

22 – What I will pass on to the world

Tarot Spreads

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Learner readers set great store by different spreads, but in fact the more you read, the more you’ll find that one or two spreads will do. You can also create your own spreads – as long as you identify the positions clearly (and remember them), the cards will fit those positions. As with so much of the tarot, it is all about conscious intention.

As a professional reader, I mainly use two spreads – the Celtic spread (both full and truncated), and a three card spread, the positions of which are identified beforehand (usually covering relationship, career, family or health). I’ll then add to those three cards by drawing a card for ‘anything you need to do here'; and a third layer to look at ‘what will help you’.

I use the Celtic spread for invaluable background information on the main issue or issues the client brings to the reading. I use the short version for 1/2 hour readings, and the full version for hour readings, followed by the 3-card spread shown above so the client can have a look at current questions in more detail. (The full version of the Celtic spread was shown in an earlier blog – below). Herewith the truncated version:

There are of course thousands of other spreads. I’ll be giving a few different ideas in later posts, but meanwhile a good one for relationship issues is shown below (adapted from one at www.aeclectic.net/tarot/spreads/relationships.shtml). I’ve added two cards at the end as a suggestion for possible actions, as in my view there’s not much point in knowing that your relationship is in trouble (well, hey, you probably know that already if you’re asking the question); you need to know what, if anything, you can do about it.

This spread will work best if the two people involved are drawing cards together. However, that’s the ideal. Person A can draw all cards, trying to avoid too much projection or wish fulfilment; or the reader could draw B’s cards.

Tarot Spreads – The Celtic Cross

Tarot Spreads 2 Comments »

Readings are laid out in Tarot Spreads, which you can use to help focus your own intuiton. Positions such as ‘yourself at present’, past influences’, ‘hopes and fears’ all help to focus your own judgement. As you grow more confident, you can invent your own intuitive spreads, examples of which will be posted over the coming weeks.

As you work with the cards you will find you favour certain spreads. Don’t worry if you don’t wish to try formulating your own intuitive spreads, but prefer to work with tried and tested layouts. I often begin with the Celtic spread to give a general overview of the issues at hand, and follow up with an intuitive spread to focus in on a specific situation where required.


The Celtic Cross is an old and trusted spread which gives a good background to a second spread.

Card 1 – the central issue (what’s uppermost in the client’s mind at present.)

Card 2 – Crossing card (what’s blocking or unhelpful in relation to the central issue)

Card 3 – What lies below is the foundation, or background of the central issue. Can lie quite far in the past, or be quite recent.

Card 4 – What lies behind – the influences now receding into the past

Card 5 – What lies above – possibilities. This may not happen, depending on the client’s actions.

Card 6 – What lies before: influences coming into the client’s life now.

Card 7 – The client him or herself – the main qualities at the moment

Card 8 – The environment, world around the client

Card 9 – Hopes and fears, desires

Card 10 – Outcome

This spread can be followed by the Three by Three spread – which I use to offer the client a choice between specific questions, or different aspects of his or her life. I’ll post the Three by Three in my next post on Tarot Spreads.

Tarot Spreads: Three by Three

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With the Three by Three Spread, people often will place three cards down and read them as Past, Present, Future.

Alternatively you can – as I have done in the following illustration – use these three cards to identify what is going on in specific areas of the client’s life – sometimes it will be along the lines of relationship, work, family, travel, health.


The second row will be ‘Anything you need to do right now about your relationship, or your work’ etc.

The third row can be ‘Helpful influences’, or ‘what you should not do now’, or anything relevant to the client – use your discretion but make the intention clear before you draw the cards.

Extra rows can of course be added in if you think of other aspects of the question… In the diagram (above) I’ve given two alternative rows 7,8,9, but nothing is fixed in this spread, just go for it.

Amazing Tarot: a Two Card Spread

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I have been going through my old tarot emails and came across this one from a while back:

‘Yesterday I had a client who works out in the Middle East, arranging tours. At the end of his reading he despairingly asked me why, as humans, we behave the way we do.

I decided it was too big for me to answer and drew a card … The Devil.

So then I asked what could be done about it – and got Justice.

Sometimes they totally amaze me.’

I’d be interested in your own examples of this sort of thing!