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

Tarot Spreads No Comments »

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 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 readings online?

Tarot On Line 2 Comments »

There are various sites offering free tarot readings online. Some are excellent, some just passable. One of the best (at least in my view!) was produced by a friend of mine and offers different spreads from a selection of tarot and oracle decks. Have a go – –  feedback from readings is excellent. The link will take you direct to the The Intuitive Tarot page (if you want to try a different pack, see below).

The first thing you need to decide is which spread you want: they range from the Celtic spread to a three-card spread, or even a single card. If you choose the three card spread, identify what you want each card to stand for (Past, Present, Future; or Advantages, Disadvantages, Outcome, would be useful categories.

Most of the remaining options are fairly obvious: you can choose to enter your name or remain anonymous. You can choose to read with Major Arcana only, which is probably not a good idea for a large spread. You can choose to shuffle the cards, and finally, you can have the date displayed. Having ticked the relevant boxes, you can now move onto the next page. If you’ve chosen to shuffle the deck, place the cursor over the deck (don’t click) and the cards will shuffle about. Then choose each one, identifying the positions if necessary. Once you’ve chosen the right number of cards, click ‘Show me my reading’.

At the moment there are no facilities for printing or storage, so if you wish to make a note of the cards, you can highlight the whole reading and copy and paste it into a Word document. In a few weeks’ time we hope to give you the facility for both storage and print, so watch this space.

If you would like to try a different pack, go to the Students-of-Tarot homepage. Here you’ll see a whole raft of decks including an option for ‘Modern Packs’. If you hover your mouse over any of the deck titles, they should display mini-thumbnails). In addition, the list in the centre offers a few more decks, (see a choice of classic decks and spreads).

To get a reading from an oracle deck – for instance my other deck, the Devas of Creation – follow the same procedure as I outlined for The Intuitive Tarot. Bear in mind the Devas are higher level energies and although they often give very grounded and specific advice, asking them about financial matters or whether your relationship will work, is probably not the best use of their power.

I should stress also that tarot and oracles are not ‘fortune telling’. Most readers today see the tarot as a tool to look at general trends and underlying issues in our lives, the options facing us, and suggested actions. Although the tarot certainly does give glimpses into the future, we are the arbiters of our own destiny.

Kat Black’s Golden Tarot – More like a Blog!

Tarot Card Decks 11 Comments »

I have acquired a new tarot deck. Up to now I have only used The Intuitive Tarot, basically because I know it so well and it reads so easily for me, but having recently become fascinated by all things medieval (re-enactment, demonstrating medieval painting techniques, etc), I had a look at some medieval tarot – for example:

The Giotto Tarot - a stylised deck based on Giotto’s work.
The Medieval Scapini deck
The Golden Tarot of the Renaissance. A very attractive deck with gold leaf background.
The Mantegna tarot. Ostensibly based on the Sola Busca tarot, which contains the earliest illustrated minors (and utilised by Pamela Coleman Smith in the Rider-Waite tarot), this is an interesting pack but not strictly a tarot deck as it only has 50 cards.
The Old English Tarot
The Renaissance Tarot
The Golden Tarot, by Kat Black

and so on…. It was Kat Black’s Golden Tarot that finally captured me. This deck was obviously a labour of love, digitally collaged from medieval paintings and using the Rider Waite system. It’s been beautifully produced by US Games Inc. with gilt edges and a well-crafted booklet. Some people don’t like the fact that they recognise bits of paintings, separated from their original artwork. However, for me this is one of the attractions as I can use the booklet to source the different paintings. Most importantly, though, I can read with it. As soon as I started reading from it, the cards began to tell a coherent story.

Today, for example, I drew three cards for the presenting issue of the week, and got Queen of Swords and the High Priestess, both reversed. It was a clear warning not to start messing with someone else’s life (a temptation over the weekend!), as it would be a) unwise and b) a deviation of my own integrity as the High Priestess. So I’ll take the cards’ advice and stay upright …

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

Tarot Spreads No Comments »

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.

A Journey Through the Major Arcana

Learning Tarot No Comments »

A friend and I have been running workshops together for a few years – she is a shamanic practitioner and teacher who facilitates workshops on storytelling, journeying, and the Tarot. I’m a professional tarot reader and visionary artist, and use my own decks in readings (The Intuitive Tarot and the Devas of Creation). We began these workshops two or three years ago with a slightly challenging title – the Tarot and Transformation. One of  the exercises in the workshop was a movement sculpture, which proved to be phenomenal for all concerned.

We have now taken this idea one stage further, in recent workshops on The Major Arcana (in Harrow, London). After a guided visualisation on the Majors – designed to demonstrate how the Majors depict a profound journey of initialisation and self-development – and an audio-visual presentation on the history of the Tarot,  we suggested that  participants each embodied the qualities of one of the Major Arcana. Having taken on this powerful archetypal energy, others then joined in to illustrate other aspects of that image to which they felt drawn. It was a powerful exercise.

We also held a day’s workshop on the Minor Arcana, and will be running more of both in the New Year. We always look for creative ways to present the cards, and new ways in which to work with them, so if you would like to join us, let me know (, where you can find the flier and phone numbers).