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Organic Tarot Spreads

June 9, 2010

Seven of Coins (Tarot of the Masters)Buy organic produce.  Eat organic food.  Live an organic lifestyle.

It seems like everything’s gone organic these days, so in that spirit I thought I’d talk about Organic Tarot Spreads today.  So make yourself a nice cup of organic herbal tea, then sit back and enjoy today’s blog post.

“That’s not how I’ve gotten readings before.”  A woman for whom I recently did a reading said this to me. She didn’t seem particularly bothered by my reading style, but she was perplexed by it.  (Perhaps she was wondering if she should be bothered by it.)  The reading was going well and she was gaining useful insights from it, but I was not using a structured spread, like the Celtic Cross or a three-card “Past, Present, Future” spread.  I was using an (drum roll, please) Organic Tarot Spread.

Sometimes I do use a structured spread, and I have the client pick a card for each spread position at the start of the reading.  But at other times, I let a spread grow “organically” during the course of the reading as I intuitively create the spread as the reading progresses.

(Okay, I cheated a bit here.  An Organic Tarot Spread is a different sort of “organic” than organic produce.  This is not about spreads that are “raised without the use of drugs, hormones, or synthetic chemicals” or that are “healthful, and close to nature.” Instead, this is about spreads that “develop in a manner analogous to the natural growth and evolution characteristic of living organisms.” In other words, these spreads are not static; they grow to suit the needs of the reading.)

For example, let’s say I begin the reading with one card to show “what the seeker most needs to know about her situation.”  Then based on the message of that first card I may see that we need to find out how to deal with a problem revealed by it, so I might sense that we need three cards to discover the following:

2.  The basis of the problem
3.  What the seeker needs to do about the problem
4.  Other advice for dealing with the problem

Then maybe the message of card number 3 raises the question of how the seeker can prepare for the action she needs to take, so I’ll add a fifth card for that, perhaps placing it below card number 3. At this point, then, we’ve pulled five cards in a spread like this:

.     1

2    3    4

.     5

This is a very simple example, and of course, more cards can be added to this spread, but I think you get the idea: the spread grows in response to the needs expressed in the reading.

By the way, knowing how to create spreads is essential if you’re going to use this technique.  If this is a topic you want to explore, I recommend my book, Tarot: Get the Whole Story, which (among other things) demonstrates how to create your own spreads.

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From → Readings, Spreads

9 Comments
  1. David permalink

    A great method,and one that I’ve beenusing for years. It never fails to take the querent into surprising depths where insights are gained, where wonderment is bathed in gratitude. Thanks for this post.

  2. yes James.. I love the way this progresses and yes I have had clients look at me with a look as if to say WTF are you doing (excuse my language)….:) …..
    As it does not seemed structured in anyway so how can I answer the question so accurately…lol……
    But yes it does work and exactly what is needed for the Client…..
    Thank you for sharing……

  3. David and Vesta — Thanks! So it’s not just me, eh? 😀

    David: Love this quote: “where wonderment is bathed in gratitude.”

    Vesta: Yes, absolutely. It really throws some people when you act “outside the box” so to speak.

    James

  4. stellalunatarot permalink

    Just did something similar today for a client! Can work well for getting added insight.

  5. I have done this recently for clarifiers and advice, sometimes likely outcome alone is not enough:-)

  6. Leonardo Dias permalink

    I do that kind of reading sometimes, and it’s really rewarding. As far as I can see, structured or positional spreads seem to be getting overrated, lol.

  7. Tiana permalink

    You’re right. It is the sign of the times:) I’m very glad its been brought up. Its been for me, the most ‘natural’ method to follow; as Helen says ‘likely outcome alone is not enough”…and given one of our most basic human traits is curiosity, most people are inclined to want to ‘follow the trail”, ‘connect-the-dots’, develop patterns and ideas. (tho, taken to extremes you’re libel to become a conspiracy buff!) :D…but heck life’s short!

    This spread is ideal for following the initial card and giving it a chance to further evolve and develop; giving the Client AND the Reader more satisfying results…this post is most welcomed…thanks…

  8. Sue Anderson permalink

    I have been doing the same sort of thing for quite a while, and I find that it works better for me than regular spreads. Now I can put a name to it!

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