Unpack a Spread
"The longer a life, the challenge is not the distance between destinations, but the difficulty of travelling light. My soul’s a portmanteau packed full, one half filled with what was, the other with what is, what should be.”
― Jamie A. Hughes.
Tarot spreads are a total fascination.
When they work, Tarot spreads are so amazingly helpful one wonders why they are not taught in schools as an aid to self-discovery AND problem solving.
Having said that I am sometimes dubious about spreads or layouts or tableaux or whatever you want to call them. I have had remarkable and in-depth readings with just a single card and foraged into both the light and dark of the card in question. I believe that too much emphasis can be placed on knowing spreads yet they can be lots of fun, informative and interesting. The real magic of performing a spread (in some circles it is called an operation) is that they wire into one's thinking and help focus the intention and surrounding thoughts. Another aspect of a well-wrought spread is that it accesses the unseen, unknowable part of the mind that is seeking to emerge into the daylight. This, of course, is very revealing and offers profound insight into our inner mechanisms that often remain neglected or misunderstood. There is great power and freedom in knowing thyself and Tarot can be a road map; a navigator to that end.
Having a spread to read is one thing but receiving information that has resonance and relevance is another. Let’s dive into one and see how to unpack it.
The first thing to do is to prepare yourself and set the intention for what you want to achieve from your time with your beautiful cards which are a reflection of your beautiful spirit.
Many of you, I am sure, will have had some kind of practice in this area. I think that one does not have to be extravagant at this point as we are not Zen buddhists or Christian martyrs, we don’t have to wear woollen shirts or sit cross legged for hours. Our spirit guides and co-walkers are always ready to connect us to a higher wisdom and show us the way into our own perfect source. All we have to do is be quiet, to be still and to be prepared to use our imagination in order to participate in our spiritual event.
Set your intention, offer your peace and blessings to your guides and inspirers, be in your place, own it, feel it and allow it to hold you.
Here is a spread we did in a class last week. You can work it for others but it is especially good for personal observation.
SEVEN CARD HORSESHOE SPREAD.
Take your cards and shuffle them. With your left hand (the heart hand) split them into three then put them back together again. This shuffle is the intention of putting chaos into order.
You can either think of a question or perhaps ask to be shown the influences that are operating in your life at the moment and see what happens.
Select seven cards either from a face down fan or from the top of the deck. Arrange the cards in a horseshoe.shape.
Best course of action
Attitude of others
What you are trying to achieve is to be able to read the cards individually but also collectively as a narrative.
Take a deep breath into the solar plexus and look at the overall collection of the cards. See how they sit together and feel the energy within from the arrangement. Take note of ideas, images and feelings as they come forward.
Think about how far back this card is taking you...it is connecting you to the beginning of a cycle that will be relevant to your question.
Be honest with yourself about where you are at at the moment. It is possible that what you think is salient is not necessarily the case and the unconscious could be revealing something deeper at work. If this is the case then be prepared to read the card on several different levels.
This card may not necessarily be a predictive card but more about making sense of the previous cards. Sum up your insights and ideas with this card. Don’t be afraid to think out of the box, imagine where the influences may be taking you. See it as a road, see the image and feel your way through it.
This is an advice card. Nobody and nothing can tell you what to do. However, the advice is linked to the previous cards and is best observed as a signpost. It is up to you to take the advice or not. Nothing is written in stone but the card will be interesting as an overview of the past and present.
This card looks at those around you. It offers insight as to whether people, personally or professionally are on the same page as you. It might offer a perception of how to manage emotions that could enhance or sabotage and maybe connected to the present and how you move forward.
The obstacle card aligns to the previous one so could be read together especially if you think that people are not particularly helpful. Conversely it could indicate that the way ahead is free from hindrances so make the most! It might be worthwhile grouping these cards with numbers three and four and reading then as a cluster.
This is the final outcome and speaks of what will happen as a result of all that has been concluded in the earlier cards. Again, it is up to you as to whether you take notice or not. Remember, it is rare that things occur in the immediate. Allow yourself some time to process, dismiss nothing even if it seems bizarre. It will all make sense eventually!
Readings are a fabulous opportunity to get close to your spirit. Be kind, be strong, be loving. Be fair.