Written by: Magenta
My interest in the Tarot started in the mid 1970s when a boyfriend at the time bought me a set – the good old Rider Waite! At first, I just used the Celtic Cross and short three cards spreads, but then moved on to larger ones, like the Gypsy 21 card and The Tree of Life.
Over the years, I then began designing my own spreads, depending on the question or topic and looked at existing spreads and adapted them to suit.
For this article, I would like to talk about a spread I designed myself called Feelings, Thoughts & Actions. It can be used for pretty much any question and my inspiration for it comes from the human body and the Chakra system. It uses 11 cards but like all spreads, additional cards could be laid on any position for clarification.
The layout is as below:
Card 1 – The Mind – (Crown Chakra) – What you think about the situation
Cards 2 & 3 – The Eyes – (Third Eye Chakra) – What you see (or need to see) about the situation
Card 4 – The Mouth – (Throat Chakra) – What you need to say or communicate about the situation
Card 5 – The Heart – (Heart Chakra) – What you feel about the situation
Cards 6 & 7 – The Hands – (Solar Plexus & Sacral Chakras) – What you need to give or sacrifice
Cards 8 & 9 – The Feet – (Root Chakra) – What steps you need to take
Cards 10 & 11 – Spirit – The way forward
As with most spreads, look at where any Majors are laid, as they generally have more significance than the Minors. Majors often draw our attention to certain aspects or points.
Also, look at the way any Court cards are facing; to the left (the past) or to the right (the future). For example, the King of Cups and Page of Wands together at The Feet position would influence the cards meanings. In the Rider Waite deck, these two cards look to the right (future), so would generally indicate agreement. If two Courts together face in opposite directions, (for example the King of Cups and the Knight of Wands), then there would seem to be some confusion and uncertainty. The direction Courts face will vary from deck to deck of course.
In the spread, look for any dominance of suit, Courts or Majors or indeed any of these missing. This would indicate what there is potentially too much of or lacking. For example, many Cups would show a predominance of emotions and feelings in the situation; no Wands would suggest not enough energy and so on.
I include a lot of Numerology in my readings, so I also look for any multiples of numbers, for instance in this sample spread, there are two cards numbered 8. Multiple Courts of the same type, three Kings or two Pages also have meaning and influence.
I have included a sample layout using the Rider Waite, which most people are familiar with, rather than my Ancient Italian deck which, being Tarot de Marseilles influenced, does not have images on the pip cards. I have not applied this sample spread to any particular question.
Card 1 – The Mind – Ace of Pentacles – Thoughts about new ideas, beginnings, starts. Finances & wellbeing, gain yet slow and patient growth.
Cards 2 & 3 – The Eyes – The Fool & Page of Cups – Both cards are connected with new beginnings and learning. Both cards look to the left (past) so maybe looking at past mistakes, especially with The Fool about to step off the crevice. The need to look before you leap with any new ideas.
Card 4 – The Mouth – High Priestess – Maybe the need to get something out in the open or to have a quiet word with someone. However, it could also be the need to keep something secret, i.e. keep your mouth shut!
Card 5 – The Heart – 4 of Cups – Often the ‘Heart’ of the matter and the dominant reason for asking the question. Things being at a standstill and feelings of boredom and of wanting something better but not necessarily doing something about it. Sometimes a feeling of ‘What’s the point?’
Cards 6 & 7 – The Hands – Queen of Swords & 7 of Wands – Using the power of the Swords to cut something out, of maybe needing to be logical to face opposition. The Queen faces right (future), so something to be faced.
Cards 8 & 9 – The Feet – 8 of Cups & 8 of Swords – Two eights are symbolic of movement & surprises. The 8 of Swords shows turning your back on situation and moving away, yet the 8 of Swords shows being unable to see or move away. Something needs to be faced before any movement made.
Cards 10 & 11 – Spirit – 10 of Pentacles & The Sun – Both are positive cards to finish the spread. Strong connections with family, tradition and the carrying on with something. The Sun, like all Tarot cards has a positive and negative side, so although it is seen as very positive, The Sun does warn about overdoing things and getting ‘burnt’, so being the final card laid in position 11, this could have an important final message for the querent.
Written by: Magenta