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Top 10 Reasons To Design Your Own Spread


Someone asked me why I like using my own spreads or spreads others have created. They pointed out that the Celtic Cross has been around for a long time so why didn't I just use that? We had a very good discussion that ended with him sticking with his beloved Celtic Cross but understanding why I enjoyed creating spreads. That led me to come up with a series of answers to that question.

The graphic above is from my second post here on SageWoman blog. It is from my spread Revealing The Blind Spot.

In no particular order, here are my top ten reasons you should design your own spread.


Top Ten Reasons To Design Your Own Spread

  1. The Celtic Cross is so limiting. It doesn't bend well for questions that involve choices for instance. Or love. I've always found it fairly inflexible on matters of love. It seems to be very good for seeing where someone is right now and how they got there but the future only having one possibility? My Aquarius Rising can't hang with that.
  2. You get to be the author of your own life. You already know the questions you have. You probably will come up with your own clarifications as well.
  3. It's a great way to let your monkey mind have a moment. We so often talk about stilling our minds, getting quiet with ourselves. What if we are missing messages when we tell our overactive minds to hush?
  4. What better way to learn how you read Tarot? We all have our own styles. Creating your own spread lets you find out what you think is important. If you want a deck that will help you do this, check out Tierney Sadler's Deck of 1000 Spreads. She's given you a concrete way to get started down the path of no-return...I mean the path of designing your own spreads.
  5. No one can tell you you are reading it wrong. There are easily a half dozen variations on the Celtic Cross starting with "you must have a significator" to "what's a signifactor". If you design your own spread, you get to call the shots.
  6. You can share your spread with your friends. And isn't there a thrill when you get to show off something you've made with your own mind, heart and hands? You can also join the Tarot Blog Hop if you are a blogger. There are always new spreads showing up there.
  7. Designing your own spread could become the next hot reality television show. "On tonight's episode, our contestants are asked to use a pig, a cutting board and a rose to create a spread on financial growth possibilities. The winners will have a spread off using Aleister Crowley's diary (page 777), Arthur Waite's tie and Holly Sierra's paintbrush." Hey! It could happen.
  8. You will become part of a community who doesn't allow themselves to be locked into a one-way Tarot spread. The Celtic Cross has its purpose and I do use it still in my professional readings--sometimes.
  9. Your clients won't be able to predict the cards for themselves. I'm not saying you want to remain mysterious, but if someone is paying you $150 an hour for a reading, I like it when they aren't trying to read ahead. I use an organic reading system that grows from one question to the next.
  10. You can turn just about anything into a spread. From the SWOT corporate training to Recycle, Reduce, Reuse motto, everything is a possibility.

Here's a non-exhaustive list of books you may find helpful.

I've been developing my own spreads for a long time now. I even have ten of them gathered up in an eBook if you like. It features my Fairy Tale spreads with some artwork by Lisa Hunt. I'm working on a Lenormand deck with Lisa that features fairy tales too. So you might say I'm a bit addicted to them.

One of my all-time favorite spreads that I didn't design is A Walk In The Woods by Azariel in 2005. It's a lovely example of how a spread was born. It's also a very useful spread to read for yourself and others. It creates a conversation between the reader and the sitter. That's one of the key values of any good reading for me.What about you? Have you ever designed your own spread?

About a year ago, I published a piece called The Top Ten Reasons To Not Get A Tarot Reading. Wonder if this is going to be a yearly thing.

P. to the S. All Amazon links are affiliate links.

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Professional Tarot conversationalist, Arwen Lynch has worked with Tarot as a vehicle for personal transformation since 1980. Her personal philosophy is that Tarot is best used to correct your life course. She is a published author (in romance, as Marilu Mann) as well as past president of the American Tarot Association (4/1/2007-4/1/2014). She specializes in helping people who are determined find their joy and writers who want to finish their book. She's an initiate of Wicca.


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