Personalizing a Tarot spread is easy and I do it for almost all of my clients. I’ll walk you through my own process so you can see how it works.
The question really determines the spread. “What do I” questions such as “What do I need to know about my relationship?” or “What do I need to know about getting a promotion at my job?” just cry out for obstacle and helper positions. Clients need to know what will help them in their quest and what will hinder them. Questions that begin with “How do I” or “How can I” usually need at least two action positions; one that addresses internal actions and one that addresses actions in the material world.
So just from how the question starts I know at least two of the positions in the Tarot spread.
The Current Situation
You can’t really get to where you are going if you do not know where you started. I include a “current situation” position in a Tarot spread quite often, usually as the first position. Depending on the question or topic I change it, so for example in a romantic relationship reading I might label the position “What is the current state of this relationship?” In a career type reading it might be worded “What is the current state of my career (or job)?”
Every reading I’ve done so far, the current situation has matched up to the reality – even if the client didn’t want to admit it at the time. In one Tarot spread, it looked like her job was going to end suddenly, which she dismissed. A month later she wrote to tell me that her branch closed and she was terminated.
Be very specific when crafting a Tarot spread position. For example, the current state of someone’s career, the overall arc of which may span decades, and the current state of one’s job, which likely only spans a few years, might give you a different answer! Your career might be going well, but your current job might not be a good fit. I’ve definitely found that being less specific in a Tarot spread leads to muddy answers that are hard to interpret and don’t give a coherent response.
Obstacles and Helpers in a Tarot Spread
I never have an obstacle position without a helper position. They balance out each other and I usually read them together. The client will need to use the helper to overcome the obstacle, after all!
As my own preference, I usually stack the Obstacle and Helper card one above the other to remind me which is which.
Advice or Future Path
Assuming the helper is used and the obstacle is overcome, this Tarot position will either tell the client what their future path will look like or will give advice, depending on what meaning I assign to it. This is usually the final card in a Tarot spread.
As you can see, my spreads aren’t very complicated – I use 3-4 cards in the majority of my readings, however, there are a few exceptions.
Occasionally a position has a response that is unclear. Usually, this is because there is something the client knows that I don’t, but sometimes it just doesn’t make sense. I will pull one clarifier and read the two cards together.
When choosing between two options I will often do one “current state” card and then an obstacle, helper, and future path card for each option. This gives a pretty good overview for the client to make their decision.
If the question specifically asks for actions to take, such as “What actions can I take to further my career?” I will usually pull one or two action cards after the helper/obstacle. These will be interpreted as specific things to do in addition to overcoming the obstacle.
Hopefully, this gives you an idea of how to design your own Tarot spread. If you have any questions or would like a reading, contact me at readings@SophrosyneTarot.com