Byzant Byzant Tarot

Tarot Spreads

The Magus The Tarot is consulted by performing readings, which may be general in nature or may address a specific question or area of the querent's life. The simplest form of reading is the selection and interpretation of a single card (see our free weekly readings for an example of this), but a greater number of cards is usually employed to allow a fuller exploration of the subject. Interpreting the cards according to their basic meanings and associations alone is a rather disjointed and unsatisfying approach. For this reason, the cards are selected and arranged according to a predetermined pattern called a spread, in which each card is interpreted not only with respect to its innate meaning, but also according to its position in the spread.

The High Priestess Spreads offer many more refinements to interpretation than positional considerations alone. For example, each card can be related to other cards in the reading to clarify particular points and bring an additional richness to the interpretation. In some spreads, certain positions have strong links with others, and cards in these corresponding positions are interpreted with reference to each other. Spreads allow the use of techniques like synthesis, majorities, dignities, resonance, dissonance and combinations. All of this is covered in Interpreting a Tarot Reading.

There are many spreads, from the simple to the confusingly complex, but all strive to provide a framework on which the meanings of the cards involved can be placed and worked into an insightful whole. Each spread is designed for a particular type of reading. Some are well-suited to general readings where no particular question is being asked, others work best when a specific question is being explored, and others are geared towards gauging the time scales involved in a reading. A variety of spread examples is given below. Click on a spread for more details.

Other articles of interest:

History of the Tarot A history of the Tarot from its appearance in medieval Europe through to today's proliferation of decks.
Structure of the Tarot A consideration of the standard and variant structures of Tarot decks, with separate discussions of the Major and Minor Arcana.
Reading the Cards The process of performing a Tarot reading is covered here, from preparing the reading to interpreting the selected cards.
The Tarot and Divination A discussion of some of the issues surrounding the use of Tarot as a divinatory system.
The Tarot and the Kabbalah A look at the links between the Tarot and the Kabbalah, with particular reference to the Kabbalistic Tree of Life.
Jung and the Tarot An introduction to the ideas of psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung that relate to study of the Tarot, including archetypes, the collective unconscious and the four functions of the mind.
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