Add Something New To Your Tarot Routine!

Spreadcrafting is the hottest trend in tarot today.

The Deck of 1000 Spreads makes creating your own spreads easy to learn and do. This utterly unique spreadcrafting tool gives readers of all levels something new to add to their bag of tricks. 

Each oversized, color-coded card features a spread position (such as "situation" or "outcome") and a description of this position. Mix and match the spread cards to customize a spread for any question imaginable—in about the same amount of time you normally spend shuffling and cutting a tarot deck.

Once your spread positions are chosen, arrange your cards as you please and you've created a spread! Then place tarot cards on top of your spread cards and start reading. 

Nemia's Discoveries: Working With Permutations

Nemia is a poster on the Aeclectic Tarot Forum and she recently received her Deck of 1000 Spreads. But even before it arrived, she had grand ideas of what to use it for. Unless otherwise indicated, the following are Nemia's words and photos. In this exercise, she uses one Deck of 1000 Spreads card—You—and reads multiple cards in that position to get a better grasp on the position. 

Explanation: Permutations

The last exercise is based on the idea of permutations as put forward by Mary Greer. Bear with me while I explain this idea.

In her book "Tarot for Yourself" Mary Greer dedicates chapter 6 to a technique she calls permutations. The principle is that once you understood the cards at their positions, you can now start to re-arrange and move them around in order to reach a deeper understanding of their meaning.

"Each permutation gives a different perspective on the whole. The principle: maintain paradoxes, seek ambiguity." (page 117)

Greer gives examples. If you take the cross part of the Celtic Cross, you can move the cards in a circle. You rotate the arms of the cross in a circular motion, each time interpreting the same cards in their new positions. You get new insights on the seeds of action in the past or unconscious, new ideas about taking action in the future. The energies of the cards become much clearer.

"You can actually watch the wheel of events turn before you and see how the past becomes the present, and how the future is another way of seeing the past. You may wonder how you know whether you are reading what is past or to come. Try reading the cards both ways! Let your intuition tell you." (page 119).

This technique is much easier and more inspiringly done with the Deck of 1000 Spreads. You keep the spread cards in their same positions and move around your individual tarot cards to see this wheel of time move in front of you.

Greer gives more examples of how to use permutations in different spreads. She always encourages to open the mind, just like the Deck of 1000 Spreads, so they're a perfect fit.

So here we go.

Exercise: the Celtic Wheel with Permutations

The Celtic Wheel is a simplified version of the good old Celtic Cross, very useful for getting a quick overview over a situation.

I use the Golden Tarot by Kat Black, and on a little post-it note add the date and the basic facts of the reading. How wonderful! I used to write it all down in a little booklet but now I can transfer it easily to Evernote and keep there forever.  

(From Tierney: The Deck of 1000 Spreads makes it easy to just photograph a spread with all the positions labeled. So it simplifies email readings, online journaling and keeping records of all the spreads you create.)

I interpret the spread, in the well-known way and in light of my personal situation. And now, when I'm done and feel that I understood it perfectly, I rotate cards around the Heart of the Matter. (I could have changed that too and might do so if I continue to do permutations of this spread – at this stage, I find it challenging enough to get the maximum content out of the cards I pulled!)

And I interpret again. New and sometimes surprising insights emerge.

Yes, I can do this without the Do1000S cards and have done so many times. But it helps my concentration. And while I know the Celtic Wheel pretty much by heart – what about other spreads, spreads I create myself? I'd find myself in a muddle in no time.

The position names keep me on track and focused. They help me to get the maximum out of every single card.

In short, this deck is all I hoped it would be, and I see a long and fruitful cooperation in my future.

Nemia's Discoveries: Negative and Positive Influences

Nemia is a poster on the Aeclectic Tarot Forum and she recently received her Deck of 1000 Spreads. But even before it arrived, she had grand ideas of what to use it for. Unless otherwise indicated, the following are Nemia's words and photos. In this exercise, she plays with the Positive and Negative Influences cards to see not only how each card reads in each position, but how it changes the meaning of a reading when those two cards are switched. 

Negative – Positive Influences

I did this exercise with the Touchstone Tarot because it emphasizes the human face of the cards. Perhaps because it's easier for me to envision influences as persons.

How easy, when the somber Knight of Swords is a negative influence, the happy family of the 10 of Cups a positive one!

And what an interesting turn, when the Knight's critical eyes are a beneficial influence, while the seemingly harmonious family exerts a negative influence.

And so I continue to put new cards, change their positions, and try to come up with interpretations. This expands my reading powers! And it's actually a simple permutation.

Nemia's Discoveries: Getting to Know a Position Better

Nemia is a poster on the Aeclectic Tarot Forum and she recently received her Deck of 1000 Spreads. But even before it arrived, she had grand ideas of what to use it for. Unless otherwise indicated, the following are Nemia's words and photos. In this exercise, she uses one Deck of 1000 Spreads card—You—and reads multiple cards in that position to get a better grasp on the position. 

Getting to know a position better

I chose the YOU position which I find challenging. The books and my intuition say that there is something of me inside every card. So let's take out the Wild Unknown deck and check whether that's really true.

Can I recognize myself in every card? Where is my inner Star, my inner Emperor? Where do I act, feel or appear like the Star, like the Emperor?

From Tierney: The way the Yellow/Orange in The Star and The Emperor seem to pop on the orange card prompts me to direct you to also read about color assignations here and here. Now back to Nemia...

I can expand the question of what makes up me by adding cards above and below for conscious motivations or aims and for unconscious motivations or desires. All these are part of me.

I can also expand it by adding a card for the past Me and the future Me. How am I evolving in time, over time?

The spread speaks to me. The YOU card from the Do1000S pulls the whole layout together and structures it.

Nemia's Discoveries: Getting to Know a Card Better—Multi Decks

Nemia is a poster on the Aeclectic Tarot Forum and she recently received her Deck of 1000 Spreads. But even before it arrived, she had grand ideas of what to use it for. Unless otherwise indicated, the following are Nemia's words and photos. In this exercise, she takes The Star card from multiple decks and puts them all atop a Deck of 1000 Spreads card, one by one to learn what each different Star card has to say. 

Getting to know a card better – with many decks

I put the Star card from six of my favorite and most-used decks together under the YOU card from the Do100S.

Every deck speaks a different language. After a reading, I sometimes repeat the reading or an important part of it in another deck with the same layout. Different decks give a new perspective. Adding a position card from the Do1000S to it sharpens the message. It's not only the different aspects of the Star – they're all related to the question: what does it mean when the Star appears on the Advice position? Which advice does every deck give you, in addition to the general meaning?

Cherish the light in your hands and recognizing that it's connected to the Star above you (Light and Shadow), relax in gentle repose and distance to the bustling world in a moment of harmony (Renaissance), keep your eyes on the lodestar and enjoy its beauty (Wild Unknown), let your emotions come to the surface under the gentle light of a star of hope (Shadowscapes), believe in wishing wells and feeling protected (Inner Child), and keep faith to your destiny, humbly but stubbornly (Saints).

I discovered so many layers of meaning…

Nemia's Discoveries: Getting to Know a Card Better

Nemia is a poster on the Aeclectic Tarot Forum and she recently received her Deck of 1000 Spreads. But even before it arrived, she had grand ideas of what to use it for. Unless otherwise indicated, the following are Nemia's words and photos. In this exercise, she puts one tarot card—The Star—on top of multiple Deck of 1000 Spreads cards to help her learn the nuances of The Star. 

Getting to know a card better

I chose the Star card from the Wild Unknown deck. I put it on a different position card from the Do1000S and tried to interpret it. Every time, a different aspect of the card appeared. Just emerged in front of my eyes! 

I find this is much easier to do than by just trying as "dry exercise". It's so helpful to see the word written over the card. Action: the Star. Underlying Influence: the Star. Just by looking at the pictures, the head starts to work and to find the aspects of the card.

How can the Star be a negative influence? Oh yes, it can. Looking too far ahead and forgetting the presence, having blind hope…

This exercise demonstrates that there are no wholly negative or positive cards, and that there is depth to every card. All we have to do is discover it.

An Idea for Using Your Blank Cards

Here, the blank Character card could signify a person you need to let go
of. Or it could signify a person who helps you let go. Or it could make
you aware of someone who will come into your life when you let go
of something. It could be interpreted in many different ways. Use your
intuition to decide when a blank is turned over or have a plan in place
for whenever this happens. It's up to you!
Ever since I got my advance copy of the Deck of 1000 Spreads, I've had my blank cards separated from all the other cards. I figure I know where to find them if I ever need them, but I've never needed them. But reading on the Aeclectic forum I came across a post by Holmes, who keeps them mixed in with the deck and uses them—as blanks—when they come up. The process is a total no-brainer. But I hadn't heard of it or thought of it. So I'm thinking a lot of you would want to hear it and incorporate it into your play as well.

It's as simple as this: When they come up in a random draw or when you put them down intentionally, just consider them as generic spread positions, such as:

  • The blue Influence cards signify a general influence on the situation...not a pro or a con or an underlying influence...just something that's an influence
  • The orange Character cards signify an unidentified or unknown person, or they're describing someone you may or may not know, depending on the context they land in
  • The green Topic cards can be used as a wildcard topic (something the cards want to talk about), whether they show up in the beginning of the spread or in the middle
  • The purple Timing cards can be used to determine a length of time. So say you get the four of pentacles, maybe the timing is four days, four weeks or four months...whatever your process is. 
  • The red Outcome cards could signify a generic outcome (even though we have a labeled card for that) or it could be an interim outcome
Of course, you can make them anything you want. What I wrote above were just examples. Whatever you decide is cool, whether you're consistent with it or not. 

A different thought I had was that when they come up in a spread you draw at random, they could like parentheses in the middle of reading, giving you a reason to stop and talk about such-and-such a person and how they relate to the reading (or such-and-such influence or timing or topic or outcome). So they might be used more like a sub-discussion in a reading.  Or when they come up, you can put them to the side and use them in the same way when the main reading is over. 

Another thought I had is that they might signal a place in a reading where, once you've read the card prior to it, that you could, based on what was revealed, then ask a clarifier question to give more information in regards to time, topic, whatever. When laying out your spread, you can wait to pull a tarot card for that position until you know the intent of the meaning you want it to convey. 

Holmes also suggested that when you draw a blank card, you can draw another spread card to place on top of it to read as a compound position. So, for example, you draw the blank character card. So draw another spread card to place on top. Like What to Avoid. Now that position becomes about a person you might want to avoid in regard to the reading. Holmes says that whenever they do that, they somehow manage to choose a card of the same color to place on top. So a What to Avoid Influence card on top of a blank Influence card. So you can decide that if that happens, it just makes the reading of the card in that position extra important, like "whatever you do or learn from this reading, be sure to remember to avoid X, Y or Z". 

Or you can just attach whatever meaning or intent occurs to you in the moment. With all the yap in the cartomancy world about the right way of doing things and the wrong way of doing things, I hereby proclaim that there is no wrong way to use your Deck of 1000 Spreads. Even if you choose to use them as kindling for your fireplace. So if anyone ever tells you you're not doing it right, send them to me. I get final say in the matter. :D

Using the Deck to Learn a Divination System

Rae writes that she's "practising my linguistical skills with the Lenormand by taking random draws (one 1000 card with three Lennies) to consider possible conversations with a fictitious querent/client.

The 1000 card tells me what the querent 'would have asked about' while the 3-Line of Lenormand cards is the reading within that question's scope (or part of their life) if it were true reading."

So she's using her Deck of 1000 Spreads to help her hone her Lenormand skills! And she goes on to stay that, because Lenormand is linguistically based, it's a language meant to be spoken aloud to the client. So she does her practice readings aloud to measure the quality of her wording and "veracity of the message."

Personally I feel that reading aloud is not just a great idea, but also a great way to learn. It hadn't occurred to me to do it when practicing or reading for myself, but it's something I'm likely to try. I find that when I read for a querent, the act of speaking itself starts sorting out meaning. Then as that happens, ideas pop into my head, more so than when I just read inside my head. Certainly when I journal a reading, as I often do for my own self readings, I find I get greater insights based solely on the more detailed train of thought that comes from writing things down, rather than just glancing at the cards and determining a quick answer (as I sometimes do when reading myself.)

The Spread of Many Topics

One of the things that makes the Deck of 1000 Spreads so neat is how easy it is to tailor a spread to any situation. Take, for example, this spread. I created it by choosing a few cards at random from my deck. I didn't like one of the cards I chose, so I put it back in the deck. Then I sorted through the other cards to find ones that might be interesting with the core ones I had already chosen. There are no rules here, so any method you use to create a spread is recommended by the Deck's creator. :D

Change up the spread above by switching the green card out for one of these.
Anywho, once you have the spread in place—in this case a general spread exploring a current issue in the querent's life—feel free to switch out the green card for any other green card in your deck. Use the Romance card and viola! Now it's a spread you might use to explore a relationship and the role it's playing in your life. Use the Career card and it's a spread you might use to contemplate a job change. 

While this example illustrates trading a green card for a green card, you could also, trade that green card for the orange Friends and Family card to explore a relationship with a friend and the influences they have on you. OR you could change out the Positive and Negative Influences cards for the Conscious and Unconscious Desires card for a different take on the original spread. 

So when you're doing your spreads, take a pic to record that spread for posterity. Then also consider how you could use the same spread, but change out a card or two to create a completely different spread using the same foundation. 

How to Use the Deck to Describe a Person

Bridgett Bassett Trejo recently wrote me with a great use for the Deck of 1000 Spreads—using it to describe a person. Say you've just met a possible new love interest and are anxious to learn more about them. Sift through your Deck of 1000 Spreads and pull out cards relating to what you want to know.

I found that most of what you'll want to know will come from your Blue, Green and Orange cards.

Want to know about him in general? Use the Significator card.
How does he treat his mom? Use Friends and Family
What does he think of you? Use the You card
How will he help you grow? Use the Positive Influences card
What are his faults? Use the Cons card
How does he approach money? Use the Finances card

I've taken a pic of the cards I think might give you the best information, but you might think of others. I think it's a fabulous and fun use of the cards. You can practice by doing a reading of someone you know pretty well to see how the cards communicate in that way!

A Great Example of Reading with Multiple Oracles

Bobbie Jo recently posted this pic of a spread she did that included the Deck of 1000 Spreads. It's a great example of a couple of things.

First, it's a cool combination of different oracles. 

Second, it shows how you can you can use the Deck of 1000 Spreads to clarify a reading. Bobbie Jo chose the What is Hidden and Star cards randomly, but chose the Clouds card on purpose. But let's say she wanted to know how her day was going to go and chose the Cloud card first. Well the Cloud speaks of things being hidden from view. So then, to clarify, you could pull out your What is Hidden card and draw a tarot card on top of that.

So this combo could be interpreted as saying that while your hopes and dreams may feel a little clouded today, don't let that get you down. Clouds are temporary and will soon clear.

Here's another example using my own handmade rune-type oracle. So it doesn't have to be a card that you put on top of your Deck of 1000 Spreads card. You can use it with runes or whatever!

Updating the Site

It has been a while since I've updated the site. Truth is I'm overcommitted these days, so updating this site has dropped in priority. But that doesn't mean it's not on my mind. I continue to collect ideas as they come to me (as you'll see by the many posts I'll be making later today). I just don't always have time to sit down and write them out and takes photos and all of that.

As some may know, I'm professional write by trade. Any authoring or blogging comes on top of my full time job as a writer. Sometimes I get writed out...haha. But one thing I'm committed to is my blog, which I write six a days a week. In it, I often use the Deck of 1000 Spreads. And, although it's more a spiritual blog than a strict tarot blog, I frequently include all sorts of nuggets of tarot information in my posts.

I also maintain a Facebook page for the Deck of 1000 Spreads and on that site I have a "Tarot Tuesday" with good tarot information on most Tuesdays. So there are plenty of places to see the Deck of 1000 Spreads in use and learn more about tarot when I'm lax on updating this site. :)

Please know, though, that I will still continue to update this site with new tips and spreads. I just can't promise it weekly or on a regular basis. If you haven't already, sign up for email updates from this site by putting your email address in the white field above the top post on my main page (and remember to look for the confirmation email that makes your subscription official.) That way you'll get an email every time I update the site!

Combining Lenormand with Your Deck

I haven't added to this site in a while, partly because I've been busy and partly because things have been quiet in Deck of 1000 Spreads land. Seems like everyone is happily using their decks and nothing new has come to my attention. 

BUT there I was discussing Lenormand with a Facebook friend and she told me that she uses the Deck of 1000 Spreads in her daily Lenormand draws. She chooses a spread card at random or from the green Topic cards, then does her three-card draw for the day. So she lets the spread card decide the area of her life that needs focus that day and the Lenormand cards give her a bit of information why. 

Lenormand cards are most frequently read in pairs or in a sentence. Each card has a key word. Your main card (which you might choose to put at the beginning or in the middle of a three card draw like this) is the noun. And the other cards are adjectives and verbs...however the sentence pans out. So they're more verbal than visual, as tarot cards are. And they ask less of your intuition. They are what they are. Your intuition comes into play when you choose which keywords to string together, but not in any visual aspect of the reading. So for the pictured reading:

Key=Solutions, answers, destiny and an actual key. 
Clouds=Confusion, obfuscation, hidden things and actual clouds. 
House=Family, property and your actual house. 

Stringing that together in the Immediate Future position, I came up with, "In the Immediate Future, your Destiny is Dark Clouds over your House." Depending on the reader and the situation, it could just as easily have been that you'll have a hard time finding your keys in your house in the immediate future. Or the immediate answer is to hide in your house. Like with tarot, you go with what comes to you first. And because Lenormand can sometimes be quite literal, for me it was warning of an impending thunderstorm. You can read the rest of the blog post here to see how this combo spoke to me. 

If you're interested in Lenormand, I have just completed a deck of Lenormand Cards, complete with keywords to make learning Lenormand easy. I'm not qualified to write instructions to teach you how to use it, but there is a great group on Facebook called the Lenormand Cards Study Group that will help you and tons of resources on youtube and on blogs to tell you how it's done. That's how I'm learning. Anywho, my deck will be available for purchase later this week (fingers crossed) and I'll make a post when it's available. Below are samples from the deck. 

Keep in mind that you can use your Deck of 1000 Spreads with pretty much any divination method—oracles, runes and even medium readings. It's not just for tarot. :)

Awesome "Hill of Sand Spread" About Reaching Goals—And A Brilliant Example of Spreadcrafting

Greeje from the Netherlands shared a really cool spread with me this week and now I'm sharing with you. Obviously, she used the Deck of 1000 Spreads to create it. And she also used an INCREDIBLE looking trimmed Osho Zen. She calls it the Hill of Sand spread and it's about what helps and hinders you in reaching your goal. 

One of the hardest parts of creating spreads is making shapes and symmetry and sense out of your spread positions. This is a conversation for another time, but beyond just making a pretty shape is considering the interrelationships between all the spread positions. And Greetje's done that EXPERTLY here. 

Get a load of that What You Can't Change/Action/What You Can Change arc she's fashioned above the "heart" of the spread (your goals and how you and others impact them.) Follow that arc down to What To Use In The Future and you have a "story within a story" where those four cards interrelate to show a thread or path or subplot that's going on in the reading. Take that arc backwards to What To Leave In The Past and you have another thread of action that further shows the connection between what to use and what to leave. 

If I'm confusing you here, ignore me. It's a pretty advanced technique of both spreadcrafting and interpreting that brings added dimension to your readings. If you're fairly new to tarot or if your head is about to explode, you'll give great readings without understanding...haha. But I like to point this stuff out to put bugs in peoples' ears so they can take their readings to the next level. I'll do an entire post on it in the future sometime. 

Another one of these bugs is the color connections these cards are making with the Deck of 1000 Spreads. We talked about using color as a reading technique here and here. So I won't go into it again. But look at the salamander tails on the Answer card, the whole What You Can't Change duo, the purple with the plums in What to Leave in the Past...I mean, it's just all over this reading. And using color to help a reading brings an entirely new dimension to your interpretations—more information to use in your interpretations. 

So, Greetje, if you're listening, this is MASTERWORK of spreadcrafting. Sure, she could have laid everything out in a line, but it would be a LONG line of cards...haha. And this is just so beautiful and well thought out and manageable. I'm just very impressed. I wish I had created this spread. :)