Designing Your Own Tarot Spreads
by Teresa Michelsen
Every tarot enthusiast has heard of the "Celtic Cross," and has likely used it in readings more than a few dozen times. Also familiar are the one-card daily reading and the three-card past-present-future reading. These are old stand-bys, and do serve their purpose. But tarot readings don't need to be confined to such well-known layouts, and tarot readers don't need to feel limited by the originality or creativity of others. What many beginning tarot readers don't realize is that they can (and should!) design their own tarot spreads. This book is a short instruction on doing just that.
Teresa Michelsen brings her tarot reading expertise to Designing Your Own Tarot Spreads
, and draws upon her professional experience with a wide variety of clientele. Through her familiarity with the myriad types of questions that arise for tarot readings, as well as through a strong understanding of how tarot works, she presents a series of lessons and exercises to help the beginner design their own tarot spreads. She introduces the concept of designing spreads with sections on the question being asked, the number of cards desired, meanings represented by each position, the visual appearance of the layout, and special constraints and follow-up cards. She then expands on these concepts as well as introduces others as the reader learns more. In writing that is warm and engaging, Michelsen makes the reader feel comfortable with the process, and constantly offers encouragement. By working with this book, the reader will have the skills to take any question and design an effective and unique tarot spread for it.
Unfortunately, the book is rather small - fewer than 200 pages - and is filled with simple diagrams that take up more space than is necessary. While Michelsen is a terrific teacher, she also repeats herself - a number of the exercises seem to be recycled instruction, with slightly different focus. Additionally, there is much emphasis placed on reading for others in a professional capacity. Although this is currently a popular trend, there are many people who simply want to read for themselves - for self-discovery, personal transformation, and spiritual growth. Designing Your Own Tarot Spreads
seems to have given them a short footnote, in the final sections of the book: "Psychological and Interactive Spreads," and "Spiritual and Metaphysical Spreads."
Still, the book is a good addition to the tarot library; especially for those readers who have not yet branched out into designing their own tarot spreads.
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Book review by Nellie Levine
Publishing tarot deck reviews, original tarot spreads, articles, and personal reflections for tarot enthusiasts, practitioners of the intuitive arts, and followers of alternative spirituality since 1999. Woman owned.
All writing, reviews, and photography © Nellie Levine, unless otherwise noted. 1999-2022