Tarot Layouts

Celtic Cross
The layout that I use most often for readings for this site is the Celtic Cross layout. This consists of ten cards, which are laid out according to the illustration below.

The first two cards, card one and two, describe the circumstances in general, and sometimes, the reason for the circumstances. Some readers use what is called a significator, or a court card resembling the questioner, ( the Queen of Wands for a blond or redheaded woman, the Knight of Pentacles for a young man with dark hair ect.)  but I normally dispense with this, as it is not all-emcompassing and takes a card out of the deck for the reading. Below this cards one and two, is placed card three, which tells the reader of background information lending itself to the cause descibed by the first two cards. Following it, card four, is the event or person of importance that has recently passed, also lending some sort of credence to the matter.

The fifth card is placed above the first two cards, and that card will tell the reader what is the best, or most desired outcome. The is sometimes tricky with the type of reading done on this blog, as these readings deal often in past events, so often this card is read as what would have/could have/should have happened in a perfect world. There are also readings in which this card describes the hopes or efforts of perpetrators, or others who have been left behind after a person has gone missing, or after a crime has been committed. Card six is placed to the left of the first two cards, and tells of things that will come to pass, or sometimes, things that have come to pass, yet have gone unnoticed. This card deals with events that are not directly tied to the desires of the questioner or the subject, while card five deals with outcomes that are desired.

The seventh card is the first card on what is called the "staff". This card describes the feelings, and sometimes the actions.....all contributory to the general environment, or either the subject of the reading or the questioner. The next card, card eight, will describe a bit of the physical environment of the matter. If a court card comes up here, this is often a person who is involved. In missing persons cases, I often look to this card for clues about physical location. Card nine tells of hopes and fears. In a reading about a crime, this card can describe motives. This card can tell a reader quite a bit; if a court card appears in this place, it often tells me who or what was on the subject's mind. It can also tell me, in rare cases, what kind of destination the subject sought, or which direction the subject went. The tenth card is the final outcome, which sums up the entire reading. If a major arcana card appears in this place, it generally means that the matter is not within the control of any one individual. If a court card appears here, such a message would be that matters are in the control of the person indicated by the court card.

Nine Card Spread
Another reading I often do on this site is the nine card spread, drawing three cards for the past, three for the present, and three for the future. I use this, quite a bit, for updates on readings I have already done, or for better clarification. I looks a bit like this:

Cards one, two, and three are the past. Cards four, five, and six are the present, and cards seven, eight and nine are the future. Once again, any court cards that come up are usually people who are involved, and major arcana represent events that are not in the control of any particular individual.

Tree Of Life
Another favored layout of mine is called the Tree of Life. It is so named after mystic realms of the Kabbala, which is esoteric interpretations of Jewish traditions. Illustrations of the different realms are laid out as branches of a tree, hence the name, Tree of Life. I rarely use this type of reading for mundane or circumstancial matters, as I have found that this type of reading works best to describe or advise relationships or career choices. It seems that this school of thought, along with readings using it, are often made as complicated as possible for the reader. I will not broach a long winded discussion of the Kabbala here, and I will keep the introduction to this type of reading as simple as possible.

Cards one, two, and three, corrospond to the highest ideals in relation to the question. Card one, Kether, is the very best possible outcome, and also the energy or circumstance driving the purpose and outcome. The questioner should try to work with this ideal. Card two, Hochmah, is wisdom. This card will tell the questioner how to best understand the energies involving his question that do not happen to be under his control. Card three, Binah is a bit contemporary with Saturn, only with a feminine influence. This is where the questioner will experience limits, both practical and emotional.

These energies  become more mundane is the Worlds of card four, Hesed, or Chesed, and card five, Din, or Giburah. Card four carries energies that a similar to those of Jupiter, and represent the blessings that encompass the situation about which the questioner asks. Card five has the energies of Mars, and brings about the destructive influences in the situation. Sometimes, it is destruction that is meant to be, such as pulling weeds from one's garden, or filing excess clay away from a sculpture. One must also remember that no gear works properly without a certain amount of tension. This tension is represented by card five.

All of these cards pour their contributions into the World of Tiphereth, which is beauty. This is the sixth card, and it's planetary corrospondence is the Sun. Tiphereth represents the combination of the questioners intellectual and moral leanings. Card seven is Netsah, or Netzac. This World is similar to Venus, and it's place in a reading is the likes, desires, and sometimes romantic leanings of the questioner. Card eight, on the other side, is Hod, and he corrosponds with Mercury. This represents educational pursuits and vocation. Card nine is Yesod, and it's planetary representation is the Moon. Yesod is the questioner's imagination and emotions. Malkuth is the last card, and this card represents the questioner's body and physical surroundings.
The Star
The Star is a quick reading and it is good for very simple questions. This is a five card spread. Point one, as in the illustration below, speaks of the nature of the problem or the question. Point two is the reason the questioner is asking, or the point if interest. Point three repreents the factors that need to be considered, and things that are outside of the questioner's control. Point four is the advice, or solution to the the problem, or the answer to the question. Point five on the Star os the outcome.