elemental hexagon deck

Tarot Readings and spontaneous spreads


I was doing dual deck tarot readings at the local yule fair last week and what stood out to me was how people would create their own spreads, which didn't necessarily look like anything I'd create, but nonetheless made perfect sense for those people. What I liked about that realization is that it proves that fixed spreads are not a necessary part of Tarot reading. In fact, I'd argue that the spontaneous creation of new spreads made the reading more effective because the layout of the cards demonstrated the mental "space" of the person, and how the different cards were situated in that space.

Space, mental and physical, is part of how a person defines his/her identity. The manipulation of space via placement of objects is part of that identification process and it can tell a lot about what obstacles a person is encountered. A spread that is chaotic with elements all over the place still has an order to it, even if its an order that only the person who created the spread understands. A reading I recently did initially looked very chaotic. It took asking some questions to really get to the central issue, but once those questions were asked the spread made complete sense and fit the issue rather well.

What makes this approach dynamic however is that if you use a tarot reading as an act of enchantment, you can make the person's ability to change the spread, to reorganize it an essential part of the reading. In other words, the person changes the spatial identity s/he inhabits by changing how the cards are spatially organized, as well as how s/he understands the underlying message of the card. The result is a different reading, one that plots how the person will make changes to the existing pattern in order to resolve whatever issues are represented.

Here's a podcast episode where I talk about some of my initial experiments with Tarot.

Tarot card readings with two decks

Calyxa Omphalos, who created the Elemental Hexagon deck, told me about this concept of using two tarot decks to do readings at Pantheacon. I thought I would give it a try recently, and I was very pleased with the results. I used the elemental hexagon deck and also Ray Buckland's alchemy deck. I interspeced the cards I laid down from the elemental hexagon deck with the alchemy cards I laid down, using the alchemy cards as connectors. What I found was that the connector cards naturally seemed to enhance the cards that were being used for the main reading. They provided complementary information that helped support the overall reading. It was also interesting to use two different sets of cards in conjunction with each other, particularly because with these cards it was as if I was forming specific equations (which could be really useful for using cards from the enchantment end of things).

I have to admit that just using the elemental hexagon deck has been very effective, but I also think its pretty to novel to use more than one deck for a reading, and what I liked about this approach is that it managed to fit into the theme of both decks, in terms of symbolic representation of processes the cards depict. I'd suggest that if possible it's a good idea to do this kind of reading/enchantment work with two sets of tarot cards that have complementary themes.

I'll report more as I continue to work with this rather novel approach.