Introduction to Spreads

The principal purpose of a spread is to articulate a situation, that is, to divide it into a suitable number of interrelated components (aspects, dimensions, perspectives) upon which the cards can comment. Therefore, spreads can differ in the number of components, in the ways they dissect the situation, and in the interrelationships they display. This last aspect is what gives "spreads" their name, for the interrelationships among the components is represented by the spatial arrangement of the cards. This may be as simple as placing cards representing the past on the left, the present in the center and the future on the right. Or they may have a more complex structure (such as the Celtic Cross) or make use of existing symbolic structures (such as the Tetractys). Or the arrangement may key into symbolic structures from other divination systems, such as astrology, by using the circular array of houses, for example (Dodecatropos spread). Generally more complex spreads are appropriate for more complex situations, in which there are more aspects that need to be represented and explored.

An especially large collection of spreads (over 100 pages worth) can be found in Gad (Appendix II). It is worthwhile to experiment with a variety of simple and complex spreads, but then settle on a few that you find especially easy to work with. Here, I present several spreads that are especially appropriate for the Pythagorean Tarot.

Return to Pythagorean Tarot homepage

Send comments about this page
Last updated: Tue Jun 8 17:54:01 EDT 1999