Loose Leaf Tarot

A quick spread trick, because sometimes a quick spread is all you can do



Unexpected Life Event of the week: I’m a rock climber, and on Monday I had my first real injury. I don’t get sick or hurt too often, but apparently when I do, I make it count. Now I have a broken wrist. Yaaay.

(Behold! Evidence that tarot cards really don’t reveal your future, or I’d have gone to a movie that afternoon.)

My doc’s putting in some pins next week, but for now I’ve only got one hand for things like typing, general existence, and using my cards. I started journaling some big-picture ideas in my tarot notebook over the past couple weeks – more thoughts about gender, and some about approaching the mystical/spiritual elements of the tarot as a mostly non-mystical reader. But it looks like these will have to wait until I can write again, and until I can type faster than twelve (misspelled) words a minute.*

In the meantime, here’s a simple method I like to use for quick spreads.

I start with the first two cards of a Celtic Cross, situation and challenge. I’m not particularly good at interpreting just those two positions, though, especially for myself. So I like to take a look at them for a minute and think of two questions that will help me dig out some more meaning. I throw the extra two cards, and then I’m usually done.

Maybe someday I’ll be able to rock the eloquent and elegant two card spread, but for now, if I’m doing more than a daily draw, I tend to need four cards to make a useful story. Waiting until I see the initial cross to pick my follow-up queries lets me hone in organically, getting a more focused narrative. It saves me from either a) feeling let down, or b) spending another twenty minutes throwing cross spreads until I get two cards I like better, even though I was doing a basic cross because I only had five minutes to begin with.

(So, today’s story? Yeah, it sucks that for the next couple weeks, I’m facing slowed momentum in my creative projects and my work. But I can get through it productively if I move big goals to the back burner, where they can still simmer, and put energy into some physically easier stuff that will keep me going: reading and learning and incubating new ideas, even if I can’t act on them quite yet.)


*Fortunately, my sense of time and capacity for annoyance are apparently reduced by the use of painkillers. Furry, foggy, floaty painkillers.


3 thoughts on “A quick spread trick, because sometimes a quick spread is all you can do

  1. So sorry to hear about your injury! Sending you speedy recovery vibes.
    I’m wondering what’s up with all the wrist injuries? There have been several people recently in my real, non internet life that have had pretty bad bang ups on their wrists. One person had to have a plate put in. I say thank goddess for dictation software and painkillers!

  2. Thanks for the recovery vibes (grow, little bones, grow!). Weird that wrists are the Injury of the Month, maybe it’s because everybody’s getting more active again after the winter?

    I’m getting a plate too, apparently that’s a pretty common treatment when you’ve managed to break yourself with enthusiasm. I am pretty excited about it at this point, at least then I won’t feel so… fragile. Hope your friends are doing well!

  3. I wish you a speedy recovery and maybe you could use this slow pace period for some pondering and seeing things from a different perspective. A bit like The Hanged Man I guess.
    I love small spreads too. Usually I don’t use more then three or four card myself too.

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