Simple spread, complex insights

One of the most challenging and (for me) the most exciting parts of event planning is the conversation the Expanding Inward team has when we try to answer the question, “What is this event about, anyway?” We’ve picked the theme, we’ve invited the group, people have registered and decided they want to come — and now it’s our job to figure out what the heck we’re going to do throughout the weekend to bring the story to life.

We have a couple strategies that we tend to use over and over—research, lots of reading, meditation, brainstorming, and so on. But, the one that often bears the most fruit is when we ask ourselves, “How is the story working you on a personal level?” We’re about to delve into the story of Lilith in a couple of weeks at our spring intensive, and when it came time to answer that question again, Laurie offered a Tarot spread as a focal point to get that conversation going.

It’s a variation on a spread she developed as part of her relationship-building work with Hekate (the guest of honor at our last event in Iowa), which she calls: “Two Torches at the Crossroads.” It’s a simple 3-card spread. Lay out 3 cards in a row. In the center is you in relation to your question or concept. On the left: what you don’t know / don’t want to know / aren’t seeing clearly. On the right: The opposite of that. What you do know / see clearly.

I love the simplicity of this spread, and is a good reminder that I don’t need a ton of cards to have a multi-layered reading. Three cards is enough to pack a wallop and give me all the information I need about the work in front of me.

Laurie’s idea was to expand this spread to work with the three sub-themes of the Lilith event: Choice, Change, and Power. So we each agreed to do three separate spreads. What is my relationship to Choice? What is my relationship to Change? What is my relationship to Power?

It looked like this (repeat the spread again for Change, and a third time for Power.):

As a professional reader, the Tarot is my tool of choice when it comes to distilling down what I am thinking. I believe that the cards act as visual translators to help me put into words and images what I already intrinsically know, and this spread did that really well. It offered a great deal of insight for all of us. Each member of the team seemed to receive some valuable information about their own personal work and clarified their relationship to the theme. There are threads of each of the readings embedded in the sessions that we will offer throughout the intensive sessions, and I expect in the evening rituals as well.

If you’re coming to the event, then I invite you to try out this spread before you come. Use your diviniation tool of choice — it doesn’t need to be Tarot. Runes, bibliomancy … whatever you want. I’d love to hear what you come up with.*

And even if you’re not coming to the event … I encourage you to use this spread as a leaping off point for your own exploration into these concepts, or any other Big Work that you are doing at the moment. It’s a really great and accessible spread. When it comes to divination, I find that simplicity provides a foundation for layers of complexity. There could be a lifetime of work in just a few questions … What is the essence of the work? What don’t I know? What do I know?

And then prepare to take in the answer.


*A little numerology trick for those of you using the Tarot. After you lay out the spreads and take in the meaning for yourself, add up the numbers in each spread. Court cards (Kings, Queens, Pages, Knights, Princes, Princesses, etc.) have a value of 0. If the number is higher than 22, then keep adding the digits to get to a number lower than 22. For instance, if the number adds to 26, then add the digits 2 and 6 to get 8. Then find the major arcana card in the deck that matches that number. (If the number is 22, then it’s The Fool. That’s how numerologists let The Fool, who is ordinarily the number 0, play with the rest of the deck.) That major arcana card is the archetype that tells you what the reading is really about — and can often provide an even deeper meaning. Try it! Get a number for Choice, a number for Change, and a number for Power to see what your relationship is to each concept. What if you added those numbers together? What is your relationship to all three at once? What does Lilith have to say to you?

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