Spread Creation: Deck Interview Spread

One of the first things I like to do with a tarot or oracle deck, after giving it a good mix and shuffle, is a ‘deck interview’. I first cottoned on to this idea from Beth at Little Red Tarot who got it from another tarot reader- so this is not an original concept. I’m just sharing my version of the process.

I meet the deck interview as a first impression or first conversation with my new deck. I’m lucky enough to have a diverse collection of decks and I noticed that as my collection grew larger, certain decks did best with particular queries, some provided gentle guidance and others dragged me across the room kicking and screaming, some were straight to the point and others required me to spend more time with the reading to really get it, etc. It felt like each deck had it’s own personality.

For example the Herbal Tarot is as direct as an arrow, the Mary-El Tarot has zero chill, the Mythical Goddess Tarot speaks gently and honestly to my heart, and the Slow Holler Tarot cuts to the core of what I’m really looking for.

I’ve been able to use this information to pick the ‘right’ deck for myself or a querent- depending on what the mood, mindset, question, and current context is.

A clarification:

I don't believe that the cards themselves contain all the answers or magic. I believe that creators set an intention, and there is magic in that, and there is a certain amount of trust in the universe about which cards show up- but the magic of tarot reading is in how my intuition and my guides relate to art the deck.

So when I say a deck is soft and kind, it's more that the way the art twangs my intuition and guides triggers a soft and kind message delivery and vice versa for decks that slap me around the back of the head.

When I do a deck interview, I'm really interviewing my own intuition and guides for how they'll relate to the deck. It's a bit funny to think about, and I'm still working through this idea, but it makes the most sense to me right now.

The Deck Interview Spread

  1. WHAT SHOULD I KNOW ABOUT YOU?
    This position is a heads up about the deck’s personality and what to be aware of when you choose it from your stack.

  2. WHAT ARE YOUR STRENGTHS?
    This position is an indicator on what queries the deck will be most useful for. For example, receiving the 10 of Swords in this position might mean that the deck you are working with is great for those desperate and devastated moments.

  3. WHAT ARE YOUR LIMITS?
    This position is about what not to come to this deck with. For example, The Lovers in this position may indicate that the deck wouldn’t have the clearest messages for love readings or evaluating relationships.

  4. HOW CAN WE BEST COLLABORATE?
    In this position, you learn more about what you need to bring to the table- the kind of work you should be prepared to do, and how to tune your expectations when working with the deck.

  5. TREASURE.
    I love this position because it is as infinite or limited as you need it to be. It’s about that little extra note about the deck or a way to get an idea of what the outcome of your relationship with this deck could be.

Can you think of any other questions you might like to ask in a deck interview?