101 Tarot Spreads

101 Tarot Spreads by 20 Modern Masters is exactly as it says - tarot spreads from a range of well-known tarot experts: Mary Greer, Rachel Pollack, and many more. An excellent addition to any tarot library.

By Sheilaa Hite

Book - 288 pages - Published by The Center for Practical Spirituality

Review by medusawink

If you are new to tarot reading, or are a tarot reader in search of new layouts and some fresh and exciting ideas for readings then this book is your basic dream volume. Sheilaa Hite has assembled 101 tarot layouts from some of the most recognisable and reliable names in the world of tarot today.

This large format paperback ( 28 x 21.5 cm) is user-friendly, easy to reference, and extremely well laid out. In deference to absolute beginners there are several mini chapters which outline How to Use the Book, What Can the Tarot Be Used For, What Is a Tarot Spread and several other issues faced by those who are new to reading the tarot.

What is a master? As it turns out it is a skilled and experienced tarot reader… And there is no dearth of them here. Mary K Greer, Rachel Pollack, Carrie Paris, and of course the author Sheilaa Hite are among the serious tarot luminaries and heavyweights that feature in this book.

Answering the question ‘What Can the Tarot Be Used For?’ the author offers and elaborates upon 8 options including mirror, meditation guide, friend who speaks the truth, detective, tiebreaker, source of inspiration, and a confirmation.

How To Use The Major And Minor Arcana outlines the difference between the two. Given that many of the spreads involve separating the Arcana and dealing them into specific positions, the distinction is crucial for successful tarot reading.

The author briefly addresses the issue of gender vs personal qualities when reading Court cards, however this is a complex topic which has been explored in depth in other books.

There is a short comment on the use or rather overuse of ‘clarifying cards’ – long story short, if the clarifying card(s) doesn't clarify, rethink your question, or your approach to the reading.

There is some extremely helpful advice about choosing a deck, which dispenses with superstition and amateur theatrics and offers clear, unambiguous information.

There are several charts, which one should make copies of, which are intended to help the reader deduce Annual Tarot Card Teachers, Life Path Numbers, and one's Birth Card and Number. A chart/log page (copy it) for daily draws over each month is provided.

Each spread is given a double page. On the left-hand page is a description of the reading, with directions and steps to be taken, as well as key points and any other relevant information. On the right-hand page is a diagram of the layout itself, with ‘cards’ laid out in their prescribed pattern. Each card has the number in which it is laid out as well as the question it answers, it also has enough space for the reader to note down the card they have drawn. Each page has space for the reader/Seeker to fill in Name, Date, Time, and Deck used, as well as detail the Question/Issue and Feelings/Interpretations.

These pages are basically templates and it is recommended that you either scan or photocopy them for future use, keeping the book as your master copy. This will enable you to assemble a huge journal of your tarot readings using the spreads provided.

The tarot spreads in this book cover just about any situation or eventuation. There are spreads to help friends, to discover the core of a run of bad luck, to help the Seeker find where one stands in a situation, love and relationships.

From Janet Jendrzejewski there are some wonderful soul layouts which are complex and fascinating. From Patti Kitson are some unusual spreads to help the Seeker understand a pet, and communicate with a departed loved one. From Ralston Edwards there are spreads for movement forward such as the Moving On/Letting Go Spread, Achieving a Goal Spread, and the Ready Set Go Spread. Heather Mendel provides some insightful spreads based on the Star of David, the Tree of Life, and the Menorah. Linda Petrillo provides spreads for a Good Journey, Bad Memories, and Recurring Dream among others. There is a in-depth Court Card Confrontation Spread from Rachel Pollack, and the absolutely fabulous Creating A Spread From The Client's Words layout.

There are so many really outstanding tarot spreads and layouts in this book it is extremely hard to do them justice in a short review. This book really changes the game when it comes to reading tarot cards, not in terms of divinatory meanings, not in terms of artwork, but in the way we use the cards to gain insight into ourselves and our lives. If you are serious about reading tarot cards then you really need to have this book in your tarot library and make liberal use of it.

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