Tarot Spreads & Layouts


By Sheri Harshberger

Tarot Spreads & Layouts: A User's Manual for Beginning and Intermediate Readers by Jeanne Fiorini

Published by Schiffer Publishing, Ltd., www.schifferbooks.com

ISBN: 978-0-7643-3629-4 

"This book is dedicated to all the students and clients who come with open minds and hopeful hearts to the Tarot table." 

 Dedication from Tarot Spreads & Layouts by Jeanne Fiorini

Jeanne Fiorini's Tarot Spreads & Layouts is one of those books that is destined to be a classic.  Not something one collects and puts on a shelf to take down occasionally and admire, but one that becomes the beaten up, dog-eared, coffee-stained, ubiquitous companion to readers of anything... everywhere.  Yes, it's called Tarot Spreads & Layouts, but the techniques discussed and information shared is highly transferrable to reading ANYTHING.

Reading this book is like sitting down with Jeanne for a friendly and entertaining master class in the foundations of reading with the highest ethical standards.  Jeanne leverages her 20 years of experience as a Tarot reader and teacher to make the material in the book an entertaining and memorable read.  The depth and scope of the techniques she shares come from her formal training in meditation and counseling experience.

The book follows a very logical progression, starting with the a section on "Ground Rules" which includes discussions on intention, focus, when to use Tarot and, maybe more importantly, when not to.  She also discusses what to do when you draw a blank.  All is conveyed in a very entertaining and easy to read manner.  She also discusses using intuition, what reversals and significators are, expanding readings, and relying on yourself to do the reading.  The majority of the book is devoted to the next section which provides expandable templates and demonstrates their use.   I love the fact that none of the templates is larger than 8 cards. I also love the very limited and small section on card meanings... I guess for new readers, this would be helpful (my preference would be not to have any meanings... everyone into the deep end of the pool!  The water is fine!).  It is minimized though, as the intent is that the reader exercise his or her intuition and rely on their own meanings during readings.

When I first started using the cards, I became a voracious "spread collector."  It became overwhelming.  I discovered when I started doing in-person readings for others, my large collection was not practical.  So many times, books on spreads can become "collections."  You are given different, specific spreads for different specific situations (not that there is anything wrong with that). This is not that type of book.  This book provides the reader with a toolkit that he or she can tweak and build upon for a lifetime.  This is a timeless reference.  As a paperback and at a mere 128 pages, its slim design and moderate size makes it easy to carry around.  I highly recommend this book not just to newbies and intermediate readers, but to anyone... and not just Tarot readers.  The techniques in this book work for ANYTHING.

Teach a reader a spread, yeah, he or she can do readings with that spread... but teach a reader how spreads work, and they'll take over the world, one reading at a time.  :o)

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Tarot Reflections is published by the American Tarot Association - Copyright (C) 2011

Questions? Comments? Contact us at reflections@ata-tarot.com