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There is no such thing as just a deck of cards. Each deck has a special energy or story to tell. They have a very distinct purpose and tend to be heavily imprinted with the essence of their creators. This blog will explore both tarot and oracle decks and delve into their story, their purpose and how best you as a reader can utilize the gifts and abilities each deck has to offer.

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Tarot Spreads with Barbara Moore in Review

Every so often a book comes along that just grabs your attention. Barbara Moore's Tarot Spreads – Layouts & Techniques to Empower your readings, is one of those books. Though, full disclosure, it didn't initially reel me in. I bought this not long after it came out. I immediately sought out the 3 card spreads, which are my personal favorite type of spreads and found a whole section dedicated to them. Then I got busy and put the book away.

It happens, right?

You find yourself busy with other things and your once new sparkly toy gets put away to gather dust. As much as it pains me to say it, that is exactly what happened with me and this book. But over Christmas this book started to grab me. Popping up all over the house. Always seeming to be flickering in my peripheral vision. So I picked it up, dusted it off and started to give this amazing book the attention it deserved.

Over the last two months my wife and I have been working religiously with this book. We each take turns to pick a spread and then spend the next few hours selecting our cards, writing up our findings and dissecting the information the tarot brings our way. Because my other half is not really a Tarot reader, though goddess bless her, she tries her little heart out, I have become quite proficient in many of the spreads in this book.

There are some that are quick and easy, like the 3 and 4 card spreads. Then there others that would be fabulous to do once a quarter, like the Abundance profile Spread or the Healing Heart Spread. Then you have others that make you realize you could be studying them for quite some time to come. The Tree of Life spread is one of these. A month later and I am still working through my tree of life spread, it's intense.

One of the best features of this book, well in my opinion, is the variations sections Barbara does for the spreads. For some of the spreads she gives you a variation to the general spread right after the general spread sample, but then there is a whole chapter on how to modify a spread further in the book. That's just Brilliant!

But rather then continually hear me bang on about the magic of this book I thought I would ask Barbara herself about it. Because let's face it, it is her book.  


Barbara Welcome to your own review and thank you for being a part of this post.

It’s my pleasure, Leeza! I’ve never been part of a review of one of my books before. Leave it to you to be creative and keep things interesting.

So why a book on spreads?

My wife told me to. That’s not really a joke. I’ve always had this weird ability with spreads. They come pretty easily to me. Sometimes they are inspired by questions or cards or ideas or quotes. Lisa (my wife) loves order and patterns and consequently she thought my spreads super power was really intriguing, so she pushed for it. Don’t tell her I said so, but she was right. It really needed to be written.

One reason it needed to be written is because while I’ve seen plenty of books on spreads, I’ve never seen one that really explained how to use them. Which those books are fine. They are like cookbooks that give great recipes. You follow them and get great results, so everyone is happy. But then there are cookbooks, like the one’s by Cooks Illustrated, that explain why the recipe is the way it is. I love those because then if you have an understanding of the principles, you can make adjustments or substitutions more easily.

So I wanted to explain how and why spreads work, more than providing a collection of spreads. Plus, if people understand how spreads work, they can analyze existing spreads and make changes if necessary. To me, this is more important than any pre-designed spread.

How did you decided what spread made it into the book and which ones got the boot?

That was hard! I had hundreds of spreads that I had made, plus the traditional ones that really needed to be included to make the book well rounded. Plus, I invented more, again with an eye to having a well-rounded collection. The process was a balancing act. I wanted spreads for lots of topics, including the popular ones like romance and money as well as spiritual development and practical problem solving. Because there were certain techniques I wanted to illustrate, some spreads were chosen for that reason as well as filling in topical needs.

How many of the spreads in this book are actually ones you have personally created?

That was hard to figure out. I’m not sure my sums are exact, but it looks like there are about 77 spreads total (more or less…with the variations, I kind of lost count). About 15 of them are not my own. I do credit all the ones that are not mine. Some are traditional ones, which obviously aren’t mine. Some of vintage spreads that aren’t in common use and, again, not mine (but sited). A few are from my colleagues, such as Mary K. Greer, Susyn Blair-Hunt, and Donnaleigh de la Rose and are cited. The rest are all mine…for better or worse!

While you were writing this book what Aha moments did the content give you and were they around specific spreads?

I wrote the book in 2010-2011, which isn’t really that long ago but feels like forever ago. Actual Aha moments might be hard to recall. Also, remember, all this felt so natural to me and so there wasn’t much that surprised me in terms of the content. Paging through the book just now, I saw the Halycon Solstice Spread. Even though I made that one almost ten years ago, I was surprised now to feel such a happy tug of connection after all these years. That might have been one of my first spreads created in response to a profound idea. Those are the kinds of readings I like best and I remember being really excited to make that spread. I’ve not used it in a long time. Guess I know what I’ll be doing later!

Which spread in this book do you find the most challenging?

No question, the 78 card spread that my friend Nell taught me. I should say, she showed me. She didn’t do a reading for me, just taught the spread to me. It was hard on two levels. First, it’s just too much of a spread for me. Plus it is meant to predict 2 and a half years into the future. My cosmology doesn’t include predicting that far out, so on that level, this spread really isn’t for me. Other readers, though, have different beliefs. Because of that, and simply because it is such a fascinating spread, I wanted it in the book. The other way it was hard for me was trying to write up the instructions. That was one of the most challenging pieces of writing I ever did. So complicated!

Do you have a favorite spread?

I have a few that form the basis of client work because they are all great at giving me a clear picture of what’s going on so we can then adapt or create spreads to continue to dig deeper. I rely on the 5 card Yes/No Spread by Susyn Blair-Hunt. Although I should probably go back and reread her original instructions because I’ve been using it so long that I’ve likely morphed it into something different. I also adore my modified Horseshoe Spread. One of my most useful, though, is Barbara’s General Spread, variation C. I cannot tell you how many minds have been blown using that spread.

When reading for myself, I generally invent new spreads based on whatever ideas have me all excited at the time.

What is your wish for readers of this book?

My hope is that readers discover a sense of confidence in their own abilities so that they can analyze spreads and modify them to suit their needs and styles. I hope that their curiosity gets fired up and they explore creating their own spreads and develop their own techniques. My wish for them is that they continue to grow as readers and in doing so continue being part of the ongoing evolution of tarot. 


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Leeza Robertson is the most nonspiritual spiritual person you will ever meet. Her resistance to the New Age way of life set her on spiritual quest like no other. This began in 2006 when Leeza was first introduced to the concept of power animals. Then in 2008 she had her very first encounter with the fae world, which lead to her numerous radio interviews on shows like the very popular Tarot Talk. In 2009 Leeza lost her site due to a sinus infection. In this 3mth blindness she started seeing tarot spreads and cards along with images of the people the readings where for. In 2011 Leeza made a conscious choice to take her relationship with tarot to a much deeper level and that is when she began writing about tarot, the cards and teaching others the many mysteries of the ever unfolding path that is tarot. Today she is a member of the American Tarot Association and runs a monthly study group called Tarot and Tea. In 2013 Leeza was approached by Llewellyn World Wide to produce her very first Tarot deck, The Awakened Animal Tarot. Through the creation of this deck Leeza has forged an even stronger bond with the cards, their energy and the deeper aspects of their archetypal teachings.


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