Assess and Act Spread

Hello All,

This spread came about as a result of my needing to ground myself after the events in Charlottesville, Virginia this past weekend. For the record, Black Lives Matter, Fuck White Supremacists, and white folks let’s examine all the subtle ways we (myself included) are inadvertently propping up this system of oppression. Anyway, I’ve seen a lot of people expressing a desire to help, to do more than just reposting a meme or expressing outrage on social media. But where to start? For myself, I needed to ground and check in order to figure out where I could actually do some good.

I, and I know a lot of you, have intersecting identities and degrees of abled-ness, which dictate what we can do, and how much we can do. The spread spends a lot of time focusing on self assessment, so you can get a realistic picture of what you have to bring to the table and how you can bring it most effectively.

Card #1: myself right now in the context of this situation – This card will help you ground into what you are feeling and how you are reacting and give you a sense of the role that will be most appropriate for you to play moving forward.

Card #2: What strength can I utilize at this time? – This card will highlight a strength or area of expertise that will be most helpful for you to use right now. When you are considering ways that you can contribute to dismantling oppression and white supremacy, where would that strength fit in? For example if you are a good communicator you may be able to facilitate hard conversations and speak up in ways that call out, but also call in. Maybe your strength is that you are very educated in this topic and you can provide information and teach others. Remember, your strength is where you can be most effective, so try to find a way to contribute that plays to that strength.

Card #3: What weakness should I be aware of as I proceed? – Just as your strength is where you will be most effective, your weakness is where you will be least effective. So if you pull a card that indicates that you are actually not a great communicator or your words aren’t your most powerful weapon, perhaps look for something that you can do that doesn’t rely entirely on that skill set. This card could also point to where you need to improve. For example this card could indicate that you aren’t well informed on the issues beyond scary photos of torch wielding Nazis and news story sound bites. Go learn about the subtle ways that oppression goes unnoticed. Go learn about what is happening that isn’t big and flashy and full of shock value, but still just as problematic. Being better informed means being better equipped to help.

Card #4: Where do I need to push my limits? – Let’s face it, we’re all probably going to need to be pushing ourselves right now, but knowing where you can most effectively push yourself is helpful because that is where the most progress can occur. Just like focusing on work that plays to your strengths instead of your weaknesses, pushing yourself where you have room and capability to expand is going to be more powerful than pushing yourself where you really don’t have that much flexibility, so card #4 is meant to help you know where stepping out of your comfort zone will bring growth as opposed to harm.

Card #5: Where do I need to accept my limits? – …which brings us to this card. You can push yourself too hard or in the wrong way. A lot of us want to go charging into the fray right now, we’re feeling gung-ho and galvanized to act. Awesome! I don’t want to dissuade anyone from that, but it is important to know how much we can realistically do given our finances, time, level of ability, etc. This is a marathon, not a sprint (you think this will all end when Trump leaves office, think again), and we need to be contributing in ways that are long-term sustainable. This card will point to an area where you need to accept that you are limited, because pushing that particular limit won’t actually be helpful, it will do more harm than good and we don’t want you to burn out when you are still needed.

Card #6: What is the most potent thing I can do right now? – This card will point you towards an action that will play to your strengths, challenge you in a healthy way (even if it doesn’t feel like it at first), and that you can do now…like today. Take the information from this card and then start brainstorming and looking around for ways to help. See what opportunities line up with this card and what resonates with you. Remember, we are all being challenged to step out of our comfort zones, and for many of us we are being asked to step out of the insulation provided by our privilege, so prepare to find great opportunities to contribute that also make you a little uncomfortable. Lean into that discomfort and move forward anyway.

I hope you enjoyed this spread and that you found it helpful. I welcome feedback and dialog in the comments, though I reserve the right to delete anything biggoted, overtly baiting, or otherwise nasty. Keep kicking ass and showing up for racial justice y’all.






A Self-Love Tarot Spread

Nine of Bottles - The Collective Tarot

The Nine of Bottle – The Collective Tarot. Shower yourself with love and consideration.

Why is self-love so ding dang difficult? Even being a spiritually mindful person, I fall into the self-criticizing, self-disparaging trap more than I like to admit. I know better. You probably know better too. It’s really hard though, right? The “why” is often complex and convoluted, that is one reason why I find tarot to be such a powerful tool. It helps me to get an objective picture, it helps me to bypass my ego and my conditioning enough to see what is really going on.

I was browsing my computer files today when I came across this spread. I originally designed it for Self-Love September last year, but I realized that for some reason I never posted it on my blog. Anyway, here it is, better late than never. I hope you enjoy and that you find it helpful.

Self Love Tarot Reading Spread

Self Love Tarot Spread

Card #1: Area to Focus On: This card will show you where self-love is most needed in your life right now and will give a focus to the reading. You can think of it as the-heart-of-the-matter.

Card #2: Root: This card is the “why.” It represents the reason that self love is lacking in your focus area. it could be a recent trigger that is causing you to struggle right now, or it could represent the event or conditioning in your more distant past that has made self-love so difficult for you in the present. If you feel that it’s important for you to understand the underlying causes behind your current struggles with self-love, then this is a good card to spend some time digging into.

Cards #3 & #4: Advice: Now that you know what you need to focus on and the underlying cause of your current challenges with self-love, cards #3 and #4 will offer you advice on how to address those challenges. Understanding the “why” is important, but it’s also important to follow-up with some actions if you want to see improvement. These cards will give you guidance to address the present and also to heal the root cause that is making self-love so difficult.

Weekly Planner Spread

Collective Tarot

Looking for a weekly spread? This is one that I designed for myself and really love. I do some variation of this spread most Sunday nights to help me prepare for the upcoming week. I find it quite helpful.

Card #1 – Theme/General Energy of the Week

Card #2 – What I Most Need to Focus on This Week

Card #3 – Challenges That May Come Up This Week

Card #4 – Advice/What Strengths I can Use to Overcome These Challenges

I’ll usually lay the cards out in a pyramid-like shape with Card #1 on top and Cards #2, #3 and #4 as the base. Then I’ll pull some cards off to the side to look at a couple major areas in my life to see if there is anything going on that I should be aware of. For me this usually looks like:

Card #5 – School

Card #6 – Tarot Business

Cards #7 – Social Life

You could easily substitute things like “relationship”, “family”, or “work”, depending on what major aspects of your life you want to keep tabs on that week. Another options is to look at the “spiritual”“emotional”, or creative” energies of your week. Sometimes I’ll even change it up week-to-week depending on what feels like needs extra attention. If a card comes up that indicates a struggle or a conflict in a particular area, I’ll sometimes pull an additional advice card if I feel like I need that.

A reading with The Collective Tarot

Reading with The Collective Tarot

I really enjoy doing this type of reading, it forces me to take time before the week starts to come up with a plan and set some intention. Often I’ll sit down with my tarot journal AND my day planner while doing this reading and take an hour or two to get all organized. It makes me feel more relaxed heading into the week because I feel like I’m on top of everything. Also I love planning and I just so geek out on this type of thing. 🙂

I hope you find the spread helpful.


Mid-Year Check-in Spread

7 of PentaclesWe’re halfway through 2015 as of this posting (give or take a couple days. I actually lost the first 500 words of this post to a computer malfunction earlier in the week. I intended to have it done on the 1st.). This is the perfect time to check-in with all the goals and intentions you set in January. Even if the ball got dropped, catching it now still gives you six months to make things happen before the new year rolls around again. Don’t be discouraged, don’t beat yourself up, just pick up that ball and get back to it.

For myself, I know a lot shifted in the last six months, A LOT, especially in March and April. So for my mid-year check-in I needed to spend some time reevaluating which goals and intentions still resonated with me, because a few no longer did and there is no point in putting the effort into a goal that you genuinely don’t care about anymore.

Of course I turned to tarot to help me see where I needed to focus my efforts, what could be released and what the trajectory for the rest of the year looked like. Here is the spread I used. I hope it helps you as you evaluate your progress and release or recommit to your goals for the remainder of the year.

This is a large spread and it has two major parts, so I broke it down to make it a little easier to work with. The first part of the spread is intended to offer insight and advice to help you move forwards with your goals in the second half of the year. The second part of the spread gives you an overview of where things are headed over the next 6 months.

mid year check in w titles

 #1 – How thing are currently in regards to my goals: This card will show you the current state of your progress towards your goals. Some things to notice is whether there is motion or stagnation, action or rest, or if there seems to be a balance. The idea is to get a picture of where you are energetically and in terms of progress. A card like the Four of Swords could mean you’re giving yourself a break and recuperating your energy before taking anymore steps, whereas a card like the Four of Cups could indicate that resting has turned into ambivalence and needs to be addressed before progress can be made. When I did this spread I got the Eight of Wands in this position. I read this as meaning, I’ve created momentum and things are moving along quickly, but that rapid progress may get too intense, so I need to stay mindful of that possibility and slow things down if I start to get overwhelmed.

#2 – What had stayed the same: This card will highlight the goal and priorities that are still resonating with you. These are things that you want to continue pursuing and are still important. You can also think of this position as “What I want to continue putting my energy and effort towards.”

#3 – What has changed: This card represents the goals and priorities which you may not be feeling so connected to anymore. This position could also be considered “What you need to reevaluate.” Before putting anymore effort or energy into these things you should carefully consider whether they are still important to you and whether they may need to be moved lower on your list of priorities or removed from that list all together.

#4 – Area that most needs my attention: This card will show you what needs to be addressed or dealt with most immediately in order for you to continue progressing and growing. It will often indicate something that you didn’t realize was so important, but really is essential. Similarly it can point you towards an aspect of your life that is getting neglected and needs to be focused on.

 #5 – What is getting in the way of reaching my goals: This is the block or obstacle that is making progress and growth challenging. If the goals and intentions you set at the beginning of the year aren’t coming together like you want, or you aren’t feeling motivated to pursue them anymore, this is most likely the culprit, or one of them (also check card #1 and #3 for clues).

#6 – Advice: This card offers you advice to overcome the obstacles in card #5 and also gives guidance for moving into the second half of the year strong and motivated.

mid year check in projection

This is the second part of the spread and it can be used as either a projection of what the theme will be for each of the last six months of the year, or if you aren’t into predictions/projections it can be used to indicate what you will need to focus on during each month or can be viewed as advice for each of those months.

mid year check in full

The entire spread looks like this when its laid out all at once. Its definitely hefty, but gives you a lot of useful information and its not too bad when you break it down and just focus on one part at a time. I hope you give it a try and let me know what you think.

Tarot read on, dear friends! \m/(>.<)\m/

Short Spread Ramble

I’ve been enjoying pyramid shaped spreads a lot lately. I feel like the shape of the spread in relation to the card positions can be very symbolic.

6 Card Pyramid SpreadThe top-most card literally overlooks the rest of the cards, so naturally lends itself to being an overview of the situation or something relating to higher consciousness.

The bottom row as the base of the spread feels like an obvious choice for cards relating to the root or foundation of the situation.They can also represent practical, grounded actions that can be taken to resolve or navigate the situation.

The middle row, sandwiched between top and bottom, feels like where the experience of the situation happens. It’s in the middle of everything, its literally being touched and effected by all the other cards in the spread, so lends itself to positions involving how the situation is making the querent feel, where confusion or misperception might be happening, and maybe where blocks and obstacles are occurring.

3 card pyramid spreadI also like the three card variation. When I use it I usually go for an overview of the situation with the top card and Obstacle and Advice for the bottom two cards (sometimes Advice and Outcome).

I hope you found this short spread/spread design ramble interesting, maybe even helpful. 🙂 Have a great day.