Tarot.Layouts.FAQ Frequently Asked Questions about Tarot Layouts Version 1.0

- 06/06/1995

Compiled by David C. Jones (djones@ponder.csci.unt.edu)

No rites rezerved. This entire document or any morsels thereof can be used by anybody at anytime, anyplace, anywhere, and anywhen (or until I get some sort of legal doohickey) but be warned that the original authors of some of this stuff might sue your (and my) ass off. Since this is the first version of this document and isn't loaded with very many sources, any and all comments and/or additional layouts that could be sent to me would be greatly appreciated. History of this document 6/6/95 - Version 1.0 A very rough draft as a favor for a peer on alt.divination Table of Contents 0) Who am I and how this list got started 1) General Information 1.1) Paradigm Spread 2) Simple Spreads 2.1) Five Card Spread 2.2) Line Spread 2.3) Yes or No Spread 3) Complex Spreads 3.1) Magic Seven Spread (7) 3.2) Celtic Cross Spread (10) 3.3) Tree of Life Spread (10) 3.4) Four Trines Spread (12) 3.5) Twelve Houses Spread (12) 3.6) Magic Cross Spread (13) (aka Christian Cross Spread) 3.7) Wish Spread (16) 3.8) Pyramid Spread (21) 3.9) Three Sevens Spread (21) 3.10) Sephiroth Spread (26) 3.11) Spread of Thirty-Six (aka The Inarticulately Named Spread) 3.12) Solar Spread (49) 3.13) Life Spread (50) 4) General Variations 4.1) Modifier Cards 4.2) Extending the Line 4.3) Rotating the Layout 4.4) Yes/No Revisited 5) References 0) Who am I and how this list got started I am David Clark Jones, currently a student at the University of Northern Texas, Denton. I am also a beginning student of the tarot. Last April a friend of mine gave me a standard Rider- Waite deck as an Easter present and I immediately connected with it. I have since begun studying the more spiritual aspects of the tarot, although I do practice divination with the deck. As part of my studies, I found a book at my local library called How to Read Tarot Cards which contained twelve different layouts, which is currently the main source for this document. When a peer on the net and I became involved in a discussion about layouts for a program he was writing, I told him that I would type this list up and post it; I didn't really mind since I wanted to have this list on file for personal use in the future. When I was done, I figured if I was going to spend all this time typing all this information up and give it away for free that I might as well keep the list running and I always wanted to have the prestige of saying I was a FAQ maintainer (even if I am the only person impressed by that), so I decided to make it a FAQ. 1) General Information The very first thing that I learned about reading tarot cards after talking to another reader about the subject is that no two people really do it in quite the same way. As such, I have tried to re-write all of these layouts to be as flexible as possible, which wasn't easy or even possible in some cases, and allow you to choose which method will serve you best. On a similar note, some of the things that I have learned and come to believe about tarot cards go directly against some of the things presented in this document. It is my intention, however, to relate information and not pass judgement, especially since some thing I disagree with may work for others. As such, I will attempt to include any informational comments I receive that don't seem redundant. Also, I would like to keep this document directed solely towards layouts that can be used for any general deck. Some decks, like a healers deck, often will have their own layouts, but such a layout would probably not have any significance when used with a general deck. If your not sure, just send it to me anyway, it can't hurt. It should be emphasized right now that this document is not really designed for the beginning reader. This isn't to say that it is designed only for experts, but you should at least understand how to use one of the layouts listed below so that you can compare my explanations to your knowledge and then use that comparison as a key for understanding the other layouts. In short, I'm not going to baby-step you through these things. If I label a card as an environment card, you should at least have a vague idea what that means. The following is an explanation of how each layout is presented. 1.1) Paradigm Spread (0) Each spread will have a title and then a number, in parenthesis, indicating the number of cards traditionally used in this reading. Cards in the layout themselves will be represented by numbers. (Single digit numbers may have a zero placed in front of them for formatting purposes.) If room permits, cards that are associated with one another will be connected with lines. Layout: This section will show in text graphics, and perhaps describe, how this particular layout looks. Deal: This is the order in which the cards are traditionally dealt for this layout. I would like to emphasize the word traditional. In a few of these layouts the card ordering does not appear to make any sense, so if something seems to work better for you I see no reason why you shouldn't do it. Also, sometimes readers will intentionally alter the order of the deal if they have a premonition to do so. Reading: This explains what each card in the layout represents Variations: This will list any variations in the readings that this particular spread may have. Comments: Miscellaneous comments (by myself or others) about this layout that don't fit in any of the above categories. 2) Simple Spreads 2.1) Five Card Spread Layout: 5 4 3 2 1 Suggested Deal: Right to Left Reading: Cards 4 and 5 represent the future Card 3 represents the present Cards 1 and 2 represent the past 2.2) Line Spread This is a simple variation of the Five Card Spread. Instead of placing two cards on each side of the present card, place three our four, yielding a seven or nine card spread (or go higher if you wish). Note that the Five Card Spread is actually a member of this group. It should be noted that most of the rest of the layouts for tarot decks can be traced back to this layout. Most layouts are merely a series of line spreads which interlock in some fashion or another. Even though this is a very simple layout to perform and understand, it also probably the most important one to be able to understand since it allows you to see how cards will relate to one another in the more complex layouts. 2.3) Yes or No Spread This is an additional variation used on the line spread. If you allow the querent to ask a yes or no question, count each card turned upright as a vote for yes and each card reversed count as a vote for no. The middle (or present) card's vote gets counted twice. Interpret tie votes as you see fit. 3) Complex Spreads 3.1) Magic Seven Spread (7) Layout: 1 / \ 5---/-----\---6 \ / \ / X 7 X / \ / \ 3---\-----/---2 \ / 4 Suggested Deal: Numerically as shown above. Reading: Card 1: Past event leading up to the present state Card 2: The present state Card 3: Immediate future Card 4: Suggested Solution, what the querent should do to obtain more control over the current situation Card 5: The current environment and/or its affect on the matter Card 6: Opposition Card 7: Result 3.2) Celtic Cross (10) Layout: 10 03 09 06 Q2 05 04 08 07 Note that card 2 is placed across (or perpendicular) and on top of the querent card, Q. Suggested Deal: Reader or querent selects a querent card (Q). Shuffle, cut, and deal numerically as shown. Reading Card Q - This card represents the querent's current state. Card 2 - Obstacles Card 3 - Often called the crowning card. May have one or more of several meanings: 3a - Highest state the querent can achieve in the matter 3b - Highest perception the querent has in the matter 3c - What the querent wishes to achieve Card 4 - Often called the base card. May have one or more of several meanings: 4a - Vices. What the querent possesses (not necessarily physical) and can use to his/her advantage. 4b - What the querent needs to use to overcome the obstacle 4c - Why the querent has asked the question Card 5 - Past Card 6 - Future Card 7 - a) Attitude of the querent b) Same as 4a Card 8 - a) Environment b) What the querent may gain from the situation Card 9 - Hopes or Fears Card 10 - Future Often the difference between card 6 and card 10 (both future cards) is that card 6 is generally believed to be that which will come true no matter what happens (i.e. definite future). Card 10 is a projection of what could happen in the future if the querent does not make an effort to change his current environment or a projection of what could happen if the querent wishes to make it happen (i.e. indefinite future). There are four lines, or associations of cards, that exist in this reading. Cards 5, Q, 2, 6; Time: This sequence follows an obvious pattern from past to present to future Cards 10, 3, 6; Future: These three cards all essentially project into the future. Sharing information between these cards can yield more specific details Cards 7, 8, 4, 6; Influences: Cards 7, 8, and 4 all represent things which influence the querent with respect to the question. It is through the combination of these influences that the outcome shown in card 6 may be achieved or avoided. Cards 4, Q, 2, 3: I have not seen a good qualifier to describe the relationship between these cards, but it generally goes like this: The querent would like to achieve (or can achieve) what is depicted in card 3, but certain influences (card 2) prevent him/her from doing so. However, the querent does have the proper resources (card 4) to overcome the obstacle. This line can vary depending upon which interpretation you use for card 4. Variation 1: Sometimes cards 5 and 6 are reversed changing the direction of the path of the timeline. This could also alter the interpretations of the four groupings listed above. I chose the original variation since it both preserves these lines and is consistent with the left to right direction of the other layouts. Variation 2: Sometimes cards 7 thru 10 are placed on the other end (the left side) of the cross. Again, this could alter the interpretations of the above groupings. Variation 3: This one is really wild. If you feel the reading is confused, turn the entire layout upside-down and re-do the reading with the same cards. This effectively performs both variations 1 and 2 as well as reversing every card and swapping cards 3 and 4. (See section 4.3) Variation 4: Sometimes an additional card is place on directly on top of the querent card, before the obstacle card (2) is placed across it. This card is also an environment card. If used, card 8 usually uses definition b. Comment 1: I have seen a few different (and occasionally contradicting) methods of determining whether the obstacle card (card 2) is upright or reversed. Use your own discretion. 3.3) Tree of Life Spread (10) Layout: / 1 \ / | \ 3----+----2 | \ | / | 5--\-+-/--4 |\ \|/ /| | \ 6 / | | / | \ | 7----+----8 \ | / \ 9 / | 10 Cards 3, 5, and 7 make up the Tree of Evil or the unfavorable tree Cards 2, 4, and 8 make up the Tree of Good or the favorable tree Remaining cards are outcome cards. Suggested Deal: Numerically as shown above. Reading: Card 1: Spiritual outcome Card 2: Influence of Wisdom Card 3: Influence of Intelligence Card 4: Influence of Mercy Card 5: Influence of Justice (and the quest of it) Card 6: Love of Beauty, Love, and Life Card 7: Desire for Victory Card 8: Influence of Splendor Card 9: Environment Card 10: Physical Power or Material Outcome Comment: Those with a background in Qabalism and/or the Tree of Life may find better meanings and/or other relationships between the cards. I lack such a background, so any comments on this layout would be greatly appreciated. 3.4) Four Trines Spread (12) Layout: Twelve cards are displayed in a CIRCLE. In clockwise order, starting at the left (nine o'clock) this is the numbering of the cards: 1, 5, 9, 2, 6, 10, 3, 7, 11, 4, 8, 12. 09 02 06 05 10 01 03 12 07 08 04 11 Suggested Deal: Numerically as shown. Reading: As the name suggests, there are four sets of three cards (trines) that work in conjunction with another. Trine of Life (1, 6, 11): Card 1: Personal life: health Card 6: Mental life: travel Card 11: Life of Posterity: children, love affairs, pleasure, speculation Trine of Power (2, 7, 12): Card 2: Honor and authority: business, reputation Card 7: Environment: illness, work Card 12: Wealth Social Trine (3, 8, 9): Card 3: Partners: marital, enemies Card 8: Kin and thought: siblings, intellectual matters Card 9: Associates: friends Trine of Secrets: Card 4: Things concealed in the environment Card 10: Money: debts, taxes, inheritance Card 5: Afflictions: enemies, failures, obstacles Comment 1: This layout is obviously heavily influenced by astrology. Using this layout may be confusing to those w/out an astrological background. Not having one myself I cannot make any further comments about the use of this layout. Any notes from people who are versed in both tarot and astrology would be greatly appreciated. Comment 2: Card numbering makes no sense, even from an astrological point of view. Again comments are welcome. 3.5) Twelve Houses Spread (12) Layout: Numbering is the same as the Four Trines Spread but uses a diamond formation instead of a circle 02 06 09 10 05 03 01 07 12 11 08 04 Suggested Deal: Numerically as shown Reading: Even though the deal uses the awkward scheme shown above, the cards are read by what house they are in astrologically. House one is in the same position as card 1, but house numbers increment by one going in a counter-clockwise direction. Thus, House two is in position 12, house three in position 8, and so on. 1st House (1): Physical Body, personality, interests 2nd House (12): Personal possessions 3rd House (8): Siblings, private studies, acquaintances 4th House (4): Environment 5th House (11): Pleasures, love affairs, speculation, children 6th House (7): Work, illness, pets 7th House (3): Marriage, partnerships, enemies, legal matters 8th House (10): Death, debts, gifts, possessions of others 9th House (6): Teaching, philosophy 10th House (2): Honor, business 11th House (9): Friends, hopes, wishes, and dreams 12th House (5): Self-ruin, enemies, obstacles Comment 1: This layout is obviously heavily influenced by astrology. Using this layout may be confusing to those w/out an astrological background. Not having one myself I cannot make any further comments about the use of this layout. Any notes from people who are versed in both tarot and astrology would be greatly appreciated. Comment 2: Card numbering makes no sense, even from an astrological point of view. Again comments are welcome. 3.6) Magic Cross Spread or Christian Cross Spread (13) Layout: 06 07 01 02 03 04 05 08 09 10 11 12 13 Suggested Deal: Numerically as shown Reading: Left Branch: The past Card 3: The present Lower Branch: The future Right Branch: Obstacles Upper Branch: Hopes, Wishes, and Dreams. 3.7) Wish Spread (16) Layout: 6 5 4 3 2 1 Q 9 8 7 15 14 13 12 11 10 Q - Querent card Suggested Deal: Select a card to represent the querent. Shuffle and cut deck. Deal numerically as shown. Reading: It is suggested that this reading be used if the querent has a specific wish that s/he would like to happen, hence the name. Each group of three cards has its own significance Group 1: Environment Group 4: Description of querent's wish Group 7: Opposition Group 10: Factors that will enter into this matter Group 13: Realizations of the querent (usually in the future) The nine of cups is often called the wish card. If this card should turn up anywhere in the reading, except in group 7, this would be a strong indication that some part or all of the querent's wish will come true. The closer it appears in the above numeric sequence, the sooner the wish will be realized. If the nine of cups appears in group 7, this is an indication that the wish will probably not come true; the other two cards in the group will yield the cause. If the nine of cups does not appear, this should not be taken as an indication of either fate, although other cards in the reading may confirm or deny the wish. 3.8) Pyramid Spread (21) Layout: 55 54 53 52 45 44 43 42 35 34 33 32 25 24 23 22 15 14 13 12 11 Cards 15, 25, 35, 45, and 55 are referred to as key cards Cards with the same tens digit (ie 11-15) are called a sequence Suggested Deal: Face Down, Right to Left, Bottom upward Reading: It is important to note that each key card is not only the final card in a sequence of five, but also the first key card of the next series of five. Thus 25 ends the second sequences and also starts the third. The four cards to the right of a key card represent the events previous to the time or event that the key card signifies. Key cards always represent significant events; if a card of the Major Arcana appears in a key location, it may mean that event is of great significance. This is a list of the suggested time intervals each key card represents. Key 1 - Present Key 2 - Immediate Future Key 3 - Intermediate Turn of Events Key 4 - Distant Future Key 5 - End of the Matter Comment 1: Other than its aesthetic appeal, I have not seen an adequate explanation for the design of the layout. Otherwise this is just a heavily modified line spread. Comment 2: Note that the time intervals given here are a guideline. First, in the example reading given to me for this layout and due to the nature of the question, key 4 was more appropriately labeled the present and keys 1, 2, and 3 were in the past. Secondly, if the matter is to be resolved in a short period of time, the term 'Distant Future' would only be distant with respect to the matter, but not necessarily distant with respect to this persons life or our time frame 3.9) Three Sevens Spread (21) Layout: 21 20 19 18 17 16 15 - Future 14 13 12 11 10 09 08 - Present 07 06 05 04 03 02 01 - Past Suggested Deal: Right to Left, Bottom upwards as numbered above Reading: Each row represents events or influences for the time period indicated. Adjacent card in the same row modify one another. Ordering of cards in a row are not necessarily significant. Comment 1: One variation of this reading is that the middle card of each row (18, 11, and 04) should represent the most significant event of the time period shown. This makes cards farther out on the edges of the row (21, 15, 14, etc.) less significant. Comment 2: One variation of this reading is that adjacent cards in the same column may also influence each other. 3.10) Sephiroth Spread (26) To do this spread, remove all 22 major arcana and the Ace of each suit. These are the only 26 cards used in the reading. Layout: Row 1: 03 18 04 17 Row 2: M C Row 3: 02 19 | 05 16 Row 4: 20 | 06 Row 5: ASC --+-- DES 22 21 Row 6: 01 | 15 Row 7: 11 10 | 14 07 Row 8: N C Row 9: 12 09 13 08 Row 2 begins at the same height where row 1 ends. Row 3 begins at the midpoint of Row 2 Row 5 begins where Row 3 ends Row 7 begins where Row 5 ends Rows 4 and 6 lie at the midpoints of Rows 3, 5, and 7 Rows 8 and 9 are symmetrical to rows 1 and 2 Cards are paired if their sum equals 21 (i.e. 3 and 18 are paired) Paired cards should be adjacent to each other. Pair 3/18 should meet at the same vertical line which divides the card ASC in half. Follow symmetry. Each pair is called a 'throne'. The throne number is the same as the lowest number of the pair. (i.e. 3/18 make up the third throne) Pair 22/21 is called the Staff Note that ASC, DES, NC, and MC each denote only one card. Suggested Deal: The four Aces must go in the ASC, DES, NC, and MC position. Shuffle the four aces. Place the first Ace in the position marked ASC and continue in a clockwise direction. (Humorous note: the Doane/Keyes book says to shuffle and three-cut these cards as you would the regular deck. Is there actually anybody out there who has ever bothered three-cutting a four card deck?) The Major Arcana go in the remaining 22 locations. Shuffle the Arcana and deal as shown numerically in the above diagram. Reading: The four aces represent the Astral Kingdoms and relate to the four angles of the horoscope. Astrologically ASC represents ascendence or first house and pertains to life. MC stand for Midheaven or tenth house and pertains to honor or business. DES stands for descendence or seventh house and pertains to love or war. NC stands for Nadir or fourth house and relates to secrets or outcomes. You should start your reading based on which kingdom most closely relates to the question your querent has asked. (ie if the querent asks about marriage, start the reading in the descending house) The following is a suggested list of how to interpret each Ace in each location: Ace | Ascendence | Midheaven | Descendence | Nadir ============================================================== Pent | Strength | Favorable | Great | unfortunate acle | Vigor | but req. | Strength | outcome | Vitality | effort | | -------------------------------------------------------------- Wands | Favorable | Great | Difficulty | struggle | Work or | Power | caused by | or small | Responsibility | | Difference | return -------------------------------------------------------------- Cups | Pleasures may | Pleasure | Joy and | pleasant | deplete | may ruin | Happiness | result | vitality | honor | | -------------------------------------------------------------- Swords | sickness/death | failure | disputes | favorable | | | | outcome -------------------------------------------------------------- Note that Asc and Des have three thrones while Mid and Nadir have only two. When reading the Asc or Des thrones, the center throne (1 or 6) will indicate the most important factor of that throne. Determine which kingdom is most appropriate to the Question. Cards in the thrones of this kingdom indicate what conditions caused the outcome suggested by whichever Ace appearing in that kingdom. The kingdom opposite the Question is the opposition. It thrones detail what opposes the querent. The kingdom immediately clockwise the Question represent the events which will lead to the conclusion. The kingdom counterclockwise to the Question yields the outcome of the matter. Its thrones give more specific detail of that end. If the whole reading or any part of it seem contradicting, the staff will reveal why the answer was unclear. Comment: This layout is influenced by astrology. Using this layout may be confusing to those w/out an astrological background. Not having one myself I cannot make any further comments about the use of this layout. Any notes from people who are versed in both tarot and astrology would be greatly appreciated. 3.11) Spread of Thirty-Six (aka The Inarticulately Named Spread) Layout: six rows of six 36 35 34 33 32 31 30 29 28 27 26 25 24 23 22 21 20 19 18 17 16 15 14 13 - Future 12 11 10 09 08 07 - Present 06 05 04 03 02 01 - Past Suggested Deal: Left to Right, Bottom up Reading: The first three rows should be read from right to left, bottom up. Each of these rows are associated with their own time interval as shown above. Cards whose sum total 37 are related. Card 36 should be used to either modify, clarify, or gain more information about the details of card 1. Similarly, card 35 modifies card 2, and so on. 3.12) Solar Spread (49) Layout: Seven rows of seven 49 48 47 46 45 44 43 -- Saturn 42 41 40 39 38 37 36 -- Jupiter 35 34 33 32 31 30 29 -- Mars 28 27 26 25 24 23 22 -- Sun 21 20 19 18 17 16 15 -- Venus 14 13 12 11 10 09 08 -- Mercury 07 06 05 04 03 02 01 -- Moon Suggested Deal: Right to Left, Bottom up. Reading: In each row, the middle card (4, 11, 18, 25, etc) represents present conditions or influences. The three cards to the right represent the past; the three to the left, the future. Each row will relate to either a certain aspect of life or certain people (or perhaps both) Row 1, the Moon: Domestic or social concerns. Women. Row 2, Mercury: Intellectual concerns. Siblings. Row 3, Venus: Love, friendship. Money, art. Row 4, the Sun: Honor. Health. Superiors. Men. Row 5, Mars: Creation. Sex. Struggle. Misfortune. Enemies. Row 6, Jupiter: Business. Religion. Professionals. Row 7, Saturn: Illness. Loss. Secrets. Elders. Comment: This is another reading with heavy astrological influences. Again, your interpretations may vary and comments are welcome. 3.13) Life Spread (50) Layout: 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 14 37 23 13 36 38 24 12 /----\ 25 11 35 | 50 | 39 26 10 34 \-41-/ 40 27 09 33 32 31 30 29 28 08 07 06 05 04 03 02 01 The book which I am getting this out of shows one diagram for the layout but then shows an actual layout with cards in a different order. I will attempt to describe both. Diagram: Cards 34 - 40 form a pyramid starting at the at the places shown by cards 34 and 40 and peak at card 37. Cards 41-49 are placed in a circle surrounding card 50. Card 41 is in the correct position; others follow clockwise. Layout: Cards 34, 43, 42, 41, 49, 48, and 40 are all placed in a row. Card 41 is the lowest and the cards to the side are raised very slightly, each card going up the further out you proceed forming a very broad V shape. Cards 35, 44, 50, 47, and 39 follow a similar pattern but are not packed in as closely together and raise up making a steeper V. Cards 45 and 46 lie above cards 44, 50, and 47 and about halfway up cards 35 and 39; they are centered in their row. Cards 36 and 38 lie to the sides of cards 35 and 39 but are one row up. Essentially it looks more like a series of cascading arches more than it does a pyramid and circle. Experiment with both of these for awhile and try to find something that works. It would be difficult to show this with only text graphics. Suggested Deal: Numerically as shown Reading: As the name suggests, this should be used for a general life reading; a specific question is not required or suggested but may be used to focus on one area of the querent's life. Cards 1 - 28, the material square: These cards represent activities on the physical plane. These cards reflect only physical events and conditions; spiritual interpretations should rarely be considered. Interpretations should be directed toward the physical body, possessions, people, and the like. Cards 29 - 40, the mental trine: These cards represent events in the mental plane. Consider those interpretations dealing with intellectual pursuits and attainment of knowledge. Cards 41 - 49, the spiritual circle: These cards represent activities on a spiritual level. Consider interpretations that relate to spiritual changes and goals. Card 50, dominant life factor: This card represents the most important event that occurs and affects all three planes. This card will show the most dominant influence shaping the life of the querent. 4) General Variations This is a list of variations which can apply to many or all of the layouts listed above. 4.1) Additional Card Modifiers Sometimes one card in a reading may be ambiguous in meaning. Some tarot readers will often throw another card on top of an ambiguous card in order to gain more insight into the matter. For example, in one reading of mine, the querent was engaged and also a college student. The Seven of Pentacles came up in the environment card, an indication that money may be a problem. Since the querent had to worry about both tuition money and trying to adjust to moving out from under his parents support, it was unclear where the root of this monetary concern was coming from. I turned the next card in the deck over on top of the Seven of Pentacles; the card was the Two of Cups, indicating that the marriage and moving out his own would be the main cause of his monetary problems. I have occasionally seen tarot readers put up to three modifier cards in one position, so there is not a one card limit. Remember, however, that putting too many modifiers on the board can also create more haziness than it does clarity, so don't saturate the board either. In short, this is something that, generally, is only used when it is either absolutely necessary or when the reader has an instinct that such a card will be helpful. 4.2) Extending the Path This is a modification that can be used whenever there is some sort of sequential path or line in the reading. It is, however, very infrequently used on non-temporal lines. Sometimes the querent (or the reader) may wish to more information about what is to happen in the future than what is currently displayed in the layout. To gain more information, the temporal line may be stretched further into the future by simply adding another card onto the layout and the end of the current line. More than one card may be added if desired. On the opposite end, sometimes events of the present or future may not have obvious precursors. The temporal path may also be extended farther into the past to help gain some insight as to the causes of the present and/or future states. 4.3) Rotation the Layout Usually only used for unclear readings. Similar to the variation described in the Celtic Cross, if a particular layout is symmetrical you may turn the layout upside-down and re-do the reading with the same cards. Interpretations of this variations differ. Some readers will say that occasionally the reader forgets to rotate the deck toward him and that reversing the layout adjusts for this mistake. (One reader I know tends to make a big deal about the rotation of the deck before and after the shuffle and whether a reading is done from the perspective of the querent or the reader since they usually sit opposite one another.) Another account says that if you turn the layout upside-down that you are reading the opposite outcome, so such a reading should be negated to get the results one is actually looking for. Use your own discretion and stick with what whatever fits in with your schema. 4.4) Yes/No The variation described in 2.4 can actually be applied to any of these layouts, although I doubt anybody would want to do so for some of the larger readings like the Solar Spread. Even if a yes or no question is not asked by the querent, some readers may do such a tally to indicate a favorable or unfavorable outcome for the querent. 5) References Danburg-Wyld, Mark, Tarot.FAQ (v. 1.1). 10/22/1993. (danburg@ccwf.cc.utexas.edu) Doane, Doris Chase and King Keyes, _How to Read Tarot Cards_. Harper & Row Publishers, New York. 1971. (Actually not a very good book. Extremely strict about how things should be interpreted, but it does contain twelve different layouts) Kaplan, Stuart R., _The Rider Tarot Deck Instructions_. U.S. Games Systems, Inc., Stanford, Connecticut. 1971. (Oh, like I _wouldn't_ put this in?) Ozaniec, Naomi, _The Element Tarot Handbook. Initiation Into the Key Elements of the Tarot_. Element Books Limited, Shaftesbury, Dorset. 1994. (No actual layouts in this book, but other than astrology it contains EVERYTHING you could possibly need to know about interpreting the tarot. If your serious about learning tarot outside the realms of divination, this is the book to get)