There's a terrific new book out called Tarot Spreads and Layouts by Jeanne Fiorini that is an excellent manual for beginners and intermediate tarot readers. She covers a wide range of subjects from the importance of framing a question, no-no's, how to use your intuition, significators to reversals as well as multiple layouts that can be used, using the skills learned in the beginning of the book.
The concept for this book first started at the 2009 readers studio hosted by Ruth Ann and Wald Amberstone and is a wonderful introduction into the dynamics of tarot spreads. She explains in her introduction that it is important to remember that there is no big mystery, magical arcane formula to a spread or layout but it is the fact that it is a statement of intention that establishes the context in which the cards are read.
The ground rules section of Tarot Spreads and layouts is an important part of this book as it speaks of the need to formulate a clear, concise question and is an essential part of any spread or layout. A correctly framed question serves to bring the cards and their positions into focus and helps us to understand the context in which they relate in a tarot spread. Another important topic is our beliefs behind the question and how this may affect our interpretations.
Ingrained perceptions and beliefs may influence and affect not only your query but how your interpretations are influenced by these perceptions. There are no right or wrong interpretations but working with your beliefs such as destiny or free will, does God exist, to what extent does spirit intervene in your life and why are we on this earth can all affect how we see our world and experiences in it.
Another great section is the No-No's, now I know I have been guilty of these little errors when I first started reading but Joanne really brings these issues to light. One of the big no-no's in tarot is the urge to peek in other people's windows. She discusses the fact that asking questions about things like people or issues that don't directly involve us is a matter of etiquette and not to be done. She says that a good rule of thumb is never to ask questions that you wouldn't bring up at the neighborhood barbecue.
In template introduction, Jeanne illustrates templates for particular lines of questions, starting with the one card draw, the three card draw and from there branches out into helper hindrance spreads and general overview layouts as well as questions of timing and spreads using a significator. With each layout and spread she gives helpful hints as well as ways in which to expand the spread or layout by asking key questions and providing insightful thoughts to ponder.
This is an excellent book for beginners and covers so much material that one needs to know in order to begin reading the tarot whether for yourself or for others and I've only just touched upon a few of the important information contained within this book. There is so much useful information, that I found myself wishing it had been around when I first started reading. Covering many topics and concerns, Tarot Spreads and Layouts is a valuable asset in any library.
Publisher: Schiffer Books
Author Jeanne Fiorini