What is a Deck Interview Spread?

As I mentioned in a previous post, I recently did a re-create on my personal deck interview spread. It’s a ten-card spread with room for jumper cards to add additional input when they show up. I’m so happy with it, in fact, that I’ve recently begun the process of re-interviewing all my decks. This, of course, is going to take a good deal of time.

In your reply, you asked me what a deck interview spread is, and it inspired me to make this post.

GypsyFirst, I have to explain what a “spread” is. Essentially, in the tarot (or any fortune telling that involves cards) there are two “basic” methods for using the cards. (I’m sure there are a variety of other more esoteric ways as well, but I’m only covering the two basic methods.)

There is the “free style” method, which involves having an inquiry in mind and drawing a card. Then, from the response of the card you then develop another related query that is brought forward and a new card is drawn. In this way, it is like having a conversation. You ask, the cards answer, and you continue the discussion until you feel it is time to stop. The “one card draw” is essentially of this ilk, as there is simply a single draw in response to one’s inquiry.

Then you have the second method, which is using a spread. This is a pre-planned pattern in which you put the cards down, like a seating chart. Each “seat” has a question, topic, or person assigned to it, and a card is drawn and placed in that spot, essentially then representing (or answering) whatever that spot is supposed to signify.

I use both of these methods, depending on what I’m using the cards for and my mood.

So, then we come to a Deck Interview spread.

This is a spread used to communicate directly with the deck to assist in getting familiar with the deck and its energy and personality.


You can see the spread above, where I have positions 1 thru 10, plus secondary positions behind each card for if I come upon extra “jumper cards” in the process of pulling cards for the interview. These secondary positions are not necessary to fill, but are there more because some decks just have a lot to say and an extra card or two will “jump” out of the deck during a card pull in a demand to be included.

When doing an interview spread, you are bonding with your deck and “feeling it out” for how it feels and what types of tasks it will be happiest performing. The questions for my spread are…

  1. What is your most important characteristic?
    This may include the deck’s personality or energy, what makes it unique, or how the deck will deliver advice.
  2. What are you here to teach me?
    Provides insight into what to expect from the deck and what the deck can teach you through working with it.
  3. What kind of readings will you excel at?
    Indicates what type of readings the deck is most comfortable with.
  4. What is your greatest strength?
    Indicates what the deck is absolute best at.
  5. What other strengths would you like to share?
    Provides a more well-rounded understanding of the deck’s strengths as a whole.
  6. What is your greatest weakness?
    Indicates what the deck will be terrible at, or types of readings it can’t do.
  7. What other limitations would you like to share?
    Will provide a more well-rounded understanding of the deck’s limitations and weaknesses as a whole.
  8. How can I best learn from and collaborate with you?
    Provides guidance on how to best handle and work with the deck.
  9. What do you see as the potential outcome of our relationship?
  10. Is there any additional information you would like to share about yourself?

There are books that can be purchased that are filled with spreads to try, and many decks also come with a suggested spread or two in their “Little White Book” (or other guidebook). You can also find a multitude of spreads on the internet by doing simple searches.

Although I am the author of this specific Deck Interview spread, the practice of deck interview as a whole is not a new concept, and neither are the questions I’ve chosen to ask.

2 thoughts on “What is a Deck Interview Spread?

  1. *Reads through this and takes a couple of minutes to let it soak in and absorb, then nods* Okay, yeah, that makes sense. Considering what you are taking from the cards and each deck being different, this makes sense to me. And explains some of why some decks speak to you more clearly or are more comfortable than others(other than just their appearance/artwork and how they feel in your hands)

    Thank you for sharing, love, and for explaining this a little more thoroughly for me. I appreciate the time you take to help me understand

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Caring for a Tarot Deck | Twisting the Leaf

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