The “Round It Goes” Decision-Making Spread

There has been some on-line discussion lately about the Random Number Generators that tarot software apps use to select the cards for a reading. I was resistant to the idea for a long time because it seemed too disconnected from the tactile “feel” of the cards to produce valid results. But eventually I realized that the Universe doesn’t care whether you shuffle the deck or push a button; randomness is randomness, and it’s intent that counts.

Consider this spread the analog version of the RNG. There is a New Age shop owner in Brattleboro, VT who hit upon a novel way for clients to pull cards for their reading: she has a large, vertical roulette wheel with all 78 cards pasted on it mounted to the wall. The client spins the wheel as many times as necessary to pick the cards. It’s reminiscent of the opening line on the old Ted Mack Amateur Hour game show, where a wheel was spun to choose the order of participants: “Round and round she goes, where she stops nobody knows.” I really liked the sideshow flair of this innovation (“theater of tarot” to the max) and decided to create a spread that employs it, along with the use of face-down “hidden” cards.

After shuffling the deck, eight cards are dealt face-down in a circular pattern, and a board-game spinner is placed at the center in a way that minimizes the overlap of cards in the pointer’s line-of-sight. The spinner is only spun twice, once to select the hidden “focus” card for the main line of inquiry (the “heart of the matter”) and another time to offer “second opinion” testimony. (Coming up with the same card on the second spin stops the process at one iteration.) In each case, the chosen card is turned face-up to start the reading.

The deck is shuffled again and two more cards are laid down as an extension of the main “focus” card, then shuffled a third time if necessary and two additional cards are placed adjacent to the “second opinion” card. The three-card sets are then read as “Option 1” and, if necessary, “Option 2” for the querent’s consideration in addressing the subject of the reading. Reversal can be used with this spread.

Round It Goes Spread.JPG

5 thoughts on “The “Round It Goes” Decision-Making Spread

  1. This may seem a silly question, but as a gal with a Virgo Stellium (Lol) I’ve realized I need a GOOD lesson on the best practice of shuffling the cards. I’ve never received training for this, and feel it necessary- do you perhaps have any “tips” for this?

    Thank you in advance,

    Liked by 1 person

    • If you’re good at it from playing-card shuffling, riffle-shuffling provides the most thorough mixing of the cards. (I’m terrible at it – I tend to warp the cards – so I don’t do it). Some people recommend riffling seven times to get the best shuffle. Instead, I deal the deck out randomly into seven piles, reassemble them in random order, and then shuffle overhand a few times. You can also spread the cards out in a big “puddle” in the middle of the table (especially if they’re very large cards), stir them around with your hands, and then gather them back up into a stack. I still shuffle overhand a few times after I do this.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you, this is helpfu!
        I am using rider Waite, I just want to be sure the cards are evenly distributed for the best reading, hence my question. I think your tips are great and I plan to try these moving forward 🙂
        Thanks again!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: A “Round It Goes” Example Reading | Parsifal's Wheel Tarot & Astrology

  3. There is a fine distinction between thoroughly randomizing a deck and shuffling it for the reading. We randomize to ensure there is no “clumping” of the cards, either “out-of-the-box” or left over from a previous reading. Starting with a well-scrambled deck, we then shuffle it sufficiently to put the cards in the proper order to tell the story.


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