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Friday, March 8, 2013

REVIEW: The Deck of 1000 Spreads


The Deck of 1000 Spreads:
Your Tarot Toolkit for Creating the Perfect Spread for Any Situation
by Tierney Sadler
Llewellyn  Publications
59 labeled and 6 blank cards
137-page paperback guidebook
ISBN-10: 0738733393
ISBN-13: 978-0738733395

TOP LINE (formerly Bottom Line)

I loved the concept of this deck the minute I heard about it. With Virgo rising, I'm always drawn to systems and methods and things that organize and arrange the pieces of things. As a "woman of a certain age" I appreciate memory assistance. Tierney Sadler's Deck of 1000 Spreads does both. And the real beauty is that it also works if you prefer to be spontaneous and intuitive with your readings.

My little Virgo ascendant was immediately attracted to comments such as "A spread...provides the structure and context that string a collection of symbols and meanings into a story" and "without some sort of organization, it's all just a random pile of words and information" and "The Deck of 1000 Spreads' sixty-five cards...are broken down into five colored sets of cards, each representing a different part of the reading's story."

My free-wheeling Sagittarius Sun loved to read about "The Fully Divined Spread" and the "Extreme Spreadcrafter Variation" and comments like "Using the Deck of 1000 Spreads, you may come up with all sorts of spread combinations that don't fit the guidelines -- or exceptions -- noted in this chapter, and that's okay. There is no right or wrong way to construct a spread."

[This paragraph added later because I forgot to include it.] The other thing I love about this deck is that I don't have to remember the positions when I do readings with a large number of cards (like, more than 3). Instead of glancing back and forth at a layout on paper, I can see the positional definition right there above the card I drew into that position.

I did a 3-card reading for a client just now using the cards "What to Leave in the Past", "What to Use in the Future," and "Resolution." It worked beautifully! The client described the reading as "incredibly accurate." I will be sharing readings with these cards here on the blog soon.

Whether you're a beginner or Old Tarot Soul, I'm convinced that you'll find this set of cards entertaining, useful, and surprising. I truly do wish I had thought of this idea and, more importantly, that I had taken it from idea to publication!


"The Deck of 1000 Spreads is an utterly unique spreadcrafting tool for tarot readers of all levels. Each oversized, color-coded card features a spread position (such as "situation" or "outcome") and a description of this position. Mix and match the cards to customize a spread for any tarot reading imaginable—or retool the classics. Crafting an infinite array of spreads is easy with this groundbreaking system that can be used with any tarot deck."


Tierney Sadler is a tarotist, mystic and a career writer, having worked in the advertising industry for more than 25 years. She's worked with tarot nearly as long, first as a hobbyist, then as a professional reader and now as a teacher and author. Tierney is currently working on writing her first spiritual book based somewhat on the teachings at her blog _The Daily Draw_. For tips on how to use the Deck of 1000 Spreads, visit _Deck of 1000 Spreads_  or "like" the deck on Facebook's Deck of 1000 Spreads page.


This boxed set consists of a paperback guidebook and 65 cards measuring 3 by 9 inches. Printed in white at the top of each card is a Spread Position (such as "What to leave in the past"). In the middle, also in white, is a more detailed description of that position. At the bottom is the title of the category in which the card belongs. They are color coded by category as follows, using an analogy that compares a Tarot reading to a novel:
  • Green : Topic, Theme, or Plot
  • Blue : Influences, Story Elements, or Plot Twists
  • Orange : Characters or People
  • Purple : Timing
  • Red : Outcomes or Endings

For example, one of the purple cards is titled "What to leave in the past." In the center of the card are the words "An attitude or situation it's time to let go of in regard to the spread's topic. Usually placed somewhere to the left of the topic card." At the bottom is the category: Timing. Six of the cards are blank so you can write your own titles or categories on them (or use a sticky note to label them temporarily).

The guidebook includes the following sections:
  • Basics (Getting a Feel for How Spreads Work; Getting to Know Your Spread Cards)
  • Spreadcrafting (Retooling and Revisioning Classic Spreads; Creating Original Spreads; Combining Divination and Spreadcrafting)
  • Sample Spreads (Having Fun with Traditional Spreads; Inspired Spreads)

In her Introduction, Sadler presents the four elements that contribute to every reading:
  • The Cards
  • The Reader
  • The Querent
  • The Spread

By now you are beginning to see why my Virgo ascendant takes great delight in this system. But wait! What's this? A subsection titled "Breaking All the Rules"! Sadler writes: "As my confidence grew with the cards, so did my desire to question the status quo. . . I encourage people first to know the rules; second, to question the rules; and third, to rewrite the rules if they find a better way." (At which point my Sagittarius Sun is leaping about and cheering.)

Sadler tells us that her purpose in creating this Deck of 1000 Spreads was to help readers do the following:
  • Lay out spreads you get from books, then put the books down and focus on your reading
  • Craft your own spreads
  • Discover new spreadcrafting strategies
  • Collaborate more closely with your querents on readings
  • Divine spreads for the first time ever

I'm here to say that by the end of the book, you'll understand how to do all of the above, and be ready to choose the approach(es) that work(s) best for you. To see a reading I did with this deck, click HERE.

In accordance with the FTC Guidelines for blogging and endorsements, I hereby disclose that this product was provided by the publisher for free. Other than the occasional review copy, I receive no monetary or in-kind compensation for my reviews.  The substance of my reviews is not influenced by whether I do or do not receive a review copy.


  1. I was glad to review this review as I was wondering what Tierney's new deck was all about. I think from what you say it would be a good help to those who are not use to designing spreads. I have always thought that specifically designed spreads deal with a question more directly and effectively than say using a standard spread like the CC for example.

    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi Helen. It will be helpful, as you say, for those who aren't sure how to go about designing spreads. But I find that the cards also help me because I don't have to remember what each position is when I do a larger spread. The positional definition is right there above the card I drew. And I'm looking forward to drawing Tierney's cards randomly to create "surprise" spreads!

  2. If I hadn't already ordered it, this review would certainly have persuaded me :) Can't wait for my copy to arrive!

    1. Hi Inner Whispers. It's great fun and useful, too!


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~ Zanna