Alchemical Thoughts

Posts Tagged ‘Deck Interview

Doing this deck interview for practice as well as to show a bit how the deck works. You can find my review of this deck over at The Itinerant Librarian (link to the review). Using the same common spread I have been using so far. Top card is the initial spread position, then follow the other cards in a clockwise motion.

Deck Interview Spread Revealed Santa Muerte Tarot_031519 small

Deck Interview Spread for Santa Muerte Tarot done by me. Top position is first position, then read the spread clockwise.

A side note: As I was shuffling the deck to do the spread, Justice- XI card jumped out. At

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Justice-XI card from the Santa Muerte Tarot. This card could not wait and jumped out as I was shuffling the deck in preparation to do and read the interview spread. Over time this has become one of my favorite depictions of the Justice card.

the time I was doing this, the concept and idea of Justice has been on my mind for a few days. I’ve even found myself doing light research on Themis, the ancient goddess of justice and order. The card jumped out right away. Perhaps this is also why the deck is so appealing to me. Santa Muerte, Death, is truly impartial; she will come for all; she does not discriminate. In a world filled with corruption, cheating, lack of fairness, Santa Muerte and Justice are constant. It may take time, but they will arrive. I’ve been feeling a longing for balance, fairness, and well, justice. I am not fearful; in fact, I find the Justice-XI (or VIII if you use a Marseilles style deck) very comforting, as if telling me it will work out in the end, you just keep to your good and honest path. I am reminded also of a Bible verse of all things that often guides me as an educator and librarian: “But they that are learned shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and they that instruct many to justice, as stars for all eternity” (Daniel 12:3, Douay-Rheims Bible).

Let’s get on with the spread.

Tell me about yourself. What is your most important characteristic?

The Star- XVII (Major Arcana). Start on a positive, hopeful sign. This is a deck to give hope and comfort, something to look up to. When you feel down, this is a deck to rediscover inspiration and hope. This is an “aim high” deck. This depiction of The Star is very watery, so a deck that is good for emotional matters, reminder to go with the flow, find your beacon, and follow it.

What are your strengths as a deck?

Page of Swords (Minor Arcana- Suit of Swords). This deck will give you the news, whether good or bad. It will encourage you to try new things as you search for truth and knowledge. This is also a deck that encourages study and reflection, while keeping a sense of wonder. Put in the time, work, and reflection, and you’ll learn and gain knowledge and insight. A good deck to carefully evaluate things.

What are your limits as a deck?

The World -XXI (Major Arcana). I found this interesting. Limit may be in “big picture” issues or aspects. If you are looking for a deck to reinforce broad dreams and big schemes, which may or not be good or half baked, this deck is not it. The World often indicates endings; this is not a deck of endings. This is not a “go wild” deck. Still, the Advice of the Dead for this card is reassuring: “Do not give up and do not be afraid. The road you have taken is the right one and whatever difficulty you find will be brief and you will achieve the results you desire” (23).

What are you here to teach me?

Five of Swords (Minor Arcana- Suit of Swords). Truth, whether it hurts or not. You cannot escape truth no matter how you try to run away from it or evade it. Also to remind you at times if being right is worth alienating others. Deck can remind you there are times you will need to confront. In confronting, you might not be able to avoid, but a different angle may help you get through obstacles.

How can I best learn and collaborate with you?

Ten of Cups (Minor Arcana- Suit of Cups). Go with the flow and keep the faith. Keep an open mind and be ready for transformations. Also with practice. Set your intention to learn, trust and develop your intuition, and get to practicing. Again, go with the flow, follow your vision and bliss.

What is the potential outcome of our working relationship?

The Moon- XVII (Major Arcana). Right away I get intuition. Working with this deck, I can better develop my intuition. Also ability to look deep within to see truth, to see what may lie under the surface or hidden. Things may not be as they seem, but this deck can help lift the veil, point out where the illusions may be, and even what those illusions are. Look within, see your true self.


On an additional notes, I drew Three Major Arcana cards, which indicates power of this deck and working with it. Also the first and last cards in the spread were Major Arcana and in sequence. It gave this spread when reading it a sense of closing the circle. This spread reflects the strong connection I am getting with this deck, depth comes to mind. A deck that will tell it like it is but also allow me to study, reflect, learn, and in the end, find bliss and good.


I did this spread a bit after I wrote the review for the Witches Tarot (link to my review). It is the same spread I used when I did the deck interview for the Gilded Tarot deck (link to that deck interview). I will probably keep using this spread, which is fairly common, until I find a different one to try out.

For the layout, the top card is number one, and then the order goes clockwise.

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Deck interview spread revealed. Top card is position one, then follow spread clockwise.

Tell me about yourself. What is your most important characteristic?

Ten of Cups (Suit of Cups- Minor Arcana). Good deck for questions dealing in relationships, family, emotional issues. A positive deck. One good for positive uplifting messages. A deck you can use with friends and family. Also easy going deck good for my learning. A quote from the deck’s companion book: “Naturally, work and care are required to maintain these good relationships, but a positive and happy outcome will be achieved” (111). This tells me this is a good deck to exercise imagination and intuition, but you do have to put in work and practice. If you do, it will pay off well.

What are your strengths as a deck?

Knight of Wands (Suit of Wands- Minor Arcana). This is a deck of action. A deck of good positive energy. It can encourage you to follow your passions, set your intentions, and act. If you are hesitating, this deck tells you to go for it. Encouragement. However, be cautious, do not be overly impulsive. It will encourage you to move, accept changes that may come. Not a deck for staying still or passive.

What are your limits as a deck?

Queen of Pentacles (Suit of Pentacles- Minor Arcana). Some limitations regarding material things and issues. Possibly not as good for ground, in part due to the fiery Knight of Wands encouraging movement. Yet the deck can still be reliable and dependable. Still, this deck may nurture a bit, but it is not going to mother you.

What are you here to teach me?

Two of Cups (Suit of Cups- Minor Arcana). A second card from the suit of cups. The lesson is to learn to rely more on intuition and imagination. This card tells you that you can have a good, positive relationship with the deck, Tarot, and cartomancy, but you do have to commit to help make it happen. It can also teach you how to bond with the deck so you are comfortable and confident in readings for yourself and others.

How can I best learn and collaborate with you?

King of Cups (Suit of Cups- Minor Arcana). Third card from the suit of cups. Message of emotions and intuition coming forth pretty clear. Learn by keeping emotions in control. Sure, express emotion but do not overdo it. Rely more on intuition, letting the deck guide you as you learn more. Good discipline will pay off. Do not be afraid of that intuition and imagination. Keep an open mind and take charge. Commit, and you’ll get good solid advice. Quote from the companion book: “The lesson from the King of Cups is that wisdom comes from looking within. Temper your counsel of others with compassion and affection” (124). Be willing and ready to look within, to reflect. And do not be too hard on yourself.

What is the potential outcome of our working relationship?

Ace of Cups (Suit of Cups- Minor Arcana). Four cards total out of six from the suit of cups in this spread. A lot of water, which can indicate cleansing and fluidity. With this card, a lot of potential and opportunity. As noted previously, keep an open mind. Working with this deck means opportunity to reflect, to look within to find lessons to improve. Study with this deck can be a purifying element, one to bring calm and self reflection, and opportunities to help others find their own truths as well.



My few readers may be aware that I recently started learning to use and read Tarot cards. These days, my learning deck is the Gilded Tarot by Ciro Marchetti. I have been doing a little studying, reading, and working on my Tarot journal. One of the exercises I have found helpful in my learning is doing a daily card draw. After I do my morning writing on my personal journal, I shuffle the cards, and I draw a single card to get a theme and/or lesson for the day. It has helped me to gradually learn to read the cards and their meanings. So far, I had not done any spreads until I saw a couple of spreads on how to interview a Tarot deck as a way to bond better with it, so I went ahead and did this one. This is my first ever Tarot spread reading, and I think it turned out very well. I think I will keep doing this exercise, or ones similar to this one (there are variants), when I get a new deck added to my collection.

I did this spread on July 30, 2016.  The photos below show the spread as I laid it initially, and then revealed in full. If you click on the photos, you can see the details better.

Tell me about yourself. What is your most important characteristic?

Card XVII (17- Major Arcana): The Star. There is much hope and inspiration to be found in the cards. For me, this is a beautiful card, and it is one of my favorites in this deck. Maybe the deck is starting out making a good impression. The deck starts by telling me that I can find hope and inspiration in these cards. I can also find beauty and get in touch with emotions, imagination, and dreams. The water suggests emotions as well as fluidity. When things get dark, there is some hope and inspiration to guide me onward. This deck will also help me explore my intuition a bit more, something I could use some work on. This is also reinforced by the number 17, which is a number of intuition. For me, this definitely rings true. It is why I switched from the Marseilles deck to this one. The visual style helps my intuition and memory better. I may be more of a textual learner, but I can still gain benefit from learning visually and from exploring my intuition. The Star for me also speaks of beacons, guidance. Much as I learned about the North Star as a guide, this deck can provide a beacon of hope and guidance when needed. Overall this is a positive deck that can offer hope, enlightenment, intuition, and guidance.

What are your strengths as a deck?

Card XVI (16-Major Arcana): The Tower. I have to admit that my initial reaction to this card was “oh dear deity!” This is a strong card, and it startled me. But that is the message of this deck: this deck can and will at times startle you. It can shake your foundations. It can help destroy old misconceptions. It may shake you so you see things in a new light. A strength of this deck is that it can be blunt. It can help shake me out of routine and complacency. It make make fall, but it is also so I can learn once more to pick myself back up and rebuild. This deck says, “I’ll give it to you straight, and I will shake you hard if needed to get you to listen.” The deck also says, “don’t get too arrogant, or I’ll bring you back down to size and humility.” I found interesting that The Tower is the card that numerically precedes The Star, which is also the first card I drew now. It’s as if the message there may be need for disruption, even violent change, but this is necessary so that new hope and enlightenment can happen. Sometimes you have to shake things, and at times shake them hard, for change, learning, and understanding to take place. A strength of this deck is that it can startle you, but it is so you can see, learn, and grow towards enlightenment and wisdom.

What are your limits as a deck?

Card III (3- Major Arcana): The Empress. I admit that initially I am not sure what to make of this. Are there some limits in terms of feminine aspects? Are there limits in terms of reflecting on topics like sensuality, and not just sex and erotica but sensual elements? I am getting more questions than answers here. Maybe this deck at times may bring up those questions and other questions, but I may have to seek answers elsewhere.

The Empress is also associated with fertility and creativity. Perhaps there are limits to what the deck can offer in terms of creativity. It could be saying, “I’ll give the first steps, ideas, hints, etc., but you then need to expand.” You get the seeds, maybe the fertilizer too, but it’s  up to you to plant and nurture. This deck can inspire but you do the work of nurturing and tending the garden. Your mama will teach you, but she’s not doing it for you. For me, by the way, this is another favorite card in the deck: a strong woman who is seductive yet wise and motherly, also orderly.

What are you here to teach me?

Page of Pentacles (Suit of Pentacles- Minor Arcana).  Here to teach me to stay grounded, feet firmly on the ground, and to keep it real. But the deck is also here to bring good news and lessons. Sure, you can look up to the stars but remember to keep those feet on the ground, in reality. The page is a young man, a reminder that I still have much to learn both in Tarot as in life. The peacock indicates prosperity; I am not expecting literal wealth (but hey, if it comes I am grabbing it) but more prosperity in daily life through learning and growth. Deck may bring good news, but it will teach me to be realistic, remind me of staying grounded and humble.

How can I best learn and collaborate with you (the deck)?

Two of Pentacles (Suit of Pentacles- Minor Arcana). Well, this is interesting. Presence of pentacles continues. Being earthy as I am, a Capricorn, I see this as encouraging. It continues the idea of staying grounded and keeping it real. The man here also has his feet firmly on the ground. But there is also water, the moon, a ship, and even a dolphin behind him. Emotions, imagination, and intuition come into play as well. I can best learn if I work to juggle and balance all those elements. As the man juggles and balances the pentacles, a rainbow forms. Learn to keep intuition and emotions in a healthy balance with the ground and reality. Doing that may well be the best way to learn and collaborate with this deck. For me, the appearance of this card is additionally encouraging because for me it can symbolize instruction librarians and teachers who as performers often have to balance multiple things in our classrooms. So, keeping a sense of balance is the best way to learn and collaborate with this deck.

What is the potential outcome of our working relationship?

Four of Cups (Suit of Cups- Minor Arcana). Well, this is interesting too. This goes back a bit to the prosperity theme in the Page of Pentacles. There are gifts I already have, symbolized by the three cups, but in studying and working with this deck I may gain new gift, new ideas, new inspiration (spiritual, divine, higher, what have you), symbolized in the fourth cup. In addition, some peace and calm may be an outcome as well. The setting in this image is a green, lush, peaceful field, forest animals and birds in the sky. It’s as if the deck is saying to drink from this gift and be inspired and at peace.

This is a card of re-evaluation. Look up, assess new opportunities. Sure, things may e good, but look up also, assess, and grow. An outcome may well be that at times I reevaluate, see things anew or in a different light, and hopefully learn some new lessons and gain new insights.


Tarot Deck Interview Spread. Cards facing down.

This is the spread as I initially laid it out after shuffling the cards.

Tarot deck interview spread. Cards revealed.

This is the spread with the cards all turned up and revealed.

April 2020


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