Tarot Spread Test Drive - I test out different tarot spreads every month just for you!

Curious about all the different tarot spreads out there? Wondering if they’re a keeper – or a lemon? Me too. Let’s take them for a test drive and find out!

Each month, I’ll pick an interesting tarot spread (from a book or around the web) – and give it a spin. I’ll look under the hood, kick the tires – and show you exactly how it works…or doesn’t. No haggling necessary. Ready to roll? Let’s go!

This month’s tarot spread: Grow Model Tarot Spread from Tarot Elements

Tarot Elements is a tarot website run by author Catherine Chapman. It’s a favorite of many tarot readers because the free tutorials and comprehensive tarot database can’t be beat.

Recently, she posted a new spread that I’ve been playing around with. It’s called the Grow Model Tarot Spread and it’s based on a life coaching tool to help people reach their goals.

“Grow” is an acronym for Goals, Reality, Options, Way Forward.

Catherine’s spread is based on that with these positions (laid out in a straight line – left to right):

Goals/Fire – this is your goal.
Reality/Earth – these are the circumstances surrounding your goal.
Options/Water – these are the options available to help you achieve your goal.
Way Forward/Air – this is how much motivation you’ve got to grok it!

Let’s test drive this spread!

My question: what do I need to know about my goal of paying off my mortgage within two years (fifteen years early – holla!)?

The cards I chose:

Goals: The Hermit
Reality: The Emperor
Options: Eight of Swords
Way Forward: Justice

Testing driving Tarot Element's Grow Model Tarot Spread.

My interpretation:

Goal: ultimately what I want is security and peace as I get older. Like the Hermit figure in the card, having my home paid off will allow me to pull back from the world and not have to work so hard. It will give me quiet, a lovely retreat from all the hubbub. Owning a house outright means I have greater control over how I want to live.

Reality: The Emperor is the Mr. Discipline card in the deck. He has a strong structure and this dude ALWAYS reaches his goal. This card tells me that I am well on my way to making this happen. The mountain is behind me and I’ve got the structure in place to make this happen. Plus? Hella focus + determination at my fingertips! Yeah baby!

Options: here the figure is tied up and the first thing that comes to mind is tightening my belt. Yep. Good old budgeting. Well, I am the coupon queen around here and about as frugal as it gets. Believe me, the budgeting is happening. This is a reminder that a strict budget will lead me towards my goal.

Way Forward: As long as I remain on the path that I am and continue making sound, balanced financial decisions, the goal is mine! Justice brings rewards for those who pay their dues. Everything will fall into place as long as I remain alert, focused, and mindful of my decisions.

BAM! Encouraging, helpful, simple.

This spread is useful, easy, and may give you insights that can help you achieve your goals.

Chapman offers an advanced option as well – which means adding a whole lot more cards! Let’s try this out:

Goal: The Hermit, Death, Page of Coins
Reality: The Emperor, Ten of Coins, Six of Cups
Options: Eight of Swords, Five of Coins, Ten of Swords
Way Forward: Justice, Knight of Swords, Seven of Cups

Test driving Tarot Element's Grow Model Tarot Spread with extra cards.

My interpretation:

Goal: The Hermit, Death, Page of Coins: again, I know that this is a worthy goal. It will lead to greater security, peace of mind, and a major change with my finances. Instead of having a mortgage, I can choose to invest in new things – things that can grow my future security.

Reality: The Emperor, Ten of Coins, Six of Cups: this is such a great combo! Not only do I have the structure in place, I have the resources plus the support of my partner. We are both fully aligned with the goal and contributing to make this happen.

Options: Eight of Swords, Five of Coins, Ten of Swords: kinda grim cards, right? It’s a clear sign that the way to make this happen isn’t going to be through magic. It means sacrifice and having to give up some other things. There is no easy way here, no big phat lottery win. Instead, I must be a realist and keep plugging away.

Way Forward:  Justice, Knight of Swords, Seven of Cups: once again, mindful decisions and staying committed to the goal is what is needed. It’s important not to get distracted by glittery things that might tempt me to forgo the budget. This is a lot of discipline but I have zero doubt I’m going to blow it.


While I like the easy version, I found the more complex one to be meaty and it offered greater detail. The Options part was really useful to me – seeing that there is no magic bullet reinforces my plan to remain the coupon queen until my goal is reached! Ha ha!

Catherine recommends writing your goals in a journal as well as any of your insights from this spread. This is a smart idea because you can revisit your goals and use this as inspiration to continue on to the finish line.

My ratings:

Easy to use (even when adding extra cards), clear instructions, useful.

I would recommend that you definitely give this one a whirl.

If you’d like to get a reading from Catherine using this spread, you’re in luck! She offers it right here (see sidebar).

Okay – that marks the end of this little tarot spread test run. I’ll be taking the tarot wheel and hittin’ the road with a new spread next month. If you want to ride along with me, keep an eye on my blog. Happy tarot trails!


© Theresa Reed | The Tarot Lady 2016

images from The Fountain Tarot

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