The spreads I almost always use are the Grand Tableau, the 3×3 and lines of 3, 5, 7 or 9. But sometimes it’s fun to play with something else. I see a lot of people adapting Tarot spreads to Lenormand, etc., or inventing spreads, and this is actually OK, there’s just a simple trick to making it effective.
In cartomancy with playing cards, you’ll run across spreads that use a fan for each position. This generally consists of three cards – they can be laid side-by-side, or laid out in a fan formation, similar to the way a person holds a poker hand:
Hence the name. 🙂 You can see an example of a spread that uses named positions, like Tarot, but with three-card fans for each position, at Cardseer’s blog here.
So, using this logic, you can adapt just about ANY Tarot spread to Lenormand, playing cards, Sibilla, Kipperkarten, or whatever. Just remember to use three cards for each position.
Recently, there’s been a trend in american Lenormand called “mobile” Houses. It’s done by laying out random cards in a small spread, and laying more random cards on top of them. It’s a fun technique, but “Houses” is actually a misnomer, since Houses require the entire deck in set order. “Mobile” Houses remind me of nothing so much as two-card fans! Why not make it three cards?
There’s a good reason for using three cards – you can see the logic in Chanah’s piece called Why Three Card Draws?
She makes the case that the third card can be VITAL, so take time to look over the examples! There’s a big different between Heart + Key, and Heart + Key + Fox! The third card makes all the difference in Lilies + Cross + Ring, too.
So if you’re going to venture off the beaten path with your spreads, just remember the fans. It takes a few words to make a sentence, after all! 😉