How to use the Expansion Pack on its own (lesson four)
Hey, hey! It’s the fourth lesson in our Expansion Pack email course and we’re glad you are here.
Our main intention in creating the Expansion Pack was for it to be used alongside the Spacious Tarot, and this is still our favorite approach. But we also know it has some similarities to an oracle deck and as such could certainly be used on its own, independently of the tarot. That’s what we’re exploring today.
In this lesson you’ll learn:
- Why you might chose to ‘go solo’ with your Expansion Pack
- Tips for interpreting the cards
- A spread to try
Why go solo?
There’s a few nice things about using only the Expansion Pack. For starters, there’s 21 cards here as compared to 78 in tarot (or 99 if you combine both decks!). Using just the expansion is a good option if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the sheer volume of cards.
We’ve also come across a couple of folks who don’t even have the tarot deck, yet are drawn to the expansion! This is less common but definitely happens, and is another reason someone might work with just this new deck.
Perhaps most of all, going solo can also be a wonderful first step before integrating the new cards into your tarot practice. The simplest way to do this is by cultivating a daily draw practice with your expansion pack - we suggest this in the guidebook that comes with the deck.
There’s a few different ways you could structure your daily draw practice. One option is to set aside 21 days devoted to the expansion pack, setting aside the card you pull each day so that you’re always receiving a new card. If you keep a tarot journal, spend a few minutes writing thoughts on your card. You can base this purely on your intuition, or reference the suggested meanings in the guidebook which comes with the deck.
An alternate option for your daily draw: keep all the cards in the deck regardless of what you pull each day. This is a way to notice patterns - are there certain cards you draw repeatedly? Are there certain cards you rarely draw? What might this mean to you?
More tips for interpretation
The first tip goes back to something we talked about in our earlier email lesson about the zodiac cards. If you haven’t read that one yet, it’s worth visiting the entire lesson (search your email for ‘spacious tarot zodiac’ and if you can’t find it, no worries, we will share it on our website soon!).
This tip is specifically relevant to the zodiac cards but could be applied to any card in the deck. Here it is: feel free to ignore the card titles and interpret the cards based purely on imagery. The following prompts can guide you in this process:
- What do you notice first in the imagery?
- What is the overall feeling you receive from the card?
- Which symbols stand out to you?
- What do those symbols represent to you personally?
The last tip here is something we can’t say enough: there are no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ ways to interpret the cards. We hope the Expansion Pack creates a space for unique messages and insights to arise within your psyche.
Centering guidance spread
In a moment I’ll share a spread I’ve modified specifically for use with the Expansion Pack. But keep in mind you can use the expansion cards with any spread you’d like. If you have a go-to tarot spread try it out with just this deck and see how it goes.
If you’re a bit of a ‘tarot nerd’ you may have encountered spreads designed to be used with the major arcana only. These types of spreads fit particularly well with this deck as it contains the same number of cards as the tarot’s major arcana.
Here’s a spread I call the ‘Centering Guidance’ spread. It was inspired by a very old spread created by 19th century French occultists (explained by Mary K Greer here), but I have changed it quite a bit from the original.
Shuffle the rest of the cards face down and pull cards at random for the rest of the positions.
Card two represents blessings. This card shows gifts, talents, strengths and opportunities available to you in this moment.
Card three represents challenges. This card suggests where you may be experiencing blocks, difficulties or sticking points.
Card four represents unconscious influences. This reveals energies happening at a deeper level that are ready for excavation.
Card five represents conscious influences. This clarifies what you already know, assisting you in better identifying your current narrative and thought patterns.
For our next lesson, we’ll change gears to focus on using the tarot + expansion together.