Fanning the cards or choosing from the top? Which is best?

When I first started out Tarot, I did a lot of research on the best method to shuffle, cut and deal the cards. There are so many  different ways of doing all of these steps, and in the end there is no right or wrong. You just have to chose the one that works best for you. But, for the purpose of this post,  I’ve decided to make a comparison between two dealing methods. Therefore, I’m going to concentrate on two dealing options: Fanning the cards or picking from the top. I bet there are others, but for now I want to talk about these two.

As a tarot newbie a few years ago, I decided that I’d fan the cards on the table before choosing the cards for my spread. I think some people call it the European style. It worked out nicely for me for a long time.  I’ve been using this method ever since, however,  sometimes I just don’t have enough surface space to do that, or I’m too lazy to feel drawn to a card or another, so I chose them from the top, or so called American style.

So which one is the best one?

Today I did a little personal experiment to play with both options. I asked the same question and I used the Shadowscapes Tarot to chose cards in the European Style, and the Crystal Visions Tarot for the American Style.

My question was: How is my career going to evolve for the next couple of months?

Here is what I got:

             Shadowscapes Tarot:                                          Crystal Visions Tarot:

           Past: Two of Cups                                                    Past: Six of Pentacles
             Present: Seven of Wands                                      Present: The Emperor
              Future: Three of Wands                                         Future: Page of Wands

 IMG_0139 copy

I thought both were very interesting and presented me with a different perspective. With the European Style, maybe because I’m more used to it, I really got the feeling that it was really accurate. The Two of Cups reminded me that  I just signed the contract to create the company, so I did partner up with someone recently and I also combined two sides of myself that I believed couldn’t co-exist: my artistic-self and business-self. I used to think that they were two separate things and didn’t go together (yes, I know, silly me!).

For the Seven of Wands yes I do feel like I’m fighting for what I believe and to protect what I’ve conquered so far, so right on the spot!

And for the future: I always read the Three of Wands as a long term project. I always see the person in the card as planning for the future, knowing that it’s going to be a long road but longing to be on this road. It’s all about the process rather than the result.

A nice simple fast reading.

For the American Style I felt an element of surprise. I had to think a little bit more of how these cards related to me.

The Six of Pentacles in the past position made me think of how I’ve worked hard to be rewarded financially last year so I could take this year solely to work on my business.

The Emperor: oh this guy… It really made me think of how I’m learning to build the life I want and owning my decisions and creating my own rules. Also how I’m learning to be some sort of a leader.

Page of Wands: so this one really felt more like an advice rather a future prediction, but maybe I’m wrong. I felt like this card was telling me that I still need to learn somethings about my career, like communication and networking. I’m still in the beginning and there is still a learning process that I need to go through before I can be the best leader. I’m still learning about my company and its vision/ true purpose.


I can’t really decide which one resonated the most with me. I think they both did. The first one felt easier to read maybe because I feel more confident about the method of choosing the cards. I’ve seen the same cards before for the same question. But the second one was really interesting, it brought a new perspective on my reading.

Likes vs Dislikes:

European Style:

Likes:  I feel drawn to certain cards and I feel more confident with my choices. Also I can pick an extra card from anywhere for further insight for a specific position on the spread.

Dislikes: Sometimes when I don’t “feel” any card  calling me I can’t make a decision and I pick randomly and I feel like the reading wasn’t really good.

American Style:

Likes: I don’t have to think about which card to chose, the shuffling and cutting already did that for me! It doesn’t take a lot of space and I can keep the deck in my hands!

Dislikes :  I feel like I can’t get an extra card for a specific position on my spread, but only an extra card for the overall theme of the spread. So I feel a bit limited.


Now over to you!

Which technique do you use? How did you feel when you tried a different one? do you have any advice for dealing the cards the best way possible? Feel free to share your thoughts! 



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