Decision spread
SWOT spread: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats

"Yes, BUT..."

Here is one of The Sceptic's Tarot's own techniques for solving a problem.

"Yes, BUT..." is both a tarot reading and a cool creativity technique.

In creativity, a powerful way to come up with fresh ideas for a solution is to look at a problem from more than one perspective. You are, in a sense, challenging your own insights.

“Yes, but….”

“I believe this is true, but just suppose…?”

“I have decided to do this, but have I taken everything into account?”

“The next step is…, but are there alternatives?”

How it works

State your problem and decide on a spread or a number of cards. You can use any spread for the initial reading, although time-wise it might be a good idea to choose a spread of between three and five cards. (You can also do this technique without a set spread.)

Draw your cards and lay them face up before you. These are the Yes cards.

Now draw a second card for each Yes card, keeping them face down. Place them below the first row of cards. These are the BUT cards.

Turn over the first Yes card and read it. Then turn over its corresponding BUT card and consider the problem from a different direction. Ask yourself: BUT what else is there that I have not considered? Could there be a different interpretation of events? Does the card challenge a decision, interpretation, belief, assumption, or perspective? Does the card suggest alternative actions?

Let's look at an example of how the technique is used.


I'm going to use the Problem / Obstacle / Advice spread and the Modern Medieval Tarot by Shayn Amber Wetherell and Tim Wetherell.

The top row are the Yes cards.

The bottom row are the But cards.

My question is: What should I do with my book, now that the content is done?Reading Yes-BUT techniqueProblem: Page of Coins / BUT... Five of Swords

Yes: Despite 13 years' experience, I still feel like a beginner in both tarot and creativity. I might be arrogant, and wrong, to think that I have something to contribute in either of the fields.

BUT... I often doubt myself, feeling defeated and dejected, even when I should be proud of my work. I'm bringing something new to both creativity and tarot.

Obstacle: King of Cups / BUT... Five of Coins (Pentacles)

Yes: The King of Cups is a master in his field (emotions, relationships, intuition and the one I'm particularly focused on: creativity). I feel I should be a master in my field before I attempt to teach anybody else.

BUT... I feel that I have nothing to offer. I'm out in the cold, not quite belonging in either the creative or the tarot field. People who study tarot might not be interested in this application (using tarot for creative problem-solving). Those in the creativity field might think tarot is an inappropriate addition to the field.

Solution: The Devil / BUT... Two of Cups

Yes: Publish and be damned. I know full well that my book is interesting and worthwhile. I don't have to listen to my feelings.

BUT... If I worry so much about the content of my work, enter into a contract with a conventional publisher and follow the publishing route, where my work will be scrutinized and accepted or rejected on merit and with comment that I can use to improve my book.

There you go, two possible solutions to consider! I can now use a decision spread to decide between the options.

[This technique appeared first on SynTAROTis.]


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