Grow Model Tarot Spread

Is there something you want to achieve? Do you have an ambition you want to fulfill? Do you want to create an outcome and not just end up with one?

Then all you need is a coffee, your favourite tarot deck, ten minutes of your time and a nice journal – I’ll provide the rest.

The best way to predict your future is to create it

Peter Drucker

Sitting comfy? Then let’s begin…

Following on from the popular Logical Levels Tarot Spread that I posted recently, I wanted to share another spread I have ‘adapted’ for use with Tarot. This one is called the Grow Model Tarot Spread and is based on, you guessed it, something called the Grow Model. But what exactly is the Grow Model?

It’s actually called the GROW Model as the letters form an acronym. It’s a model, or system used in Life Coaching to help people define and realise their goals. It’s a seemingly simple model, with only four parts to it:

G = goals
R = reality
O = options
W = way forward

Let’s look at those a little closer:

This simply represents whatever goal you are trying to achieve. You may want to lose weight, change career, save money for a holiday etc. Identifying your goal helps you to visualise it, make it real and achievable.
Identifying your circumstances, resources and/or obstacles provide the realism. Your reality is not unlike your environment from the Logical Levels in that it identifies what’s helping and what’s not, in your current situation.

Example: You may want to save for that holiday but currently don’t have enough spare money left from paying the bills to put aside.

Having decided upon your goal and identified your reality, it’s then time to look at all the options that are available to you that may help you achieve your goals.

Example: You could ask for a pay increase from your employer, take on an extra job, or look to turning your hobby into a cottage business.

Way Forward
Also called Will, this determines how much motivation you have to achieve your goal and the actual steps you would be required to undertake in order to achieve your goal.

Example: You decide to take on an extra job at the weekends and begin your search for employment. To really complete this step, listing the actual steps you will take will help trememdously, ie, looking in the local paper, the job centre or approaching employers directly with a recently updated CV and covering letter.

Well, that sounds great – how can Tarot help me with that?

The great thing about tarot is that it never lies. It’s always honest with you, even on those occasions when we’re less than honest with ourselves, and we’ve all done that.

Bringing the tarot in to help you with your goals, and in particular the Grow Model Tarot Spread, helps you see what you may have missed during your assessment and definition of your goals and how you would achieve them. By letting the symbolism in the cards speak to you, by uniting them in a marriage of images, you’re connecting your unconscious mind with that of the Universe. Some might call this process a uniting of the higher and lower selves. It’s actually like a having a direct line to the White House….

The Grow Model Tarot Spread

grow model tarot spread layout


In order to make the Grow Model work with tarot, I felt some small adjustments were required.

Beginning with Goals, I think it’s necessary to reframe the position. Seeing as we’re already choosing them, it makes sense to look behind the Goal and at our motive for doing it. For example. We want to go on holiday, but why? What are we hoping to achieve by doing so? What is our Goal with going on holiday?

It’s also necessary to take a quick look at the Options position. You may draw a less than positive card in this position and think that you don’t have any options at all and therefore your goal in its current form is unachievable. I would ask you to think again. You have two options as far as I can see.

  1. Define a negative option as an obstacle
  2. Make the negative card work for you

The first option is easy enough. But I want you to consider the second option with equal status. A recent post on Tarot Eon called The Rule of 2 talked about making passive cards active, or taking a negative card and making it pro-active.

As an example, if you drew the 3 of Swords in a reading, would you wait for your friend or partner to end your relationship, or would you cut your losses and do the 3 of Swords to them first? This puts you in the driving seat and gives you the power to act.

You may not necessarily agree with this as an approach, but I include it as a way to show you that we do negative cards all the time. Making them work for you is the key to not being their victim.

Shall we do a tarot reading so you can see what all the fuss is about?

Nothing like seeing a spread in action to understand its capabilities! Following on again from the Logical Levels Tarot Spread, I shall revisit the topic of writing my new book. I have the theme, I have the ideas, I even have the contents page. So I asked the tarot:

Using the Grow Model Tarot Spread, what else do I need to know about the writing of my new book?I drew the following from the Shadowscapes Tarot:

  1. Goal – Queen of Swords
  2. Reality – 4 of Cups
  3. Options – 6 of Pentacles
  4. Way Forward – 3 of Wands

grow model tarot spread reading

Briefly, what does that mean to me?

My goal with writing a new book, what I’m seeking to achieve, is to be seen as an authority in my own right, as an authentic and legitimate author.
I have suffered ennui before, I have wasted opportunities and I’ve had some amazing ideas that I never acted upon. The reality is that I could do the same here. I obviously have the resources, but it seems I am the potential obstacle.
Well I’d be a fool if I did waste this opportunity as I have everything I need to progress. I have support and financial backing but I also have a lot to give with a great audience who let me bounce my ideas around with them.
Way Forward
The steps I actually need to take to make this happen is to just take them. Get out there and do this. Focus on my goal and take one step toward it. The other steps will naturally follow.

Flexing your tarot muscles – adding more cards!

You know I can’t help it. I like to play with things, test them, improve them if I can. And by adding some extra cards to the spread layout, I think I did just that!

Instead of one card per position, use three – and then either read them as three particular things within that position of the model and spread, or read them as a single card combination – the choice is yours. Either way you’ll have a lot more to go on and have a lot more fun because you will now be able to add Elemental Dignities, you’ll be able to read in multiple directions, because let’s face it, your life isn’t pigeon-holed – it’s like a moving kaleidoscope of options, realities and events all affecting each other.

Let’s take a look at what the new improved Grow Model Tarot Spread looks like:

extended Grow model tarot spread layout

Impressive isn’t it?! Let’s not waste any time, let’s ask the same question and throw out a fresh set of cards and see what the tarot has to tell me about writing my new book.
Okay, here’s what I drew using the Shadowscapes Tarot:

  1. Goal – 6 of Pentacles/10 of Wands/9 of Swords
  2. Reality – 8 of Pentacles/Judgement/King of Swords
  3. Options – 3 of Wands/the Hermit/9 of Cups
  4. Way Forward – Queen of Cups/Temperance/Ace of Pentacles

Wow, quite a powerful reading with a lot more information coming through. Notice that the 6 of Pentacles and the 3 of Wands have come back into the reading? They’re in different locations, but what’s interesting to me is how the tarot condensed what it needed to tell me in the shorter reading and, having more symbols and messages available, outlines the same, but this time very detailed exploration of the writing of my next book.

Let’s look at those combinations more closely:

The Goal

grow model tarot spread - goals

6 of Pentacles/10 of Wands/9 of Swords
From the single reading: the Queen of Swords

I see this very much as me wanting to be in control of myself, my career and the creative process of writing another book. I want to be able to control my work flow, not worry about writing the book. I can and at the same time, let my creativity, ideas and opportunities flow freely…

The Reality

grow model tarot spread reading - reality

8 of Pentacles/Judgement/King of Swords
From the single reading: 4 of Cups

The reality here is that I am judging myself harshly and realise there is still a lot I need to learn and refine to write the book. I suffer from sensory overload – if it gets too much, I switch off or shut down – not unlike the 4 of Cups, doing my own thing, everything other than what I’m supposed to be doing. My saviour is the King of Swords with his decisive nature and swift action. The reality is that he’s representative of my tenacity and the key to my success.

The Options

grow model tarot spread reading - options

3 of Wands/the Hermit/9 of Cups
From the single reading: 6 of Pentacles

From a symbolic perspective, the figures in all four cards are either looking out (seeking or longing?) or looking down (at what is or what they have?). The 3 of Wands is an outward looking card, while the Hermit is inward, suggesting the options I need are both internal and external, my skills and those I need to acquire. Both the 6 of Pentacles and the 9 of Cups signify prosperity and abundance suggesting my options are many, though for the purposes of writing a book, the Hermit suggests I have most of what I need already, within me. If the 9 of Cups is the ‘Wish Card’, then all I have to do is click my heels together, look out on a clear night and wish upon a star….

The Way Forward

grow model tarot spread reading - forward

Queen of Cups/Temperance/Ace of Pentacles
From the single reading: 3 of Wands

Such a lovely set of cards. It’s forward moving but in a gentle, graceful and yet productive way. My way forward, is be like the Queen of Cups, serene and creative, in control but at one with herself. She would carry the Ace of Pentacles and nurture it. On the way forward with the vision of the 3 of Wands, Temperance is what will keep the balance of energies, stabilities and focus.

So in a nutshell, the way forward is to maintain creativity, explore and implement new ideas as I receive them. Balance my workload and my energies and remain focussed on the longer term aspect of writing my new book. And above all, whatever else happens along the journey, I must keep looking forward and ahead to my goal as I visualised it.

Temperance has been a regular visitor to me lately, featuring heavily at the Tabi Conference in Birmingham recently using Emily Carding’s Transparent Tarot and Oracle and then again in a workshop with Barbara Moore. It would seem to have a very special message for me and I am indeed listening.

Closing thoughts

I hope you enjoyed reading about the Grow Model Tarot Spread and that you try it out and get to know it as a good friend. Like the Logical Levels Tarot Spread, it can be very telling. It is, without doubt less introspective, dealing more with what you need to do, what is available to you and the direction in which you should go.

If you have a goal, or desire that you wish to attain, give this spread a try. You can do either version, the single card or the triple. You can also of course combine the two for the most powerful reading – whatever you do, remember YOU are in the driving seat. Be pro-active, find solutions and make your goals a reality – all you need is a deck of tarot cards and an awesome tarot spread.

Remember that nice journal I mentioned at the beginning? Use it to write down your goal(s), write down the Grow Model Tarot Spread and all the readings you do with it. Keep your readings together with their goals so you can refer back to them as often as you need to – and if that’s very often then great! It means you’re taking this seriously, your goals seriously and means you’re already on the road to success.

If you need any further help, or you just want to share your awesome tarot readings with me, I’ll be waiting for you in the comments.

Pro-Active Tarot Reading

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30 thoughts on “Grow Model Tarot Spread”

  1. Looks like you’ve designed yet another great tarot spread, that lends itself to all manner of questions, from one’s liked you asked about writing to more personal ones like what do I need to do to achieve better self esteem — I can see this spread being of great use in many different situations.
    Well done Catherine! This is one I will be sure to try out.

    • Hi Helen – thank you! I’ve been working with this model for a while now and knew it had great potential as a tarot spread.
      It’s a great spread for specific questions or goals we may have in life, but it also a great ‘snapshot’ of the here and now. For example, you could just ask the Tarot:
      Using the Grow Model Tarot Spread, where am I in my life right now?
      Your Goal would be where or who you want to become. Your Reality would be who or what you are like now. Your Options would be what or who you have available to help and your Way Forward would literally be how you can get there.
      There are many open and less specific questions that work very well with this spread and I’m sure you’ll have a lot of fun asking them!

  2. Catherine –
    I loved your voice here – very fun, very decisive. Great spread, and a wonderful way to take the spread deeper.
    I have to say this – I love the way this site is pimped out! :) It makes it easy and fun to visit here, and makes peole pay attention. :)

    • Hi Bonnie – thank you!
      I had a lot of fun with the Grow Model, getting to know it, working with it and then translating into a tarot spread and I wanted to bring some of the fun flavour into the post. Achieving goals is a serious business, but it should also be fun to do or who would want to do it?!
      Glad I got your attention ;)

  3. Catherine very cool!
    approachable- accesable I’m off to explore the GROW Model spread for myself. Hum What deck to use??? (shadowscapes hasn’t arrived yet) Thanks for sharing:)

    • Hi Debbie – glad you enjoyed the post – I’m looking forward to hearing about how you got on and of course which deck you used…
      Thank you for such a nice comment, and welcome to Tarot Elements :)

  4. This is perfect timing to the question I was left with after I did that powerful Logical Levels Spread. I showed my wife that reading and she was just as amazed at what came through. Her first question to me was, “Ok, now what do you do with all that information…where are you going to go with this?” I had been asking the same thing of myself…then you post the answer for me. I’ll be working on this later today and send you an update.
    You need to know that this has come at a crucial time for me after a lot of soul searching and pleading for guidance. I feel like this is the guidance I have been yearning for to pull me/push me forward spiritually.
    Again, a huge THANK YOU!

    • Hi Joanne – Thank you for such a great comment and compliment!
      The Grow Model Tarot Spread is a wonderfully honest spread that gets to the heart of the issues, but is primerily about action, the how to, the where. As your wife pointed out, now you have all the information you need, what are you going to do with it? Great question! The Grow Model Tarot Spread will help you with that, but I also want to draw your attention to another spread I will be posting next week that I feel will be a tremendous help to you. It’s called the Tarot Elements Vision Spread and it’s designed to help you achieve your goals, not unlike the Grow Model Tarot Spread, but with much more flexibility and options for a little magick too. I’ll be posting it next week :)

  5. Once again, brilliant! So, I did this using the single card version, asking about an idea I have about where to take my business. GROW = Judgement, High Priestess, Empress, Fool. (and yes, I really was using a 78 card deck – but the Majors all wanted to come out and play).
    Off to play with this some more!

    • Wow Nancy, what a set of cards!! All majors too – you got some real action going on there! What would be great now is if you did the spread using three cards per position and then marrying the two readings together into one narrative, like in the post – it packs a bigger punch!

  6. Just tried this spread with my question focused on my new business I’m starting and found it very informative! It gave me a lot of insight, including the reminder to be patient.
    I also appreciate your choice of decks – I just ordered that one a couple days ago and am loving seeing the pictures here!

    • Hi Nathara – Welcome to Tarot Elements! I’m glad you got a lot out of the spread – I’ve also used it for a business question and found it very revealing. And honest, Tarot hits the nail on the head every time doesn’t it?! You’ll like Shadowscapes, it’s beautiful, stunning. My own complaint is that the artwork is so beautiful that I feel the cards are too small to show it off properly. Just a small complaint – they’re still beautiful.
      Thank you for trying out the spread and for taking the time to comment :)

    • Sure does! I fall in love with the tarot a little more every day! And I completely understand what you mean about the Shadowscapes – the preview on the Llewellyn site lets you display the images SO big – I told my bf “but the cards are going to be so LITTLE….” lol!

    • I’ve complained about the size of Shadowscapes Nathara, but in all honesty, I’d rather work with small, pretty cards, than large unfavourable ones. So really, the complaining is meaningless! You’ll love these cards as much as everyone else who has used them, I promise :)

  7. Just a quick note to let you know I met a friend for coffee this morning and used the spread to read for her about a business issue. It couldn’t have been more on target. Thanks for posting this Catherine – it’s really a winner!

    • Hi Nancy – that’s great news! Glad you enjoyed the spread and the reading too. Each and every one of mine have been amazing.
      I have surprise for you all next week and I know you my dear Nancy will relish getting your teeth stuck into this new one – a custom made spread that’s been in testing phase for a while and will blow your mind! You’re gonna love this, I promise ;)

  8. Hi there Catherine
    I have just done the read that you have discussed and wow there was some startling cards in there that have litteraly shook me and I know what I have to do now for the particular read that I done There was no less that 4 majors on the reality one look at these wow
    Death/The magician/The moon for the question that I posed looks great , I ll tell you what my question was, baring in mind all the other cards as well.
    Q. As an artist I am thinking of making a tarot Deck, I have lots of good Ideas, will this manifest?
    In tne reality line I feel that this looks very promising for my ability…

    • Hi Colin – I’m glad you had such a powerful experience using this tarot spread – pretty much everyone who’s tried it and commented have had a similar experience to you, which is great!
      As for you cards in the Reality position – I would add that your current thoughts, while have merit and can be implemented (Magician), need to be changed or adapted (Death) – there’s something you’re missing or overlooking (Moon). Elementally, the Magician is in a good position, so he dominates the triplet, making the other two cards on either side of him something for you to consider, a refinement of your plans or ideas. Hope that helps. I’d love to hear how you get on with exploring this further, and of course, when you start that deck! :)

  9. yup definately oh I’m enjoying the book by the way realy good read celtic cross and beyond cool

  10. Holy moly!
    This spread was marvelous! It quickly got me down to the heart of my issue, told me to make a choice already, and pretty much highlighted the right choice in big flashing letters! That is what I love about tarot. It never lies, and it always tells it to me straight.

    • Hi K,
      I love this spread, even the short version – as you said, it gets right to the issue and grabs you full on!
      Glad you liked it :)

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