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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