This “Yes-No Oracle” is by Irys Vorel in an article entitled “How the Gypsies Use the Tarot” from the February 1955 issue of Fate Magazine.
A version of this spread, expanded greatly by me, is now available at the commercial site Tarot.com. Check it out.
1. Write your problem or question on a piece of paper in such a fashion that “yes” or “no” could be the answer. Don’t ask ambiguous questions like “Should I marry Rick or Jason?” Situations such as this should be split into two questions.
2. Remove the Wheel of Fortune from the 78 card deck and place it before you face up.
3. Shuffle the rest of the deck, with your mind on the problem. Spread the cards in a fan, face down. With your left hand, draw seven cards at random. Put them face down on top of the Wheel. Set the remaining deck aside.
4. Turn the Wheel of Fortune face down like the other seven cards. Shuffle these eight cards until you no longer know where the Wheel is.
5. Deal the eight cards in a square consisting of four positions (see next), so that there are two cards in each position:
• Top Left: The 1st position (cards 1 & 5) signifies – YES.
• Top Right: The 2nd position (cards 2 & 6) signifies – SOON.
• Bottom Left: The 3rd position (cards 3 & 7) signifies – DELAY.
• Bottom Right: The 4th position (cards 4 & 8 ) signifies – NO.
6. Turn the cards over looking for the Wheel of Fortune. Its position gives you the answer.
• If the Wheel card has fallen in the first position, it indicates “Yes,” and the speedy and favorable solution of one’s problem.
• If in the second, “Soon,” position, it means: “You should not unduly press your interests.”
• If it lies in the “Delay” position, the indications are that some obstacles will have to be overcome.
• If it lies in the “No” position, it indicates adjustments have to be made and circumstances at the moment block the harmonious solution of the problem. Therefore, the wish cannot be fulfilled immediately. After changes have occurred this same wish could be answered in the affirmative.
7. If your answer is either “Delay” or “No,” then look at all the cards in the layout (the reversal of a card has no significance):
• Many Pentacles indicate a financial hitch.
• Swords show opposition.
• Wands suggest journeys and changes.
• Many Cups indicate fortunate circumstances and ultimately a happy ending, especially if the Grail [Ace of Cups] is among them.
• Many Major Arcana indicate that the situation is out of your hands: destiny is at work.
• Many Court Cards indicate that the wishes of other people determine the outcome.
This is not my favorite kind of spread as it seems too deterministic, but it’s worth checking out to see if it works for you. Let me know what you think.
Sample reading: Should I post this spread on my blog?
We can see that the answer is “No” (the Wheel of Fortune is in the bottom-right pair), but I decided to post it anyway. How else can we determine if the advice is good or not? There are three Major Arcana (in addition to the Wheel) indicating that the situation is in the hands of destiny, and two Cups cards, which slightly leans toward a favorable outcome over the long run. I’ll let you know if anything untoward occurs. The deck used is Le Grand Tarot Universel by Bruno de Nys.