The Tell-Me-No-Lies New Deck Personality Profile


Full Disclosure: I've never done a "new deck interview," since I get what I need in the way of first impressions by simply using the deck. But the idea intrigues me since many people seem to like it.

So I created a slightly more complex approach (no surprise there, right? :)) that seems like it would be interesting to apply to all my decks, not just the new ones.

ETA: I ran a sample spread on my Tarot of the Sevenfold Mystery, with interesting results that reflect my experience with the deck so far (I've had it since last November).

For the Heart position (vitality and core virtues) I got the 2 of Wands as the "tone" and the 7 of Swords as "personality," two elementally friendly cards. It has a good heart but is going to test me intellectually. (None of the minor cards are numbered, so it's off to a good start there. :))

For the Voice position (fluidity and expressiveness) I got the 6 of Cups as "tone" and the 5 of Wands as "personality," two elementally unfriendly cards. On the surface it will read smoothly but it will really hold my feet to the fire on particulars. All of the Fives are "challenge" cards.

For the "Challenges" position (most difficult aspects) I got the 5 of Swords as "tone" and the Knight of Wands as "personality, two elementally friendly cards. It's liable to "bite" me if I don't handle it with respect, and isn't likely to have a lot of patience with any fumbling.

For the "Strengths" position (coherence and solidity) I got the 4 of Coins as "tone" and Death as "personality," two elementally friendly cards. The interesting thing here is that the man on the 4 of Coins is digging up four coins out of the earth, and the female Morta is bending over to inspect a dead sapling. I like the gravity of the two together, which is well supported by the overall tone of this deck.

Reading the four "personality" cards together, I would say this deck is intellectually exacting (7 of Swords); the "Devil is in the details" (5 of Wands); I may have some trouble matching speeds with its fervor (Knight of Wands); and there is absolutely nothing light-weight or superficial about it (Death). The Fives make me think of a line from the old Robert Palmer song, "Bad Case of Loving You:" "a pretty face don't mean no pretty heart."

For the quint (I include court cards in the calculation), I got the Hermit, suggesting that this deck is singular and won't give up its wisdom easily.

ETA #2: I just changed the basic meanings for the four positions of this spread to start with a positive connotation, which may change according to the nature of the card in each position. The sample spread is no longer aligned, but I decided not to edit it.


  • DSC00202.jpg
    62.2 KB · Views: 750
  • New Deck Challenge Spread.pdf
    50.1 KB · Views: 552


I'm going to try this right now Barley.

I'm glad you included an alternative for the tone card. I was already asking myself what if I get an Ace and The Magician?

Off to get my Thoth :thumbsup:


I'm going to try this right now Barley.

I'm glad you included an alternative for the tone card. I was already asking myself what if I get an Ace and The Magician?

Off to get my Thoth :thumbsup:

There would be no conflict between an Ace and the Magician. The Ace is a "suit" card and the Magician isn't. Only the Aces through the Kings are considered "suit cards" for the purpose of this spread. I will add a parenthetical note to Step #2.


It's here.

It's not a bad spread at all Barley. The only struggle I had was reading the 4 cards together. That's not a criticism of the spread though.
I struggle with reading 4 cards spreads in general with the Thoth.

I've done a few decks interviews but none of them got to the core of the decks personality.
In fact now that I've done yours I'd say the other one's I've done were just what the title suggested. An interview!

Your spread is more intimate. It's more soul baring.


Further Thoughts

The option of finding the lowest-numbered suit card in each of the four elemental packs is intended to find out how close the deck comes to the source of elemental power in each area; the lower the number, the closer to the "root" of that power - the Ace. I ran this spread on the Tabula Mundi Colores Arcus deck and came up with the Ace of Wands, 4 of Cups, Ace of Swords and Ace of Disks, which I think is good testimony to the fundamental (and phenomenal) "rooted-ness" of this deck.

The quintessence is turning out to be an interesting and revealing addition. So far I've performed the spread on three of my most demanding decks - the Sevenfold Mystery, the Thoth and the Tabula Mundi - and all three times the Hermit appeared as the quint. I think it's showing something about the singularity of these decks.


I found another practical use for this spread. I'm doing a couple of paid readings on Friday and was considering which decks I should take along. Since I know nothing about the clients beside the fact that they're female, I decided to do a "face-off" between the four decks I've been using the most for public readings lately: the RWS Centennial, the Gilded, the Robin Wood and the Connolly. I asked which decks would have the best "personality profile" for the upcoming readings.

The RWS Centennial and the Connolly had the most inspiring blend of "tone," "personality" and "quintessence," so those are the ones I will take. This is something that can be done for each new reading session, since all clients are different.


Thank you, Barleywine

Thank you for this thread. I just tried your spread and then posted it in the Your Readings thread. It was very scary to do this, as I am worried about doing something wrong. But I think I got it right.

Anyway, here is the post that includes your Tell-Me-No-Lies new deck spread.

This was incredibly enjoyable and the cards that my deck offered are very inspiring. I just got this deck yesterday. It was the only deck on my list that a little shop in Salem, MA had, so I bought it. Not at the top of my want list, but I am really glad I did it!