I recently came across what was described as an “Italian Romany” method of dealing the playing cards to form a spread. That approach uses 15 cards culled from a larger set of 32 as the result of a preliminary reading. It includes the idea of three “Surprise” cards and a “Consolation” card revealing lessons learned that are implicit in the outcome. I decided to extrapolate from that design using a full deck instead of a partial one; any kind of cards can be selected for the divination (although it might be useful from a nuts-and-bolts “situational” perspective to leave out the tarot trump cards). I kept the the multi-pack cut and the three “surprise” cards of the original but, instead of five 3-card rows of equal importance and a lesson-card “kicker,” I set it up as a primary “1+3” series of cards portraying the circumstances at “the heart of the matter” and three 3-card “amplifying detail” rows plus the single-card “kicker.”
I rolled up the “Questioner” pack and the “Questioner’s home environment” pack of the original five-pack design into a single randomly-drawn “significator” card I call “The Querent or Situation” to allow for a more impersonal viewpoint when relevant to the question; this reduces the original fifteen cards to thirteen plus the “consolation” card. That “lessons learned” card I renamed from “Consolation” to “Wisdom or Folly” to suggest that its testimony can be “for good or ill.” I tossed out the assumption that the reading should be abandoned if the court card representing the querent doesn’t show up in the spread. Reversals and Elemental Dignities may be used with this spread.