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Creating Your Own Spreads with Kiala Givehand


We welcome back Kiala Givehand of Pull Pen Paint to show how to create your own spreads! If you've ever wondered how you can make personalized spreads for your exact situation, or simply wanted a little more from the cards, Kiala is here to break it all down.


Dayna Schmidt-Johnson
Hello, everyone, welcome. My name is Dayna Schmidt-Johnson. I'm the community manager of the Writual Society. Today we have with us one more time because we just couldn't get enough of her, Kiala Givehand to talk about creating your own spreads.

This allows you to dive deep into your personal questions receive guidance on your like specific situations. You know, a general reading 123 right, something like that. So we're so excited to have Kiala back with us. If you haven't met her for some crazy reason, she is an alchemist poet, bookbinder, leader of the Pull Pen Paint online series, double Capricorn, and multi-passionate seeker of Truth. So we're so excited to have her back.

Kiala Givehand
Welcome back. Thank you, Dayna, I should just take you everywhere with me. Your energy when you introduce me is like, Yes, please. Yes, more of that!

Dayna Schmidt-Johnson
I'll be your personal cheerleader wherever you go. Absolutely.

Kiala Givehand
I love it. Thank you. That was awesome. It also made me go I should probably start adding the word Proud, double Capricorn Leo rising to my, to my bio, because I'm gonna tell you I wasn't always proud about it's like, 'Oh, why do I have to have the double Capricorn annually?' Alright, all right. But the more I learn, the more I know, the more I'm like, Yes, I own it. I receive it. I'm all that.

Dayna Schmidt-Johnson
So I honor that so much. I think we all have traits in our charts that we're less excited about. So I get it.

Kiala Givehand
So thank you. Thank you both. Thank you for having me back. I'm excited to talk about creating your own spreads. So I'm happy to...

Dayna Schmidt-Johnson
Yeah, it's such a fascinating, kind of twist on a topic. Let's talk about them. We do three card daily spreads in the Society. So we have tons of planner spreads. We have workbooks, but we have spreads on spreads on spreads, right? Yes. What's the significance of a spread?

Kiala Givehand
Mm hmm. So let's talk about the whole spreads on top of spreads on top of spreads moment first, because same, right, like I have all the spreads. And I love doing spreads. So I get myself into this thing where I'm like, I could spend a whole day just doing spreads. Right? So let me, I think what I want to bring forward first and foremost is that yes, there are 1000s upon 1000s upon 1000s of spreads that we could find hundreds of 1000s Probably right if we really started searching. And that's awesome. I love that we have that at our disposal. And if we're in a slump, or we can't think of something like we can go and find that.

What I think is also really important to name about working with spreads y'all is that we can also and I'm speaking from experience, we can also get ourselves into a place where we're just doing spread after spread after spread. And we're not actually leaning into the guidance of the cards. The spreads are fun. It's like what do you do? When you really lean into what the cards are saying to you like, I firmly believe don't come to the cards, if you're not going to listen to what they're telling you. Right?

So the significance I think of moving from using spreads that have been created for you to move into spreads that you create yourself is personalization. Right. I mean, that's the biggest part of it is like you get to start personalizing I think you even use the word now you so we have a general daily a daily pull, three card a day general spread, right. And I think that that is good and helpful in an in especially if you've got like especially a finger in something like a Writual Society, and everybody's doing the same thing and the same spread. And now you have a common language through which you can speak and talk and share and, you know, process.

But I think there's really something powerful about personalizing your spreads, because you can really get to the nitty gritty of some stuff that's happening in your life. Some questions that you have some things you may have been, I don't know, we'll say ignoring, not wanting to look at, that you can really dig into and make it your own. And I think that that was kind of the epiphany for me when I started making my own spreads as I went, oh, oh, now we're talking, now we're getting there. A little bit faster, a little more, right, a little more accelerated. And so it can be and also it can be gentle. Don't let me frighten y'all. I don't want you to make the dead smooth, like oh, no, it's going to be too much. I also think that it can be fun.

That's the other reason to do it. Right fun and function. That's kind of my world. I like things to be a little bit of both little fun little function. And so I think yeah, that's the biggest reason is personalization. You really get to bring it down from the general and bring it into the personal which I think can can get you deeper, faster sometimes. Not always but sometimes. 

Dayna Schmidt-Johnson
Yeah, yeah. Because you're not just looking at what's available to you or what you know is coming at you or like, morning, afternoon, evening, you know, that's a great place to start for anyone. You're asking really specific questions of the cards, in your own way. Is there a time when it would be better to use a pre-made spread over creating your own? Or is that personalization really like? The cake?

Kiala Givehand
Yeah, that's a really good question, actually. And I'm just gonna say, first and foremost, don't ditch the pre-made spreads, this is not what that's about. Because I think it's important that we have both really, I am also of the mindset that I like to blend, like, I like to look at a spread that someone else has created. And I see what it's asking me and I pull cards, and then I add to that, which would personalize it for me, right? So don't ditch the premade spreads. Let's just go ahead and bring that out of the gate.

I think that Celtic cross, right, like, we don't want to ditch that we don't want to ditch the ones that are like, tried and true and have been around since the dawn of tarot. Right. Like, I think we want to keep those for sure. And I think specific topics, right, like some people will create something for a specific topic, or a specific theme, or like, you know, I create lots of them for the phases of the moon, right? So like, maybe you're not really adept yet at working with the phases and you're not sure. And so you see someone else's created one.

So yeah, I think there's there are definitely situations and times when it's better to use a pre-made one, especially if you're the kind of person that gets in your own way when you're trying to create things and you overthink and overanalyze. And so you're toiling over, what's the placement of this card versus that like, I don't know where to put things. And if you're that kind of person that it causes you a little bit of anxiety to try to make your own all the time. Definitely go to the pre made ones. Like I think there's some really good, good stuff in there. So yeah, I think definitely don't don't ditch the pre-made ones they have they have their value. And we don't want to just get rid of them. 

Dayna Schmidt-Johnson
So yeah, definitely. How long have you been creating spreads? I feel like you know, the idea is there. But over time, does it get easier as you do it?

Kiala Givehand
Mm hmm. So I will say this, I didn't ever know that I that that wasn't a thing people did. I just thought you everybody was creating their own. So I'm gonna be conservative and say maybe six years, I've been creating my own spreads. And I think it was really born out of having the Pull Pen Paint community. And seeing that we all were like a, you know, spreads were powerful. They were doing things for us, they were helping us shift and change and really go a little bit deeper with the cards and conversation.

And so I think I started just creating them out of, you know, oh, this would be fun. Let's see what happens if we put this here this here and ask this question. And right. And so it became almost like a puzzle. For me. I like a little engineering conundrum in a way like I want it to figure out the dynamics of a spread and create my own like language around my spreads, which is, which for me is really fun. Some of you may be like, Oh, God, that sounds horrible. But But I thought it was really fun for me to do that. And so I think I've probably been doing it that long.

And yes, it does get easier. I think now I feel like I create spreads in my sleep. I wake up with the spread. I'm like, Oh, that's interesting. Where'd that come from? Right. So I think it does get easier over time, the more you do it, and the more you really lean in and trust that the questions and I think let me say this, I think some people don't make their own spreads because they don't trust themselves to make their own spreadsheet, right? They're like, well, Dayna has been doing this forever. So she she's got it. I'm gonna listen to her sprit. Like, it's probably she knows exactly what she said, right? And so there's a little bit of a trust issue. They might go, I don't trust myself yet to make my own spreads. This person knows what they're doing. I trust that they got it, you know. And so there's that.

And I think once we lean into our, you know, our inner voice knows what questions to ask sometimes, too, right? Yeah, we we welcome questions from the outside because sometimes there are questions we don't know to ask. And that's helpful. That's why we're not going to ditch the premade spreads. So yeah, it gets easier. It does.

Dayna Schmidt-Johnson
Well, that's good to know. It can be intimidating. Like you said, I like that idea of, you know, just kind of being open to what's there and allowing, you know, the opportunity to ask the cards and trusting yourself in doing that? Because it can be, it can be confused. I mean, I think we all probably started with, like the, you know, Celtic cross that was in the booklet and the past present future ways and it feels very, like prescriptive, like a recipe almost. Right. And so you don't want to jump in, it feels so sacred and particular.

And you don't just want to jump in feet first and start asking questions, because it seems kind of like you need to do it in a certain way. But sounds like as you do it over time, it gets easier, you kind of get a better idea and really trusting yourself is key in that.

So I'd say that that's a great beginner tip for this without getting too much into, you know, what we're going to be talking about in the class. Do you have any other beginner tips for creating your own spreads?

Kiala Givehand
Yeah, yeah, definitely do. I have some beginner tips before I go there, though, I want to you just said some really interesting good things. And I want to I just want to pull those threads for a moment.

The first one is the sacredness of creating spirits, right. So even though I'm sitting here going fun, functional that I do kind of consider every spirit to be pretty sacred, like I do, the ones that I create, I do still look at them. I've thought about them. I've thought them through I have six years ago, the first one I created, I don't think I was thinking about it the way I think about them now. So that also develops over time, your relationship to placement of the cards, and so on and so forth. Right. So there is still a way to create that sacredness, even though we feel like well, the Celtic cross has been around since the dawn of time. So it's just, it's earned that right to be sacred and have that right. But I think anything that is born out of us can also be treated as sacred, you know, and so, I want to name that for people, because I think it's really important.

And the more you like, I have a spread that I have been using probably for the last five years. I use it every single month. It's it's, it's, I rely on it, because it has not let me down in terms of giving me really good guidance, right, the questions are, and I've tweaked the questions over time, right, it's been, it has become like a thing, and I got to a point where it's like, I don't need to tweak it anymore. Now it is, and I can just use it right. So I think it's it's just gonna develop for those that like this and and really gravitate towards this once they kind of hear me talk about it in the in the class, I think you will find over time that it really does become sacred, it can be that and it can also be like loosey goosey willy nilly fine, and you don't have to, but you don't have to put too much pressure on the spread, right, it can be that as well.

So in terms of beginner tips, I think the first thing I would say is start small. Don't jump out of the gate with I'm going to create a 12 card spread, right, start with two or three cards and see what happens. I really did build on what I already saw, as like the staples, right past present future, Mind Body Spirit, the three card spreads, right?

Start with a pre-made spread like Past, Present Future, and then add two cards. Alright, two cards that you want to ask more questions of now, I'm going to just give you a little taste of something, most of you are probably creating a spread and you don't realize it. When you look at a spread and you pull a card and you go, Oh, I need a clarifier.

As soon as you add a card, you've created your own spread, right. So that's one little basic way of kind of thinking about it. As soon as you add a clarifying card to the table, you've just expanded the spread that you were already using. So that's a good entry point, right is to just add some clarifying cards. That's really great. So start small.

And then the other tip I would give to beginners is oh, this is let's see. Thematic; like come with a theme. Right? Like come with a I really want to work with abandonment in this spread, and build your spread around that theme. Right? Maybe the theme is joy. I want to come to my cards around the theme of joy. And so you start by having a theme and then you ask questions into that theme. And then you decide how you're going to lay the cards out. 

So I'll be talking more about like all the different components of spread building I think, but I think the best thing is to start small. Yeah, just start small have a thing and see where that takes you. And don't worry too much about the rules of spread making, because I can go ahead and tell you right now, spoiler alert, there are no rules. Spoiler alert.

Dayna Schmidt-Johnson
That might freak some of us out a little - some of us need rules!

Kiala Givehand
But I do have guidelines that I will be providing during the class, there will be some guidelines to help you create the container for yourself. And then my hope is that once you feel comfortable in the container that you have created, that you'll get to that you'll give yourself permission to kind of nudge out of the boundaries of it at some point, right?

So I will give you guidelines because listen, double Capricorn, I, I need the structure, I need the order. I need all that. So I do have the guidelines, but I'll share but I do hope also that people will really allow it to to be an unfolding and unfolding of of you because some of you are ready. Your soul is ready for you to like start building your own spreads because it has questions it wants you to ask that are not showing up in the pre made spreads. And so as soon as you open that door for your soul, the floodgates will come out and you will be like oh my god, I made 10 spreads in a week. I don't even know what to do. Right so so just come along for the journey. 

Dayna Schmidt-Johnson
That feels so magical. Oh wow. I cannot wait for this class. Kiala is going to be with us in November in the Society. In the meantime, we will of course put all of your info again down at the bottom of this video but where can we find you?

Kiala Givehand
Yeah, Instagram is the best place this where I hang out the most these days. It's still my happy place over there. Like go in and find them folks and see and I know it's not everybody's happy place but I'm not on the other thing. So Instagram is the best place. KialaGives one 's' at the end of that. That's really the best place and then obviously I would love y'all to always come take classes, see what things I'm doing and creating over there but all my shenanigans are happening on Instagram. So come on over there.

Dayna Schmidt-Johnson
We love shenanigans. We will be sure to follow you. And we will see you in November in the Society. Thanks so much for being here today, Kiala.

Kiala Givehand
Thank you Dayna. It's been awesome. Bye bye.


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