Night Circus Spread question


In the book The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, Isobel uses a spread that I am trying to see if it is one created by the author or if it is an common or known spread. She uses a Marseilles deck, shuffles, then splits the deck into 3 piles. She then has the querent pick a pile and then builds her spread from there. It does not describe how she spreads the cards. In one description, she also has the querent pull a single card to represent them. Any suggestions?


I don't think that is uncommon...I have at least seen it.

They 'cut' the deck into three piles and have the client choose 1 of the 3 piles.

The the reader fans it... and ask the client to chose x amount of card he/she is drawn to.

or the reader might just take the pile that was chosen...shuffle and lay out the cards.

*Hope I understood what you were articulating*


Welcome to the forum Nightcircus :thumbsup:

This is really tricky because she could have done any spread from then on in the book and some people like to use no spreads with the Marseille or make their own. I am not a Tarot de Marseille expert and there is a section of the forum discussing that especially, someone with more knowledge in this area than me might see this post.

But here is a list of some traditional TdeM spreads here.

The 3 card pile shuffle and picking a card to represent the person sitting is quite commonly done for any reading. You could try messaging the author on her social networks to see if she will tell you :)


Thank you both. Yes, CosmicBeing, you understood what I was referring to. Thank you, Danieljuk, for adding the link. I did, in fact, email the author. She admitted she was painfully slow in replying to emails so I was hoping to get started in the meantime.