ISIS – Method & Sample

The I.S.I.S method of reading three cards it one of the simplest and eye-opening ways to read the tarot. I.S.I.S stands for “Interactive Story Integrative Spread”.

The I.S.I.S method only uses three cards, that is what makes the reading so easy to do, you only need three cards. One challenge for me was becoming overwhelmed by spread with many cards. I like to keep things simple as much as possible without sacrificing quality. The I.S.I.S method does not include positional meanings. There is no “past, present, future” or “problem, advice, outcome” for the cards. They are free form, your intuition must guide you in the reading. You are telling a story. My I.S.I.S method is inspired by Robert M. Place’s method of reading the three cards as a story. When I heard Robert talk about his method on the Tarot Connection and did it I loved it. It has been my go to method of reading the cards and always provide interesting and insightful readings.

In my upcoming book Tarot : what the little white book won’t tell you I teach the I.S.I.S method and provide a few practice readings for you to interpret.

Lets do an example of the I.S.I.S method.

Maria comes to you for a reading, she and her boyfriend have been having issues. She says something is not right in the relationship and wants a reading to figure out what. You pull three cards.

Queen of Swords, 10 of Wands and 8 of Cups (You can pull these cards out of your own deck if you want). What story do you see?

Consider this.

Courts – People in the situation, actions and attitudes

Body Language – What do the position or direction of the bodies in the cards say?

Challenges – Which cards pose a challenge or block.

Now integrate and interact, what story are the cards telling you? Look at the cards as one big card.

Post your reading in the comments.




The recipient of Tarosophist of the Year 2011, Angelo Nasios is a rising voice in the tarot community. Angelo is known for his popular YouTube channel in which he produces educational tarot videos. Tarot: Unlocking the Arcana, Angelo’s first book will be released by Schiffer Publishing.

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  • Janet Boyer

    I love Robert Place’s method! I only use it with his deck, though, because he designed it with posture/direction in mind (I was in a teleclass where he taught this).

    For the cards you chose as your sample, notice they are all facing right. In handwriting analysis, the right side is always the future (left is the past). And notice that NONE of the cards are looking at one another.

    There is no mental or emotional connection between these two people. The Queen of Swords is “chasing” an answer with logic, the man in the 10 of Wands feels henpecked by her complaints of “not communicating” and, judging by the 8 of Cups card (which I see as male in this spread), he’s seriously considering leaving this relationship.

    She’s going to have to assess how’s she’s dealing with her boyfriend, and realizing her talkativeness (or haranguing about “not communicating”) and consider if she’s chasing him away. That 10 of Wands tells me that he’s probably burying himself in work, his “man cave” or staying late at the office to avoid her.

    If they don’t “face” one another, each on their own turf while considering the needs/wants/preferences of the other, he’s likely to leave the relationshp…soon.

  • Angelo Nasios

    Thanks Janet, great observations!

  • Janet Boyer

    I’m so glad someone is running with Place’s 3-card method. It’s simple and brilliant and can truly revolutionized Tarot.

  • http://Website Cyndee

    I also saw this spread the same way. I have been using this method in my readings and then drawing additional cards as the querent is talking and asking other questions. I like this better because like you were saying , none of these cards have a specific location and meaning.

    I see the 10 of wands as she is really on his back about things and he has just had enough. In my opinion she chased him away with her being a right fighter. That is just part of the problem. I think he is feeling like she is selfish and he is not as important to her as she is to herself!!

    Angelo, I would love to do some of these sample readings and would love to see more on your site. Then we can have others join us and give us there version and all learn from one another..


    • Angelo Nasios

      Thank you. Your view of the cards is great and took it into the direction I was but you added more to what I intended which is great!

  • http://Website Cyndee

    TY.. I appreciate your feedback.