Bob and Wheel is the name of this tarot spread. The name comes from an ancient English poetry structure. I’ve inverted the structure a little here. The wheel comes before the bob, but it doesn’t change how useful this spread is. An 18 card spread, the Bob and Wheel is a very detailed spread. It was an expansion off of the basic Wheel spread that I came upon trying to clarify information in the midst of a reading for a client years ago.
position 1: querent at present – This card indicates the state of the querent at the time the query is made. It could address the querent’s personal state or major details about the present moment.
position 2: root of the situation – This card presents what was the prime factor that lead to the development of the situation. It can range from some external factor to something that was internal to the principle actors, often with an indication as to who those actors are.
position 3: deep past influences – Like all deep past cards, this position reaches back to draw forward details about the events and influences at play at the beginning of all things.
position 4: developing past influence – This card shows the evolution of the scenario coming up to the immediate past.
position 5: major player in past developments – The individual(s) indicated in this card are the persons who were crucial in how things reached the point they are presently at. At times, this card will not indicate a person, per se, but rather a crucial element to the situation. Thus it may happen that an item or an event will be portrayed.
position 6: present situation – This position indicates the present situation in its full scope. It may at times indicate persons who are major players in the situation at this time.
position 7: immediate future w/o change – The trends and immediate events coming to the querent are presented in this card. This future image is based strictly on the conditions as the are at the time of the query with out any changes or input into the situation.
position 8: what querent is seeking in situation – This card clarifies what the querent is looking to find or resolve in the situation. This at times reveals hidden details about the querent’s desires with respect to the situation.
position 9: influence of people around querent – The people surrounding the querent will have an influence on how events unfold. This card summarizes that influence.
position 10: influence of querent’s environment – The querent’s environment also has a role on how the situation will resolve itself and what will unfold. This card summarizes those influences.
position 11: fate’s influence – The unknown (could be described as fate, the hand of god, etc.) always plays a role in how things develop. This card gives some indication as to what that will be.
position 12: long term outcome w/o change – This presents the long term outcome of the situation with out any changes in the present. It is a bit more of a far reaching version of position 7.
position 13: marker of querent on the right direction – The first marker indicating that they are moving in the direction that they wish to is presented in this card. It can be anything from an item to a person, to a situation.
position 14: first challenge encountered – The querent will encounter challenges along their path to resolving the situation. This card illustrates the first major challenge.
position 15: 2nd marker of querent on the right direction – This card indicates the second major marker that the querent is moving in the correct direction. The same considerations from reading position 13 comes into play here.
position 16: second challenge encountered – Like position 14, this card illuminates the next major challenge that the querent will face in their efforts to reach their goal.
position 17: major pit fall to avoid – Unlike positions 14 and 16, this card indicates the major trap that could completely derail the querent’s successful completion of their goal. It may be foreshadowed in cards 14 or 16 but sometimes it is entirely separate. It is, most of the time, a negative card position that indicates problems and difficulties.
position 18: outcome if querent successfully navigates challenges and ‘trap’ – The final position of the spread indicates the outcome of the situation if the querent successfully navigates the challenges and avoids the major pit fall. It will have elements from the cards at position 7 and 12, in most cases. Sometimes, however, it reflects something entirely different. This, however, does not diminish the accuracy of this position. It simply illustrates that there are additional factors in motion with this card than were present in the other two.