I recently received some advice from an elder that it might be helpful to show the actual process and card layout that I use when I read for clients to give prospective clientele a visual and tactile sense of what the table looks like during my telephone readings.
Here we go:
I have developed a reading routine that involves three divination tools; the tarot (usually the Rider-Waite); the Lenormand oracle (the classic Blue Owl deck); and the obi. I combine a three card tarot layout with a freeform Lenormand spread. I then will clarify certain points with the obi shells. I tend to use the obi sparingly, usually to confirm certain spiritual indicators or advice - and to 'close' the reading.
I first start with the tarot to derive the general theme and advice for the reading by laying down three cards in a rough triangle, as pictured above. It gives a nice overview of things, I find. Those three cards stay at the top of my reading area and I will refer back to them during the course the consultation as a thematic anchor. The card at the top of the triangle is read as the 'issue'; the card to the left is the 'challenge'; the card on the right is the 'resource' or 'what helps'.
The lenormand oracle is dealt beneath the tarot spread (the smaller cards), and is laid out in a linear sequence using a particular 'key' card to hone in on specific questions. During the course of the reading I will do several freeform Lenormand spreads like this to clarify different aspects of an issue asking a new question for each spread - in this way building up a well rounded picture of situation. To do that I take an appropriate key card and pray over it so as to 'charge' it with the question. I then shuffle it back into the deck and then I search through the deck to find it - and a string of cards that accompanies it. I read that string of cards as it appears on either side of the key card.
Why do I use two decks?
Well, I find the tarot and the lenormand oracle each speak with a different 'voice'. The tarot gives great advice, and the Lenormand has a way of really nailing details. The combination of those two voices creates a nice wide spectrum that I've found really gives a nice well rounded picture whilst also being able to drill down into specific details as needed.