I decided to do a post on my favourite tarot spreads to really highlight the different ways that tarot can help us with every day decisions and problems. I really like to take the mystical side out of tarot and very much view it as a practical tool to help us navigate our journey. There is without a doubt an ‘unknown’ element when reading the tarot cards but my aim is for a client to leave a reading feeling that they have some clear and practical information.
There is literally a tarot spread for every situation but I have a few go to spreads that can pretty much answer any question and give nice clear guidance. I also really like to do custom spreads which are tailored to a specific question. I’ll talk a bit more about this at the end.
The Horseshoe Spread
This is a spread that I discovered quite recently but I’m using it more and more. In fact it really is one of my go to spreads for any situation. I do a lot of short readings at Rozelle Collector’s Market and this spread is excellent for a 15 or 20 minute reading. For me it works better if you have a specific question if you are looking for a general reading, the card up the top really shows me what is going on in your life. For instance is I get a card about love in that position then I know that the universe is trying to deliver a message around love. The first 3 cards show where we have been and where we are headed in relation to the question. The other influences card is really interesting for me as it quite often shows something that the client has not really thought about. This is where the magic happens for me as it gives us something to focus on or something to watch out for. The obstacles card is probably one of the most important in the spread as this shows any blockages that could stand in the way of us reaching out goals. If I’m doing a longer reading I could then to another spread to focus on the blockage and find some actions we can take to navigate or eradicate that particular obstacle. I always say ‘likely outcome’ rather than outcome because my belief is that we have control over our destiny. This shows that path that you are on at the moment but this can change with the everyday twists and turns of life. I need to give credit to www.thetarotlady.com as I originally found this layout on her website and I’ve been making it my own since.
The Celtic Cross
This is a classic spread and the one that you are most likely to have come across if you have ever visited a tarot reader. It is quite a detailed and involved spread and I find it’s best for longer readings. I’ve seen some people make the mistake of asking really simple questions then pulling a celtic cross. To be honest that’s probably not the best idea as it’s not really important to know what other people are thinking if you are asking whether or not you should go to the gym that day or if you just want a quick read on how your day is going to go. However this spread can be really useful as it gives me loads of information to work with and what I particularly like is that it reveals what is going on subconsciously. Quite often the client will think that they want one thing but the subconscious can show that they really want something completely different. For instance I quite often get asked if a particular relationship is going to become serious. The conscious card can show that the client is consumed by this but it may show up that deep down you already know that this person is not the right person for you. I also like to really look at how the cards interact with each other so it’s definitely not as simple as laying out the cards then reciting their meaning. I like to look at the rows and see the progression – e.g I will look at the past, present and near future to really get a view on the progression that is being made. There are many different versions of the celtic cross but this is the one that resonates best with me.
Without a doubt the 2 most common questions that any tarot reader gets asked is “am I going to get paid?” or “am I going to get laid?”!!! I’m making light of it but it’s a serious issue for a lot of people and the tarot is a great tool to let you know what’s going on in a relationship and what you need to know. I use this spread pretty much every time I get asked about where a relationship is headed. It’s not going to always give you a definitive “you are going to get married” or “it is doomed” but it will absolutely let you know where you are heading at the moment and show some of the other influences.
I start with the current situation just to really get a read on how things are right at this moment in time. The next 2 cards are very interesting for me. This is shows how you feel about each other but what is really important for me with these 2 cards is how they are interacting with each other. If there are people in the cards I will look to see if they are facing each other, facing away, maybe one card is about fast moving energy and the other is stagnant. I get loads of great information from these 3 cards. The obstacles card is again very important as I believe that knowledge is power and it’s best to know about any potential struggles that could come up in the relationship. The outcome card can also be viewed as advice. This will show where you are headed but can also be about what you need to focus on so this relationship will realise it’s full potential.
This is a great spread for those who are looking for love. If somebody is in that situation I will probably do a couple of spreads. This one can show where you are going to meet your partner and the type of person that you should look out for but I would typically also work with somebody to discover any blockages that might be standing in the way of them meeting somebody. I often work with the client to lead them on a path of self discovery to really find their power and sometimes look within to find love in themselves first and release the past. So back to this spread. As you will see it shows what the future true love will be like. This may show that it’s all about passion, stability, joy or maybe you really are soul mates. Lots of different things can come up in this card so it really depends what card is turned over on how I will read this one. The next card is interesting as it shows if this is going to be a love at first sight or if it’s going to be a bit more of a slow burn. Sometimes people are looking for that lightning bolt but it’s not always like that. The next card shows what the person will be like – this can be looks, energy or just and overall feeling. Again we get to see what the challenges are and this may actually be challenges in you meeting this person or it could be challenges in the relationship. We then get into what’s going to help you meet the person or what will help you in the relationship then we get some kind of read on where you might meet that person and when it could happen.
3 Card Spreads
These are the spreads that can be used for any question and they are brilliant! You can make 3 card spreads tailored to any question. When people start reading tarot they tend to do really complicated 10 or even 15 card readings but what I have found in my tarot journey is that less is more. When you have 3 cards you can delve really deep into the meaning of each card and get a wealth of information. I could do a 30 minute reading just from 3 cards and the client would walk out with so much rich information. I’ve just put a couple of examples in this illustration but the past, present, future is a favourite and this can be applied to love, career, money, health – you name it. I also really like situation, action result because it leaves us with something tangible and tells us what we need to do if we can to get to that particular result. If the result card is not one what you want then we would look at a different course of action. The bottom one is great for general readings and if somebody just rocks up without any questions. This highlights what we need to know right now so it’s a message directly from the universe and is usually a foot up the backside telling you to do something! Again it leaves us with a course of action.
I hope that this post has demonstrated that the possibilities are endless when it comes to tarot spreads. There really is no right or wrong and it’s about what feels best for the reader and the client. I will often work with a client at the start of a reading and develop a custom spread to ensure that no stone is unturned and that every question is answered.
If you have any questions about this post or if you want me to develop a custom spread for your current situation then just drop me a line firstname.lastname@example.org