Whether you’re new to tarot or have read the cards for years, you can always uncover new ways to enhance your practice.
Tarot card spreads play a big role in every reading.
A tarot spread or tarot card spread describes the way you lay out your cards.
Spreads can be very simple or very complex, and each can help you tackle different types of questions.
These four tarot card spreads will help you uncover new truths about yourself, your life, and the universe.
Table of Contents
Before Each Tarot Reading
Tarot is a personal practice, but there are some typical guidelines that most people follow.
Most readers start by having the querent, or the person asking the question, get into the right mindset.
If you’re reading your own spread, you are both the reader and the querent.
If you’re reading for someone else, they are the querent.
And if someone else is reading for you, you are the querent again.
How to get a good tarot reading
It’s common for the querent to shuffle the deck of tarot cards.
Lots of people pass the cards back and forth from hand to hand. Others spread the deck out on a table, mix the cards around, and neatly stack them back up.
Some people even shuffle the deck like they’re getting ready to deal a round of poker.
Whichever method you use, think of your question or intention while shuffling. This mindset helps you focus on the cards, cast out distractions, and ground yourself in the best mental space.
How many cards are in a tarot spread?
That depends entirely on the tarot card spread you are reading. A tarot card spread can be a one card pull all the way up to as many as you feel you need for clarity.
Some people will make larger spreads, but I never go over 12, because I feel like you’re just pulling broad generalizations instead of real intuitive answers.
One Card Tarot Spread
Did you know that you can have a meaningful reading with a single tarot card spread?
Pulling a single card is a great way to make tarot part of your daily routine, even when you’re busy with other tasks.
This spread might not be best for deep dives into thorny problems, but it can help you set intentions and receive guidance on many issues.
Shuffle your deck while thinking of a question. Open-ended questions that can’t be answered with a yes or no will be best.
You can focus on something in your life where you need more guidance. If nothing comes to mind, you can simply ask, what should I focus on today?
Keeping shuffling for as long as you’d like. You’ll know when the deck is ready because the time will feel right. Don’t worry about shuffling for too long or not long enough.
When you’re ready, select your card. Depending on what feels right, you might choose the card on the top of the deck, one from the center, or one that sticks out while shuffling.
Turn the card over. Take some time to study it, listening to your internal reactions. What do you think of when you see the card? How does it speak to your question? Next, consult your guidebook to see how your intuition matches the traditional interpretation. Tarot card spreads deliver personal insights, so trust your reactions.
Three Card Tarot Spread
Once you’re comfortable pulling a single card, triple tarot card spreads are a perfect evolution for your practice. Pulling three cards helps you find patterns, trends, and dimensions in your life.
The three-card spread is still simple to perform but can deliver a wealth of information. You can even invent your own three-card spreads when you feel called to do so.
A three-card spread builds on the single card to include more details. Most readers interpret these spreads to have three stages. Each card answers a particular element of your question.
As always, shuffle your deck while thinking of an open-ended question or problem. You don’t want a yes or no question because this spread will give you much more information than a one-word answer.
When you feel ready, pull three cards and lay them down in order.
There are a few ways to interpret a three-card spread. Some common modalities include:
- Situation – Problem – Advice
- Past – Present – Future
- Mind – Body – Spirit
Five Card Tarot Spreads
Five-card tarot card spreads build upon the three-card spread to help you learn more about a situation. These spreads use the three-card spread as their foundation, but the reader pulls two more cards for even more insights.
Start by laying out the standard three-card spread, then pull two more cards.
You’ll make a cross or a t-shape with these cards.
Place the fourth card above the second card and the fifth card underneath the second card to form your cross.
The fourth and fifth cards add more details to your query. You can interpret the entire spread in a variety of ways.
- Situation – Problem – Advice – Final Outcome – Theme
- Past – Present – Future – Reason For The Situation – Potential Outcome
- Mind – Body – Spirit – Fear – Hope
Calendar Tarot Spread
In this spread, you pull twelve cards. Each one represents a month in the coming year. This spread can help you reflect on your goals, make plans, and drive your personal development.
As always, begin by shuffling your deck. Focus on the coming year and any lessons, hurdles, and growth opportunities you may see.
When you’re ready, draw twelve cards and lay them out one by one. You can arrange calendar tarot card spreads in many different designs.
Some people lay the cards out circularly, like the numbers on a clock. Others arrange the cards in a single, unbroken line. You might always make a rectangular grid.
Choose the pattern that feels best to you.
Getting Better With Tarot
Once you’re arranged your cards, see what patterns emerge. Some readers interpret each card as a particular month, while others study the general flow of energy over the year.
These tarot card spreads are perfect to pull on any landmark occasion.
For example, you might try these spreads on birthdays, anniversaries, milestones like starting a new job, the beginning of the year, and more.
What is the most powerful card in the tarot?
The most powerful card in the tarot deck is the one you pull over and over again. That card is SO important, sometimes if you keep pulling a card it actually doesn’t belong in a spread at all.
Instead, it needs you to sit down and read it, because there’s something you really need to hear.