What is a Tarot Card Spread?
A tarot card spread is a method by which a tarot reader lays out or “spreads” the cards from a tarot deck in order to gain insight into the past, present or future. There are many different ways to lay out a spread, We show you some examples of different spreads such as the fire of creation spread and the year ahead spread (always a great one to pull on your birthday.) Or the Tarot spread for Anxiety.
A tarot card reading can be a very powerful experience, providing insight and guidance into the choices we make in our lives. While there is no one right or wrong way to interpret the cards, there are some general guidelines that can help you get the most out of your reading.
What Can a Tarot Card Spread Tell you?
A talented reader will have many spreads or card configurations to choose from and different spreads help give you different perspectives on the question at hand.
When you are having a tarot card reading, it is important to remember that the cards are only a tool for guidance and not a substitute for your own intuition or common sense. The reader is there to help you interpret the messages from the cards, but ultimately it is up to you to decide what those messages mean in your life.
If you are unsure about something, don’t be afraid to ask the reader for clarification. A good reader will be happy to explain anything that you are unclear about.
What is the Best Way to have Fun With Tarot card Spreads?
Keep an open mind when you are having a tarot card reading. The messages from the cards may not always make sense to you at first, but if you trust in the process and allow yourself to be open to the guidance, you will find that the messages begin to make more sense over time.
Most importantly, relax and enjoy the experience! A tarot card reading can be a very enjoyable and enlightening experience, so make sure to let yourself go and enjoy the ride.
For newcomers and veteran tarot readers alike, understanding tarot cards can be a challenge. Here are some tips to help you out.
Tip #1: Context is Key
Newcomers to tarot believe that the meaning lies in the cards, sometimes focusing on the Major Arcana — yet the deeper meaning lies in the tarot spread.
A tarot spread is a pattern, the way the cards are set on the table. This impacts the tarot card reading and interpretations you can derive from the deck.
Individual meanings for the cards still exist, but in each spread, their positioning can gain a unique interpretation.
There are several types of tarot readings and spreads to consider. An example is the “Fire of Creation” spread, in which the card in the “kindling” position represents a starting point for your journey or project.
One of the easiest tarot spreads for beginners is the “three-card” spread, in which you draw 3 cards and each position has a meaning. Positions can be interpreted as “past/ present/ future” or even “situation/ obstacle/ advice.” In the first spread, the middle card represents the present, and the third card is the future card.
Tarot spreads can be tailored to the topic or question at hand, so different tarot readings require different spreads.
Five-card tarot spreads build on the three-card spread to offer more information. The 5 tarot card spread can be rearranged into several formations to best suit your question. For example, a five-card spread on relationships is often arranged in the form of a cross, representing you, your partner, your relationship, and its light and dark aspects.
A more advanced spread would be the Celtic cross spread. The Celtic cross tarot spread consists of 10 cards that form the shape of a cross, covering past, present, future, strengths, hopes, and so on. The Celtic cross spread is quite versatile and can be used for different kinds of tarot readings. For larger spreads, you can use more than one tarot deck to receive more specific answers. Some of our favorite tarot decks are the Shadowland Tarot Deck and the Antique Anatomy Tarot Deck.
However, if you don’t have a tarot deck on hand, plenty of people choose to throw a playing card tarot spread. This practice is cartomancy, and you can use any of the aforementioned tarot layouts but with your run-of-the-mill playing deck. This method excludes the Major Arcana and uses spades as swords, hearts as cups, diamonds as pentacles, and clubs as wands. Of course, this spread is best for practiced tarot readers because of the amount of memorization involved, but you can always throw this tarot spread for yourself to test your knowledge.
For deeper questions, practitioners may also use only the Major Arcana in a tarot spread. A tarot reading of this kind would focus on questions like, “what is my purpose?” or “what do I need to learn?” These Major Arcana spreads can range from 1 to 22 cards, but we prefer to keep it to a three-card tarot spread or five-card tarot spread.
Tip #2: Specific Spreads Provide Guidance
Sometimes, a life situation requires specific guidance.
Fire of Creation
The Fire of Creation spread we mentioned earlier helps the tarot reader find guidance when you’re stuck on a creative project. Think for example writer’s block or when you simply can’t pin down an idea for the next boardroom meeting. Incorporate this into your next tarot card reading to get your creative juices flowing.
The Year Ahead spread is a classic for tarot readers every new year, in which a forecast of what might come in the following months is displayed.
And even if you’re in the middle of the year, this spread can still be played to see what remains to be seen.
For those facing disease or trauma, the Inner Healing spread provides guidance on how to move on towards a healthier life.
For inspiration on your love life try our Romance/Something Old, Something New spread with a list of inspiring questions.
Read more about Tarot Spreads:
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