41 Short Tarot Spreads for Reading Any Situation

 Readin-cardswebsize-300x243Half the skill in using the Tarot is posing good questions. Below are spreads covering every aspect of your life - your purpose, growth, money, love, health, pets, even loved ones on the other side.Scroll down and find the spread that fits your interest.How to read the cards:
  • Begin with a few centering breaths. Then ask that spirit give you (or the one you are reading) the reading you need.
  • Ask spirit to send healing, guidance, and answers to you. Have the other person ask their guides to do the same and that the guides work through you.
  • Then shuffle the cards and lay down a card for each question from left to right.
  • Try this with a friend or friends so that you can help each other with your interpretations.
  • When reading the cards, breathe to stay grounded in your body, not in your head, then see how each card strikes you as you look at it. Where does your eye go? Read that first. Notice colors. Read the card that jumps out at you first. See if you can see movement in the card. Then read each card in order. Next sit back and gaze at the whole spread before you, and see if you can feel the energy of these cards. Is it jumpy, peaceful, intense, or spiritual? Finally wrap up your reading in your own words, allowing yourself to embellish or flow with whatever comes through you.
CELTIC CROSS: BEST GENERAL LIFE SPREADThis is the only spread here that is not short. However it is by far the best spread for getting an overview of someone or yourself. . I should know -- I've given over 15,000 readings using it. Why? Because it zeros in on the person's main issues, gives me a feeling of the person's general energy (e.g., sad, happy, vibrant, unwell, fearful, confident, motivated) similar to the way that Chinese medicine reads people's pulses. For a more detailed discussion of the Celtic Cross, go here.
1. What I bring to the relationship. 2. What the other person brings to the relationship. 3. Nature of the relationship for me 4. Challenges to the relationship for me. 5. How the relationship will progress.
  1. What I need to know about myself in partnership
  2. What am I looking for in a partner?
  3. Positive qualities I bring to a relationship.
  4. Obstacles within myself to finding the right partner
  5. What will help me find a new partner?
3. RELATIONSHIP SPREAD (for a specific loved one)
  1. General situation between you and your object of desire.
  2. How he/she feels about you.
  3. How you feel about him/her.
  4. Obstacles to a relationship with this person.
  5. Outcome/Advice (answer to "Is this person for me?
4. GROWING TO RELATIONSHIPLay out six cards in an upward diagonal from left to right. Card 1: Where I am right now in my love journey. Cards 2-5: Lessons I need to learn or steps I need to take to attain love. Card 6: Outcome.5. FUTURE LOVE
  1. My future true love
  2. Will the attraction be instant or a gradual awakening?
  3. What will this person be like?
  4. Challenges I'll face.
  5. What will help us along?
  6. When/where/how will I meet this person?
  1. How is my loved one doing?
  2. Anything my loved one wants to say to me.
  3. What's it like on the other side?
  4. How can I best support you?
7. YOUR CHILD1. What my child came into life to learn. 2. How my child is doing now 3. What graces my child. 4. What my child needs from me. 5. Where the child is headed at this time?8. YOUR PET1. What my pet is feeling. 2. What my pet is trying to tell me. 3. What my pet most wants from me. 4. What I can do to help my pet. 5. My pet's general health.9. PERSON I DON'T LIKE SPREAD
  1. What is it I don't like about this person?
  2. What is it that this person triggers within me that I have been avoiding?
  3. How might this person be a teacher for me?
  4. What obstacles are there to my learning?
  5. What do I need in order to grow from this relationship?
  1. This is your outside appearance; what you know and others can see.
  2. This is the unknown; what you”re not aware of, no one can see, but what is ruling.
  3. This is the hidden; what you know but won't show others.
  4. This is the blind spot; what you can't see but what others see in you.
  1. What is my lesson right now?
  2. How can I grow spiritually at this time?
  3. How else can I grow spiritually at this time?
  4. What”s my biggest challenge at this time?
  5. Where am I headed?
  1. Overview of myself
  2. Ambitions, goals
  3. Achievements
  4. Dependencies, faulty beliefs
  5. Strengths
  1. What is it like on the other side?
  2. What does the other side have to teach me?
  3. Why do we come here?
  4. Anything else to know about the other side.
14. INNER PEACE SPREAD1: Quality within me that leads me to inner peace. 2: Obstacle within me to attaining inner peace. 3: If there is any one thing I should be doing to achieve inner peace? 4: Something in my environment that helps or blocks me. 5: Outcome15. SELF DISCOVERY SPREAD1. Who have I been? 2. Who am I? 3. Who am I becoming?16. SIX STEPS TO FULFILLMENTLay out six cards in an upward diagonal from left to right. Card 1: Where I am right now in my journey to fulfillment. Card 2-5: Lessons I need to learn to reach fulfillment. Card 6: Outcome.17. PATH TO HAPPINESS1. What are the strengths I bring to every situation? 3. What quality in myself should I develop more? 4. Where am I headed in the short-term? 5. Where am I headed in the long-term?18. MY PURPOSE
  1. What is the purpose that I was brought here to fulfill?
  2. What obstacles do I need to get over?
  3. 3 Lessons (lay out 3 cards) I need to learn along the way.
  4. Who or what can help me attain my goal?
  5. What can I give to the world?
19. TREASURE WITHIN ME1. How do other people perceive me? 2. What is my shining self? 3. What is my inner most passion? 4. What is hidden within me that is waiting to be discovered?20. MY PURPOSE THIS LIFETIME
  1. What did you come into this world for this lifetime?
  2. What did you come into your specific family for?
  3. What is the specific emotion that's been most difficult for you to learn to use to your advantage this time?
  4. What is your biggest challenge this time around?
  5. What will be your greatest gift this time?
  6. What is your greatest lesson this time?
CAREER, MONEY, HEALTHFor a private phone/SKYPE reading with Jeanne, Email me.
  1. What I am good at doing.
  2. What I enjoy doing.
  3. My calling.
  4. Biggest challenge within myself
  5. Issues in my environment I should know about.
  6. Anything else I should understand about finding my right work
  7. The next best step to bring me to my true work.
  8. Someone who will help me along the way.
  9. Outcome
22. MONEY1. My current financial situation. 2. What is the lesson here for me regarding money? 3. Who or what project will bring in more money? 4. Outcome
23. HEALTH1: What is the overall state of my health? 2: What is the overall state of my mind? 3: What is the overall state of my body? 4: What is the overall state of my spirit? 5: How do I integrate these parts of myself?24. YOUR CHAKRAS Tells condition of your body's energy centers.1: Root chakra - physical, including sexual, health 2: Hara - center of your being, digestion, overall life force 3: Solar Plexus - strength of will 4: Heart chakra - your love center 5: Throat Chakra - communication center 6: Third Eye - intuitive center 7: Crown Chakra - spiritual center25. MY FOCUS AT THIS TIME IN MY LIFE1: The issue that”s upper most in my mind. 2: Something more to know about it. 3: Obstacle to my focus. 4: What to do about it? 5: Outcome26. EMPOWERMENT SPREAD1: This is my power. 2: How it is best used. 3: What inhibits this power within me? 4: How can I bring it out more?27. ESSENCE OF YOU
  1. Soul card
  2. Personality or external card
  3. Crossing card or challenge
  1. What does this event have in store for me?
  2. What do I need to watch out for?
  3. What can I do about it?
  1. Problem.
  2. Background
  3. Advice
30. DO THIS; DON'T DO THAT SPREAD (A favorite!)
  1. Do this.
  2. Don't do this.
  3. Outcome
  1. How my deeper, inner self reacts to this situation.
  2. How my outer self reacts to this situation.
  3. What I need to confront or obstacles I'm facing in this situation.
  4. What is helping in this situation.
  5. Outcome
  1. Nature of the problem
  2. What led up to the current problem
  3. Current attitude/actions that preserve the status quo
  4. Secondary gains from staying in the situation
  5. Necessary changes in attitude/actions
  6. Outcome
  1. The overall conlict/situation
  2. How they really feel about you
  3. How you really feel about them
  4. Common Grounds (what the 2 of you have in common and can use to help the situation)
  5. Outcome
  1. Describe the situation I find myself in.
  2. What do I fear?
  3. What”s the lesson in it for me?
  4. How might I end out benefiting from this situation?
  5. Obstacles within me to my growth
  6. Outcome at this time.
SPREADS ABOUT THE FUTURE35. FUTURE DIRECTION1. What do I need to progress? 2. Is there a positive help to be asked for? 3. Is there a venue to pursue?36. PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE
  1. Past
    1. Relationships
    2. Financial
    3. Professional
  2. Present
    1. Relationships
    2. Financial
    3. Professional
  3. Future
    1. Relationships
    2. Financial
    3. Professional
  1. What am I finishing now and leaving?
  2. Who are my guides for this next journey?
  3. What traits can I work on to achieve a more successful outcome?
  4. What will be my new learn strengths?
  5. Outcome?
38. WHAT'S AHEAD OF ME?1. What you need to leave behind, to release. 2. What you must confront. 3. What you need to know. 4. What you attain.39. PAST LIFE SPREAD1. Show me a past life. 2. What was my purpose in that life? 3. What what my profession or avocation in that life? 4. What other family members were in that life? 5. Were there other people from this life in that life? 6. What lessons did I learn? 7. Did I fulfill my purpose?SPREADS FOR SEASONS, MOON PHASES, PLANETARY SHIFTS40. FULL MOON SPREAD
  1. What is my most important insight for my life at this time?
  2. What message does spirit want to give me at this time?
  3. What do I hope for in my life?
  4. How can I live inside that hope?
  5. Outcome.
41. Springtime Spread - Nurturing Growth Within Me
  • What”s ready to emerge from within me?
  • What must I overcome to push through?
  • How can I nourish it to grow and bear fruit? (2 cards)
  • Outcome

2017-08-09T19:55:15+00:00 By |Tarot|

About the Author:

Jeanne Mayell is a professional intuitive and author who gives private life readings and offers tools to help people develop their psychic abilities. In 2015, Mayell was named by Coast to Coast AM radio as one of America’s most gifted Tarot readers. Holding Master Degrees from the Harvard School of Public Health and the Harvard Graduate School of Education, an MA in Counseling Psychology from Framingham State University, and published in The Atlantic and other national journals, she is not only a gifted intuitive, but brings an academic and intellectual perspective to the world of psychic readings and intuition training.Sensing that an era of profound and accelerated change is upon us, Mayell has been teaching people to expand the intuitive gifts we are all born with. In this way, we will be able to navigate the coming changes for ourselves, our families and others. She teaches classes in Tarot, Prophecy, Positive Psychology, and mindfulness — all ways to find inner guidance. Mayell has also worked as a health writer (Atlantic Monthly, American Health Magazine, and EastWest Journal), and was the Massachusetts Medicaid Director, a policy analyst for the City of New York’s health and welfare programs, and a research consultant on national health and welfare programs. She has co-authored two books on health and welfare and is currently writing a book on intuition and the Tarot.


  1. Emma 06/03/2017 at 8:14 am - Reply


    Hello, this site is really great and thanks for making it to help all of us. I think its great that you take the time to answer our questions too, please would you help me?

    I did your 4 card love on the other side spread, who knows if I did it right? but I spoke the full name of the the deceased person as I shuffled the cards, beforehand I took some breaths and recited at the top about asking a spirit guide for support. I then cut the deck right to left with left hand and put it back together, I then layed out 4 cards in a row left to right.

    I pulled queen of wands 1st, queen of cups 2nd, king of wands 3rd and 3 of wands 4th. Please could you tell me what this means ?

    Ps. don’t think I’m crazy etc. but this deceased person is someone who died in the 20th century and I don’t have anything to do with him in this life but I think I knew him in my previous life and have bumped into his reincarnation!

    • Jeanne Mayell 06/05/2017 at 3:26 pm - Reply

      Hi Emma, Thanks for you inquiry. I do respond to people’s questions all over this website but only questions that everyone reading the site can benefit from. If your question is a personal question about you in which you are seeking that I read you, then please contact me in the contact form and set up a private one on one reading. There’s a link in the contact form explaining more about my private readings. And there is a fee for private readings. I do teach online tarot classes (see classes) in which everyone learns how to read the cards and receives readings from me and others in the class during the class. Best wishes, Jeanne

  2. Pastor Moses 03/26/2017 at 12:58 am - Reply

    These 41 short spread that can answer any question are great. I will teach my students on how to use some of these spread asap. Thanks

    • Jeanne 03/26/2017 at 10:58 am - Reply

      Thank-you, Pastor Moses. I’m so glad you like them. I am on the verge of publishing a slightly longer number of spreads, since I’ve found more that I like. So stay tuned.

  3. Ruth 02/13/2017 at 1:14 am - Reply

    Hello Jeanne,

    Thank you for these wonderful spreads. I am an avid tarot learner. I wanted to give your “do this/ don’t do this” spread a try. I had some questions and needed your help too. Do you use reversals for this spread. The reason I ask is because, I tried this for 3 questions. 1. Should I relocate for a job offered to me, I got the Judgement reversed for Do this and 8 of cups for Don’t do this. I didn’t understand what Judgement reversed could mean, my gut feeling told me that Judgement is a new beginning, so in this case maybe not since its reversed. 8 of cups says don’t walk away from what you have. Not sure if I am correct. My next question was should I look for another job in my city. I got Ace of pentacles for Do this and King of Swords for Don’t. Here I interpreted it as yes, look for another job, there is something in the pipeline for me and King of Swords tells me don’t analyse the situation too much, or don’t think too much, just go for it. Am I reading the cards correctly? Another question was should I invest in a property in my native place, I got the King of cups and 8 of cups reversed. I was stuck here, didn’t know what the cards are trying to tell me. Your insight would be appreciated.

    Thanks very much <3

  4. Crystal passmore 09/15/2016 at 11:05 am - Reply

    These are great!! Thanks for sharing.

  5. Paul L Bundick 08/06/2016 at 3:44 pm - Reply

    Why don’t you use the traditional 10 card spread for divination?
    Why do you use the Crowley deck rather than the Waite deck?


    Glad you asked. I use it every day and have just written a blog post on it in response to your question. Go to menu item on Tarot, click on it, and scroll down to article on the Celtic Cross. As for why I use Crowley, give me time to write something about that. Thanks.– JM

    • Jeanne Mayell 08/07/2016 at 9:53 pm - Reply

      Thanks for asking these great questions. I use the eleven-card Celtic Cross for nearly all of my readings. I use the shorter spreads in my classes because we read each other as a group and there isn’t time to do a whole Celtic Cross. The shorter spreads are also useful when someone wants to focus on just one area of their life – like future love or finances or their child.

      Since receiving your comment, I have published a post on the Celtic Cross. Thanks for bringing up the topic!

      Regarding the Crowley Deck: I prefer the Crowley deck over the Rider Waite because it is both beautifully rendered and very stimulating to the imagination. Aleister Crowley and Frieda Harris spent seven years working on that deck. She sometime made dozens of drafts of each card before they settled on a final painting. Crowley was a brilliant man (even though he was a controversial bad boy of the day and I probably would not have liked the guy had I met him). But he produced a great deck.

      In addition to devoting his life to understanding the great mysteries, he was a poet and a great mountaineer, friend to Isadora Duncan, Winston Churchill, the poet Yates, the sculptor Auguste Rodin. He had extensive knowledge of many spiritual traditions which he then instructed Lady Harris to put in the deck – Egyptian, Celtic, Greek, Roman, Tibetan, Hindu and of course the Kabbalah. Lady Harris was an accomplished painter who also studied sacred geometry with Rudolf Steiner. Her use of sacred geometry expresses masterfully the idea of consciousness as waves of light (for example, see the Priestess card.)

      I also use the the Osho Zen deck as a supplement but rely mostly on Crowley. I love the Crowley deck’s use of color and the way it accentuates the four elements of earth, air, fire and water. The Waite deck doesn’t do much for me, but that’s me. I can read it but it doesn’t inspire me the way Harris’s images do. The Waite deck is the most popular deck, probably because its simple tableau images are easy to read. Each card is a little story unfolding. It’s a nice deck, but the Thoth deck is so stimulating that I often see the images coming right off the card and into the air in front of me. I hope that helps to answer your question.

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