41 Short Tarot Spreads for Reading Any Situation

2018-01-08T20:53:37-04:00By |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. Rose 04/07/2019 at 3:14 am - Reply


    Thank you so much for this, I did the future love spread, and am confused about a couple of things. When I asked where I’ll meet this person, I got 10 of cups. And when I asked how I’ll meet this person, I got 8 of swords. Can someone please help me interpret this?

    Thank you so much!

    • Jeanne Mayell 04/07/2019 at 2:01 pm - Reply

      It depends on the deck you used. 10 cups and 8 swords vary widely by deck.

  2. lasha richards 10/28/2018 at 2:32 pm - Reply

    what is delay or soon equivalent to if the answer has nothing to do with time?

    • Jeanne Mayell 10/28/2018 at 2:46 pm - Reply

      Perhaps you could tell me the question you posed so I can better answer what delay or soon means. Sounds like you are asking about the Yes-No Oracle, right? If the Fortune card appears in the upper left quadrant, which means “soon” then I take it to mean “yes.” If it appears in the third or fourth quadrant, which means “delay” then I assume the answer is no or negative. If the question is “Will I find true love?” Then first quadrant is yes and likely soon. Second quadrant is yes, but some things need to happen first, like you may need to grow a little more. The actual cards that shows up in the four quadrants are helpful hints as to what’s going on around this issue you could explore. If the Fortune card shows up in the third or fourth quandrant, then you’ve got a lot of work to do before true love is coming in.

  3. Stella Mary 09/21/2018 at 7:01 am - Reply

    Amazing information. Thank you for putting in so much effort to guide us all with ease. Truly helps to understand the card. Also, the questions added are so detailed. Thank you again.

  4. Kristen Drake 08/25/2018 at 11:12 am - Reply

    With the Yes-No Oracle spread, do you only read the cards in the position containing the Wheel of Fortune?

  5. Kavindri 05/25/2018 at 8:06 am - Reply

    I’d like to try the reading

  6. Renee 03/09/2018 at 7:57 am - Reply

    Thank you very much i would like to use these please to help many people xx

    • Skylar Tucker 03/24/2019 at 7:59 pm - Reply

      I’ve always wondered what exact question to ask while using these spreads? Or is doing them with the issue in mind generally enough? I’d say it usually seems to be but I was curious if there was someway better?

  7. Anonymous 12/26/2017 at 2:41 pm - Reply

    If someone is having trouble making a decision on moving ( like which state) what spreads do you suggest?

    • Jeanne Mayell 12/26/2017 at 6:24 pm - Reply

      Thanks for your question!

      I sit and focus and quiet my mind. Then I throw a few cards for each possible place. You can vary the questions but here are possibilities for what you might want to know about each place: 1. What is important for me to know about this place for me and my family? 2.How will I/we fare here short-term? 3. Long -term? 4. Challenges I will face here? 5. Overall energy of this place for me.

      You could also just throw one card for each place, if there are a lot of options. Just be sure to focus on a question when you throw the card.

      Hope that helps.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

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

    These are great!! Thanks for sharing.

  12. 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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