Favorite Tarot Spreads
In this thread, feel free to tell us about your favorite Tarot Spread or ask questions about the ones I've listed here.
I've begun the discussion with a bunch of spreads that I like.
First is a post I wrote of 43 Short Spreads for Reading Any Situation. It is the one of the most popular posts on this website other than the Predidtion Page. Since originally posting this list of spread, over 5 million people have viewed it. The spreads are a combination of spreads I found including one old classic, spreads I wrote, and spreads my students wrote when I asked them to make up spreads for themselves as an exercise. If you forget where it is, you can always find it in the menu at the top of each page under ARTICLES then it pulls down to Tarot.
Second, no discussion of Tarot spreads is complete without the Celtic Cross (go here to read a short article I wrote about it) - an eleven card spread that I do for every reading I give. It's classic and is probably the most used spread in the Tarot.
Of the list of 43 short spreads shown in the link, these are my favorites (by number):
- 42. Yes-No Oracle for answering a Yes-No question. You can read more about it here in a post I wrote.
- 6. Relationship Spread for getting insight about you in a particular relationship.
- 11. The Blind Side for getting some insight about yourself you can't see.
- 31. Do This, Don't Do That Spread for some quick advice.
43 Short Tarot Spreads for Reading Any Situation
Unless otherwise indicated, lay the cards horizontally from left to right. An asterisk means it's one of my favorites.
RELATIONSHIPS WITH OTHERS
- RELATIONSHIP SPREAD* This applies to any kind of relationship.
- On the left side, throw three cards that represent you.
- On the right side, throw three cards that represent your friend.
- The card in the middle is the advice card as to how you can come together and understand how to have a better relationship.
2. FUTURE LOVE
- My future true love
- Will the attraction be instant or a gradual awakening?
- What will this person be like physically?
- What will this person be like emotionally?
- When/where/how will I meet this person?
3. NEW RELATIONSHIP
- What I bring to the relationship.
- What the other person brings to the relationship.
- Nature of the relationship for me
- Challenges to the relationship for me.
- How the relationship will progress.
FINDING THE RIGHT MATE
- What I need to know about myself in partnership
- What I am looking for in a partner.
- Environmental factors.
- Obstacles within myself to finding the right partner
- What will help me find a new partner
RELATIONSHIP SPREAD (for a specific loved one)
- General situation between you and your object of desire.
- How he/she feels about you.
- How you feel about him/her.
- Obstacles to a relationship with this person.
- Outcome/Advice (answer to “Is this person for me?
- GROWING TO RELATIONSHIP
Lay 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.
- LOVED ONE ON THE OTHER SIDE
- How is my loved one doing?
- Anything my loved one wants to say to me.
- What’s it like on the other side?
- How can I best support you?
- YOUR CHILD
- What my child came into life to learn.
- Where my child is now.
- What graces my child.
- What my child needs from me.
- Where the child is headed over the next ___ (state time frame).
- YOUR PET
- What my pet is feeling.
- What my pet is trying to tell me?
- What my pet most wants from me.
- What I can do to help my pet?
- My pet’s general health.
- PERSON WE DON’T LIKE SPREAD
- What is it I don’t like about this person?
- What is it that this person triggers within me that I have been avoiding?
- How might this person be a teacher for me?
- What obstacles are there to my learning?
- What do I need in order to grow from this relationship?
SPREADS ABOUT YOUR PURPOSE, LESSONS, SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT
- BLIND SIDE SPREAD *
- This is your outside appearance; what you know and others can see.
- This is the unknown; what you’re not aware of, no one can see, but what is ruling.
- This is the hidden; what you know but won’t show others.
- This is the blind spot; what you can’t see but what others see in you.
- DHARMA SPREAD (SPIRITUAL LIFE LESSONS)
- What is my lesson right now?
- How can I grow spiritually at this time?
- How else can I grow spiritually at this time?
- What’s my biggest challenge at this time?
- Where am I headed?
- MANDALA SPREAD
- Overview of myself
- Ambitions, goals
- Dependencies, faulty beliefs
- THE WORLD BEYOND
- What is it like on the other side?
- What does the other side have to teach me?
- Why do we come here?
- Anything else to know about the other side.
- INNER PEACE SPREAD
1: 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.
- SELF DISCOVERY SPREAD
- Who have I been?
- Who am I?
- Who am I becoming?
- SIX STEPS TO FULFILLMENT
Lay 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.
- PATH TO HAPPINESS
- What do I need most right now to be happy?
- What am I focusing on instead?
- What quality in myself should I develop more?
- Where am I headed in the short-term?
- Where am I headed in the long-term?
- MY PURPOSE
- What is the purpose that I was brought here to fulfill?
- What obstacles do I need to get over?
- 3 Lessons (lay out 3 cards) I need to learn along the way.
- Who or what can help me attain my goal?
- What can I give to the world?
- TREASURE WITHIN ME
- How do other people perceive me?
- What is my shining self?
- What is my inner most passion?
- What is hidden within me that is waiting to be discovered?
- MY PURPOSE THIS LIFETIME
- What did you come into this world for this lifetime?
- What did you come into your specific family for?
- What is the specific emotion that’s been most difficult for you to learn to use to your advantage this time?
- What is your biggest challenge this time around?
- What will be your greatest gift this time?
- What is your greatest lesson this time?
CAREER, MONEY, HEALTH
- CAREER SPREAD (FINDING MY LIFE’S WORK)
- What I am good at doing.
- What I enjoy doing.
- My calling.
- Biggest challenge within myself
- Issues in my environment I should know about.
- Anything else I should understand about finding my right work
- The next best step to bring me to my true work.
- Someone who will help me along the way.
- My current financial situation.
- What is the lesson here for me regarding money?
- Who or what project will bring in more money?
- HEALTH SPREAD
1: 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?
- CHAKRA SPREAD 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
5: Throat Chakra – communication center
6: Intellect Chakra – intellectual center
7: Crown Chakra – spiritual center
- MY FOCUS AT THIS TIME IN MY LIFE
1: 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?
- EMPOWERMENT SPREAD
- This is my power?
- How it is best used.
- What inhibits this power within me?
- How can I bring it out more?
- MY ESSENCE
- Soul card
- Personality or external card
- Crossing card or challenge
SPREADS ABOUT A SPECIFIC SITUATION & WHAT TO DO
| 29. EVENT SPREAD|
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?
30. ADVICE SPREAD
|31. DO THIS-DON’T DO THAT-SPREAD *|
1. Do This
2. Don’t Do This
32. UNDERSTANDING SELF IN ANY SITUATION
1. My inner self regarding a situation
2. My outer self regarding a situation
3. What I need to confront.
4. What’s helping me?
- PROBLEM SOLVING SPREAD
- Nature of the problem
- What led up to the current problem
- Current attitude/actions that preserve the status quo
- Secondary gains from staying in the situation
- Necessary changes in attitude/actions
- STALEMATE SPREAD
- The overall conflict/situation
- How they really feel about you
- How you really feel about them
- Common Grounds (what the 2 of you have in common and can use to help the situation)
- ADVERSITY SPREAD
- Describe the situation I find myself in.
- What do I fear?
- What’s the lesson in it for me?
- How might I end out benefiting from this situation?
- Obstacles within me to my growth
- Outcome at this time.
- PROBLEM SOVING SPREAD
- Who? Who is involved in the situation?
- What? What does the situation involve?
- Why? Why did the event(s) take place?
- When? When did the events take place?
- Where? Where did the events take place
- How? How did this event/situation come about?
SPREADS ABOUT THE FUTURE
- FUTURE DIRECTION
- What do I need to progress?
- Is there a positive help to be asked for?
- Is there a venue to pursue?
- PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE
- THE NEXT DECADE OF MY LIFE
- What am I finishing now and leaving?
- Who are my guides for this next journey?
- What traits can I work on to achieve a more successful outcome?
- What will be my new learn strengths?
- WHAT’S AHEAD OF ME?
- What you need to leave behind, to release.
- What you must confront.
- What you need to know.
- What you attain.
- PAST LIFE SPREAD
- Show me a past life.
- What was my purpose in that life?
- What what my profession or avocation in that life?
- What other family members were in that life?
- Were there other people from this life in that life?
- What lessons did I learn?
- Did I fulfill my purpose?
- YES-NO ORACLE * To read more about this spread, go here.
- Write your yes-no question down.
- Remove the Wheel of Fortune from the deck and place it before you face up.
- Shuffle the rest of the deck, with your mind on the problem. Spread the cards in a fan, face down. With your left hand, draw seven cards at random. Put them face down on top of the Wheel. Set the remaining deck aside.
- Turn the Wheel of Fortune face down like the other seven cards. Shuffle these eight cards until you no longer know where the Wheel is.
- Deal the eight cards in a square consisting of four positions, so that there are two cards in each position:
- Top Left: The 1st position (cards 1 & 5) signifies – YES.
- Top Right: The 2nd position (cards 2 & 6) signifies – SOON.
- Bottom Left: The 3rd position (cards 3 & 7) signifies – DELAY.
- Bottom Right: The 4th position (cards 4 & 8) signifies – NO.
- WHO AM I? (Or WHO ARE YOU or WHO IS S(HE)?
Use just the 16 court cards from the deck. Shuffle while asking the question, who am I? Pull cards randomly from the deck to answer each question:
- This is my inner most self.
- This is my personality or outward self.
- This is how others see me.
- This is a challenging aspect of myself (an aspect that is troubling).
- This is aspect of myself I wish to develop further.
- This is the person I am becoming
Thanks Jeanne for all the wonderful Ideas!
I am always looking for spreads that suit my questions best, and will most certainly check out the links!
The spread that I am sharing is one of my favourites and more or less my most used. It Is an 11 Card spread, and best used for a detailed reading. I had created the spread to gather as much information as possible . May be of use to somebody:
2 3 4
6 7 8
1.) QUESTION/ Inquiries or Needs being Addressed
2.) SITUATION/ What is Happening In and Around
3.) EXPLANATION/ Reason of the Situation, Why and How
4.) OUTCOME/ Prediction Based on Your Current Course of Action
5.) INTERCHANGEABLE/ What You Can Presently Change to Alter Your Outcome
6.) CONSTANT/ What You Can Not Change about your Outcome
7.) SUBCONSCIOUS/ What This Means on a Deeper Level
8.) PRESENT/ What is Occurring or What to Expect , Now - 7 Days
9.) FUTURE/ What is Occurring or What to Expect , 1 - 3 Months
10.) MESSAGE/ Messages Passed forth from Spirit or Guide
11.) SUMMARY/ What to Remember in Particular About All this Information Moving forth
Hope you guys like it and find it use able, I know its helps me break things down.
Sometimes I also will pull an extra card for a number to join them together if you feel you need more insight.
Crescent Sunflower - I'm excited to try your spread. I like how it covers important aspects surrounding an issue. Does it have name? If not, may I call it The Situation Spread? Did you invent it?
Great thread Jeanne, thanks for posting it:) As I've only been getting to learn tarot again recently I've not delved into more complex spreads yet. My favourite to use at the moment is just a 3 card spread, without any assignment of past/present/future, or similar - I literally draw 3 cards and use those meanings together. It might sound strange and a bit simple but it seems to be working great for me.
Blue, I'm glad you brought up the usefulness of just throwing down some cards with no questions attached to them.
I do that a lot. I've given entire readings after throwing down just one card. Sometimes I'm so stimulated by the energy of the person or the issue I'm reading that just one card can trigger a world of insight. And that's all the cards are for anyway -- to stimulate and expand your mind from the usual thinking.
That said, a good spread can help me when my mind is not able to find the questions to ask. So a good spread can trigger insights I might not get from free-thinking a card.
Spreads are nothing more than questions, and sometimes the insights we get when using the cards are only as good as the questions we ask.
A good spread lays out an issue so you cover it well. An open ended card with no questions enables us to let spirit speak without limiting the issue. So I need both methods.
Hi, I always start with using a spread not mentioned in the above. I first read about it in a book from Hajo Banshaf.
I might have modified it a bit. I only use Crowley Tarot. The art is amazing, I liked that Harris/ Crowley are compared to Lennon/McCartney 😀
- Take out The Fool
- Mix the cards
- Spread / Fan the cards
- Take 12 out with you left hand ( at least I always use/ let the questioner use the left hand .
- Put the Fool back in
- Mix all 13 cards
- Spread the cards
- The fool is the person/matter position in the current phase/ level
- Left of the fool are events that happened in the past, right for the future
- I "feel" with the hand if any cards are belong together or need to be read on their own
My way of reading is maybe different, a card is more a way to help me to "read" or "feel".
often the card has a complete different meaning (to me) that it should have, but always it is a hint in the direction. It is definitely a spread that helps me to get a way to channel into the person across me.
When the Fool is at the end, it means that the person/matter needs to solve something in the past to go to the next level.
When the fool is at the beginning, then of course the person/matter entered a new level.
I use also the year card and personal card together with that spread. It often helps.
And I use the personal cards to find the cycle of the person, often I noticed that we have 9,10 or 11 years cycles, often same personal card years have events of a similar nature.
But I am a full amateur in this, and only read cards for friends and in the Lenormand group my wife is visiting. Lenormand I see as the daily / material cards and Tarot more the emotional and getting on the ground of it. Although I sometimes get other stuff as well ( once I saw that a wife cheated on her husband when I did reading at an event, so I did not knew them, she confirmed later when we were alone.That was one of the reasons why stopped card reading for strangers, never knew what I should do when this or even worse come up, especially disease , sorry I am off-track)
Nevertheless , I love what I call The Fool's position.
@tbs I like this spread and look forward to trying it! As for your question of dealing with things you see that you can't share with others, I understand how stressful that must be. Think of it as something that works the same as any situation where you learn about something that it isn't wise to share. We need to use discernment with this very sacred gift, and above all, do no harm.
If you see things going on with people that upset you then try changing your perspective to the positives in those people, see their strengths and their divinity. Then, if it is wise to say something to them, make it something that is gentle and loving, or say nothing at all.
We have been throwing a simple spread in the Become Deeply Intuitive Class as a way to learn the Major Arcana. The Major Arcana are archetypes that can describe major stages in our lives.
Using only Major Arcana or Trump cards, pull those 22 cards from the deck and shuffle them. Then lay out a past, present and as many future cards as you want to see what phases lie ahead.
1. This is where I am coming from.
2. This is where I am now.
3. This is where I am headed next, and next, and next, and next, and next, and NEXT!
You can just lay out one future card or as many as you want. Each one represents an archetypal phase in your growth you will be going through.
I threw the cards for America and went out six places in the future from bottom left to upper right. Looks like we start out in a mess, but then we climb stairs to heaven and end up among the Stars!
@jeanne-mayell if you don't mind me asking, what is your take on the meaning of your spread 🙂
@Shawn and @laynara, Thanks for asking. I edited it and added my interpretation. I see a good outcome when I allowed time to pass and our people to go through some growing pains. The lower six cards show the growth of our people as a nation from left to right, climbing a Starway to the stars!
It looks like we face off with nature (the Devil) and we are as divided as ever (Art Card) in dealing with our plight. This creates a solution of true independence from the federal government (Chariot). We become the fiercely independent people we started out as 250 years ago. There might be different interpretations of the Chariot, but the end result of our journey is positive. The Universe shows that we grow up, and we get help in the Star and we move towards the next decade with hope and a solution to return to living in peace with the earth. The Star also tells me that we are going to get mighty help from spirit guides who come from the stars.
@jeanne-mayell thank you for sharing this with us its very beautiful. It gave me wonderful tingles and so much hope for all of us this next decade. I deep down know we will get to see this beautiful world reborn 💜
@jeanne-mayell It is so interesting that we had discussed the Tower and the Devil in class last night and here they show up, along with the beautiful Star of hope and some of the other cards talked about. I was wondering how time is represented in the future cards. You mentioned them pointing to the next decade - so are we looking at anything between one to two years of picking ourselves up from the pandemic and facing off with Nature or can we even encapsulate time in a spread?
The top left are where America is coming from and where it is now. We are coming from a life of play and optimism, the Sun card- like a bunch of children playing in the sun.
Sun is normally a very good card ( for me), but it is so much different things on each card, that it really depends on what you "see" first.That is why I like the Crowley cards , so much details. And that it often depends on the card(s) around what the meaning is/could be.
Thanks for sharing, especially explaining what you see in the cards and what you read from it.
I drew one card, from the full deck, for : Where will covid-19 lead to? The card was XIII Death ( One of my favourites btw, next to Hierophant).
I really hope we all learn from it and that we get a new start....
Gr from the Netherlands
@pikake. We can definitely use cards to get a timeline. We create the timeline in our minds as we lay out the cards. Before laying out a card, we give spirit a target and it obeys, provided we are paying attention. Although sometimes spirit tells us what we need to know rather than what we are asking to know. When I need a timeline, which I didn't exactly do here, I usually use a card for each week.
In this spread I did not ask so much for a timeline in terms of exact dates; I asked for specific phases, steps or rites of passage we would go through.
I was both surprised and not surprised at how drawn out the pain phase was. It implies that the Covid pandemic will not be the first or only push-back from Pan or Nature. No surprise there.
Nature (Pan/Devil) will dominate, make no mistake about it. We are merely fleas on the back of a huge beast that is Nature. Nature will show us who is boss; it is simply the way things are. There is no winning that battle and only fools believe they can beat him. A vaccine? If that is what we think will enable us to get back to business as usual, we are wrong. Sure, we might get a vaccine but there will be more ways for Nature to get us.
Throughout the last few years, and especially in the last year, I have seen almost constantly flashes of Native Americans living in harmony with nature, a message that we have some learning to do about how to find the more beautiful world we all know is possible.
The Art card shows division. We have that going on now as well. Then I got the Chariot and realized we would have to strike out from the old ways, we would have to become independent, separate from the patriarchy, move out into a new existence. Fighting the Emperor (Trump) won't save us. We have to find a new path and live harmoniously with the earth. When we find a new path, the Emperor becomes weak.
After the Chariot, comes redemption, mastery of living like human beings, true human beings, then the star. I feel the last three cards span the decade. Many are already living them, but the spread was for America as a whole, so that will take longer.
@jeanne-mayell thank you for your interpretation. It shows hope & hard won good times in the future. However, I’ve had the worst dread since last week... there is much darkness & sadness between then & now. Unfortunately I feel it right through to my bones & it is so overwhelming at times. It’s like moving through heavy thick syrup of mourning. Thank you for offering the hope this won’t last forever- but the loss of so many and the transparent evil now is awful. I fear the summer & fall will be horrible. Unfortunately, we as a culture are slow learners. Good to know the light will return 😢
@jeanne-mayell That makes it very clear, thank you, Jeanne. Your explanation addresses and answers a lot of questions I‘ve long held about capturing time in tarot.
I have been reading today’s postings in another thread from @herondreams and @baba about their most recent dreams/visions backing up previous predictions, like the one provided by @Lawrence, about T fading to black in May. I know your reading was for the US but could the Tower following the Emperor also presage and reinforce the “downfall” for T that has appeared on today’s radar for a number of people in this community?
After looking at other tarot spreads, including the Thoth deck, I've realise that the only deck I could able to interpret more precise is to create my own deck from scratch. By that, I mean painting pictures of them and then find a printer to print out in actual tarot card size format. I have enough skills and imagination to come up with something, so why not?
Any suggestions on what I should be aware of, while doing this massive project?
@goldstone You probably know this, but to qualify as a Tarot deck it has to have 78 cards, 22 Major Arcana from 0 to 21; and four suits of earth, air, fire, and water, from Ace to ten plus court cards. If it has that structure, then it is a Tarot deck and you should be good to go. Have fun!
@goldstone that is such a cool idea, to make your own Tarot cards. I hope you take some pictures and show us how they come out!
That is a cool idea, and quite an undertaking... me tophat's off to you for the concept. There are alot of enterprising people publishing their own Tarot decks now....
Once I attempted to hand-paint the old Ryder-Waite deck that many still use, but only got as far as some of the Major Arcana. There are literally hundreds of decks out now that you can peruse online for some inspiration if you need it....
Hope everything down-under is going well for you 💛
Yeah, it is a massive mountain to climb... on a cheap cruiser bike of all things.
Upward slopes are a bane of my legs and my old bike. Which is why I've switched over to a pricer hybrid mixte bike recently, just before the beginning of another Mercury retrograde that starts in the begining of June.
Bike analogies aside, the homemade deck is a major project and would take me a while to complete it. At least you made it through with the Major arcana group. That's an achievement.
Also, there's issue of getting enough supply of my favourite watercolour paper (Fabriano Artistico Hot Press), due to the paper is made in Italy... and things are not going so great with them at the moment. With 78 cards to work with and I'm going to use a slightly bigger space of paper (three sections of A3 size paper) due to health issues with my eyes and hands, this would be a concern for me. Still, I'll see what I can do, at least Australia is quiet for now, but I'm waiting for the shoe to drop unfortunately. We're not of the woods yet.
Thankfully I have enough watercolour paints to last me a year or so while this is going on. Some of them are still in my studio plalettes and the best thing about working with watercolours that you can reuse them despite being dried out. Just a splash of water and they are fresh and juicy again... except for certain paints and brands, but I did my research and picked out the best paints for my own personal needs, so I should be fine. There's a reason why watercolours are one of the more resourceful materials when it comes to art supplies.
I'm planning to do my initial sketches on my computer first, before transfering them to watercolour paper to start the painting process. The reason I like to start my sketches on the computer is because it's easier for me to see and fix mistakes. Having a good screen tablet helps to speed up that sketching process.
Hopefully I can work on them soon, as I'm still dealing with uni and my other art project which is long overdued.
That reminds me. I'm thinking of doing a tarot reading on a local criminal matter case that I'm interested as of late and I was wondering if the Celtic Cross spread should be suffice for that kind of reading or should I pick another spread. If so, feel free to recommend.
Also the reason why I'm interested to see a reading of this case myself is because of the recent upheavals in the US and this case is tied to that, where I was wondering if the FBI and other agencies in the US would be forced to keep this matter in a hands off approch, due to having a lot on their plate domestically, or would they still try to meddle this case in spite of it all. There's a lot of pressue to get this case up and going, but the issues due their meddling and diplomatic issues between the US and Australia, this case is still stuck in the prelemary arguements for quite some time.
The judge herself is currently stuck in a rock and hard place with this matter.
So I'm curious to see what is going to happen with this case in greater detail, as I've had a hunch that the rotted orange guy would cause things that would not blow up in his face, but the mess he left behind has cause some major tremors, to the point that even this case would be affect by that. On the upside, perhaps this case will get a fair trial as it deserves due to this.