Tarot Spreads

Welcome to For the Love of Tarot’s Spread Page!

This page will feature information about the magic of the Tarot Spread!  I also plan to include sample readings, but that will be a bit later.


Tarot can be used for many different purposes. People use it to meditate on a problem they might be having to gain insight into how they can solve that problem. Psychologists use it to aide them in looking into the workings of their clients’ minds. Some use the cards for brainstorming ideas for work or writing and other creative processes. But the most common reason a person may use the Tarot is to see what the cards say about a particular situation. These are tarot readings, and the heart of the reading is the Tarot Spread.

Tarot spreads are really the most exciting way to see the tarot in action. Cards are laid out and the pictures form stories to help the reader identify information, problems, and solutions to those problems. But some people can be very intimidated by spreads. Most decks include in their Little White Book (LWB) the Celtic Cross Spread, a 10-card spread that gives the background of a situation, factors in the situation, and an outcome to that situation.

Well, when you’re just starting out, ten cards can be a bit overwhelming. My goodness! How do you put all those cards together in a coherent “story” for your client? That’s why I like to suggest to beginners to start with a daily one-card draw. With this information, you will develop your own meanings for each of the cards. Then branching out to three-card spreads is an easy transition and can give you so much more information. And it just gets better from there!

I have listed below some of my favorite spreads that I’ve either found in books, received from friends, or developed myself. If there is a source for a spread, credit is given. Some spreads have just been around for so long, no one’s name is even attached to it.

Sources for Spreads

There are really unlimited sources for spreads if you include your own imagination, but we’ll get to that in a minute. Almost every tarot deck will include a sample spread or two in its LWB, and if that deck has a larger companion book, there might even be more samples of spreads. There are books dedicated to spreads and books that will help you develop your own.

One-Card Spreads

You might think, “What is one card going to tell me?” Well, you’d be surprised how much information you can glean from just one card. If you are meditating on a problem that you’re having, you can pull one card from an unfamiliar deck and gain insights into what you see in that card. (It’s best to use a deck that you wouldn’t use for regular readings so that your brain doesn’t automatically pull the regular ol’ definitions. When you’re meditating, one of the goals is to see the situation in a different light.)

You can even do one-card spreads. The Free Tarot Network is sponsored by the ATA and it offers free one-card readings to the public. So, one card can answer almost any question [that is worded “correctly.”]

I pull one card a day to see what kind of energy I will be working with that day, or I draw a card at the end of the day to see what lessons I should take from that day. Questions you can ask as you draw your one card for the day:

What will be the predominant energy today?
What energy will I be working with today?
What do I need to work on today?
What will be the main influence of my day?

What energy was most prevalent today?
What lesson needs to be learned from the events of today?

These are all basically the same question, except for the third question, “What do I need to work on today?” This question takes on more of an action quality. Instead of asking what will happen, which tends to be predictive, you are asking what you can work on that day, which puts the control back in your own hands.

Three-Card Spreads

Three-card spreads tend to be very popular because they incorporate ample information in just a few cards. The most common three-cards spreads are:

  • Past – Present – Future
  • Body – Mind – Spirit
  • You – Other – What You Need to Know

But you can incorporate almost any information into three cards:

  • Issue – Obstacle – Action
  • Issue/Situation – Challenge – Strength
  • Present Situation – Attitude Toward the Situation – Main Thing to Keep in Mind
  • Situation/Problem – What You Need to Know about the Situation – What You Can Do About the Situation

These are just a few examples; the list is practically endless!

That’s it for now, but I’l be updating this page with more types of spreads, and later some sample readings.

Keep checking back!

Last Updated:   14/May/2006


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