A question I often get asked is, “What tarot spread do you generally use for your readings?”. So today I thought I’d tell you all about that!
A tarot spread is the pattern in which you lay down the cards after you shuffle them, with each card often having a specific significance due to its position. Many of you may have heard of the Celtic Cross spread, one of the most well-known and easily-recognizable patterns. When I was a tarot beginner, I learned to use the Celtic Cross spread. But it didn’t take me long to realize that I didn’t feel very connected to it. The Celtic Cross gave each card an interpretation that was too specific, and this didn’t really align with my tarot philosophy. So I came up with an elaborate three-card spread that I felt gave me more accurate readings, and I began using it for myself, then for others.
Before we talk about the elaborate spread, let’s begin with the simple three-card spread. It consists in drawing three tarot cards. These three cards may represent a past/present/future situation, or answer a specific question or three different ones, or they may bring generalized guidance with their significance woven together.
Ultimately, what these cards represent is up to the reader and the client. This is the spread I use for my shorter three-card tarot consultation.
Now, this elaborate three-card spread is the one I generally use with clients during a full tarot consultation. This spread has thirteen cards in total. I like to joke that it comes from me having been in the French educational system my entire life and having the three-part essay practically part of my DNA!
As you can see, we still have the three main cards, but each main card has two sub-cards that explain and elaborate its theme.
The cards are read in these three groups from left to right, but I would still note any similar themes and correspondences that appear throughout the spread.
Then there’s three additional cards that form a conclusion for the reading, and a final card, which I like to see as both a last word and an opening for future possibilities.
What I like about this spread is the flexibility it gives the reader, and the fact that it’s not oriented towards divination, but more so towards introspection and opportunity. The only thing this it may lack is a card in lieu of an introduction, but I was never really drawn to add one!
I hope this gives you some clarity about the spreads that I use and why. The beautiful thing about tarot is that you don’t have to limit yourself to just one spread, but can use whichever one you’re drawn to, or even allow yourself to be guided and create your own, like I did!
To learn more about tarot and how to use it, don’t forget to grab a copy of my beginner’s guide, You Hold The Cards!