All about Tarot spreads
I was recently asked to hold a Zoom workshop on Tarot spreads, I said yes without really thinking- as a Tarot pro obviously I can teach Tarot spreads. Until I sat down to prepare for the workshop....
I have two main spreads I use, a “reflection” spread to check in with the client at the start of a reading- a simplified Celtic cross. And a relationship spread, which can be tweaked and varied. Everything else is a case of listening to my client and drawing the cards as I seem most appropriate.
So I decided to explore my internal processes when creating a tarot spread and I came up with some fascinating ideas (well I found them fascinating!)
There are only really five types of spread, within which all other (I have no doubt there will be exceptions, but in general terms) all other spreads are included.
#1 Reflections- How am I doing?
#2 Flow- What has happened, what is going to happen next?
#3 Choice- What should I do?
#4 Relationship- How does s/he feel about me?
#5 Snapshots- A wider overview on life areas.
If I’m honest Clients are almost always only interested in three things..
What’s going to happen next
What should I do?
Does he love me?
I find the other two readings very helpful in a longer session with a client.
I find generally (there are few absolutes in Tarot ) that a tarot spread needs five components to make it work.
#1 Validation. I might be different here, but I do find having a point of validation for a spread really helps me to read, ensure accuracy, and build trust with my client. I like to start the reading with a point in the past or present “situation” so my client can confirm I am on point.
If I’m reading for myself I find this just as useful- a solid starting point.
#2 Advice. I do not believe the future is fixed, therefore I usually include an advice card/s in a reading. It’s also helpful in bridging the leap from situation to future, and if the outcome is not what is expected the advice card/s can be a real help.
#3 Outcome. Even my reflection spread has a card for energy coming in. There are occasions when either I or a client decide not to include outcome/some prediction. But if I’m honest its quite rare.
#4 Time-frame. I find including a timeframe in the spread, perhaps just saying the spread is covering the next three months, or year, is a helpful way of keeping the tarot focused.
#5 Topic. Sometimes the topic is as general as “my life” or “what I need to know right now”, sometimes it’s crazy specific. But even if it is a general topic, I do think acknowledging the topic is helpful.
So- back to the five types of reading...
My reflection spread is;
1 is me
2 is an issue
3 is my unconscious
4 is my past
5 is my conscious mind
6 is the future energy coming in.
My relationship spread is;
1- is me in this relationship.
2- is an issue I need to resolve/learn from.
3- is how I am interacting with the other person.
4- is the other person.
5-is an issue they need to resolve/learn from.
6- is how they are interacting with me.
The advice comes simply from better understanding the other person. And I would usually then pull three cards for past, present future.
My flow/direction/prediction spread is;
The bottom three cards are the current situation (or past)
The middle three cards are advice.
The top three cards are likely outcome/future prediction.
My choice spread-
Is very similar to my prediction spread. Three cards for each choice.
#1 Situation/past #2 advice #3 outcome.
I would then have the spreads lined up so all the situations, all the advice, and all the outcomes can be easily compared.
My snapshot is just the same- decide the areas of your life you want to look at ( e.g home/work/finances/spiritual).
Then do three cards for each area- situation, advice, outcome/energy moving in.
Card at the bottom of the deck.
I always look! Usually it is my "doorstep" card, tying up the whole reading.
Often I decide before shuffling that it represents something "out of your hands" an outside influence that could influence the outcome.
Pen, paper and stick-it-notes.
I find it really useful to make notes before I shuffle. Just bullet points so I have a clear understanding of the spread before I shuffle the cards, and if its complicated I use stick-it notes on the table with key words to help!
It was quite complicated detangling a process I do so naturally now, but I hope you find it useful. I demonstrate most of these spreads on my You Tube channel (link here) if you are looking for more details.