What are Tarot spreads?
Tarot spreads are arrangements of Tarot cards used during a Tarot reading to gain insight into a question you ask. Each spread has a unique pattern and purpose. The cards in their “positions” of a spread give you “answers” to your asked question in a reading.
Benefits of using Tarot spreads
Tarot spreads can provide you:
• A structured framework for your reading. Each card in a spread represents an aspect of your question or situation being asked about. This allows you to focus on different areas and gain insight.
• Versatility. From simple (fewer cards) to complex (10 or more cards), there are SO many different Tarot spreads you can try to meet your needs and skill level (we list popular ones later in this article!). Tarot reading does not have to feel intimidating!
• Thematic exploration. Some Tarot spreads are designed to explore specific themes or areas of life, such as love, career, relationships, health and wellness, and personal growth. This targeted approach allows you to delve deeper into your questions and gain better understanding and guidance.
• Symbolic meanings. The positions of the cards in a spread often have symbolic meanings that add layers of depth to your reading. Use our Tarot Cards section to look up the meaning of any card you pull in a reading.
• Artistic appeal: Tarot cards are visually captivating! There are so many to choose from! The cards in your reading are an art form in itself. We like to snap a picture to save our spreads for future reference!
• Self-reflection/Personal growth. Tarot readings encourage introspection and self-exploration. As you gain insight into your question or situation, you’re doing the work to improve yourself!
• Support: The cards can act as a source of comfort, helping you navigate life’s complexities.
• Tradition and culture: Tarot has fascinated people for centuries with its esoteric images, divinatory powers and hidden knowledge. Beyond its enigmatic allure, Tarot is a powerful tool that can offer profound insights into your life path and help you navigate difficult decisions. Learn more about Tarot’s history here.
What are Tarot spreads that are popular?
Below are 8 common Tarot spreads. They are listed with the simplest ones first, good if you’re just starting out reading Tarot cards. This list is in no way exhaustive! Not only are there hundreds of spreads, an advanced reader may create their own.
Remember, you can look up the meaning of any Tarot card here!
1-Card Spread: As the name suggests, you draw a single card in this spread (not really a spread, but semantics!) This card provides quick guidance or a simple answer to your question.
Yes/No Tarot Spread: A Tarot Yes or No reading is a simple way to get an answer to your question without doing a full spread of cards. Similar to a 1-Card Spread but each card does have a Yes/No definition. Try our Yes/No Spread.
3-Card Spread: This is a simple spread that consists of three cards representing your past, present and future. The cards you draw can help you understand yourself better. They can also decipher situations you’re facing in your life. Three-card spreads are a great way to start with Tarot because they offer a solid amount of information without becoming overwhelmingly complex. You quickly get actionable, understandable information related to questions you have. Try our 3-Card Spread (includes options to read for love and career, too).
Celtic Cross Spread: This is one of the most famous spreads in Tarot. It can be complex, but it’s famous for a reason: it offers a deep wealth of insights involving external forces and your own internal thoughts, feelings and beliefs. You draw 10 cards for this spread! Try our Celtic Cross spread here.
Love Spreads: Learn what’s best for your heart using Tarot cards. Whether you pull a single card or do a 3-card or 5-card spread, a Tarot spread for love can offer a solid amount of information while being easy to interpret. Spreads for love can grow harder to interpret as you add more cards. We encourage you to focus on smaller spreads as you’re learning tarot, sticking with single, 3-card or 5-card spreads. Explore our (many!) options for a love Tarot reading, here.
Zodiac Spread: This is the perfect pull for anyone who wants to infuse astrology into their Tarot reading. The 12-card Zodiac spread mirrors the circular layout of the astrology chart, based on the symbolism of the 12 houses. In astrology, each of the 12 astrological houses represents an area of life. Try our Zodiac spread here.
New Moon Tarot Spread: When the new moon arrives every month, you have a chance to wipe the slate clean and renew your outlook. Think of the dark night sky as a blank canvas. What will you create next? Let yourself get excited about that! Try our New Moon Tarot spread here, whether you’re eager to make a fresh start or you’re looking for a renewed perspective on a seemingly stuck situation!
Full Moon Tarot Spread: Two weeks after the dark night sky of the new moon, the heavens are illuminated by a glowing full moon. These are moments when, metaphorically, you’re brimming with inspiration. Your cup is full and you’re ready to enjoy the fruits of your labor. What better time than this to do a Tarot spread to celebrate your victories and figure out how best to “sort the crops” as you move ahead? Try our Full Moon Tarot spread here.
Is Tarot reading difficult?
Now that we’ve answered “what are tarot spreads?” and we’ve included many Tarot spreads for you to try, we want to point out that Tarot readings are not fortune-telling but tools for self-reflection, introspection and guidance. Interpretation of Tarot cards relies on the intuition of the reader as well as the context of your question. You gain more insight the more you read!
Reading tarot cards can be as simple as you want it to be–really! Using the same deck of tarot cards, you can be both a beginner or an advanced reader. Lean more about reading Tarot cards here.
Looking for a Tarot deck of cards? Check out your many Tarot card options and see which ones we recommend here.
Starlight Tarot: An Astrological Guide to Tarot Cards, Spreads & Wisdom
Learn what every Major and Minor Arcana card in the Tarot deck means, plus its link to astrology and the zodiac! The AstroTwins bring your Tarot journey to life with Tarot spreads, history and empowering guidance in their new book, Starlight Tarot.