When tarot cards are shuffled, and the deck has been cut, the reader lays out the cards in a pattern called the spread. There are a lot of tarot card spreads, and as a Tarot reader, I believe that each one of them, were made to give the reader different information. I tend to use a more detailed spread when I want to have a general look at what is happening in the querent’s life, but, depending on the specific questions the querent has to ask, I always look for the better spread to answer that question. Each reader is used to a particular spread, and choosing a spread can be something very personal.
There are so many different spreads, and some spreads are more commonly used and known than others. In this article, I am going to talk about some of the spreads I’ve used in my readings: The Celtic Cross Spread, The Mandala Spread, Three Card Spread, The Five Card Spread, The Horseshoe Spread and The Diamond Spread.
The Celtic Cross
Some spreads holds its own essential meaning, and I believe that the Celtic Cross is the classic, most common tarot spread used for general enquires. This spread can be used both to answer a specific question, or to get a global sense of the querent’s life. I rely on this spread for divination because it can reveal all the different aspects of the situation regarding the querent. There are many variations on the Celtic Cross layout positions and their meanings, so it is important to make sure that you know the meaning of each card position in the spread when using it, and it is also important for the reader to determine if he/she is using reverse cards or not before start the reading.
1.The first card in the Celtic Cross represents the querent. This card will give the reader the information about what is happening in the querent’s life at the moment;
2.The second card represents the situation, it will indicate the challenges/problems the querent is facing;
3.The third card is what we call the foundation. It shows what happened in the past that led to the present situation;
4.The forth card represents the immediate future. This card usually reflects the events that will take place shortly;
5.The fifth card reflects the querent’s goal, aspiration or best outcome for the situation;
6.The sixth card represents the present state of the problem. It reveals the feelings associated with the present situation and it also shows a deeper truth about the querent inner feelings. It can reveal the position of the querent in relation to the future outcome;
7.The seventh card represents the outside influences. It represents external influences that may have an effect on the desired outcome;
8.The eighth card indicates internal influences. It represents all that is happening within the querent’s life and gives a recommendation to the querent;
9.The ninth card talks about the querent’s hopes and fears. Hopes and fears are often conflicted, but it can occur that the querent’s hopes are the same thing that he/she is afraid of.
10.The tenth card represents the outcome. This card shows where the situation is headed, if the problem is likely to be resolved, and what the querent needs to do in order for it to be resolved.
The Mandala Spread
The Mandala Spread it’s an introspective spread that can work great if the querent is searching for more spiritual answers. It’s a spread of nine cards laid out in a diamond pattern. It’s really good to gain an insight of the querent’s own self.
Card 1: An overview of the self;
Card 2: Ambitions, goals;
Card 3: Talks about the querent’s ideals;
Card 4: Accomplishments;
Card 5: Dependencies, addictions, faulty beliefs;
Card 6: Strengths and positive traits;
Card 7: Faults and weaknesses;
Card 8: Self perception;
Card 9: Desires;
Three Card Spread
This spread is great when the querent is looking for simple yes or no questions. The three cards represent your past present and future, and are laid out from left to right. This is the most simple tarot spread.
The Cross (5 card spread)
When I am using the 5 card Cross Spread:
1.The first card tells the reader about the general theme of the query.
2.The second card gives the reader an idea of what the querent should not do. It is very good for warning and advice.
3/4.The third and the forth card tells the querent what he/she should do.
5.The fifth card represents the outcome.
The Horseshoe Spread
The Horseshoe layout is great for General readings or answer specific questions. Each of of the seven cards has a different meaning.
1. Past situation and its influences;
2. Present situation;
3. Stability or instabilities;
4. Challenges or obstacles;
5. Help or outside influences;
6. The best course of action
7. The final outcome
The Diamond Spread
The Diamond Spread is great to clarify specific questions, the cards are laid as follows:
1. The situation;
2. Internal influences that are connected to the problem;
3. External influences;
4. What is needed to solve the issue;
5. The outcome/ resolution;
Depending on whether it’s a general reading, or an answer to a specific question, the Tarot Reader will determine which spread will be the best to use. Sometimes, the reader has a favourite spread that he/she feels will speak better to him/her. Using different spreads helped me as a reader to be more aware of my intuition, and also to pick up different vibes and energy, whilst doing readings. Every reading is unique, and the variety of spreads in tarot can offer a new, different perspective in any situation.