We’ve talked a lot about card meanings and becoming comfortable with your budding relationship with the tarot. We haven’t talked much about card spreads.
We glean meaning from the tarot by looking at each card and considering its meaning in relation to its position in the card spread – or pattern – the way the cards are arranged for reading.
New readers tend to stick to spreads found in books or online. Even when a spread doesn’t exactly fit the situation, lots of new readers will use it – then find themselves frustrated that they didn’t get the information they looked to the tarot for in the first place.
The problem is that a spread created by someone else may or may not address your concerns. When you’re first learning, I suggest sticking to a few simple, three card spreads like the standard, past, present, future; situation, gifts, challenges, etc.
Stick with these until you feel you have begun to develop a sense of how the pieces of a spread and reading fit together.
You’ll likely recognize consistencies among many readings.
Many begin with a significator. I don’t usually bother with a significator when reading for myself, since I assume any card that comes up in the reading will potentially be a reflection of myself. However, this is a personal choice.
In addition to the significator, there are four other ‘regulars’ that appear in various formats. Their cards reflecting you, your conscious and unconscious, past, the present, and practical steps we can take to resolve our problem.
- Who you are today
- Your conscious awareness
- Your thoughts
- Your feelings
- Verbal messages
- Non-verbal messages
- Your point of view
- Someone else’s point of view
- Basic nature of your relationship
- Nature of your relationship in other lifetimes
- Role you’re playing in someone’s life
- The role someone is playing in your life
Your Conscious and Unconscious
- Things you hope for – consciously or unconsciously
- Desired results
- Things you fear
- Results you fear
- Things you expect
- Advantages of maintaining status quo
- Disadvantages of maintaining status quo
- Advantages of this course of action or choice
- Disadvantages of this course of action or choice
- What led up to this situation
- What this situation is based on
- Situations in your other lives related to this one
- Basic nature of this situation/relationship/etc in the past
- Where this is likely to lead, short term
- Where this is likely to lead, long term
- Your primary concern for the future
- What you’re doing to create this situation
- What you’re doing to create your desire
- What you actually get out of this
- What are some of the things you could do to change it?
- What are the next steps?
- What are the blocks or obstacles to that step?
- What are the resources/aids you need to take the step?
- What you think you should want
- What you really want
- What other people want
- What other people want you to want
- What are three things I can do to move this process forward?
- What are three things I can do to learn to ……?
- What are three things I can do to remember to…..?
- How can I begin to heal …..?
- How can I support myself?
- How can my partner support me?
For the entire conversation, including examples, check out the accompanying podcast episode here!