A tarot spread is the physical layout of the cards in a structured reading. Oftentimes you will see a tarot reader just letting cards fly and reading them one at a time, this is not traditional tarot, I would call this intuitive tarot, and I do not recommend it for readers just beginning. I am not saying it is wrong, I am all for intuition based readings, I am simply clarifying that this post is not about that kind of reading.
If tarot is the story, the spread is the outline. It gives each spread position an indicator for the cards interpretation. As every reader is aware, tarot card meanings can be exhaustive and pertain to any number of situations a bit differently, you do not read a career question the same as you do a love question. A topic (career / love / guidance etc.) + a question + a cohesive spread can make a world of difference in the reading and tying it together properly.
Below you will find various spreads organized by the number of cards typically used in each. I encourage you to find what is comfortable for you, and as you gain the confidence to begin creating your own spreads. Oftentimes oracle cards are not the greatest for full readings however any of these tarot spreads could easily be used as oracle spreads as well.
How To: Beginner Single Card Pull
Single card pulls are great for beginners, it allows you to familiarize yourself with your deck as you just start out without being overwhelmed by the number of cards. If you journal that single card daily it will help you to memorize the card meaning. Write down any intuitive cues you pick up. This method may also give you the opportunity to look back and see how well that reading played out for the day if you return to your journal nightly and record the major events of the day. Give each days reading a rating and watch yourself and your relationship with your cards grow.
Forming your question for a single card pull is important, highly specific questions are rarely answered in a satisfactory way with single tarot cards. Here are a few examples of “good” questions:
- What do my guides want me to focus on today?
- What do I need to know today?
- What will I face today?
- What do I need to work on today?
- Where am I on my spiritual journey?