Tarot Spreads: Top Choices For You

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Whether you are a Tarot reading pro or a beginner reader just starting out, Tarot card spreads form the scaffolding behind every insightful and impactful Tarot reading.

Some Tarot readers who swear by the no spread spread, where instead of following a set structure with predetermined card positions, the cards are drawn and read intuitively. Intuitive readings can be potent and inspiring, but readings following the structure provided by an existing, tried and tested Tarot spread are guaranteed to result in inspiring, revelatory Tarot readings.

If you are still relatively new to reading Tarot cards, it makes the most sense to start by learning and mastering some of the most popular Tarot spreads around, trusting that they have stood the test of time for a reason.

Here is a collection of popular, proven and versatile Tarot spreads for you to try you hand at. Each of them can be adapted and used for love Tarot readings, career Tarot readings, self development Tarot readings and beyond.

How to prepare for a Tarot reading

The first step to providing a satisfying and insightful reading is taken before the reading begins.

Every Tarot reader prepares for readings in their own way, but there are some elements to preparation that are universal, inevitable parts of the ritual of giving a Tarot reading.

Things to keep in mind when doing a Tarot reading

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How to draw the cards

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Beginner friendly Tarot spreads

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Yes/No Tarot spreads

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Yes/No love Tarot reading

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Yes/No career Tarot reading

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Yes/No self development Tarot reading

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Two card Tarot spreads

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How to lay a two card Tarot spread

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Two card love Tarot reading

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Two card career Tarot reading

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Two card self development Tarot reading

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Three card Tarot spreads

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How to lay a three card Tarot spread

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3 card love Tarot reading

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3 card career Tarot reading

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3 card self development Tarot reading

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Six card Tarot spreads

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How to lay a six card Tarot spread

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6 card love Tarot reading

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6 card career Tarot reading

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6 card self development Tarot reading

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The Celtic Cross Tarot spread

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How to lay a Celtic Cross spread

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Celtic Cross relationship spread

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Celtic Cross career spread

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Celtic Cross self development spread

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Clarifying cards

Clarifying cards are additional cards that you draw in order to zoom in on a particular aspect of a reading.

Let us say, for example, that the Major Arcana Devil card appears in a relationship Tarot spread in a position that indicates the querent’s new love interest. While the meaning of the Devil Tarot card may be easy enough to explain, it can still seem confusing that the Devil appears in a reading about a promising new relationship, and further explanation might be needed.

Shuffle the deck and draw a clarifying card, placing it next to the card in the spread that you would like more clarity on. Let us say that the clarifying card that that comes up is the Three of Cups – a card sometimes associated with excessive partying. Next to the Devil, the Three of Cups could point to potential substance abuse problems – certainly something to be aware of when contemplating entering into a new relationship.

Advice cards

Advice cards are similar to clarifying cards. What sets them apart is that, instead of zooming in and asking for clarification, advice cards focus on resolving issues that are revealed.

If we stick with the example where the querent draws the Devil card to indicate a potential new love interest, an advice card might provide pointers as to what the querent should do with the new information or revelation they have just been given.

Reading the Tarot cards intuitively

Also referred to as the ‘no spread spread,’ reading the cards intuitively consists in simply letting your intuition guide you to the cards you need. Instead of relying on the scaffolding provided by set card positions with assigned meanings, you simply draw cards out of the deck as the conversation of the reading is unfolding.

I’m personally very fond of the intuitive, no spread spread, but I like to combine it with elements of many of the different Tarot spreads mentioned above. A reading can often be more extensive than any of the spreads above will allow for.

The important thing is to find the Tarot reading techniques that work best for you and result in the best readings.

I typically start a reading sessions by laying a simple spread, typically a three or four card spread, to establish the core energies and issues of the reading. Then, as the ensuing conversation unfolds, I’ll add to that initial structure intuitively, picking the number of cards and placing them in the positions I feel are necessary and useful.

End card – a final word of advice

No matter what the content, context or tone of a Tarot reading, it is always a good idea to end it on a full stop and a positive note.

When the reading is done, draw one final card – one final piece of advice or encouragement from the cards – from the bottom of the deck.

Summarising the reading

When a Tarot reading draws to a close, it is good practice to briefly summarise the key points, revelations and information that coma up during the reading. This helps tie all of the different strands together, and also helps the querent memorise the reading’s key takeaways and overall message.

Lucius Nothing

Lucius has been slinging tarot cards professionally since 2014. He’s taken the tarot to places most wouldn’t think of: His best-known patrons include Torture Garden, The Dark Circus Party, Handel & Hendrix, A Curious Invitation and The Candlelight Club, where he has been resident tarot reader for the past half-decade. His writing on divination, magic and creativity has been published in Sabbat Magazine and on Medium.

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