When people first start learning how to read tarot cards, one of the first things they tend to do is memorize the meanings, either using a book that came with the cards or maybe they do a search for card meanings on the Internet.
Then, they may look to those same books and those same web sites to learn a few tarot card spreads and they use those spreads over and over again. (One of the most common spreads is the Celtic Cross.)
First, let me say, I have nothing against tarot books and web sites that provide card meanings. In fact, that’s how I learned how to start using my first tarot card deck. But while that’s a good way to get comfortable with using the cards, and to learn more about the craft of tarot card reading, it’s natural to change your process over time. In fact, creating your own tarot card spreads is a great way to strengthen your psychic ability and the accuracy of your readings.
What is a tarot card spread
A tarot card spread is a method of laying out the cards in a way that gives meaning to each card position. For example, the card in the first position may symbolize the person the reading is for. The card in the second position may symbolize the question that is being asked. A card in another position may symbolize recent events and a card in yet another position may symbolize the future.
Spreads are important because they give you additional insight into the reading. Not only are you getting information about the card’s meaning itself, but the positioning of the card tells you something about your situation as well.
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There are so, so many tarot card spreads out there. For example, one of my favorite books of tarot card spreads is 365 Tarot Spreads: Revealing the Magic in Every Day.
However, when you focus too much on memorizing spreads and card meanings, you bring logic into your tarot card readings, and that’s one of the easiest ways to stifle your intuition. You may even second-guess yourself in the middle of a reading and check the web site to get a card meaning when your intuition told you rather clearly what the card meant. While common card interpretations can be helpful, they are only meant to serve as inspiration for your own intuition to take over.
A tarot card can mean different things at different times
One thing you’ll likely learn is that a card can have a certain meaning in one reading, and it can have an entirely different meaning in another reading. Likewise, two different psychic readers can very well read the same card in different ways, even if those differences are minor.
Some people may feel intimidated about creating their own spreads, but they shouldn’t be. There is no such thing as a bad spread, as long as that spread is designed to give you the information you’re looking for. Here are some tips for coming up with a spread that works for you.
- When creating your own spread, think about what type of answers you’re looking for. For example, if you’re trying to understand something that happened in your past, you’ll want to make sure a card or two represent different time periods in your past.
- Designate what each card will mean before you lay out the cards. It can be as simple as saying the first card you pull will designate the present situation, the second card will represent the past, and the third card will represent the future.
- The more factors or variables impacting your question, the more cards you want to use. For example, if you’re wondering about the long-term viability of your current career path, you might have a card that represents the present, one that represents past influences, one that represents the near-term future, one that represents your current colleagues and one that represents long-term influences. If you’re looking for guidance on getting the most out of the day ahead, you might create a simple three-card spread in which you look at past, present and future influences.
- You might even intuitively create a spread on the fly. Some tarot card readers make up a different spread whenever they do a new reading. For them, the spread is as much a part of the intuitive process as the card interpretations themselves.
Some readers don’t use spreads at all. They simply rifle through the cards and allow whatever psychic impressions they get to come up.
What’s most important is that you understand what you’re trying to do and that you set an intention to use the tarot cards to get the psychic answers that you’re looking for.