Different Tarot Card Spreads – Pro & Beginner Guide

Welcome to the enchanting world of Tarot, a mystic realm where intuition intertwines with tradition to provide insights into the intricate tapestry of our lives. Since its inception in the 15th century, the Tarot has been a profound tool for self-reflection, decision-making, and divination.

At its core, a Tarot deck comprises 78 cards, divided into the Major and Minor Arcana, each carrying distinct symbolic meanings. In a Tarot reading, these cards are laid out in specific patterns known as spreads, which offer different perspectives and depths of understanding.

So, let’s embark on this enlightening journey and explore various Tarot card spreads, their significance, and how they can illuminate our path.

  • Tarot provides a valuable tool for self-reflection and personal growth, guiding users toward a deeper understanding of themselves through various Tarot spreads such as the Personal Growth Spread, Overcoming Obstacles Spread, and the Self-Care Spread, among others.
  • Tarot reading contributes significantly to mental and emotional well-being, serving as an introspective tool that helps reveal hidden emotions, thoughts, or beliefs impacting well-being and promoting self-acceptance, self-love, and resilience.
  • Tarot is not about predicting the future but provides insights into patterns and potential outcomes. It empowers individuals to make choices that align with their authentic self and emotional needs, thus facilitating personal evolution and self-discovery.

Understanding Tarot Spreads

Tarot spreads are intricate frameworks that form the foundation of a reading. They go beyond layouts, encompassing the essence of the question while guiding how cards are drawn and placed. Each position offers insights into different facets of the querent’s situation, creating a comprehensive snapshot of their life.

From a simple single card draw for daily guidance to complex spreads exploring deep-rooted issues, the choice sets the tone and scope of the reading. The Tarot reader navigates possibilities through these spreads, unlocking insights and illuminating hidden pathways.

Different spreads cater to various areas of life, from love and relationships to career prospects, personal growth, and spiritual development.

tarot card spreads meaning

The Love Spread, for example, unravels romantic dynamics with its exquisite seven-card layout, revealing the heart’s secrets. The Career Spread, often a five-card draw, offers strategic guidance for professional advancement.

The Celtic Cross, a ten-card spread, provides unparalleled depth and popularity. Renowned for profound insights, it unveils life’s tapestry, shedding light on challenges, aspirations, influences, and potential outcomes.

It empowers individuals to make informed decisions and navigate their journey with clarity and purpose.

In essence, the choice of spread in a Tarot reading is a sacred ritual, tailoring the experience to unique needs.

Each reading weaves the ancient wisdom of Tarot with the threads of the querent’s life. It is a transformative journey of self-discovery, guided by profound insights revealed by the cards.

Popular Tarot Spreads for Beginners

If you’re new to the world of Tarot, choosing from the many spreads available can be overwhelming. Here are a few popular Tarot spreads for beginners that offer simplicity and provide daily guidance:

  • One-Card Spread: The One-Card Spread is the most straightforward in Tarot. It consists of only one card, but don’t let its simplicity fool you. This spread offers a quick snapshot of the energy surrounding the querent, providing valuable guidance and direction for the day ahead. Whether seeking clarity, inspiration or simply a glimpse into what the universe has in store for you, the One-Card Spread can offer profound insights and help you confidently navigate your day.

An image depicting the Three-Card tarot Spread, also known as the Past-Present-Future Spread in Tarot. The scene includes three Tarot cards arranged in a line on an elegant, mystical background. Each card is distinct and symbolizes a different time frame.
  • Three-Card Spread: The Three-Card Spread, also known as the Past-Present-Future Spread, is one of Tarot’s most popular and versatile spreads. As its name suggests, this spread comprises three cards, each representing the past, present, and future. With this spread, you can gain a concise yet comprehensive understanding of your situation and evolution. It allows you to explore the influences of your past, the energies of your present, and the potential outcomes that lie ahead. Whether seeking guidance on a specific issue or a broader perspective on your life’s journey, the Three-Card Spread can provide valuable insights and illuminate the path forward.

  • Yes/No Spread: The Yes/No Spread is a powerful tool designed to answer straightforward yes or no questions. Sometimes, we need clear and direct answers to our queries; this spread is here to help. Comprising a single card, the Yes/No Spread offers concise responses to your questions, providing you with the clarity and guidance you seek. Whether you’re wondering about a decision, an opportunity, or an outcome, this spread can provide you with the straightforward answers you need to make informed choices and move forward confidently.

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Advanced Tarot Spreads

As you delve deeper into the world of Tarot, you may find yourself drawn to more complex spreads that offer a rich and comprehensive analysis of your life’s situations. Here are some of the more advanced Tarot spreads that provide a detailed exploration of various aspects of your life:

celtic cross tarot spread
  • Celtic Cross Tarot Spread: The Celtic Cross Spread is one of the most renowned and detailed Tarot spreads used by readers worldwide. Comprising ten cards, this spread provides a comprehensive look into the querent’s current situation, challenges, hopes and fears, and the future holds. It probes into the underlying influences and potential outcomes, offering valuable insights that can help in decision-making and future planning.

  • Seven-Card Horseshoe Spread: The Seven-Card Horseshoe Spread is another advanced Tarot spread that offers a detailed exploration of a specific situation. As its name suggests, the seven cards are laid out like a horseshoe. Each card represents a different situation aspect, such as past influences, present challenges, hidden factors, and potential outcomes. This spread helps the querent to gain a deep understanding of the various dimensions of their question, enabling them to make informed decisions.

seven-card horseshoe tarot card spread
  • 10-Card Relationship Spread: The 10-Card Relationship Spread can provide a detailed analysis for those seeking insights into love and relationships. This spread examines the dynamics of a relationship from various angles, exploring the emotions, thoughts, desires, and external influences affecting the relationship. It provides insights into what each partner brings to the relationship, the connection between the two, and the potential future of the relationship.

  • Compatibility H Tarot Spread: The Compatibility H Tarot Spread is a powerful tool for assessing relationship dynamics. It explores the strengths and weaknesses of a relationship, the desires of each partner, and the potential challenges they may face. This spread can provide valuable insights into the dynamics of a relationship, helping individuals understand their compatibility and work toward a harmonious relationship.

Tarot Spreads for Love

Love and relationships are significant aspects of our lives, and Tarot can offer valuable insights into these areas. Here are some popular Tarot spreads specifically designed for matters of the heart:

  • Three Card Love Spread: The Three Card Love Spread is a simple yet powerful spread that can reveal the dynamics of a romantic relationship. Each card represents an essential element in a relationship – the past, present, and future. This spread can provide insights into the current state of a relationship, its underlying influences, and the potential outcomes.
  • Five-Card Love Spread: This five-card spread offers more depth than the three-card love spread. It explores different aspects of a romantic relationship in five cards – the past, present, obstacles/challenges, advice, and potential outcome. This spread provides a comprehensive understanding of the relationship dynamics, illuminating areas needing attention and offering guidance for a harmonious future.

Astrological Tarot Spread

Combining Tarot with the zodiac for astrology lovers can bring a new dimension and depth to readings. Here is an Astrological Tarot Spread that integrates the twelve signs of the zodiac into a tarot spread:

  • The Zodiac Spread: This spread consists of twelve cards, each representing one sign of the zodiac. The card’s position represents the corresponding house in the individual’s birth chart. The spread aims to help individuals gain insights into their personality, strengths, weaknesses, and potential for growth based on their astrological sign and house placement. This spread can also explore specific life-related areas to each zodiac sign, providing a unique perspective on one’s self and journey.

Creating Personalized Spreads

While there are many popular Tarot spreads, creating your personalized spread can be a powerful and meaningful experience. Personalized spreads allow you to focus on specific areas of your life or explore unique themes that resonate with you. Here are some tips to keep in mind when designing your Tarot spreads:

  • Start with an Intention: Before creating a spread, set an intention for what you want to explore. It could be a particular aspect of your life, such as career or relationships, or a specific theme, like self-discovery or spiritual growth.

  • Choose Your Cards: Decide how many cards you want to use in your spread and select them based on the theme or intention. You can also choose cards that represent different aspects of your life or represent the elements (earth, air, fire, water) for a more holistic reading.

  • Lay Out Your Spread: Once you have your intention and cards chosen, lay them out in a way that makes sense to you. There is no right or wrong way to do this; trust your intuition and creativity.

  • Record Your Spread: Take notes of the cards and their positions in your spread to refer back to later. You can also journal about your interpretation and any insights or messages.

  • Practice and Experiment: Creating personalized spreads takes practice, so don’t be afraid to experiment with different layouts and themes. Trust your intuition, and let your creativity flow.

Personalized spread themes can be as unique and diverse as the individuals creating them. For instance, you might design a “Career Progression Spread” that explores the different facets of your professional life, from current challenges to future opportunities.

Another theme could be a “Spiritual Journey Spread,” focusing on personal growth, spiritual path, and the steps to reach your higher self. A “Wellness Spread” could delve into physical and mental health aspects, guiding you toward a balance of body and mind.

A triptych illustrating three unique and personalized Tarot spreads: 1. Career Progression Spread: A sophisticated layout of Tarot cards on a modern, sleek desk, surrounded by symbols of career like a laptop, briefcase, and clock, reflecting professional challenges and opportunities. 2. Spiritual Journey Spread: An ethereal arrangement of Tarot cards amidst candles, incense, and a tranquil nature background, symbolizing personal growth and spiritual path.

Other themes include personal growth, relationships, creativity, and life transitions. Remember, customized spreads cater to your unique needs and queries, so feel free to explore and innovate.

Whether you choose a traditional or personalized Tarot spread, trust your intuition and embrace the journey of self-discovery. The Tarot is a powerful tool for reflection, guidance, and personal growth, and it’s up to you to design spreads that resonate with your unique journey.

Tips for Effective Tarot Card Reading

When phrasing questions for readings, it’s important to be precise, open-ended, and focused on yourself. Rather than asking yes/no questions, aim for queries that encourage a more comprehensive understanding.

Instead of asking, “Will I get the job?” consider the question, “What can I do to enhance my chances of securing this job?” This approach empowers you to take an active role in influencing the outcome.

Ensure your questions are centered on your actions and experiences rather than those of other people. For instance, instead of asking, “Does my partner love me?” you might ask, “How can I foster a stronger connection with my partner?”

A more realistic depiction of a Tarot card reading session, emphasizing a natural and authentic atmosphere. The scene shows a person seated at a table in a real-world setting, like a cozy room. The table is covered with a simple, elegant cloth and is illuminated by natural light, possibly from a nearby window, complementing the warmth of indoor lighting. The minor and major arcana cards are laid out in a clear spread, with the reader focusing intently on them.

Lastly, be open to exploration. The Tarot is a tool for introspection and self-discovery. Rather than seeking definitive answers, use your readings to guide growth and self-improvement. For example, instead of asking, “Will my project succeed?”, ask, “What steps can I take to ensure the success of my project?”. The Tarot is there to provide guidance, but the power to shape your life lies within you.

The positioning of cards in a Tarot spread holds significant importance, as each position represents a unique aspect of the situation or question. A card’s meaning can change dramatically based on where it is placed in the spread, adding depth to the reading.

For example, in a past, present, and future spread, the first card (representing the past) could reveal the root of a current issue, while the second card (the present) could reflect the current state of affairs. The third card (the future) provides insight into the potential outcome or direction.

The interplay between the cards’ meanings and positions allows for a multifaceted exploration of the querent’s situation, helping them navigate complexities and make informed decisions. In essence, the position of the cards in a spread provides the narrative structure that guides the reading, enabling a comprehensive and nuanced understanding.

Understanding the interplay between different cards in a Tarot spread can be a fascinating and insightful journey. Each card carries its symbolism and energy, and when placed in relation to others, it can tell a unique story. Here’s a brief guide on how to approach this:

  • Contextual Relationship: Look at the cards surrounding a particular card in the spread. The neighboring cards can often shed light on the situation and provide context. For instance, a positive card next to a challenging card could suggest overcoming adversity.

  • Elemental Dignities: Consider the elements (fire, water, air, earth) associated with the cards. Cards of the same element usually support each other, while contrasting elements can indicate conflict or tension.

  • Numerological Connections: Pay attention to the numbers on the cards. They carry significant symbolic meanings and can provide additional insights into the relationship between the cards.

  • Symbolic Links: Look for common symbols or themes across different cards. These could point toward underlying patterns or themes in the situation.

It’s important to remember that the goal of reading tarot cards is not to interpret each card individually but to create a story that connects all the cards in the spread. By doing so, you can better understand the questions you asked. It takes practice and patience to master this skill, so take your time and trust your intuition to guide you.

Tarot Spreads for Self-Reflection and Personal Growth

To use Tarot for introspection, you should first create a calm and focused environment. Start by grounding yourself with deep, mindful breaths, cultivating presence and clarity. Then, choose a spread that aligns with your self-reflective objectives. This could be a “Self-Discovery Spread,” which explores your strengths, weaknesses, and potential

A photorealistic image of a woman sitting in front of a mirror in a warm and inviting atmosphere. The scene is set indoors, with the woman seated comfortably on the floor, facing a large, elegant mirror. Scattered around her on the wooden floor are various Tarot cards, casually laid out. The room is bathed in warm, soft lighting, perhaps from a nearby window or a gentle lamp, creating a cozy and welcoming ambiance. The woman appears contemplative and at ease, reflecting a mood of introspection and tranquility.

, or a “Personal Growth Spread,” which delves into areas in your life that need development.

Once you’ve chosen a spread, shuffle the deck while contemplating your question or focus area. Draw the minor or major arcana cards and lay them out according to your chosen spread. Pay attention to your initial impressions as you reveal each card, noting any immediate emotions or thoughts.

Examine each card individually, taking note of its symbolism, imagery, and how it corresponds to your life experiences or current circumstances. The idea is not to predict the future but to reflect on your life path, identify patterns, and draw insights.

Remember to journal your reflections to track your progress over time. This process brings unconscious thoughts, feelings, and behaviors to light, fostering inner awareness and introspection.

Finally, be patient with yourself. The Tarot is a tool for guidance and reflection. It’s not about achieving perfection but about self-discovery and personal growth. Breathe, take your time, and allow the Tarot to guide you toward deeper self-understanding.

Several Tarot spreads are designed to focus on personal growth and overcoming challenges.

  1. The Personal Growth Spread: This five-card spread helps to identify areas for personal growth, providing insight into your current situation, potential challenges, and practical steps for improvement.

  2. The Overcoming Obstacles Spread: This seven-card spread is designed to clarify the nature of your obstacles and offer guidance on overcoming them effectively.

  3. The Self-Care Spread: This four-card spread can help you understand what you need to maintain balance and wellness, making it an excellent tool for personal blossoming.

  4. The Strengths and Weaknesses Spread: This three-card spread helps to identify your strengths, understand your weaknesses, and reveal growth opportunities.

  5. The Life Purpose Spread: This five-card spread can help you gain clarity about your life purpose and the steps you can take to align more closely with it.

The practice of Tarot readings can significantly contribute to mental and emotional well-being. It is an introspective tool, fostering self-understanding and personal growth, and could even help you connect to the seasons. By exploring the symbolic language of Tarot, individuals can delve into their subconscious, revealing hidden emotions, thoughts, or beliefs that may impact their well-being.

This self-discovery promotes self-acceptance and self-love, which are foundational for good mental health. Moreover, the symbolic narratives of Tarot can offer comfort and guidance during challenging times, helping individuals navigate their emotional landscape with resilience and courage.

It’s important to note that Tarot doesn’t predict the future but rather provides insights into patterns and potential outcomes, empowering individuals to make choices that align with their authentic self and emotional needs.

A person engaging in a tarot spread reading with various Tarot decks spread out in front of them, symbolizing the journey of self-discovery and personal growth. The serene setting highlights a tranquil atmosphere, with a focus on the ultimate outcome as depicted by the carefully arranged cards, reflecting a path of emotional resilience and self-acceptance.

Consider the “Path to Growth” spread, which employs five cards to map your personal development journey. The first card represents your current self, serving as a mirror reflecting your present state. The second card highlights your primary challenge, a hurdle you must overcome for growth.

The third card symbolizes the hidden aspects within yourself that you might not be aware of. The fourth card represents the resources or strengths you have that can aid you in overcoming your challenges. Finally, the fifth card signifies the potential outcome or the person you will become if you successfully navigate your path. As you meditate on these cards, allow them to guide your introspection and self-reflection, opening doors to deeper understanding and emotional well-being.

Thus, Tarot is a powerful ally in nurturing mental and emotional well-being.


In conclusion, Tarot spreads are remarkable for introspection, self-awareness, and personal growth. Their versatility allows us to explore various aspects of our lives, providing valuable insights into our strengths, weaknesses, obstacles, and potential.

As a method of self-reflection, Tarot spreads promote a deeper understanding of our mental and emotional landscapes, enabling us to navigate life’s challenges with greater resilience. It’s important to remember that the Tarot is not about predicting the future but is a guide to self-discovery and personal evolution.

Related: Step-by-Step Guide – How to Read Tarot Cards

So, whether you’re new to the world of Tarot or an experienced reader, we encourage you to explore Tarot spreads as a pathway toward deeper self-understanding and personal growth. Embrace the journey, trust the process, and let the Tarot guide you toward your true self.

Additional Resources

We recommend perusing the following articles to enhance your learning and delve deeper into the subject. They are brimming with valuable insights that can greatly benefit your practice:

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Limited Copies Left
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Christina Johnson

About the Author

My name is Christina, and I am the founder of centerspirited. Being a physiotherapist for several years I have found that many people, including myself, don’t achieve well-being only from a physical point of view. I’ve always viewed a person’s body, soul, and emotions as a whole construct of beauty. Always being a yoga enthusiast, I finally became an instructor myself. On a secret mission to capture spirituality in all of her beautiful shapes, I found myself being guided on a way through ayurvedic nutrition and lifestyle. Through this platform, I will hopefully be able to help other beautiful souls out there find their inner peace and bond with their spiritual selves.

Tarot Card Reading & Your Destiny
Your destiny is shaped by your choices, and tarot can help you make the right ones. Get your hands on our eBook!
Free Download: Tarot Card Reading & Your Destiny
Your destiny is shaped by your choices, and tarot can help you make the right ones. Get your hands on our eBook!