Tarot Spreads

Reading Tarot Cards

When reading the Tarot the psychic will usually work with what is known as a Tarot spread. This simply refers to a standard way of laying out cards from the deck and assigning areas of meaning to each.

Spreads can vary from the very simple to the very complex. Most Tarot readers experiment with many spreads then settle on two or three that they prefer, choosing the appropriate one for each occasion.

Which Tarot Spread Is Best?

Over the years a number of standard Tarot spreads have evolved. However it’s important to remember that there are no rules that say you must read the cards in any particular way. These spreads have become common because people have found them useful – if you find an alternative method works better for you, use it. As with all things it is probably useful for the beginner to work initially with the established methods before jumping in and inventing new ones.

It might seem at first that spreads with fewer cards involved would be simpler than those with larger numbers. In fact the larger, more “complex” spreads can be easier to read because the significance of the cards is more clearly defined. A small spread requires greater intuitive powers.

Even with a large spread, the cards should not simply be read in isolation. Look between the cards and see how they work together.

Significator Cards

Many Tarot spreads use a “significator” card. This is simply a card that is chosen to represent the querent. It is removed from the deck in advance and placed in a particular position. The point of a significator card is to focus the reader on the querent. Some readers prefer not to bother with a significtor card at all.

The significator card is traditionally one of the court cards, for instance a King or Queen. This may be chosen simply on the grounds that the picture has some physical resemblance to the querent. Alternatively the reader might choose a significator card that simply “feels right”.

Detailed Spreads

These pages describe how to use some common tarot spreads: