How to Tarot Spread: A Step-by-Step Guide

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How to Tarot Spread: A Step-by-Step Guide

Tarot reading is an ancient practice that can provide valuable insights and guidance into various aspects of life. One of the fundamental techniques in tarot reading is tarot spreading. A tarot spread refers to the specific arrangement of tarot cards on a table or any other surface. Each position in the spread represents a different aspect or question, allowing the reader to interpret the cards’ meanings in relation to the querent’s situation.

Choosing the Right Tarot Spread

There are countless tarot spreads available, each designed for different purposes. Selecting the right spread for your reading is crucial, as it can significantly enhance the accuracy and relevance of the interpretation. Here are a few popular tarot spreads to consider:

Spread Name Purpose Number of Cards
Celtic Cross General readings, insights into a specific situation 10
Three-Card Spread Quick, straight-to-the-point readings 3
Relationship Spread Focuses on romantic relationships 5
Elements Spread Explores different areas of life, represented by the four elements (earth, air, fire, water) 4

It’s important to note that tarot spreads are often flexible and can be modified based on the reader’s preferences and intuition. Don’t hesitate to customize a spread or create your own based on the specific needs of the reading.

Preparing for the Tarot Spread

Before diving into the tarot spread, take a few moments to prepare yourself and your space. Here are some steps to follow:

  1. Cleanse your space: Light some incense, smudge the area with sage, or perform any other ritual that helps you create a sacred, positive environment.
  2. Clear your mind: Take a few deep breaths and focus your attention on the present moment. Set aside any distractions or stress.
  3. Shuffle the cards: Close your eyes and shuffle the cards thoroughly while concentrating on the question or intention you have in mind.

Once you feel ready, it’s time to lay out the tarot spread.

Laying Out the Tarot Spread

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to lay out a tarot spread:

  1. Cut the deck: Cut the deck into three piles using your non-dominant hand. Re-stack the piles in any order you prefer.
  2. Draw the cards: Start by drawing the first card and placing it in the first position of the spread. Continue drawing cards and placing them in their respective positions until the spread is complete.
  3. Interpret the positions: Each position in the tarot spread holds significance. Refer to the accompanying guidebook or rely on your knowledge and intuition to interpret the meaning of each card in relation to its position and the question at hand.

It’s important to allow yourself to freely associate the card meanings while considering their position. Trust your intuition and let the cards speak to you. Remember that tarot reading is a fluid process that requires practice and openness.

Additional Tips for Tarot Spreading

Here are some extra tips to enhance your tarot spreading practice:

  • Keep a tarot journal: Record your tarot spreads, interpretations, and any insights or observations. Over time, this will help you develop a deeper understanding of the cards and their meanings.
  • Experiment with different spreads: Don’t limit yourself to a single tarot spread. Explore new spreads, try different variations, and adapt them to suit different situations. This will expand your repertoire and allow you to provide more comprehensive readings.
  • Take breaks: It’s essential to give yourself sufficient breaks between readings to maintain clarity and prevent burnout. Energize yourself by engaging in activities that relax and rejuvenate you.


Mastering the art of tarot spreading takes time and practice. Experiment with different spreads, listen to your intuition, and allow the cards to guide you. Remember that tarot reading is an incredible tool for self-reflection, personal growth, and gaining insight into various aspects of life. Enjoy the journey, and may your tarot spreads be both enlightening and transformative!

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How to Tarot Spread: A Step-by-Step Guide