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Spanish Tarot Cards and Their Spreads

Find out about the use and meaning of Spanish cards in tarot, a long-time divination method to know your fate.

The Spanish cards in tarot deck spreads


When predicting the future, it's most usual to use Marseilles tarot cards, which is composed by 22 major arcana and 56 minor arcana. It has great popularity because, among other reasons, it was the first factory-produced printed card deck.

Thus, among all the figures in the major arcana we can find personalities such as The Wizard, The Popess, The Emperor, The Empress, The Fool, The Cart or The Lover; and minor arcana are numbered letters from 1 to 10 to which we add up the jack, the knight, and the king and queen. These sets then divide themselves in four suits: coins, swords, cups and clubs.

These suits are the ones that make up what's called the Spanish deck; and thus, it's no surprise that there are tarot spreads with these cards.

The Spanish deck tarot spread

The origins of the Spanish deck come from the Seville card deck, the oldest remaining in the Iberian peninsula which dates back to 1400, and whose representation is quite similar to today's. However, there's experts that believe that coins, clubs, cups and swords have some symbolism to them that comes from ancient Egypt.

Thus, every family would match each of the layers in Egyptian society: the golden coins were connected to salesmen; swords were linked to lords and governors; cups were connected to priests; and clubs belonged to farmers.

These symbols have remained over time, and they're popular both for recreational card deck uses and tarot spreads, although it is recommended that whatever deck is used to play card games or for entertainment in general shouldn't be used for magical purposes.

The meaning of Spanish deck tarot cards

As we've mentioned before, the cards in the Spanish deck are similar to the Marseilles Tarot Minor Arcana, although the queen's figure disappeared from it. It still remains in French decks, which don't have knights).

In the same way, it should be pointed out that there's decks that have numbers 8 and 9, and others don't, but in any of them, the power remains the same.

Each of the four Spanish card deck suits is connected to a specific emotional dimension of people when doing a tarot reading, which we will explain in more detail below. 

The Cups

This colour is connected to people's emotional dimension and their emotional issues, such as romance, life in a relationship, family, kids, friends... It is also connected with water zodiac signs; that is, Cancer, Pisces and Scorpio. Finally, it's a direct equivalent to the winter season.

The Coins

The cards represented by golden coins are connected to material success or failure, and people's recognition. Among other issues, they'll give us information about debts and inheritances, investments, financial revenues... They also match the earth zodiac signs (Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn) and the summer season.

The Swords

This suit of the Spanish deck represents the health of the asker, whether physical or mental; it generally has negative connotations and predicts accidents, illnesses and overall ailments. Besides, it represents Gemini, Libra and Aquarius, the signs born under the element of air aside from the fall season.

The Clubs

In this case, it's a club that takes on several topics more openly, such as work, movement, energy, action or even trips and journeys. In the same way, clubs embody fire signs (the triad formed by Sagittarius, Leo and Aries) and represents spring.

Spanish deck tarot divination systems

It is usually said that one of the main advantages of the Spanish deck when doing a card reading is that it describes immediate situations, and it's usually perceived as quite the sharp divination method.

Before throwing the cards and reading fate, the psychic shuffles the cards and separates them into three decks. They shuffle it all back together, and this time, they allow the asker to cut the cards up in three more bunches that will come back together, and that's when the reading starts.

There are several types of Spanish deck tarot spreads, and each depends on the intention of the asker. For instance, there is what's called the "general spread", which uses all 40 cards, and tries to understand trouble with a bit of extra perspective, in the same way you have the Enchanted Circle spread or the Arrow spread. 

Fpr those who are not versed in tarot, the pyramid spread is one of the simplest. To perform it, you must take 20 cards from the Spanish deck, and leave the rest aside.

We now place those cards in the shape of a four-floored triangle: on the first, just one letter; on the second, two; three in the next one; and finally, a four-card row.

Since we still have ten cards, there's a new pyramid to overlap with the already placed cards, so that there's a couple of cards at every stage of the level.

Thus, the two most uppermost cards tell us about the issue we'd like to deal with. The four below are the chances we have at sorting out the issue. The third level has six cards, which point to the essence and raison d'être for the conflict from which we'd like to know more. Finally, the fourth stage will show us how to sort out the issue.