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Tarot Spreads: The 3 Most Effective Card Spreads

Find out how to do free tarot card readings

Tarot cards with a candle and some hands
Tarot Spreads: The 3 Most Effective Card Spreads | iSTOCK

There are many fortune-tellers and cartomancers who get paid to do a tarot card reading and predict your future. However, with a little practice and the right knowledge of tarot cards, you can do your own free card spreads.

Naturally, the first thing you have to do is to get a deck of cards, which can be easily found in any esoteric shop. Once you get one, keep it safe, because it will be with you for the rest of your life.

Tarot card spreads will reveal your future while answering all your questions. In order to do this successfully (and relatively quickly, so you do not waste too much time with cards readings), you must get to know the cards: look at them, handle them, impregnate them with your magnetic aura and let them get hold of your energy. The more you use and handle your deck of cards, the more you charge them with your own essence and so, your readings will be more accurate.

Tarot Card Spreads: the Major Arcana and the Minor Arcana

Tarot cards consist of 78 pieces: 22 Major Arcana cards and 56 Minor Arcana ones, which you should memorise and be able to recognise at a glance, as well as know the meaning of each illustration. Do not fret, since it will take you a while.

The Major Arcana cards represent the different stages of your life  and the experiences drawn from them, from the Fool (a cheerful young man) to the World (the finish line of your life’s path).

By contrast, The Minor Arcana cards describe people, events, feelings and circumstances  experienced during your journey on Earth. Although the Minor Arcana cards are similar to the traditional deck of cards (divided into four suits), they are actually the representation of the events that remain under the control of the counselled person and his or her way of acting.

How to Do Free Tarot Card Spreads

When talking about tarot, a spread is considered to be the number of cards that are chosen and the way they unfold before you to answer the question that has been posed.  There are many free card spreads to do readings. In fact, once you get to know the meaning of the different Major and Minor Arcana cards, you will be able to create a particular spread, using your creativity, to consult the subject of your interest. 

Another way of defining a tarot card spread is that of an account narrated by the consultant,  in which it is emphasised the influence of the past, the understanding of current circumstances and the prediction of the future. Therefore, the tarot cards will form a map that will help you make the right decisions instead of leading you in a specific direction. 

The 3 Most Effective Card Spreads

Next, we are going to analyse some of the tarot card layouts that will help you take the first steps in this type of fortune-telling. If you like, you can create a relaxing atmosphere for the reading  by burning some incense and lighting up a few candles, and even playing soft music.

1. One Card Tarot Spreads

The best way to get initiated in tarot card spreads is to randomly choose one of the 22 Major Arcana cards, leave it face down at the beginning of the day and turn it over at the end of it. Then, you should consider which of your experiences matches the card, what aspects of your mood do so. It is recommended to practice this tarot spread for 22 days, and then repeat it for another 22, but during this second period, you should try to guess the card that you have drawn in the morning. The results can be surprising!

With practice, you will be able to pose a question and look for the answer in the card that you have drawn after shuffling them. Therefore, it will be better if you clear your mind while you shuffle the cards and then, choose the ones whose back side catches your attention.

One tarot card spreads also allow you to ask a closed-answer question, that is, when it is solved with a simple “yes” or “no”. In order to do this, you should use the Major Arcana cards. If the card you draw is the World, the Sun, the Magician, the Temperance, the Strength, the Star or the Chariot, then the answer is “yes”. By contrast, there are five other cards that represent the “no”, which are the Devil, the Hanged Man, the Hermit, the Tower and the Moon. The Lovers and the Wheel of Fortune would represent the two cards of indecision. 

2. Three Card Tarot Spread

This spread is ideal for simple questions, and for those who are learning how to use tarot cards to do readings.     

Three cards are selected and are assigned three meanings which should be determined beforehand. For example:

-the past, present and future time;

-your current situation, the setbacks and the tips to overcome them;

-your desires, the way to achieve them, what will help you to achieve them;

-what will improve your situation, what will slow it down and what is your untapped potential.

Therefore, you should turn over the card from the left and try to interpret it. Then, you should do the same with the one on the right and finally, with the one in the middle.


3. Cross Tarot Spread

You have to shuffle the cards face down and spread four random cards thinking about a question. Place the first card before you, slightly to your left, and then the second one, to the right of the first card. The third card has to be placed at the top, above the two first, and the fourth card, just below the first two.

Next, turn over the cards and try to interpret them in a simple way. If one of them is upside down, its meaning will be less positive.  When in doubt, you may place another card on top of it to make a more accurate prediction.

In these tarot layouts, the first card represents your current situation, your mood, your emotional or psychological state. The second card is related to the outside world,  to the others, your co-workers, superiors, and even your help.

The third card,  which as it was said, it is placed on top of the first two, mirrors you potential, your desires, thoughts, dreams and wishes, even your needs. Sometimes, it is also a symbol of your future.

Lastly, the fourth card is the answer to your question,  although it is also related to your professional and material situation, the milestones of your life.