When it comes to reading tarot cards, you have a lot of different options for how you lay out your cards, also known as the “spread.” While different spreads are useful for different purposes and different types of readings, most readers use a large combination of different spreads. For that reason, it’s wise to have at least a few “go to” spreads under your belt. You should be very comfortable and familiar with these spreads and should understand the best times to use them. If you’re still learning, that’s okay; just make sure you include these simple and highly useful spreads in your repertoire.
The Romany Spread
The Romany Spread is one that every tarot card reader should know. It’s super easy and, even better yet, gives the reader a lot of important information. In fact, it can give you an entire overview of even the most complex event or situation and is great at helping you to solve problems in your life. Furthermore, the spread doesn’t have a lot of strict regulations about what cards in different positions mean. It leaves a lot of the interpretation up to the reader, making it great for beginners or for those looking to hone their intuitive reading skills.
The Five Card Spread
When you or someone you care about is in need of direction and feel unsure about how to tackle a certain situation, the five card spread is great for getting answers. This spread is simple enough for beginners to try, and, as the name implies, takes only five cards. You want to place the cards like a cross, with one card centered alone at the top, three cards in the middle, and one card centered alone at the bottom. The middle card on the center row is card 1, the card to the left of it is card 3, and the card on the opposite side is card 2. Card 4 makes up the bottom row, and card 5 makes up the top row. Each card can be interpreted to stand for something different, as described below:
- Card 1: The present circumstance/mental state of the person for whom the reading is being conducted
- Card 2: The past and its effect on the present
- Card 3: The future/what lies ahead
- Card 4: The true reason the person is asking the question
- Card 5: What is likely to come about/what is at stake
The Pentagram Spread
Finally, there’s the faithful pentagram spread, which many long-time tarot readers swear by. This spread is good for anyone who needs general guidance in life or who seeks to be more in tune with the universe. It incorporates the earth’s elements- Earth, air, fire, and water, into the reading, allowing the seeker to see how he or she is being influenced by the universe, what the best course of action is, and what the future is likely to hold. This reading can be a little complex for beginners to interpret, however, so it’s one best used with the aid of a seasoned reader.
However, as is the case with all of these spreads, anyone with a truly open mind and heart can read cards in any spread. After all, when you get right down to it, it’s not the spread that matters, but the state of mind of the reader.