How to Make a Tarot Cards Spread
Everyone who is discovering Tarot dreams of shortening the learning time and starting the spreads as soon as possible. At first there is fear of making mistakes, but then curiosity takes over, and the person comes into close contact with the magical world of Tarot. Today I will tell you how to prepare for the spread, what it is, and what to look for before you move on to the interpretation of the cards.
First of all, I want to tell you one very important thing. You do not need to know absolutely all the meanings of the Tarot Arcana in order to get started. But personally, I believe that you still need to get acquainted with the nature of the cards. The Internet is now full of spreads for any occasion in life, the meaning of each card can be found without difficulty, so there is an illusion that absolutely anyone can make a spread and read it without preparation. This is a big self-deception.
When you have done the Tarot card spread, you should have an inner intuitive understanding of the answer, which you will begin to expand with detailed reading. You must catch in yourself a clear, distinguishable emotion that arose from the first glance at the spread. Somewhere in your head a flash of “Hurray, hurray! How great everything is !!! ” or vice versa: “So I knew it was rubbish … but I will not be upset before I finally understand the meaning of the cards”. That is why we have so long and thoroughly analyzed the Major Arcana and the numerical values of the Minor Arcana on the pages of this website. This is the basic knowledge that you need to have.
In order to qualitatively and correctly understand the message encrypted in the cards, it is necessary to understand the general energy of the spread. Man is a lazy and cunning creature. In a spread for relationship questions, it is enough to see Arcana of Lovers in order to be glad not to notice the insidious fives and sevens standing nearby. Many people now advocate intuitive reading, and I also love this approach with all my heart. But not everyone has good intuition, and not everyone has the confidence and eloquence that can put our thoughts into words. Therefore, I advocate this formula for ideal interpretation: intuitive reading + classic description of the cards. This approach will reinforce your speculation if you have a relationship with the cards and you understand them at first glance, and it will back you up if today you missed something in your understanding of the card.
Personally, I never hesitate to peep in a book or in my notes when I interpret the Tarot spread. And I constantly read the interpretations of other authors, expanding my understanding and feeling of this or that card. In addition, there are cards that do not want to open up. For example, the Arcana of Chariot, which completely erases all knowledge about itself from my memory. Every time it jokingly appears in one spread or another, which greatly confuses me. But I learned to accept his greetings and smile like a friend when I see the Chariot in the Tarot spreads or in the photo on Instagram.
Preparing for Making the Tarot Spread
Before proceeding with the spread, I advise you to fulfill a few simple conditions.
- You must make sure that you have a mood in which it will be pleasant for you to read the spread. If your girlfriend asks you to throw cards, but you are depressed by something or you have your own business, you better refuse. The cards are not particularly touchy guys, but they love to be treated with respect. And you have the right to demand respect for your condition. It is better to politely refuse, instead of being offended later that you were disturbed when you were out of sorts.
- Space for reading. At the beginning of your learning, I asked you to imagine an ideal place to work with Tarot cards. Someone dreams of making spreads in nature, while someone thinks that this requires a sacred place with candles and other paraphernalia. Of course, for some, space plays a very important role in tuning to reading. If you are an introvert, I very much doubt that you will be comfortable doing the spread in a crowded place, such as a cafe. It’s important to tune in here. I have enough time for the mood when I shuffle the cards. I have a deck that is always with me, and I can do the spread anywhere – as long as there is a clean and dry surface. Yes, I like it when candles are burning on the table nearby and sage or a Palo Santo stick smolders, but if this is not possible, everything is fine, I can cope without it. But if I do the Tarot spread for myself, I come off in full. There are candles, and crystals, and incense, and coffee beans nearby. Everything is beautiful, poetic and conducive to communication with cards. You must listen to yourself and understand what role the space has for you.
- Don’t be afraid to be wrong. You will notice that some of the spreads are easy for you, and some are difficult. I consider Tarot as a tool for working on ourselves. But as soon as the people around learn that you know how to work with cards, they will ask you for help. And there will be mistakes, this is inevitable. Sometimes the cards don’t want to tell the truth, and sometimes the client himself doesn’t want to hear it. I recommend that you do a couple of dozen practice spreads before you start working with others. Train on whatever you can. Find out about your relationship with money, work, and each member of your family.
- Get paid for your work. I’m serious! At least a pretty penny. An exchange of energy must take place, and money is a powerful energy, like Tarot. I recommend assigning for yourself a “symbol of money”, an amount that will be used as a symbol of payment and that will be available to everyone, but at the same time sufficient so that you will not be bothered by trifles. For example, 10 dollars should be good. If you are asked to do the Tarot spread, say so: “I am happy, but my Tarot teacher strictly forbade me to work for nothing, so I need to get a symbol of money from you, 10 dollars”. This is a very small payment, but you will see that this fact will directly annoy some people.
If you are interested in figuring out what the matter is, you can not take any payment, because you yourself suggested to help. For example, a friend tells you that the partner is behaving strangely, and it’s hard to see the prospect of developing a relationship, and you say to her, “Let me look at the cards!”. But if you are asked for help, then get used to receiving a bribe for your efforts. You can set a price of “how much you don’t mind”.
When to take payment? When you want. An intelligent person understands that if he pays the services in advance, the person will work better. Remember this rule and always practice it! I myself always pay for services in advance, if the price is agreed. Now I have a fixed payment for my services and a clear rule: give money in advance, with a refund condition if the client is not satisfied with my services. I know Tarot readers who take payment after. You can set any order that suits you. I chose this path for myself, because it organizes me perfectly. I know that I was paid, and the work must be done, so there is no turning back. And if the payment occurs “after”, I can evade execution.
After you have discussed all these points, you need to choose a Tarot spread.
What are the Tarot spreads?
I call a spread any sequence that contains more than one card. Two cards are already a binary spread, which can be used to solve the question of opposites:
- me / others (what role do I play in this situation, and what role others play)
- good / bad (what to do and what to avoid)
I am not very fond of two-card spreads and always lay out a few clarifying cards with them.
My all-time favorite is the three-card spread! The past shows the root of the problem. The present shows the current development. The future shows the prospects.
- past / present / future
- who I was / who I’m now / who I can become
- situation / needs / prospects (what we are dealing with / what we need, what to do to make the situation change for the better / where it will lead)
There are clear spreads. For example, Celtic Cross, Station for Two, Annual Spread have a clear logical structure that other Tarot readers created. You can come up with your own schemes, or you can use ready-made ones.
There are spreads-stories, which for me personally begin with a three-card spread, and then are supplemented with questions such as: what can be done to influence the result? how does this affect my relationship with N? and etc.
As you practice reading the Tarot spreads, you will notice that most often they consist of several combinations of two-card or three-card spreads.
I do not like cumbersome spreads and I believe that almost any question can be answered with a three cards spread. But for this you need to come up with a very clear question. Thematic spreads are good in that you do not need to ask any questions to them, it is enough just to outline the situation.
What needs to be considered before proceeding to the interpretation of the Tarot spread?
- The ratio of the Major and Minor Arcana. If there are many Major Arcana, then the situation is very important, some forces from above interfere in the process, some karmic knots are unraveling or retribution for past mistakes, the outcome is a foregone conclusion. If there are few Major Arcana, then the situation is not critical and can change at any moment, there are many external circumstances that are beyond your control. Even if you see bad cards, such as the Ten of Swords, but there are either no or few Major Arcana, then everything can be changed. There is no rock here, there are no lessons to be learned, it’s just a situation and it’s in your hands.
- Analysis by Suit. If you are making a spread for a relationship, but there are no Cups in the spread, this should alert you. If, on the contrary, there are a lot of Cups in the Tarot spread about work, then there are too many emotions where they should not be. Always pay attention to which suits are predominant and which ones are not present at all.
- Rank analysis. If you see several cards of the same rank, then you can already talk about some stage in which the situation is. If you see two or more Aces, then it’s inception, the initial stage. If you see Eights and Nines, the case is nearing completion.
- Analysis of images. For example, if a woman wants to find out why her relationships with men are in not sticking, and you see in the spread mainly pictures with male figures, and not a single female, then there is too much active Yang energy in her, which does not allow her to be perceived as a loving soft woman which a man wants to protect.
- Only after you have noted these features for yourself, you can begin to decipher the meaning of the card according to its position in the spread.