Newcomers to tarot believe that the meaning lies in the cards — yet the deeper meaning lies in the tarot spread
A tarot spread is a pattern, the way the cards are set on the table. This impacts the reading and interpretations you can derive from the deck.
Individual meanings for the cards still exist, but in each spread their positioning can gain a unique interpretation.
An example is the “Fire of Creation” spread, in which the card in the “kindling” position represents a starting point for your journey or project.
And a classic tarot spread is the “three-card” spread, in which you draw 3 cards and each position has a meaning. Positions can be interpreted as “past/ present/ future” or even “situation/ obstacle/ advice’.
Check out below more articles on unique tarot spreads:
Sometimes, a life situation requires specific guidance.
The Fire of Creation spread we mentioned earlier helps you find guidance when you’re stuck on a creative project. Think for example writer’s block or when you simply can’t pin down an idea for the next boardroom meeting.
The Year Ahead spread is a classic for tarot readers every new year, in which a forecast of what might come in the following months is displayed.
And even if you’re in the middle of the year, this spread can still be played to see what remains to be seen.
For those facing disease or trauma, the Inner Healing spread provides guidance on how to move on towards a healthier life.
For inspiration on your love life try our Something Old, Something New spread with a list of inspiring questions.
The tarot cards still retain their original meaning in each spread, but gain a unique, “contextual meaning” beyond the card itself.
For example, in a love spread, the card’s meaning will be linked to the seeker’s love life.
But what are the meanings of each card? Well, learning each meaning is one of the largest tasks a reader must conquer.
To start off, read the basics below:
A tarot deck has 78 cards, which are split into the major arcana (22 cards) and minor arcana (56 cards).
The major arcana cards represent the big, archetypal themes in the reading. They are the cards that come to people’s minds when thinking of tarot: the fool, the lovers, death, the world, etc.
Minor arcana cards represent scenarios, tribulations or specific issues. Instead of an overarching theme, they are attached to certain events in the past, present or future.
The minor arcana cards are split into 16 court cards and 40 numbered cards, which are split into 4 suits (cups, pentacles, swords, and wands).
Court cards represent a personality as a whole or just a trait. They can be attached to the seeker or another person in their life. For example, the King card represents authority, while the Queen symbolizes affection.
In the case of the suit cards, each one has an overall theme:
The answer depends on the Question and the pattern of the cards in relation to each other.