FAQ - Tarot spreads - info please!


What is the spread/layout you use most often? Why? What advantages do you feel this spread has over others?

Did you discover this spread, or create it yourself?

Explain the positions of the cards, and what those positions mean in a reading.


Zodiac spread. Twelve cards in a circle, one in the center. Start with the card to the right, that's Aries (self) go counter-clockwise. Taurus is what the querent values, Gemini are messages coming their way, short trips, neighbors or siblings (depending), Cancer (bottom) is home or mother, Leo is creativity or children, Virgo is job or health, Libra (to the left) is Partners or legal, Scorpio is inheritances or the near future, Sag. is What to have faith in or long trips, Cap. at the top, is career or father, Aquarius is hopes and fears, and Pisces is what blinds them.

Center cards is where the querent is at the moment, and you start there before going onto Aries. I get good readings. Very smooth spread.


I use the Celtic Cross most often. I find it good for getting an overall picture of a situation. Especially if my question is general.

For specific, action-oriented questions I use a five-card spread (Past, Present, Hidden Influence, Advice, Outcome). I don't remember where I found that spread.

~ Solandia

tiger lily

Celtic Cross:
1: How you perceive the situation
2: What you?re missing (your "blind spot")
3: (above) your plans, strategy, intention
4: (below) hidden patterns
5: (left) crucial point in the past
6: (right) further development
7: Your attitude, strength/weaknesses
8: Your environment and its influence on the situation
9: advice
10: "spirit of this time" general influences outside your control.

Otherwise I just lay out 5 cards and read them left to right without any special meanings for the card positions.


I use the easy 3 card reading most often. I use it the most because it's easy and fast to interpurt.


I found a nice spread in a new book on tarot I purchased the other day its called 'The Fan spread'. Its good for a general reading and no question.

7 groups of cards , 3 cards to a group placed in a fan shape with a significator.
Group 1:- Character of the enquirer and the recent past.
Group 2:- Love life and emotional links.
Group 3:- What the enquirer desires.
Group 4:- What the enquirer expects.
Group 5:- Unexpected or unknown factors.
Group 6:- The near future.
Group 7:- The distant future.

I've had some good readings with this spread :)


I usually use the Celtic Cross as a kind of introduction to get a general view.

For love matters I use the Love Urakai.

For Past-Present-Future I use a nine cards gypsy spread.

For unrevealed aspects I use the "High Pristesse's Secret" spread.

Kurai Yuko

I usually use the Celtic Cross or the Horseshoe. They work pretty well to me.
For love matters, I use a spread that I learnt with a friend of mine. I don't know the name, and it works like that:
1. Take seven card and spread them like that: three on the left, three on the right and one in the center.
2. The right cards represent the woman's feelings. The left cards represent the man's feelings. The center card is a message for both sides.
For fast readings a use the general spread, with three cards.


Major Tom suggested I post this in Tarotbear's FAQ. Then Bec posted it at her site and I was flattered, and reminded. I wanted a spread for me that would be as versatile as possible and get me out of what Faunabay called "the Celtic Cross rut," so created this one, and called it the "Talisman Spread."

If the title sounds too ego driven, think of cards 6, 1, 2 and 7 as forming the bowl of a cup, cards 3, 4 and 5 as the base of a cup, and card 8 appearing over the rim of the cup. Then you may call it the "Temptest in a Teacup Spread." 'Course, since it's a homemade, you can use it any way you want and call it anything you want.

I wanted this spread to be a bread 'n butter, everyday, workhorse spread, as compact as possible. If you're interested, you can read about what I was trying to do, and the help I received, in the "Perfect Spread" and the two "Blue Bandanna" threads.


1. INNER Reality: The question, your private thoughts, the things about you the world may not see, what is hidden, subconscious.

2. OUTER Reality: The world around you, shared reality, environment, home, work, family, lovers, friends.

Cards 1 and 2 form the central dynamic or genesis of the reading.

3. WANING Influences.

4. PRESENT: Significant issues surrounding the question or situation.

5. WAXING Influences.

Cards 3, 4 and 5 are the foundation of the matter, the three-card spread.

6. LESSON Card: Guidance, wishes, detours, obstacles, challenges.

7. FUTURE Card: What you are moving toward on the path you are following, or a situation just beginning.

8. WILD Card: The element of surprise, an aspect not considered, a synthesis to pull the reading together.

If you are bothered by the symmetry, consider 8, 6, 1 and 3 as shadow cards, the part of the moon you don't see, and 7, 2, 4 and 5 as light cards. Because of the latitude in interpretation (guidance or obstacle?) it is essential to read the cards together.

There's lots more, but you're probably already way ahead of me.

Thirteen has started writing about spreads in her section of the forums, and I hope her efforts generates lot'sa discussion. 'Course, I'm as opinionated as all get out. Did'ja notice that this spread contains "the question."



Hi all,

I use the celtic cross or Talismans spread with a twist (sorry). WHen I do the spread I call it the Talisman's cup. I like to think of it as "what does the cup hold for you"

1 & 2 are the person I am reading for.

3 is the past that is influancing you

4 is the present - where you are

5 is the future - usually near future

6 is your subconcious

7 is your concious

8 is what fills your cup - what you need to look for in your life..or what you have become.

I find by saying what the cards mean when I lay them out - they are pretty much on the money


My readings are more advise than what will happen.