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Practicing Tarot is both a spiritual and fun experience. Whether you’ve read Tarot before or you’ve had your Tarot read by somebody else, you’ll know that it can be a social experience, an eye-opening life examination and a way to connect with the divine, all rolled into one. You can read your own Tarot, do it in a group setting or go to a professional for a reading. Really, all you need is a deck — and perhaps a book on the card meanings — in order to get started.
When it comes to card layouts, there are an array of strategies. Really, it’s all about using the best one for your specific reading or question, and finding a few favorites that feel right to you. Let your natural intuition guide you. It is a spiritual practice, after all. If you’re searching for a new card layout or you’re trying to find out what tarot cards are, here are a few you can look into.
1. Past, Present and Future
This spread is pretty straightforward, which makes it great for beginners. Not only is it perfect for those just starting out, but it’s also perfectly tailored to linear questions or questions that rely on a timeline for guidance. While you can shuffle and cut the deck however you please, the most important part of this spread is that the first card represents the past, the second card represents the present and the last card represents the future. If you need to pull a few more cards for clarification, you can, but it definitely isn’t required.
2. Two Paths Spread
This is another great Tarot spread with a defined purpose. It’s great for answering yes or no questions and choosing between two large life decisions. Ideally, this spread involves pulling six cards — a present, near future and distant future for each choice you’re considering. It can look like the first spread on this list, just with one above and another below. You can pull more cards for clarification if you need to know more about either path. Or you can do another spread entirely for one path if you want to know more about it.
3. Celtic Cross
The Celtic Cross is one of the larger Tarot spreads you can try out. It can be especially great for those looking to get into more complex spreads, or for those looking to get a full picture of a very complicated situation. This ten-card spread involves a cross with one card overlaid on the center, plus four cards on the side. Each of these cards represents a unique part of the situation or question at hand, from hopes and fears all the way to the outcome. While this spread can take a while and can take a while to master, you’ll rarely need to pull clarification cards for this spread.
4. Mind, Body and Spirit
Another three-card spread, the mind, body and spirit layout shows you a full view of your situation from all levels — internal and external. Similar in structure to the past, present and future card spread, the mind, body and spirit Tarot layout involves reading for a specific subject and asking for guidance on each of your states of being.
5. Card-A-Day Pull
This Tarot technique is exactly what it sounds like. Although it’s not technically a spread, this Tarot card technique is great for those who use cards as a divination tool, or those who want to dip their toes in slowly to the practice. You can pick one card every day to set the tone for your day. It can help you set goals or meditate while thinking about the meaning of the card. This is a great way to practice and prepare for larger spreads.
6. Question and Answer Spread
The question and answer spread is a bit more open ended than the two paths spread, making it a great choice for more open-ended questions and ponderings about life. This spread involves four cards, laid out in a diamond shape. The top card is the overall tone of the situation, the card on the left is the question you’re asking, the right is the solution, and the bottom of the diamond is a clarification card about how you get there. Some people prefer to read the cards in the order just described, while others prefer to read the clarification card before the solution card — moving counterclockwise around the circle. Really, it’s completely up to you how you choose to read the cards. Go with your intuition!
There are so many different ways to read Tarot, and it’s all about going with the flow of your intuition. It can be a great way to connect with your spirituality. Whether you want to answer a specific question or set the tone for your day, the Tarot will be here for you to guide you.
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