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Basic Card Layouts « CandleLight Tarot, For Beginners

Basic Card Layouts

You can lay out the cards in simple ways or complicated ones, and get accurate results both ways.  A simple yes or no question can be answered with just one card, or if you want more information, you could use three cards.

Truly, how you lay the cards out is far less important than what cards are drawn, so don’t freak out if a ten card spread looks overwhelming.  What you really want to focus on is which cards are next to each other, and what they mean together.  But we’ll get back to that later.

Use your imagination, listen to your intuition, and be creative in your spreads.  You can’t do it wrong.

Three Card Spread

A three card spread is just what it sounds like, three cards laid down in a row.  This is a useful spread for asking straightforward questions, or just a general information reading.

A popular way to look at the three cards is one as past, one as present, one as future.  Or, to make decisions, the first card is the outcome of choosing one way, the second for choosing the opposite way, and the third card is used to make sense of the first two.

Five or Seven Card Spread

A five or seven card spread works much like a three card, but provides more information for more complicated questions.  In either spread, lay out the cards in a chevron, so the middle card is higher and above all the rest, with the cards from the left angling up toward it, and the cards on the right down from it.

The cards on the left of the center card will be past influences and people who’ve affected the person asking the question.  That person is reflected in the middle card.  The cards to the right and descending will be what’s to come, the future events that will happen to the questioner.

The Classic Celtic Cross Spread

This is the spread recommended in the little white books that come with most Tarot decks.  It’s easy to learn, but it provides quite a lot of information.  The Celtic Cross is best used for a general reading into a situation rather than for specific questions.

You’ll want to lay one card in the middle of the table first, which will represent the person asking the question.  Then lay another card on top of the first, but sideways.  This second card shows what’s in the way of the person getting what she wants.

The third card goes below the first two, and represents the distant past.  The fourth, to the left side of the center, and shows the recent past.  The fifth goes above and tells you about the present.  The sixth card goes to the right of center, and talks about events and influences that are forming right now, but haven’t happened yet.

Lay the next card far to the right of the “cross” you’ve just made, and make a line of four going upwards from the first.  The card at the bottom of this line of four is card seven, and it represents the questioner’s basic personality.

Card eight shows the emotions of the people involved in the questioner’s life.  Card nine shows her emotions and what she fears, and card ten, at the top of the line of four, is the outcome.

That’s a lot of cards, for sure, but if you still need more information, feel free to lay down as many more cards as you need to for your answer to be clear.

Sometimes, if there’s a card in a reading that I don’t understand, I’ll pull a new card and lay it with the confusing card.  Often, the new card will explain everything.