When a new tarot reader first discovers the world of tarot spreads it can be so exciting to see all the options available. But this can also be very intimidating: how do they even know where to start?
We’ve taken out all the guess work. In this article we provide the very best easy tarot spreads that are not only simple for beginners but also give a good foundational base to quickly advance your tarot learning.
What Are Easy Tarot Spreads?
Tarot spreads are a structured format of questions with corresponding cards placed in a certain position and read as a whole to answer the questions. Beginner tarot spreads in practice are almost identical to other tarot spreads.
However they tend to be more simple in their format with clearly defined questions that guide the tarot reader more closely. The questions are often fewer in number to simplify the answers and the questions are not as open-ended compared to more advanced spreads.
Easy spreads contain distinct features that allow the tarot reader to learn the meanings of tarot cards and other tarot reading methods whilst they are actively using the spreads. With these basic spreads it is really important to slow down to truly take in all the information.
New tarot readers are at risk of becoming overly reliant on tarot and may take the advice too literally as the nuances that exist within each card are harder to master. Slowing down gives new readers plenty of time for the cards to resonate with them fully.
As a reader uses tarot more often they will become quicker at understanding the abstract and difficult themes discussed but this is developed over years. So in the meantime new readers should be kind with themselves whilst learning to read tarot and when they first begin using spreads in their practice.
How To Use An Easy Tarot Spread?
Using a beginner spread is the same as using any tarot spread: the tarot reader calms their mind and begins to shuffle their tarot cards. Some readers like to cleanse their decks beforehand using the smoke of incense or by resting a clear quartz crystal on their deck but this is optional.
The reader asks each question in the order it is listed in the spread. As they ask they select one card and place it facedown in its corresponding position. There are many different ways to shuffle tarot cards and to select them from the deck but these tend to be personal preference.
There is no wrong way as long as the cards are not damaged. Once the reader has all the cards as directed by the spread they turn each card over one by one. They look at how exactly the card answers the question.
This is done by understanding what the tarot card means and using the attributes of that card to directly answer the question.
For example if the question is “How can I succeed at work?” And they receive the 7 of Pentacles in that position it means they need to work hard and invest time into learning more skills and developing their talents.
That is because the 7 of Pentacles is. all about apprenticeship, hard work, learning and patience. This is where the nuance and the need to master it comes into play. For more advanced readers it will be very easy and quick to make these connections but this can take a long time for new readers to understand.
This is why we suggest new readers slow down. It is very possible for new readers to have informative and wonderful readings with tarot spreads and they shouldn’t feel intimidated or that they aren’t ‘allowed’ to do these. It may just take them a bit longer at first.
1. The One Card Introduction Tarot Spread
This spread is great for tarot readers who want to begin incorporating spreads into their practice. It uses the one card pull method as a tool to help new readers to easily learn the meanings of their tarot cards.
Though it is only one card it is easy to do and gives a good structure to the reading process. It also gives readers the confidence they need to later apply these steps to more advanced spreads.
- Pull one card and place it down face up in front of you. You might ask a question or you may just pull and see what comes through.
- Instead of reaching for the guidebook or your resources for tarot card meanings look instead at the art work of the card.
- Stare with a gentle soft gaze, let your eyes drift in and out of focus and allow your mind to wonder.
- Ask yourself how the colors make you feel, notice the expressions on any faces and try to build a story yourself of what is happening in this card. Notice what objects in the card are drawing your eye and holding your attention.
- Become aware of any emotions, memories or thoughts that the card provokes.
- If you asked a question look at how the themes of this card might answer your question. Does it look like there is hard work, patience, rest, sadness being described in the card? How do these relate to the situation surrounding your question?
- Write all of this down as you experience it and see what if any keywords you can spot in your notes.
- Only after you've done this should you go on to read the meanings of the guidebook or your resources.
- See where your intuition was right and where it differed from the card. Look at the differences and ask yourself how that itself could answer your question.
- Finally use your best judgment to blend both your reactions and the official meanings to answer your question.
2. Classic Easy Tarot Spread
The three card basic spread is a classic within tarot and has been adapted to cover a wide range of topics. As a tool for beginner tarot readers it uses a simple layout to tell a story of our past, present and future and how they interact with one another.
It asks readers to view time and consequences a little bit differently and begins to suggest a more nuanced answer without being overly complex. Due to its simplicity it is a great introduction to multi-card tarot spreads.
Rather than the usual recipe of a tarot spread (1 question answered by 1 card) This reading requires only one question from us. The three cards answer our question together as a collection. The question can be anything we like but it is best to ask open ended questions that give us constructive advice.
For instance; “when will I find love?” is not really answerable by tarot or very empowering because we are left passively waiting. Where as asking “what can I do to prepare for love to enter my life?” empowers us with actionable steps we can implement.
- The Past: This card shows elements of our past and how they could still be affecting us today or are relevant to the question we have asked. It can suggest something we learned in the past that we may need to utilize again.
- The Present: This card discusses the current options we have and the actions we could take right now in the present moment.
- The Future: This card reveals the consequences of our actions if we were to change nothing or not take the actions mentioned in position 2.
Look at how these cards work together to answer your particular question. The basic format will likely work as follows: “I should use (1. the lessons of my past) to act (2. in alignment with this card) or (3. this will be the outcome.)
Simplifying the cards into a sentence is a great way to begin using spreads by blending the individual cards into one cohesive answer.
3. Interview Your Tarot Deck Tarot Spread
Using a spread as an interview allows us the chance to understand the strengths and weaknesses of a particular tarot deck. Different art or meanings can change the feel of a tarot deck and therefore an interview spread is a great opportunity to see how a specific tarot deck will function for us when we use them.
It is also great practice to interview all the tarot decks we have and see how different their answers are.
- What are your strengths?
- What are your weaknesses?
- How will we work together?
- What if anything will you specialize in?
- What will you teach me?
- What other resources if any do I need to work with you?
Tips For Beginners Using Tarot Spreads
Reading tarot spreads is not as complicated as it might sound. Here are some tips fore new readers to make the process easier. Our favorite tip is to turn each card over one by one, studying each card fully before moving on to the next.
This gives readers the chance to see only one new card at a time and is less overwhelming than revealing them all at once. Once all the cards are turned over pay attention to how the spread looks as a whole.
Are there a lot of the same numbers, or same suits?
Do different cards have similar advice to give?
Seeing the spread as a whole shows us a snapshot across multiple areas and can be very enlightening. New readers should consider documenting their readings in a journal, especially their tarot spreads.
This is because it is easy to miss things when we see multiple cards displayed all at once.
We may choose to recreate the spread after some time has passed. By recording our results we can put the same cards in the same positions, revisiting the advice and picking up what we missed. This will show us the progress we have made with learning tarot and we can use hindsight to better understand what the cards were referring to.
This helps us form new connections to the cards and strengthens our knowledge base. For all tarot readers but especially new readers it is important to resist the urge to do another reading or add more cards/ask more questions.
It doesn’t answer the question in any more detail and it often confuses and overwhelms us. If you feel the urge to pull another card ask yourself why this is.
Are you unhappy with the advice you have received or maybe confused by it?
Instead of pulling more cards sit with the original one(s) or the spread for longer. Research this card online or spend all day carrying it with you and contemplating it. Go deeper into what you have already received instead of wider with more cards.
This has the added benefit of teaching you each card more in-depth instead of confusing yourself with multiple cards with only a surface-level understanding.
Our final tip for new readers is to begin by using only the major arcana whilst learning to read tarot spreads. The themes of the 22 major arcana cards are very broad and much easier to remember than the more nuanced and specific minor arcana.
Simply separate out the major arcana, tie a string or ribbon around the remaining cards and leave them in the box. Then go on to perform the above steps for reading beginner tarot spreads. Then begin adding in more cards as you research and understand them better.