Now that you have picked out a tarot deck (hopefully one with the Minor and Major Arcana), it is time to learn how to use them! There are many spreads that you can do and every spread has a different meaning. We are going to explore some spreads that will be easy to understand and use.
Because the number of cards vary in each layout, the meaning of each card is different. There is no straight answer for what that or this card means in the spread.
One spread I have used many times before is the "Yes/No" spread. First, shuffle the deck. Don't shuffle it like playing cards. To shuffle your cards, place the deck down in front of you on a piece of satin/silk/natural cloth. Cut the deck three times, placing the first cut to the LEFT of where the full deck originally was. Place the second cut to the RIGHT of the where the full deck originally was. In the figure, we are using #1 to represent the full deck, #2 for the first cut, and #3 for the last cut. Take #1 into your hands, placing it on top of #3. Grab all of those cards and place it on top of #1. Do this as many times are you feel necessary.
Ready for the spreads?
One spread I used to use quite a bit was called the "Yes/No" spread. It's a pretty simple spread that you can do to get better acquainted with the feel of your cards. Take half the deck in one hand with the faces facing your palm. Take the other half in your other hand with the faces pointed to that palm. Join them together and shuffle as you would playing cards. Make sure the top card is of the back of the deck. If you see the face of your card, cut the deck in half (without shuffling) and put it on the bottom of the deck.
Ask a yes or no question. Deal 3 cards side by side. If all the cards are reversed, then your answer would be a definite "no". If 2 cards are reversed, your answer is probably "no". If 2 cards are upright, your answer is probably "yes". If all cards are upright, your answer is a definite "yes".
In fact, as I was doing my research, I came across a website that has more exercises concerning this particular spread. You can see it by going here.
Another spread I use quite frequently nowadays is called The Celtic Spread. It's fairly easy for beginners but those who are savvy in tarot reading may use other spreads with The Celtic Spread to get a better meaning of the cards. You just basically shuffle cards like we mentioned in the figure. I have included another figure of how to lay the cards for this particular spread. Now, let's explore the cards meaning as far as their placement:
Card 1: The present
Card 2: The immediate challenge facing the querent. You will often pull a difficult card here, which will indicate an obstacle that must be overcome. When you pull a "good" card here, examine it carefully because it will still represent a challenge.
Card 3: Distant past, foundation. This card should indicate the root of the subject matter of the question
Card 4: More recent past, including events. This will indicate events taking place, not necessarily directly connected to the question.
Card 5: The best that can be achieved. This is directly related to the question. Note that this may not necessarily gel against Card 10 - it depends whether you are able to get the best. However, a negative card here probably means that it is worth cutting your losses rather than putting any more effort into the situation.
Card 6: Immediate Future. This indicates events in the next few days or week(s). This reading does not cover months.
Card 7: Factors or inner feelings affecting the situation. Compare this against Card 1 in order to understand underlying forces/trends. If there is conflict between them this tends to indicate that the querent is going in the wrong direction.
Card 8: External influences. People, energies or events which will affect the outcome of the question and are beyond the readers' control.
Card 9: Hopes or fears around the situation. This may produce a card that confuses us badly. Always bear in mind that hopes and fears are closely intertwined, therefore that which we hope for may also be that which we fear, and so may fail to happen. Sometimes it is useful to draw a second card for clarification after the reading has been laid, and to read the two together.
Card 10: Final outcome.
You can find many more spreads online or in books everywhere. Find a spread that you like and practice, practice, practice!
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