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There is so much variation within the Tarot that it can be difficult to feel like you’ve really got a handle on it. Deck types, card interpretations, styles of reading, spreads, and so much more! Don’t worry, it actually is much easier if you learn about one area at a time. So we will focus here on Wiccan Tarot spreads!
You’ll understand how they work, and get you comfortable with some introductory spreads. There is no right or wrong with reading Wiccan Tarot spreads, so don’t worry that you are making mistakes or doing something incorrectly.
Be sure to first read my introduction on Wiccan Tarot reading to get a good background and context for our discussion.
What is a spread?
A spread, also called a layout, is a specific arrangement of Tarot cards. Wiccan Tarot spreads can be simple, consisting of cards in a line. Spreads can also be complex consisting of several cards in a more elaborate shape. In the shape, each card’s position has a different context to the posed question
Aside from each card’s individual position in the spread having meaning, remember that each card affects the other cards in the spread as well.
Choosing Wiccan Tarot Spreads
If you’re just starting out, you may choose a simple, general spread because it’s easy for you to work with and you feel comfortable with it. It’s important to have confidence in your abilities to get accurate readings.
Readings can be as simple as a single card. As you progress through your journey of learning to work with the Tarot, you can create a small arsenal of go-to Wiccan Tarot spreads. You can have a small spread for short readings, a larger spread for more in-depth readings, etc.
As you get more advanced, you can start tailoring your spreads to the question you are answering. You don’t have to use the same spreads all the time. Each question is different, and so a different spread may be required for different questions.
To do this, you must clearly define the question to be asked. Knowing this, you can select a specific spread dealing with the past, the future, love, decision making, smart choices, learning about oneself, career, etc. You can even create your own Wiccan Tarot spreads specifically tailored to the question.
Over time you may find that certain spreads are more accurate for you. It’s common to find that one or two spreads are just more accurate for you and it’s ok to gravitate to those spreads.
Shuffling the Cards
After you’ve settled on a spread, shuffle the deck next. At this point, if you feel your cards have picked up any negative energy, feel free to do a quick cleansing.
To shuffle the deck, there are a few ways to do it. For the most part, you can shuffle the deck the same way you might shuffle traditional playing cards– an overhand shuffle or riffle.
An overhand shuffle is the way you might loosely mix cards together while holding them in your two hands.
Riffling is when you cut the deck in two, then run a finger on each deck to quickly interleave the edges of the cards.
You can also strew the cards out into a big messy pile, mix them up, then collect again.
As you shuffle, it is a good idea to cut the deck a few times to ensure randomness. If you are doing a reading for someone else, you can ask the Querent to cut the deck to impart some of his/her energy to the deck. Have the Querent cut the cards in half, using his or her left hand, and place what was the bottom stack onto the top stack.
The Last Piece of the Puzzle: Drawing Cards
After shuffling, hold the deck with both of your hands. Focus for a few moments on the question posed by the Querent and the energy you feel from the cards. Now draw and place the cards into your spread. Draw them from the deck face down, and place onto the spread.
Be sure to place the cards in the order required by the spread. The cards in the spread will be numbered so you know in which order to place them.
If you do not interpret reversals, you can flip the cards over anyway you like. If you do read reversals though, be sure to flip the cards horizontally so the vertical reversed/not reversed state of the card is preserved.
The cards can be placed into the spread face down, then flipped over one-by-one as you progress through your reading. Or, you can flip the cards face up as you deal them. The choice is up to you.
The Wiccan Tarot Spreads!
I’ll now describe some of the more common types of Wiccan Tarot spreads, in order from the simplest to the more complex.
Simple One Card Draw
If you’re just starting out, the simplest spread is a single card. It’s simple, quick, and easy. It’s a good way to get some basic insight, and it will help you get familiar with each of the cards in the deck. Use your instincts and listen to what the card says to you.
Simple Two Card Draw
To add a bit more complexity to the one card draw, add an additional card. Rather than getting the symbolism of one card, you get two. For the two cards, designate each one as a piece of the puzzle. This will contextualize the question and give you information on different aspects of it.
Here’s a few examples of interpretations you can use:
- Card 1’s interpretation: Past
- Card 2’s interpretation: Present
- Card 1’s interpretation: Cause
- Card 2’s interpretation: Solution
- Card 1’s interpretation: Feelings
- Card 2’s interpretation: Thoughts
- Card 1’s interpretation: Outcome of one chosen path
- Card 2’s interpretation: Outcome of a different chosen path
- Card 1’s interpretation: What’s helping
- Card 2’s interpretation: What’s hurting.
Three Card Spread
If you’ve got a basic familiarity with the Tarot cards, try a three-card reading. This is still a simple reading, but gives a bit more information.
You can also use it if you just want to do a quick reading, or the issue needing insight is not too complicated. In a three card draw, the cards represent the past, present, and future.
- Card 1’s interpretation: Past: Gives insight on how this situation came about. What people contributed to this issue? What emotional state caused it? Was there a watershed moment?
- Card 2’s interpretation: Present: How to view the issue now. Can you view the situation in a new light? Is there a hidden aspect to it? What can you learn from it?
- Card 3’s interpretation: Future: What will happen if you maintain the status quo. If you change nothing, what is the outcome? Will the situation resolve itself? Will it worsen? If the card foreshadows problems ahead, use the context of the 2nd card (The Present) to determine what your new course of action should be.
You can generalize your three card spread to other contexts as well. Aside from Past, Present, Future, you could also do Thought, Feeling, Action, or even Goal, Blockage, Overcoming.
There are endless varieties, and you can create your own Wiccan Tarot spreads as well to suit unique questions.
A five-card spread can be used to add more nuance into a three-card spread. It can help you figure out if what you’re currently doing is working for you, and if not, the best course of action. It reveals hidden knowledge about a situation and unseen potential.
Adding nuance to a three-card spread:
- Card 1’s interpretation: Far Past
- Card 2’s interpretation: Near Past
- Card 3’s interpretation: Present
- Card 4’s interpretation: Near Future
- Card 5’s interpretation: Far Future
Or, another variation:
- Card 1’s interpretation: Present
- Card 2’s interpretation: Past
- Card 3’s interpretation: Future
- Card 4’s interpretation: Cause
- Card 5’s interpretation: Potential
And one more interpretation, which yields an introspective spread. It also uses the cross layout:
- Card 1’s interpretation: Ambitious state: Career, finances, personal security, goals.
- Card 2’s interpretation: Mental state: Intelligence, communication, awareness, ideas.
- Card 3’s interpretation: Physical state: Health, basic needs, sexuality.
- Card 4’s interpretation: Emotional state: Self love, relationships, intuition, dreams.
- Card 5’s interpretation: Spiritual state: Morals, ethics, spiritual growth, wisdom, inspiration.
Five-Card Horseshoe Spread
The focus of this spread is not on what happened in the past to cause the current situation. Rather, it’s what the Querent’s role is in the situation.
- What are the Querent’s expectations?
- Are they realistic or unrealistic?
- Are they missing a key piece of information which is preventing them from realization?
- Does the Querent have the proper mindset?
The cards in this spread are dealt in a horseshoe shape, with card 3 at the apex.
- Card 1’s interpretation: Present. Current situation.
- Card 2’s interpretation: Expectations. What outcome the Querent wants from the situation.
- Card 3’s interpretation: Unexpected. What’s currently hidden from Querent.
- Card 4’s interpretation: Near future. What will happen in the next few days.
- Card 5’s interpretation: Far future. What will happen further into the future if Querent continues the same behavior.
This is a six-card spread. As a bonus for Wiccans, it’s in the shape of the sacred pentagram. The pentagram represents the five elements– Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Aether (Spirit).
In the center is a card representing the Querent. Remember from the introduction that a card representing the Querent is called a Significator.
- Card 1’s interpretation: Significator. This card will tell you about the Querent and his or her situation.
- Card 2’s interpretation: Earth. Learn about stability in the Querent’s life. What grounds them? What is inhibiting them? Is anything blocking them? Do they feel secure?
- Card 3’s interpretation: Air. External forces in the Querent’s life. Do friends and family help or hurt the Querent? Are there haters in the Querent’s life? What external messages is the Querent receiving?
- Card 4’s interpretation: Fire. Conflicts and power. Is the Querent self sabotaging? Does he or she feel self doubt or internal conflict? Is the Querent using his or her power for constructive purposes?
- Card 5’s interpretation: Water. Intuition and wisdom. What can the Querent learn from their current circumstances? What is currently working? What is not working?
- Card 6’s interpretation: Aether. This card should be interpreted cumulatively– it considers what all of the other cards say. It’s a holistic view of the situation. If the Querent changes nothing and continues on, what will the result be?
The Seven Card Horseshoe Spread
This is a very popular spread. It’s versatile, and can answer a wide variety of questions. It gives a good general view of the situation. It’s also got seven cards which might seem like a lot (but it’s actually fairly simple to use).
The cards are laid out in a horseshoe shape, just like with the five-card horseshoe spread. This time, card 4 is at the apex. The cards represent:
- Card 1’s interpretation: Past
- Card 2’s interpretation: Present
- Card 3’s interpretation: Hidden Influences
- Card 4’s interpretation: Obstacles
- Card 5’s interpretation: Attitudes of Others
- Card 6’s interpretation: Solution
- Card 7’s interpretation: Outcome
The Romany Spread
The Romany spread is a rectangular arrangement of cards. It is 21 cards in total, with three rows of seven columns. It can be quite a simple spread, but you can also make it more complex as well.
The simple interpretation deals with the three rows. Using this interpretation, it can give you a very good overview of a particular situation, and get a sense for what the forces at play are.
- Row A’s interpretation: Past. How did this situation arise?
- Row B’s interpretation: Present. What are the forces at play today?
- Row C’s interpretation: Future. What will occur if no changes are made.
To make the spread more complex and yield more specific information, you can interpret the columns as well. This adds an additional layer of depth, allowing you to look at interrelated and compound issues. The below columns make reference to the Querent.
- Column 1’s interpretation: Self. What’s important to them?
- Column 2’s interpretation: Surroundings. What’s their environment like? Relationships, home life, etc.
- Column 3’s interpretation: Dreams and Fears. What do they hope for? Where do their concerns lie?
- Column 4’s interpretation: Known Factors. What do they know? What’s already happened?
- Column 5’s interpretation: Unknown Factors. What information don’t they know?
- Column 6’s interpretation: Near Future. What’s to expect in the immediate future?
- Column 7’s interpretation: Far Future. What will happen over the long term?
The Romany spread is quite flexible and can be altered according to your needs. For example, you can add two additional rows to add more subtlety to the reading:
- Row A’s interpretation: Distant Past
- Row B’s interpretation: Near Past
- Row C’s interpretation: Present
- Row D’s interpretation: Near Future
- Row E’s interpretation: Distant Future
The Celtic Cross Spread
This is a more advanced spread, but one of the most popular. In the spread, the cards form a cross on the left side and a vertical line on the right side. It’s intricate and gives good detail. It’s a great spread to give a comprehensive and deep reading. It looks at many different aspects of the question posed. So upon completion of the reading, you will have a good perspective of the entire situation.
The spread itself has a lot of variation in both interpretation and the ordering of the cards. The spread presented here is just one variation. Feel free to experiment or try other versions to suit you.
- Card 1’s interpretation: The Present, The Self. What is going on with the Querent today? What’s their state of mind? How do they view their current situation?
- Card 2’s interpretation: The Situation or Issue. What is their current challenge? This may or may not be similar to the question they’ve posed. It may mean that the original question was not the one that should be asked.
- Card 3’s interpretation: The Far Past. How did the current situation come about? What are past influences?
- Card 4’s interpretation: The Recent Past. What has happened lately (within the past few weeks or months) to contribute to the situation?
- Card 5’s interpretation: The Near Future. What’s likely to take place in the short term if the current path is followed?
- Card 6’s interpretation: Direction of Issue. Is the situation on its way to resolution, or to worsening? Have things stagnated?
- Card 7’s interpretation: External Influences. What are people in the Querent’s life saying? Is the Querent in a positive or negative energy environment? Does the Querent feel in control of their circumstances?
- Card 8’s interpretation: Internal Influences. How does the Querent feel about their current situation? What are their true beliefs about themself? Is the Querent working against herself or himself?
- Card 9’s interpretation: Hopes and Fears. One of the most difficult cards to interpret, because oftentimes it speaks about something paradoxical. As humans, we are not totally rational beings, and may hold beliefs that are conflicted. We may have secret desires and fears that work against us. What we hope for might also be the thing we are most afraid of.
- Card 10’s interpretation: Resolution. This is cumulative, meaning that it is influenced by the other cards you’ve read before it. What is the most likely way this situation will be resolved? If you do not see a clear indication, feel free to pull an additional to add more context to this position.
There you have it! A complete guide of the most common and useful Wiccan Tarot spreads, ranging from the easy-peasy two-card draw, all the way up to the Celtic Cross and the Romany Spread. Best of luck in your Tarot adventures!