The most basic understandings, once realized, are often the most profound. If you are at all familiar with tarot cards, you know that the simpler spreads are generally the most practical. On this post we’ll go over five of the simplest, yet most effective tarot spreads for you to add to your repertoire.

Spread #1 – The Cross

The Cross Spread

This simple 4-card layout may be the most practical one I know. A special feature of this spread is that it can be used in conjunction with another tarot reading in case the meaning of one of the cards was unclear. To begin a Cross reading, lay out the cards as so:

The first card is the significator. It tells you about the general theme of the query. When this card is understood, which should be quickly, proceed with the reading.

The second card’s purpose is to give you an idea of what you should not do. If it looks like something you were thinking about, you are warned not to do this.

The image on the third, top card tells you what you should do. It is easy to know the meaning of what the second and third cards represent based on the differences between them.

The bottom, fourth card represents the outcome. While this spread can be a dud when it turns up an unfavorable conclusion, most of the time this spread is straight to the point.

Spread #2 – The Blind Spot

The Blind Spot Spread

The Blind Spot is a great spread to turn to if you can not think of a specific question, but you would like to do a generalized reading anyway. This spread is primarily focused on your relationship with your environment. It works on the levels of what you are conscious of in relation to what they are conscious of.

The first card represents what is known to everybody. These are the apparent personality traits which cannot be hidden.

The second card may represent some deep down awareness that could be likened to a recessive trait caught in the undercurrent of the gene pool. Neither you or they are consciously aware of this influence, but it is there. It may become more apparent as the story progresses.

The third card shows what you keep to yourself. It may not be a bad secret, maybe the world is just not ready for it. In a closed society, some things are better kept secret.

The fourth card is your blind spot. This could represent a problem area that you should pay closer attention to. The people around you know this about you, and you haven’t even come to accept it yourself. This is where the spread can really help a person expand their consciousness. It is only when we are aware of a problem that we can make the conscious effort to repair it.

Spread #3 – The Game Plan

The Game Plan Spread

Similar to the Cross spread, the Game Plan also relies on an interpretation based on the differences between two cards, this time cards #4 and #5. This layout also reveals underlying passions and how you are perceived by those around you, like in the Blind Spot.

The first card is laid in the middle, as the significator. The next cards are laid out clockwise around this centerpiece.

In this spread the second card is like the blind spot. It shows what drives you, but also says you are not fully conscious of this, maybe even totally unaware. It gives you a hint as to the source of an illusion that you reach for.

The third card shows what they, the people around you, think of you. You may or may not be aware of this.

The fourth card shows what you ought not to do. If things go down this path, the plan will most likely fall apart.

The fifth card shows the way to make it happen. It is suggested to follow the idea of this card in order to to move the Plan in the direction success.

Spread #4 – The Decision

The Decision Spread

For a person who makes a lot of decisions, the Decision spread might be more useful than any other method. The cards are laid out as a fork in the road dependent upon this decision. Each query should ideally be formulated as “what if I do (x)” as apposed to “what if I do not do (x).” Asking about moving in one of two different possible directions should be avoided because it tends to complicate matters, so two separate readings should be done if there are two possibilities. The upward path of three cards then shows the story of the outcome as if you were to do it. The bottom path shows the result if you should opt not to do whatever you were thinking about doing.

It probably does not matter which order the cards are laid out, as long as they end up in the same formation as in the above image. Begin by interpreting card #7 as the significator. Next read the top 3-1-5 sequence of cards as a story. This is the way an affirmative decision would play out. Compare this to the 4-2-6 sequential storyline
to weigh your decision.

Spread #5 – The Relationship Spread

Relationship Spread #1

No list would be complete without a relationship spread. My go-to relationship spread, be it for romantic or platonic relationships consists of a seven-card layout. This simple method covers the rational and emotional connections as well as the posture, meaning the external projection of each party.

The first card is the significator of the relationship. It shows the basis, the connection and general theme of the relationship at this time.

The cards in this spread can be read in any order. But in any order your interpretation will involve noticing the key differences between parallel positions. The 2-7 connection will tell you about the intellectual communication in the relationship. The emotional interaction can be seen by cards #6-3. These cards show what each person gets out of the relationship. Cards #5 and 4 show how each party acts, how they represent themselves to the other.

Practical Spreads to Know

So there you have it, five of the best tarot spreads you’ll ever find, each layout involving seven cards or less and easy to get the hang of right away. These five spreads can cover just about any question you can come up with, or even if you can’t come up with a question. If these spreads can be mastered, you will soon be ready to take on more complicated spreads such as the 15-card Golden Dawn method.