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Birthdays are often a time when we contemplate what the past year has brought us. We may mourn those lost and give thanks for everything gained. Then look ahead and wonder what is to come.
This personal need for reflection and insight is what makes birthday tarot spread readings so popular. They provide a clear and insightful snapshot of your current situation, along with information about your future. Welcome to our guide where we have the Birthday Tarot Spread explained thoroughly.
Who Should Use this Birthday Tarot Spread?
Amongst the various spreads on offer, this one is designed for those currently in their zodiac birthday month to understand what lies ahead. Year endings are popular periods in time to reset the clock and look to the future.
This makes your birthday the perfect opportunity to get information, ideas, and any other clues on what is in store for you. What better way could there be to identify both the high points and the challenges on the horizon?
Some people like to use a Birthday Tarot spread to help with goal setting or to identify personal strengths and weaknesses. Whatever your motivation, it’s all good.
How to Do the Birthday Tarot Spread
Step One: Choose Your Deck
There aren’t any fixed rules on which Tarot Deck you use for this reading. So long as it’s a deck you know well and are comfortable with, anything goes.
Familiarity is vital because this Birthday Tarot spread is quite extensive, with 12 individual cards to turn and interpret. Using a Tarot deck that’s relatively new to you could make in-depth understandings a bit of a challenge.
Step Two: Create a Positive Space
You will only experience one birthday reading a year for yourself, so it’s really worth investing the time to make it memorable.
Create a great atmosphere by choosing a quiet, calming space for your reading. That could be in your garden if the weather plays ball or in a cosy corner of your home. Anywhere is fine so long as you feel relaxed there.
Next, pick out a table or surface space that’s big enough to hold a 12 card spread. Use your bed if that works, or a tray on your lap. Again, it’s being comfortable and content that matters here.
Some people like to lay the tarot cards out on a special cloth, which you can gab before beginning the reading. This is also the right time to add any extra touches you fancy, like lighting candles, or burning incense.
Step Three: Shuffle the Cards
Tarot readings rely on your energy to draw out the most accurate and valuable insights each card offers. That’s why it’s vital to begin your setup process with clear intentions. You must hold the tarot cards while thinking about the topics you will cover.
This creates the perfect space for the tarot to absorb your energy and ultimately deliver the most meaningful reading possible. Feel free to cut or shuffle the cards quite casually while meditating on your intentions. You don’t need to be a professional croupier to cut cards; just do what you feel comfortable with.
When you feel ready to begin the reading carry out a final focused shuffle or card cut, then get ready to select your special birthday tarot cards.
Step Four: Pull the Cards
There is no right or wrong way to pull cards to lay out your spread. Ultimately it comes down to personal preference.
Some people like to resume shuffling their deck and choose cards that spark a connection. If there’s space, it’s nice to fan out your cards and choose those you’re attracted to.
If keeping it very simple suits you best, just place the entire tarot deck on the table and pull them from the top in turn. However you decide to select each card, they should be chosen one by one and laid in position, face down, immediately.
It’s essential that you lay the cards in the correct spots and remember which card represents which number. So whether you devise your own, or follow the example used here, make sure to follow a definite plan.
Step Five: Lay Out Your Spread
You are aiming for three rows made up of 4 cards each, with each row beginning at the far left.
- Lay card 1 face down on the far left of your cloth.
- Lay card 2 next to card 1, followed by cards 3 & 4
- Card 5 begins row B, so it sits directly beneath card 1.
- Cards 6, 7, & 8 follow it across the cloth.
- Row C features cards 9 – 12. Remember to lay them face down and in turn.
- Place the remaining cards face down in a safe place.
Birthday Tarot Spread Position Meanings
At last, it’s time for the main tarot action to take centre stage. This is where you get to look in more detail at the meaning each card in this Birthday Tarot spread has to share, based on its position in this particular layout.
Card 1: Your Highlight of the Last Year
The card you turn here represents the most powerful energy force you’ve experienced in the previous 12 months. This card could be either positive or negative, and it underpins card 2.
Card 2: The Lessons Learned in the Previous Year
Card 1 covered your primary experience, but card 2 takes that further. Its purpose is to highlight the life lessons you can take from the last year.
If card 2 is a reversed image, don’t jump to any negative conclusions. This usually just means your life lesson isn’t quite ready to give itself up just yet. Perhaps you have unfinished business to attend to.
If you turn a Major Arcana card, it magnifies the strength of the life lesson you received. Expect it to influence your life in the months ahead too.
Card 3: Your Main Wish for the Year Ahead
This card is where you switch directions and look towards what the next twelve months may bring. Card 3 symbolizes your innermost desires, goals, or dreams for the year to come.
Keep an open mind here. You may turn a card you didn’t expect or don’t like, but don’t let that throw you off. Each card in this birthday tarot spread is important.
Turning a Major Arcana card hints something important is on the horizon, while a Minor Arcana card is about specific goals. If your card is from a Court set, pay attention to emotional or personal goals.
Reversed cards highlight something you need to let go of, which could be practical, physical, or emotional.
Card 4: What Will Help you Reach Your Goals
Cards 4 & 5 both cover the same subject but from opposing angles. Card 4 represents the positives, the ideas, people, or whatever else you can grab hold of to get where you want to be. Contemplate the opportunities this important card could be telling you to watch out for.
Card 5: What Could Stop you From Reaching your Goals
If card 4 was Cinderella, card 5 is the ugly sister! As awkward and annoying as card 5 can be, don’t skip over it. There’s always plenty to learn in tarot, and here that’s about potential hiccups in your path.
Use this information wisely, and it will boost your knowledge of the year ahead. Although you could just choose to bury your head in the sand, that’s not helpful.
By facing the bumps in the road, this tarot card warns you they are there. That gives you the chance to prepare a strategy to overcome potential threats to your happiness.
Card 6: Your Emotional Journey During the Next Year
This card switches the focus from the past year to shine a light on your emotional year ahead. This could cover personal achievements, family relationships, and emotional health, but it also covers that very important topic – love!
Turning a Major Arcana card here reveals an important general theme that needs attention in the year ahead, while Minor Arcana cards again focus more on details. In a birthday tarot reading, reversed cards follow the upright explanation but warn of some struggles along the way.
The Chariot (Major Arcana) signifies success will be yours, despite any troubles and obstacles you face.
The 4 of Pentacles (Minor Arcana) warns you not to deny success. Celebrate what comes your way, rather than overlooking achievements.
Card 7: What Lies Ahead for your Work and Finance Situations
65This card focuses on your career and your cash in the year ahead. Here you can tap into a general overview of your prospects for both.
The Hierophant’s central theme is all about tradition, convention, and doing the right thing. This could be a warning to avoid unconventional career or spending decisions.
If you turn a more direct card from the Minor Arcana, the messages should be more specific. For example, the Knight of Cups suggests that plenty of opportunities are ahead for your career and your financial future. Just don’t be too easily persuaded sometimes.
Card 8: What Lies Ahead for Your Health
Whatever your age or health status, it’s always good to get some clues on what the future holds. Maybe this is the time to look at your fitness level, perhaps join an exercise or dance class, or overhaul your eating.
As always, revealing a Major Arcana card tells of significant themes. So, for example, The Empress represents nature, babies and the like, but it doesn’t have to mean pregnancy is on the cards. Think instead about the more general theme of caring, nurturing, and understanding.
Perhaps this relates to your need to give or receive emotional support or pay attention to your reproductive health.
On the other hand, a Minor Arcana card looks at more specific issues. For example, turning the Seven of Wands suggests you prepare to face some problems or even a crisis. Proactive action will help you beat it, so don’t ignore health niggles.
Card 9: What Lies Ahead for you Spiritually
This card represents your personal spiritual journey, which may or may not involve mainstream religion. It’s about energy, meditation, connecting to your inner self and to the natural world.
If you turned The Magician tarot, your message would be all about sticking with your dreams. Manifestation is a powerful tool, so trust the universe and ask for what you need.
Alternatively, a minor card like the Seven of Swords warns you to be careful. Not everyone has good intentions, so be wary of who you trust your spiritual needs with. Or, perhaps the deception is on your side, and you need to face it!
Card 10: The Major Thing you Must Focus on in the Next 12 Months
Card 10 has a mission, to shift your focus away from specific topics and on to the main issue which will affect your year ahead.
Turning this card might reveal triumphs and positives or be a little sharper than you’d like. If you aren’t ready to hear what the tarot has to say, let it rest, and come back to it when your mind is clearer.
Just don’t get overconfident if your message seems too lighthearted and fun or too miserable if you sense a challenge coming your way. Everything balances out in a general overview like this one.
This is a card intended to spark focus, so make the most of it.
Card 11: A major Lesson to Learn in the Year Ahead
Card 10 is all about identifying focus. Card 11 shifts the attention to something you really need to learn in the 12 months before you celebrate another birthday.
Turning an upright Major Arcana card reveals a straightforward representation of a major life lesson ahead. However, if reversed, it tells you there’s an ongoing, unresolved issue. Perhaps there is something you are avoiding or not seeing.
A Minor Arcana card in this position gives you clues about shorter-term influences, fluid and changeable energies.
Card 12: Something to Surprise You
So far, you’ve concentrated on the last and the coming 12 months, following a set guide along the way. With this final card, why not change things a little?
Start by setting your intention: you want to learn about a positive surprise in your year ahead.
Pull one more tarot card from your deck, either randomly or just go for the card on the bottom of the pile. Turn it and enjoy the insights it delivers.
Top Tarot Decks we recommend
- Rider-Waite deck
- Modern Witch Tarot Deck
- The Good Karma Tarot Deck
- Everyday Tarot Mini Tarot Deck
- The Robin Wood Deck
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Can I Divide the Major and Minor Arcana Cards Before Setting them Out?
Answer: Yes, you can. Use only Major cards for broader insights and the Minors if you are after the details.
Question: Can the Topics of Cards 7 – 9 be Changed?
Answer: They certainly can. Simply set your intentions to cover the topic(s) you prefer instead.
Question: Do I Have to Use Tarot Card Decks for a Unique Spread Like This?
Answer: You are free to use any style of tarot or oracle cards you like. Just make sure you know them well to get the best results.
The Final Task
Try to take notes on the messages received during your Birthday Tarot Spread, perhaps in a journal or notebook. It’s nice to remind yourself of the results during the year ahead.