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After spending time in the spiritual aspect of Tarot, it’s nice to return to the basics. You can’t get any more basic than a Horsehoe Tarot Spread. You guessed it; it’s a spread where cards are placed in a horseshoe shape. You can use about any 5 to 7 or 9-card spread in a horseshoe shape pretty easily. I’ve seen them as small as three cards, but really what’s exciting about that?
There’s a variation of spreads and questions that can be asked. I’ll cover a common 7-card horseshoe spread, along with a fun little addition. I’ll be using my Wild Unknown Tarot Deck for these readings.
Bottom Line Up Front
A horseshoe spread is a pretty basic but essential spread for growing tarot readers. It can be as basic or as whimsical as you want it to be. I really enjoyed the Bohemian spread as a way to spice up the traditional past, present, and future spread. The basic spread is perfect for those who are still learning Tarot and want to have a good handle on the traditional spreads.
A Basic 7-Card Horseshoe Spread
This basic spread is basically an expansion on a past, present, and future 3-card spread. Giving you some insight into potential obstacles you may face along the way.
- Unexpected Obstacles
- Attitude toward the obstacle
- Outside influences that are affecting the obstacle
- Next Step
- Potential Outcome
I decided to pull some cards for a friend that has been asking me for a quick reading lately.
For the past, I pulled the 7 of Pentacles. This card is about hard work and planting seeds for a fruitful future but not always feeling like you accomplished everything you wanted to. This card tells me in the past; they often felt like they tried really hard to grow and find peace and balance within various aspects of their life, only to come away feeling as if it was all for nothing.
For the present, I pulled the 3 of Pentacles. This card is about teamwork and collaboration, often geared toward work or home life. I know they’ve been hanging out with their kiddos lately, making me think they are enjoying their time with their family. I know this is their happy place.
I pulled 7 of Cups for potential obstacles in their way. This card is about having a lot of choices in life, but not all of them are as they seem. My friend certainly does have a lot of options right now in many aspects of their life, most notably romantic. I know this is stressing them out as there is no clear way to turn when it’s heart vs head. Sometimes the heart just wants what it wants.
Currently, their attitude towards their life situation is The World. The final major arcana card that symbolizes completion, union, and travel. Currently, they feel optimistic about their situation, but they know there are loose ends and issues they need to deal with in order to move forward. This card asks them to tend to those matters.
I pulled the Ace of Pentacles as the card for outside influences, which is about a fresh new start, potentially within the career or home life. Pentacles typically deal with money or career, but they can signify home life. This tells me that outside forces are pushing my friend to make a new start in their career. Potentially not something they are wanting to take on right now.
For their next step, I pulled the Daughter or Page of Cups. She’s about focusing on creative opportunities, remaining curious and open to your intuition and the possibilities of life. I think this card means that my friend’s next steps are to focus on the things in life that make them feel creative and energized. It could also mean they will receive news about love in the near future that will help them make a choice.
As the potential outcome for their situation, I pulled the Five of Wands. This card is about facing disagreements, tension, and conflict in your life. This card tells me that they will likely find themselves facing conflict and tension in the near future. It warns that if both they and the others involved don’t stop and take a minute to listen to each other, allowing each of their unique ideas and perspectives to be heard, then the solution will be delayed.
Reading Summary: This reading tells me that my friend in the past has often felt like they tried very hard in various aspects of their life to feel as if they didn’t get very far. At present, they are currently spending a lot of time working on something that involves teamwork and collaboration. I know they’ve been spending a lot of time with their family lately.
As a potential obstacle, they currently have a lot of choices, especially in their love life, and while many of these choices feel enticing, not all are what they seem. As their next step, they may receive news about love or simply focus on things that bring them energy and make them feel creative.
The future holds potential conflict, largely due to people not listening to each other and finding a way to compromise. It asks that they slow down and take in all sides of the argument instead of approaching it defensively.
Notes: To shorten this spread to a 5 card for a quicker reading, I suggest removing the cards for attitude and outside influences as, ultimately, you can get a good in-depth reading without those cards.
A 7-Card Bohemian Horseshoe Spread
This spread is a bit more fun and different than most Horseshoe-style spreads I’ve seen. Which is why I like it so much. It also asks about various aspects of your life, and I feel it’s a good self-reflection spread as well. You’ll pull cards for these aspects of your life:
- Wishes, fears, and desires
- Romance, friendship, and overall love
- Achievements you are working towards
- Obstacles and/or unexpected assistance
- Immediate future
- Good Fortune
I pulled the Six of Pentacles for the home card. This card focuses on generosity, both generosity from others and generosity you show others. It can be in many forms, not just financial. This card gives me a mix of financial, spiritual, and literal feelings. I found this a pleasant confirmation of how I’ve been feeling toward my home life. A lot of gratitude for the family I’ve built and the home that I’m creating.
For my wishes, fears, and desires, I pulled The Empress. This major arcana card is about embracing your feminity and allowing yourself to experience life’s pleasures. This card very clearly tells me that my wishes and desires are to be able to step fully into my feminine energy safely, but I fear I won’t ever have the chance to do that.
This leads me back to a conversation I had with a friend about personal safety and the differences I notice in how people approach me and my own feelings of safety when I’m with a man or someone who has more masculine energy about them.
For the romance, friendship, and love card, I pulled the 4 of Wands. This card is such a happy card about a reunion, celebration, and enjoying time with loved ones. Indeed I do have a fun trip planned towards the end of the month, along with hopes for other celebrations for holidays and trips thanks to recent events.
As the achievements I am working towards, I pulled the Mother or Queen of Pentacles. Momma Pentacles is all about the working mom life. She loves being able to be a career woman while also maintaining a happy, healthy home. She’s down-to-earth, humble, and compassionate. I’m not a mom and not really looking to have biological children.
I’d happily take a bonus mom title, and of course, I’ll always work in some capacity. I would love to have a steady creative career while also being a mom figure; it’s certainly a dream for me.
As potential obstacles in my way, I pulled the 8 of Swords. This card is about feeling trapped and imprisoned by your circumstances without the ability to see your way through. This is interesting to me but not that surprising, as I’m currently wanting to leave my hometown and adventure back out into the world.
However, doing so is another matter, and I struggle to believe I can make it on my own. In other aspects, it seems something is keeping me here. I’ve had plans to move away thwarted many times by unexpected circumstances or enticing events that led me to stay a little longer.
For my immediate future, I pulled the 2 of Wands. This card focuses on planning for the future, making decisions, and discovering the unknown. This card tells me I will be planning for my own future quite soon; it may be due to new information I find out or a decision I must make. Either way, planning for my next step will be involved.
My good fortune card is the 9 of Pentacles. This card is basically a dream for me; it focuses on financial independence and self-sufficiency, along with life’s luxuries and overall abundance. This card tells me that my future will be bright and self-sufficient as long as I’m wise about my finances and life moves. Eventually, I’ll have the life I dream of. Overall this message warms my heart just a little bit.
Ask Me These Questions
Question: What is the Double Horseshoe Spread?
Answer: The double horseshoe is a 14-card spread that can ask 14 different related questions, similar to a Celtic Cross or other large Tarot spreads. You can also use it for pulling two cards for each question in the original 7 card spread. This can help you expand on the answer to one particular question and get a little more insight into the situation. It’s similar to pulling clarifiers.
Question: How can I Make my Own Horseshoe Tarot Spread?
Answer: Just think of a series of 3,5,7, or 9 questions you want to ask and arrange them in a horseshoe shape. Make sure the questions have a cohesive theme and try to arrange them so that each question builds upon the last in some way.
Question: What do Horseshoes Mean in a Spiritual Aspect?
Answer: Typically horseshoes are a symbol of good luck, and they are thought to bring good luck and fortune when hung in a home. They can also be a symbol of protection and magic as well.
Question: Which Way do you Lay a Horseshoe Spread, Up or Down?
Answer: It doesn’t really matter as long as the questions are in the same order. I prefer to lay them upright with the point at the top.
Horseshoes Aren’t Just for Horses
A good horseshoe spread is basic but essential for any Tarot reader. It’s beneficial for expanding on a basic past, present, and future spread and gives you a bit more insight into what the future may have in store for you and how you can overcome obstacles in your way.
Horseshoe Tarot spreads can also be fun and unique. You can create your own with different questions that are related to each other. You can take any 3,5,7, or 9-card spread and lay it out into a horseshoe shape. The possibilities are endless, which is what I love so much about these spreads, versatility.