Tarot Spreads for Beginners Guide: Spreads and Top Tips Guide

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Starting Tarot can be a pretty overwhelming experience. When I first began, I remember going back and forth with the practice for years, confused about how I should actually read the cards. It took me time to understand different spreads and how I could use them to enhance my life. So, I thought I would create this Tarot spreads for beginners guide to make things a little easier for people starting with Tarot.

In this guide, I will talk you through some simple Tarot spreads for beginners to help you get to know how to read the cards. I also want to give you some top tips for beginners, so you are going into the spreads with confidence!

Tarot Spreads for Beginners Up Front

If you are new to Tarot, I recommend practicing the one-card Tarot spread every day. Pick a card every morning, or ask a question you want to know. Try out some three-card Tarot spreads when you feel like you are getting to know the Tarot cards a bit better. I have included a range of simple three-card Tarot spreads perfect for beginners.

Tarot Spreads for Beginners Guide

Tarot for Beginners: My Top Tips

When it comes to reading Tarot cards, my first tip is not to panic! It feels like there is so much to learn, but with patience and time, you will get there. It took me time to be able to read the cards. However, it felt terrific when everything fell into place! All the work was worth it, and now I am super confident reading the cards for myself, friends, and strangers.

Tarot reading is a journey. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.

The other top tips that I wish I had known before I began Tarot include:

  • Work with the Major Arcana cards first. When confident with these cards, focus on the Minor Arcana cards for a while. Then, add them together.
  • Start with a beginner-friendly deck. A Rider-Waite deck, or one that uses its imagery, is perfect for beginners. In this article, I will be using the Modern Witch Tarot Deck by Lisa Sterle. This deck uses the traditional Rider-Waite imagery but with a modern twist. Imagery and symbolism are super important when it comes to reading Tarot!
  • Keep a Tarot journal. This is a book where you write down your intuitions and feelings about certain cards, readings, and other Tarot knowledge.
  • Read as much as you can about the subject. Tarot books, blogs, and even YouTube videos are great tools that allow you to get to know the cards and the practice.
  • Know the Tarot card keywords, but use your intuition to expand on their meanings.
  • Pick a card a day.

Okay, let’s get into the best Tarot spreads for beginners!

tarot deck

One-Card Tarot Spread

A great way of getting to know the Tarot cards is by doing one-card Tarot spreads. I recommend you pick a card out of the deck every morning to get guidance for the day. This is a super easy and quick Tarot practice; it only takes five minutes! Incorporate it into your morning routine, and you will soon become more confident with the cards.

You may also wish to use a one-card Tarot spread for advice. Is there something you want clarity and guidance with? Make sure the question is not a yes or no one, but it can be specific. You can ask the cards about your career, love life, friends, family… everything!

When you know your question, shuffle the deck with it in mind. Cut or spread the deck and select a card when you feel ready. Look into the meaning of the card, first beginning with the keywords. Think about what they might mean for you with the keywords in mind. Have a good look at the imagery and symbolism on the card. Does anything jump out for you?

If you want to, read a more in-depth guide for the card until you understand what the Tarot is trying to tell you.

Three-Card Tarot Spreads for Beginners

Alongside the card-a-day spreads, you can also practice three-card spreads. These allow you to understand the situation and what the cards are trying to tell you without it being too complicated!

I still usually do three-card spreads for myself, friends and family. I believe that they are the best way to begin the conversation, allowing the querent to open up and explore what the cards want them to know.

three card tarot spread
Photo by Lou Siday

Here are some three-card Tarot spreads that I use time and time again and that are perfect for beginners.

Past, Present, Future Three-Card Spread

The past, present, and future three-card reading is a fantastic spread that is great for beginners and experts alike. The first card pulled reflects the querent’s past, the second card pulled represents their present, and the third card pulled represents their future.

Now, I don’t think that Tarot can tell the future (although I know that some people do). I believe that the future card in this spread represents what we need to do to move forward in life and the direction we should take. It reflects advice and guidance from the universe.

When it comes to this three-card Tarot spread, we can do a general past, present, and future reading or apply it to different aspects of our lives. So, we can ask the cards about our career past, present, and future, or the past, present, and future of our love life. It totally depends on you and what you want to know!

Pro Tip: I always think it’s helpful to look at the three cards as a story. Link the cards together, and think what narrative they create!

Let’s look at a past, present, and future spread for a career reading. I will do one for myself and talk you through what the cards tell me.

past, present, future tarot spread
Photo by Lou Siday

For my past card, I have received the Seven of Cups. Now, this card is all about having a lot of opportunities in front of me, and this makes sense! Last year I was working in hospitality and content writing simultaneously. Because it was pretty exhausting, I had to choose which one I wanted to pursue. Of course, I decided on content writing.

For my present card, I have received the Nine of Wands. This card reflects perseverance and standing strong in the face of adversity. At first, I was unsure of what this meant for me, as I really enjoy my job! However, with reflection, I understood it as representing the hardships of going freelance full-time and the need to stand my ground and carry on.

The jump from two jobs to one was tricky, and I am still in the process of adjusting. However, the Nine of Wands tells me that I am nearly there; I just have to carry on!

For the future card, I have received The Empress. This card reflects abundance, creativity, and femininity, so I think it is a lovely card to receive! I believe it reminds me of how important my imagination is in my career and that I should prioritize this when wanting to progress. There is an element of nurture when it comes to this card. Perhaps this reflects me nurturing my career?!

When put together, these three cards tell me a story. I made a choice, and I am currently working hard to fully succeed with the option I made. With creativity and nurture, I will be able to move forward and be happy in my career.

Love, Career, Home Three-Card Spread

So, this is a three-card spread that I do all the time for my friends. Every couple of weeks, I will do this reading for a few friends as a general check-in for their life. I also used to do this weekly for myself when I was beginning my Tarot card journey!

In this spread, each card represents a specific aspect of your life. The first, called pulled, reflects your love life, the second represents your career, and the third card reflects your home life. When it comes to the home life card, I believe this involves friends, family… whatever you think as ‘home’! It is essential to use your intuition when understanding this one.

Okay, so let’s walk through this three-card Tarot spread! I will do a reading for myself and explain how we can interpret each card.

love, career, home reading
Photo by Lou Siday

For my love card, I got the King of Wands. Now, I am glad a court card came up in one of these spreads, as most beginners find them pretty confusing! This is because court cards can be understood in a few different ways. Court cards are the Kings, Queens, Knights, and Pages of each suit and can represent people, yourself, or influences.

So, let’s consider the King of Wands when it comes to love. If we were to understand it as representing a person or ourselves, the King of Wands is a passionate and energetic person. They are driven, confident, and natural leaders. They love to protect and honor their moral codes.

Pro Tip: It is essential to not let the age and gender of the cards through you off. The King of Wands can represent anyone of any gender and age; it is all about the characteristics that it represents. It is the same with all the court cards! 

As an influence, the King of Wands asks you to express yourself, follow your passions, and allow yourself to be confident in who you are. It asks you not to forget your desires and your own personality when it comes to love.

In my circumstances, I think that the King of Wands represents my boyfriend. He embodies the characteristics of the King of Wands, and this explanation makes more sense than the card representing me or an influence.

Pro Tip: When wanting to understand what the Court cards represent, use your intuition. Consider the different ways we can read the Court cards, taking your time in deciding what they mean for you. 

For my career card, I received the Eight of Wands. A pretty positive card, it is all about moving forward and progressing. I believe I am moving in the right direction for my career, so it totally makes sense for me!

For the home card, I have received the Justice card. It is the only Major Arcana card in the reading, which is something to note. Major Arcana cards typically reflect significant life events, whereas Major Arcana cards usually refer to day-to-day events and situations.

The Justice card represents truth, fairness, and karma. It reminds us that our actions will always have consequences and that imbalances will always be addressed. I was pretty relieved when seeing this card for my home card, as quite a few of my friends have been going through a rough time. Life hasn’t treated them fairly, and it is getting them down. However, with the appearance of the Justice card, I know that things will even out for them soon, and they will get the good that they deserve!

Success, Obstacles, Advice Three-Card Spread

This three-card Tarot spread looks at your general life and allows you to receive advice from the universe. The first card reflects your successes. This card shows you what you need to be grateful for in life and what you need to celebrate! The second card represents any obstacles in your way, and the third card shows you advice from the universe.

Pro Tip: If you are unsure about what certain cards mean, pull another from the deck to enlighten you. 

Let’s walk through an example of this reading. I shuffled my deck and picked three cards. When I turned them over, I said, ‘wow’ aloud. Three Major Arcana cards; the universe has something to tell me! I was shocked to see the message so clearly in these three cards; there was no uncertainty when reading this spread.

Succes, obstacles, advide tarot spread
Photo by Lou Siday

I got the Sun for the success card, which represents optimism and positivity. It reminds us to look on the bright side of life, embracing the fun to be had. I am the kind of person who wants to enjoy life. I always try to count my blessings, even when times are hard. I value spending time with my friends, traveling, and experiencing new things. The Sun card is definitely telling me that this is helping me succeed in life!

However, I am receiving a warning from the universe with the Devil card. The Devil card has appeared in the obstacle position in this three-card spread, and the Devil represents addiction and bondage. It will typically turn up when someone tends to enjoy material and substance pleasures a little bit too much.

Remember how I said I simply want to enjoy life? Well, sometimes, I do party a little bit hard! I love nothing more than having a drink and dancing the night away. But, we can see that I need to be careful about this aspect of my life.

The advice card is Justice, and when considering it with the Sun and the Devil, we can see what the universe is trying to tell me! My actions now will affect my long-term well-being, so I need to act in a balanced and thoughtful way. It is time to keep my partying in check!

Tarot Spreads for Beginners: FAQs

Let’s look at some questions you might have about Tarot spreads for beginners.

Question: Can you do Tarot Spreads for Yourself?

Answer: Practicing Tarot spreads on yourself is a great way to get to know the cards and develop your skills.

Question: What Kind of Tarot Deck Should I get as a Beginner?

Answer: The Rider-Waite deck and decks based on it are the best for beginners.

Question: Is it Hard to Learn Tarot?

Answer: It can be a bit difficult to learn Tarot at first, but you will soon get the hang of it if you practice!

Question: What is the Easiest Tarot Spread?

Answer: A simple one-card spread is the easiest Tarot spread for beginners.

tarot cards

Develop Your Tarot Reading Skills Today

I hope you have enjoyed my Tarot spread for beginners guide. Starting out with Tarot can feel pretty daunting, but the journey is so worth it! These spreads are perfect for beginners, and I hope you can gain knowledge and enlightenment through them.

Good luck on your Tarot journey!

Continue reading:

Love Tarot Spread Guide: 5 Easy Spreads for Both Beginner and Expert Readers

Celtic Cross Spread Explained: What Does it Mean?

Six Month Tarot Spread Explained: What Does It Mean?

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