When we come across trying times and want a little guidance, tarot is a practice that we can turn to. It helps us overcome our difficulties in times where the foundations of our world seem to be collapsing. We grow through our experiences, and there is a comfort in knowing that our higher or subconscious selves are always speaking to us.
Tarot can cast light upon the difficult events that we go through, whether they occur around us in the wider world, or our individual lives. There are many varieties of spreads in tarot that can be used to guide the querent and to provide guidance for such events.
Any tarot spread can be suitably used for seeking guidance upon a situation. The most ideal spreads include card positions that provide insight on advice on the actions to take next, where to seek help, and how the problem can be overcome. The ideal spread can be reused and adapted for any tough situation.
Whenever you find yourself struggling with self-doubt or a murky mindset, then the following suggestions for spreads can help you move forward. Remember that any of these spreads can be customized to your liking.
Before we move onto discussing different spreads that you can use for guidance, I wanted to point to the end of this article. Once you have finished reviewing these ideas, I have a list of related articles at the end of this page that you can reference to get more ideas about spreads for guidance.
Table of Contents
Basic 3-Card Tarot Spread for Guidance
Many variations are possible for a three-card spread in tarot. Biddy Tarot offers a ‘Quick Tarot Spreads’ card that comes with their Everyday Tarot deck, and some of the basic three-card spreads on the card are extremely universal.
They can be used in any situation and, most importantly, can be adapted to a personal situation. Here is an example of a spread:
Situation – Problem – Action
Notice the ‘Problem’ card position, which identifies the aspect of the situation that needs to be addressed. The ‘Action’ card position then provides a clear path forward, suggesting what the querent can do next to resolve this problem.
As examples, the Major Arcana card Hanged Man can be in the Action position. The presence of this card suggests that what the querent needs to do is to take a step back and reassess the situation. Think about it before any further action is taken. (read more about the hanged man card in these articles… “Is the Hanged Man a bad card?” & “What does the Hanged Man reversed mean?”)
Alternatively, another card, The Fool, may invite the querent to step outside of their comfort zones to address this problem. Playing safe and withdrawing probably won’t help in this situation. (read about the fools journey here, “how to use the Major Arcana tarot cards.”
The best kind of guidance that can be gained from three-card readings is general guidance. Due to its simpleness, conciseness, and sheer adaptability, the three-card reading is for when you need a short and quick tarot session to answer, negate, or confirm any thoughts that you might have settled on already.
Here is a variation on the three-card spread:
Obstacles – What to address – How to move forward
People, energies, situations, or things that are blocking us from acquiring that focus. This can refer to either internal or external blockages.
How/what to address and release
This position lets us know of what exactly to release from our minds, our actions, or our surroundings. Whereas the limiting blockages have been identified in the first position, this second position alerts us to the blockages that are within our power to address. It informs us of how to release an internal limiting mindset, or how to best address the situation if we are affected by external influences.
How to move forward
Are there certain responsibilities that need to be accepted? Or is it the lifting of boundaries and the discarding of excess responsibility the way to move forward? This position provides the guidance that supports us in making difficult decisions.
Any flexible and broad three-card tarot spread that shows the querent the way forward can be classified as one that offers guidance.
Multiple Card Spreads
Say that you’re completely in the dark about a situation. Maybe you’ve gone around your head in loops to try and figure out what you can do next. A three-card spread may just not be enough to delve into the specifics of a situation.
The most common larger spread is the Celtic Cross spread. As with many multiple card spreads, these types of spreads concentrate on one particular aspect or question. The more specific and in-depth the question is, then the more helpful the tarot can be.
You may like to read more about how to do a Celtic Cross spread here: “how to do the celtic cross tarot spread”
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Illustrated below is what a typical multiple card spread could look like. If you feel as if you need more guidance on a particular card position, then breaking that position down into two more specific topics, or even adding your own position, is advised.
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The core of the problem
Helps to identify the heart of the problem. Sometimes, the real root of the problem surfaces in many different resulting difficulties. It is best to understand where the origin of these difficulties may lie.
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This position reveals the aspects of the situation that we haven’t taken the time to see clearly. Perhaps the querent has not listened to their intuition or is trying to avoid something that must be addressed so that the steps towards resolution can be advanced.
What can be learned
Why has this situation been brought to your attention? Everything enters our lives with a certain purpose. If it is a life lesson, then the problem will continuously show itself until we realize that we have to learn from the situation. Is it perhaps a lesson that has come up in the past before?
Where support can be found
Look for cards that signify either an inner strength or help from an outside source. The Strength card is a definite card that indicates the querent has all the power that they need within themselves; they simply need to draw from it. However, the Justice card appearing in this position will suggest divine assistance playing in your favor.
Advice/Steps to take:
How the situation can be approached. Pay attention to certain suits and court cards, and whether the card in this position is Major or Minor Arcana. A Knight appearing in this position can highlight that fast-paced action is needed, whereas the King of Cups may indicate that your emotions need to be managed and controlled before any action is taken.
This usually refers to the outcome of the situation if the querent continues with their current energy. If you do not like the outcome, then it can be altered through your actions, with the help of the Advice card.
Note, read more about the Major Arcana and Minor Arcana cards in these articles:
Spreads for General Guidance
Sometimes, we may not have a particular problem or situation that we want to resolve. We all know that sometimes we can become trapped in a lower vibrational energy and become confused as to what lies ahead. Perhaps we just need a pat of reassurance from our decks, so that our mindset and drive can be guided in the right direction.
These spreads can help reveal unspoken energies, which can help clear away the confusion and uncertainty to make way for clarity.
What not to focus on – What to focus on – What to cultivate
What NOT to focus on
This position tells us of the distractions that are present in our life right now. Not everything that comes up is a distraction, but sometimes we can get carried away by negative energies that set us back when in reality we have the choice to step away from them.
What to focus on
In contrast to the previous position, this position will inform us of where to direct our energy when we feel overwhelmed with so many other aspects of our lives.
What to cultivate
This position reveals aspects of our lives that we can focus on to grow in. There is a difference between focusing on an energy and growth in one. Whereas focusing on the important energies helps clear the clutter, cultivating an energy requires practicing it and taking that focus one step further.
What is in line with my Higher self? – What is not in line with my Higher self? – Guidance from the Divine
What is in line with my Higher self?
If you are looking for a more spiritually guided spread, then this one helps with providing clarity upon your life purpose, your goals, or any aspect of your life that is going in the right direction.
What is not in line with my Higher self?
This position sheds light upon the things that we may want, but ultimately may not benefit us or align with our higher goals. It is necessary to release and change.
Guidance from the Divine
This position reveals whatever your angels want to communicate to you. This can range from encouragement and advice to warnings. All you have to do is receive it!
General Guidance Tarot Spread Summary
If you’ve been searching for some tarot spreads to guide you in some way, then hopefully you’ve come across some more possibilities to use in your tarot sessions!
However, if you are a beginner in tarot and was curious as to what spreads in tarot for guidance can look like, know that every spread is flexible and adaptable. As mentioned in the article, adaptability is even something that can benefit us greatly when it comes to the variety of situations that we require guidance on.
Knowing your deck and finding the right spreads that work for your situation is important. There are no rules that must be enforced on a spread- only ways to better optimize the effectiveness of its guidance.
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