Tarot Spreads for Beginners: 5 Easy Layouts to Try

This blog post is your introduction to common tarot card spreads for every tarot beginner with no prior experience. 

Do you want to explore the world of tarot or oracle cards but find yourself at a loss on where and how to begin? Take a deep breath and know that feeling overwhelmed is perfectly normal.

My own journey into tarot and the rider-waite deck wasn’t always smooth sailing, but as with any skill, practice makes progress.

As a newbie, getting a feel for those tarot cards and what they mean in a reading can be a real head-scratcher. But you are not alone in this adventure.

This blog post is your guiding light, offering up basic tarot spreads for beginners, that will be a great way to kickstart your tarot journey with a smile.

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Myth About Tarot Spreads

When I first started to give tarot readings, I was shaking in my boots. I would lay out my cards, stare at them, and think, “What on earth am I supposed to do with these?”

I made the mistake of pulling too many cards right from the start, thinking it would give me all the answers.

It was definitely the wrong way!

Let me give you a piece of advice straight from the heart: when you are a new tarot reader, less is more. Building confidence in your own deck and reading skills means starting with a simple, straightforward approach.

Trust me, I’ve been there, and I’ve learned that overwhelming yourself with a bunch of cards is more about stroking your ego than getting accurate readings.

So, take it easy. There’s no shame in starting with simpler spreads. I know it can be intimidating to see other tarot readers on YouTube or wherever pulling tons of cards left and right. But here’s the truth: more cards don’t always mean better readings. Scratch that idea right out of your mind!

Sure, more cards might give you a super detailed reading and additional information, but from my own experience, a simple spread with just a few cards does the trick just fine.

Plus, it won’t leave you feeling like you’ve bitten off more than you can chew, especially when you’re still finding your feet in the world of tarot readings. Simplicity is your best friend when you’re just starting out.

woman laying tarot cards in a spread

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General Tips for Beginner Tarot Readers

Before we dive into my favorite tarot spreads for beginners, let’s take a closer look at some basic tips for tarot readings and spreads.

Be Mindful:

As you prepare for your reading and shuffle your deck of cards, take a moment to center your mind. Clear away any distractions and focus on being fully present in the moment.

Engaging in meditation practices and taking deep breaths has been incredibly helpful for me.

Follow your Intuition:

No guidebook can match the precision of your intuition.

While there are specific meanings associated with each card, it’s your personal interpretation and intuitive nudges that truly breathe life into your readings, making them uniquely yours. See it as an ongoing intuitive practice and pay close attention to your insights.

Protect your Energy:

I know I sound like a broken record on this, but it’s crucial: prioritize your energetic protection during readings.

How you choose to safeguard your energy is up to you, but please, take this aspect seriously. Your well-being matters.

Keep a Tarot Journal:

Especially in the early stages of your journey, maintaining a tarot journal can be very helpful. Documenting your readings allows for reflection and deepens your understanding of the cards.

Be patient:

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is mastery of tarot reading.

Embrace the journey with patience and grace. Some readings will flow effortlessly, while others may not. That’s all part of the learning process. Trust that each reading, regardless of its outcome, is an opportunity for growth and discovery on a deeper level.

5 Easy Tarot Spreads for Beginners

Alright, no more beating around the bush. Let’s jump right into exploring some basic spreads that work for any type of reading.

1.) Daily Card Pull

This is a habit I’ve stuck with for a long time, and it’s the best way to connect with your tarot cards. The daily card pull is the perfect way to start your day with intention.

Just draw one card, and you will get a sneak peek into what the day has in store for you. All you have to do is shuffle your deck while thinking about what you need to know for the day, pull a card, and then take a moment to think about what it means to you.

Don’t forget to revisit the card in the evening and journal about how its energy manifested throughout your day.

one card pull tarot spread for beginners

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2.) One-Card Pull

Think of the single card spread as a twist on the daily card pull but with more flexibility.

As a beginner spread, you can do it anytime, whether it’s morning, noon, or night, and you can tailor it to whatever question or situation is on your mind.

It’s perfect for beginners because it gives you quick insight and guidance without overwhelming you with a bunch of cards to decipher.

Just focus on your question or what you want to know, shuffle your deck, draw one card, and let its message sink in. It’s like having a one-on-one chat with your tarot deck, and sometimes, all you need is one card to get the clarity you’re looking for.

3.) Three-Card Tarot Spreads

Let’s go on slow and easy with a 3-card spread that will make your tarot practice more advanced.

Just shuffle your deck while you’re thinking about your question, then draw three cards and lay them out in a row.

This spread will give you a detailed snapshot of your current situation. The first card shows you what’s happened in the past that’s led to where you are now. The middle card tells you what’s happening in the present, so you can see things clearly. And the third card is all about the future.

It shows you a likely outcome or paths you could take from here. This simple three-card spread is perfect for building confidence in your readings. This one is a good starting point that will make you feel like a pro in no time.

4.) Traditional Celtic Cross Spread

The cornerstone of all tarot spreads is the Celtic Cross spread. You’ve probably heard of it.

Compared to other spreads for beginners, this one is more involved and allows more detailed reading.

It might seem more complex and daunting at first because of the card placement. But trust me, it’s worth it for the deep insights you’ll uncover.

Shuffle your deck while focusing on your open-ended questions, then draw ten cards and lay them out in the pattern of the Celtic Cross. Each position has its own story to tell, from the main theme to what hopes or fears are hiding, and what’s on the horizon.

Take your time with each card, letting its symbolism sink in and considering how it fits into the spread as a whole. It’s like piecing together a puzzle, one card at a time. It might take a little while to get the hang of all card combinations, but with patience and a lot of practice, you’ll start connecting the dots.

celtic cross tarot spread

5.) Tarot Family Constellation

Last but certainly not least, let me share with you a gem of a spread that my teacher passed down to me during one of her beginner classes.

This one gives you a different perspective on family patterns and hidden messages in your ancestry. It’s super simple, too.

Shuffle your tarot cards and draw eight of them, spreading them in a horizontal line.

The first card represents your mother or father, and all the ancestors from that side of the family. Then, the second and third cards go hand in hand, revealing any pain or blockages you may carry from your lineage. Moving on, the fourth card shines a light on the positive experiences and encouragement you’ve inherited. The fifth and sixth cards team up to show the habits and patterns you’ve developed as a result of your family history. And the final cards offers guidance on healing and navigating the situation.

Now, I won’t lie  this great spread goes deep. It’s all about exploring the connections and energy within your family tree. But it’s worth it. It can uncover every issue that holds you back and help you move forward with clarity and strength.

family ancestry line tarot spread for beginners

Simple Spreads Go a Long Way

I hope this blog post has helped untangle some of the confusion that often comes with starting to explore tarot card readings.

Maybe you’ve already found a favorite among the tarot spreads for beginners, or perhaps you’re excited about trying them all and seeing what clicks for you.

However, if you decide to approach it, remember this: tarot isn’t just a divination tool to predict the future — it’s a powerful tool that reflects the depths of your soul.

So, whenever you sit down for a reading, do it with curiosity, positive energy, and an open mind. You’ll be amazed at the personal growth and wisdom that will unfold.