Using Tarot Spreads for Decision Making: A Beginner’s Guide

Tarot cards have been used as a tool for divination and self-discovery for centuries. However, for many beginners, the idea of using tarot spreads for decision making can be overwhelming. With so many different spreads and interpretations, where do you even begin? In this article, we’ll break down the basics of tarot spreads, walk through the process of choosing and using a spread for decision making, and provide some helpful tips to make the most out of your tarot practice. Whether you’re a complete tarot novice or simply looking to enhance your decision-making skills, this beginner’s guide is a great place to start.

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What are Tarot Spreads?

What Are Tarot Spreads?
Are you fascinated by the mystical world of tarot and curious about how to incorporate it into your decision-making process? Tarot spreads are an essential tool for anyone seeking guidance and clarity through tarot readings. Understanding tarot spreads is the first step towards unlocking the power of tarot. In this section of the article, we will delve into an overview of tarot spreads and explore the different types of spreads you can use for decision making. By the end of this section, you will have a better grasp of how tarot spreads work and how to choose the right spread for your needs. For more information on decision-making spreads, check out our guide to tarot decision spreads.

The Anatomy of a Tarot Spread

The anatomy of a tarot spread is the arrangement of cards used in a tarot reading. There are several variations, but most spreads consist of a certain number of positions, each with its own meaning. These positions can represent specific aspects of the question asked or provide insight into the different aspects of a situation.

Some common positions in tarot spreads include:

  • The Significator: Represents the querent or the topic of the question.
  • The Past: Represents past events or influences that have led up to the current situation.
  • The Present: Represents the current situation.
  • The Future: Represents what may happen in the future based on the current situation.
  • The Obstacle: Represents challenges or obstacles that may need to be overcome.
  • The Outcome: Represents the potential outcome based on the current path.

Additionally, some spreads may include more specific positions related to the question being asked. For example, a love-focused spread may include positions for the querent’s feelings, the other person’s feelings, and the overall potential for the relationship.

Tarot spreads can be customized and tailored to fit the specific needs of the querent or situation. It’s important to choose a spread that resonates with the question being asked and provides enough detail to give a clear answer. Some popular tarot spreads for decision making include the Three-Card Spread, the Celtic Cross Spread, and the Decision-Making Spread (link to /decision-making-spread-guide/).

Knowing the anatomy of a tarot spread and understanding the meanings of each position can help with interpreting the cards and providing a comprehensive reading. It’s also important to avoid common mistakes when using tarot spreads for decision making, such as asking closed-ended questions or overly focusing on the outcome (link to /top-5-mistakes-decision-spread/).

Remember, tarot is a tool for guidance and self-reflection, and ultimately it’s up to the querent to make their own decisions. Oracle cards (link to /oracle-cards-tough-choices/) can also provide additional insight and clarity for tough decisions.

Decipher the Riddles of Your Dreams: Select a Tarot Card and Unveil Their Hidden Meanings!
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Choosing a Spread

One of the most important decisions to make when using tarot spreads for decision making is choosing the right spread. With so many different spreads to choose from, it can be overwhelming for beginners. However, understanding the purpose of each spread and how it works can make the decision-making process much easier. Let’s take a look at some popular tarot spreads that can help you with decision making, including the Three-Card Spread, the Celtic Cross Spread, and the Decision-Making Spread. For more information on the best tarot cards for decision-making spreads, check out our article on the best tarot cards for decision-making spreads.

Three-Card Spread

One popular Tarot spread is the three-card spread. This spread is simple yet effective and can be used for a variety of situations. It involves drawing three cards and interpreting them in relation to the question or situation at hand, with each card representing past, present, and future respectively.

The first card represents the past and can shed light on any factors or influences that may be affecting the current situation. This card can also provide insight into any previous actions or decisions that may have led to the current circumstances.

The second card represents the present and can offer insight into the current state of affairs. This card can provide guidance on how to navigate the situation and make the most of the present moment.

The third card represents the future and can offer potential outcomes or possibilities. This card can provide guidance on what steps to take moving forward and what to expect in the future.

Here is an example of how the three-card spread can be applied:

Let’s say you are considering starting your own business but are unsure if it’s the right decision. You could ask the Tarot for guidance using the three-card spread.

Past Present Future
The Three of Pentacles – This card represents previous successes and accomplishments in career or business. It suggests that you have the skills and experience necessary to succeed in your own business. The Six of Pentacles Reversed – This card suggests that you may be experiencing financial instability or unease. It is important to take a close look at your finances before making any big decisions. The Ace of Cups – This card represents new opportunities and emotional fulfillment. It suggests that starting your own business could bring you great joy and a sense of purpose.

By interpreting these cards in relation to the question at hand, we can see that while there may be some financial concerns (present), the past suggests that you have the necessary skills and experience to succeed, and the future offers the potential for emotional fulfillment and success (future). This interpretation suggests that starting your own business could be a viable option, but that it is important to carefully consider your finances and plan accordingly.

The three-card spread is a great starting point for beginners and can be used for a variety of situations. Its simplicity makes it easy to memorize and apply, while still providing valuable insights and guidance.

Celtic Cross Spread

One popular tarot spread for decision-making is the Celtic Cross spread, which offers a more detailed and comprehensive look at a situation compared to the three-card spread. The Celtic Cross spread is a 10-card spread that has been widely used for centuries.

The Celtic Cross spread typically follows this format:

Position Meaning
Card 1 The central issue or question at hand
Card 2 What crosses or challenges the central issue
Card 3 What is above or crowning the central issue
Card 4 What lies behind the central issue
Card 5 Your conscious thoughts on the matter
Card 6 Your unconscious thoughts on the matter
Card 7 Your approach or attitude towards the situation
Card 8 External influences that may be affecting things
Card 9 Your hopes or fears for the situation
Card 10 The potential outcome or resolution

Interpreting the Celtic Cross Spread:

Each card in the Celtic Cross spread provides insight into different aspects of the situation at hand. For example, Card 1 represents the central issue, while Card 2 represents what is crossing or challenging the issue. Cards 3 and 4 offer insight into what is above or crowning the issue and what lies behind it, respectively.

Cards 5 and 6 represent your conscious and unconscious thoughts on the matter. These cards can reveal hidden beliefs or biases that may be influencing your decision-making.

Card 7 represents your approach or attitude towards the situation. This card can indicate whether you are approaching the situation with an open mind or if you are closed off to certain possibilities.

Card 8 represents external influences that may be affecting the situation. This card can offer insight into outside forces that may be affecting the outcome. Card 9 represents your hopes or fears for the situation. This card can indicate what you want to happen or what you are afraid of happening.

Finally, Card 10 represents the potential outcome or resolution. This card can help you see the potential consequences of your decision.

It is important to note that interpretation of the Celtic Cross spread can be complex and nuanced. Tarot readers often rely on their intuition, experience, and knowledge of the cards to provide insight into the situation at hand.

Decision-Making Spread

Making decisions can be overwhelming, especially when faced with tough choices. The Decision-Making spread is a useful tarot spread that can help you gain clarity and insight when trying to make an important decision. This spread can be adapted to suit different types of decisions and situations.

The layout of the Decision-Making spread:

  1. The first card represents Your Current Situation. This card helps to clarify where you currently stand in relation to the decision you need to make.
  2. The second card represents The Choice. This card indicates the options or choices that you have available to you.
  3. The third card represents The Consequences of Choice 1. This card reveals the potential outcomes of choosing Option 1.
  4. The fourth card represents The Consequences of Choice 2. This card reveals the potential outcomes of choosing Option 2.
  5. The fifth card represents The Advice. This card provides guidance on what to consider and be aware of when making your decision.
  6. The sixth card represents The Potential Outcome. This card indicates the likely outcome if you were to follow the advice given in the previous card.
  7. The seventh card represents The Final Outcome. This card indicates the ultimate outcome of your decision.

Using the Decision-Making spread:
To use this spread, start by framing your question in a way that allows for a clear yes or no answer. Shuffle the deck and draw the cards one by one, placing them in the layout described above. Take the time to reflect on each card and its meaning before moving on to the next one.

Interpreting the cards:
When interpreting the cards, consider the symbolism and meaning of each card in relation to the position it was drawn in. Look for patterns or connections between the cards, as these can provide further insight into your decision-making process.

Suppose you are facing a career decision and want to use this spread to aid in your decision-making process. Your question might be, “Should I accept the job offer or stay in my current position?” You shuffle the cards and draw the following:

  1. Your Current Situation: The Empress
  2. The Choice: The Lovers
  3. The Consequences of Choice 1: The Hanged Man
  4. The Consequences of Choice 2: The Sun
  5. The Advice: The Hermit
  6. The Potential Outcome: The Tower
  7. The Final Outcome: Judgement

Based on the interpretations of the cards, you might conclude that accepting the job offer (Choice 1) would lead to delays and setbacks (The Hanged Man) but ultimately result in a positive experience (The Sun). Alternatively, staying in your current position (Choice 2) could lead to temporary isolation and introspection (The Hermit) but ultimately lead to a complete upheaval and transformation (The Tower). The Final Outcome (Judgement) suggests that either decision has the potential to lead to personal growth and development.

Remember that tarot readings are subjective and open to interpretation. Use the guidance provided by the cards as a starting point for making your decision, but ultimately trust your own intuition and judgement.

Using Tarot Spreads for Decision Making

Using Tarot Spreads For Decision Making
As many of us face difficult decisions in life, it’s not uncommon to feel uncertain and indecisive. When we are unsure of how to proceed, one option to consider is seeking guidance from the universe through tarot spreads. The process of using tarot spreads involves drawing cards that can provide insight into our circumstances and help us see potential paths forward. In this section of the article, we will dive deeper into how to use tarot spreads for decision making, from framing the question to interpreting the cards and putting it all together. So, let’s explore the world of tarot spreads and see how it can assist in making difficult decisions.

Framing the Question

When using tarot spreads for decision making, framing the question is the first and most important step. Your question should be clear, specific, and focused. It’s important to avoid asking yes or no questions, as tarot readings are not always simple answers. Instead, ask open-ended questions that allow for deeper exploration and insight.

Here are some examples of well-framed questions for tarot readings:

Well-Framed Questions
What do I need to know about my career path?
What can I do to improve my relationship with my partner?
What lessons can I learn from my current challenges?
How can I heal from past traumas?

As you can see, these questions are specific and focus on a particular area of life. They also allow for exploration and insight, rather than a simple yes or no answer.

On the other hand, poorly framed questions can lead to confusing or misleading readings. Here are some examples of poorly framed questions:

Poorly-Framed Questions
Will I ever find love?
Should I quit my job?
Why am I so unhappy?
What’s wrong with me?

These questions are either too vague, simplistic, or focus on negativity. They don’t allow for deeper exploration or insight, and may lead to a confusing or negative reading.

So when framing your question for a tarot reading, remember to be specific, open-ended, and focused on a particular area of life. This will help ensure a clear and meaningful reading that can guide you towards making the best decision for yourself.

Shuffling and Drawing Cards

The process of shuffling and drawing cards is an essential part of using tarot spreads for decision making. In this phase, the querent (the person seeking guidance) shuffles the tarot deck while focusing on their question or situation. Once they feel ready, they draw cards from the deck following the instructions of the chosen spread.

The Importance of Clearing the Deck

Before starting to shuffle, it’s essential to clear the deck of any previous energies and to set a clear intention for the reading. This can be done by holding the deck in both hands and focusing on releasing any negative or unwanted energies. Some people prefer to cleanse their decks between readings by smudging them with sage or using crystals.

Once the deck is cleared, the querent should ask their question or frame their situation in a clear and concise manner. This helps to focus their energy and intention on the reading, increasing the likelihood of receiving meaningful guidance.

Shuffling the Deck

There are no hard and fast rules for shuffling the tarot deck, but some people prefer to use techniques like overhand shuffling or riffle shuffling. The goal is to mix up the cards and infuse them with the querent’s energy and focus.

One important thing to note is that some readers prefer to shuffle the deck for the querent, while others allow the querent to shuffle the deck themselves. This is a matter of personal preference and depends on the reader’s reading style and the situation.

Drawing the Cards

Once the deck is shuffled, the querent draws cards from the deck following the instructions of the chosen spread. Some spreads instruct the querent to draw a certain number of cards, while others have specific positions for each card.

It’s important to note that tarot readings are not a form of fortune-telling, but rather a tool for gaining insight and guidance. The cards drawn are not necessarily set in stone and can be interpreted in various ways depending on the situation and the querent’s intuition.

After the cards are drawn, the reader or the querent arranges them in the correct positions in the spread. This creates a visual representation of the situation and provides a starting point for interpretation.

Shuffling and drawing cards is a crucial part of using tarot spreads for decision making. It helps to focus the querent’s energy and intention and creates a starting point for interpretation.

Interpreting the Cards

Once you have shuffled and drawn the cards for your tarot spread, it’s time to interpret them. This can be the most challenging part of using tarot spreads for decision making, as it requires a deep understanding of the meanings and symbolism of each card.

1. Begin with the individual card meanings. Look up the meanings of each card in your tarot deck and consider how they relate to the position they were drawn in. Each card has a range of possible interpretations and it’s important to consider them all before settling on the final meaning.

2. Consider the overall theme. Look at the cards as a whole and consider what the theme or message might be. Are they all related to love or career, for example? Is there a strong element of the unknown or unpredictability?

3. Look for patterns and connections. Are there any repeating numbers or symbols that stand out across multiple cards? Do certain cards seem to be connected in their messages or interpretations?

4. Trust your intuition. While it’s important to have an understanding of the traditional meanings of each card, interpreting the cards also requires a certain level of intuition. Trust your instincts and feelings about a particular card or spread, even if it doesn’t seem to align with the traditional interpretation.

5. Consider the context. Remember to keep the context of the decision you’re making in mind while interpreting the cards. How does each card relate to the question at hand? What message might the cards be trying to communicate about your current situation?

By following these steps, you can begin to interpret your tarot spread and gain insights into your decision-making process. However, it’s important to remember that tarot readings are not always straightforward and may require multiple interpretations or readings to fully understand their messages.

Putting it All Together

Once you have interpreted each card in your tarot spread, it’s time to put it all together and make your decision. The first step is to look for common themes or patterns among the cards. Are there multiple cards that point towards a certain outcome or decision? Are there any conflicting cards or messages that you need to take into consideration?

To help make sense of the cards and their meanings, you can create a table like the one below. This will help you organize your thoughts and compare the various interpretations of each card in the spread:

Card Meaning Relevance to Decision
The Fool A new beginning, taking a risk May indicate a need to take a risk or start something new
The Tower Disaster, upheaval May warn against taking a certain path or making a certain decision
The High Priestess Intuition, hidden knowledge May suggest that your intuition is pointing you towards a certain decision

By organizing the cards and their meanings in a table like this, you can easily compare and contrast their relevance to your decision-making process. You can also use this table to identify any gaps or conflicting information that you might need to address.

Once you have a clear understanding of the cards and their messages, it’s time to make your decision. Remember that the tarot is a tool for guidance, not a substitute for your own intuition and judgement. Ultimately, it’s up to you to weigh the pros and cons and make the decision that feels right for you.

Tips for Using Tarot Spreads for Decision Making

As you dive deeper into the world of tarot, you may find yourself using tarot spreads to aid in decision making. While tarot can be a powerful tool for gaining insight and clarity, it’s important to approach each reading with intention and an open mind. Here are a few suggestions to help you get the most out of tarot spreads when making important decisions.


One valuable tip for using tarot spreads for decision making is to keep a journal. Journaling allows you to record your readings, reflect on them, and track patterns over time.

By writing down your questions, shuffling methods, and the cards drawn, you can begin to see what themes and insights arise. You may notice certain cards show up frequently in relation to particular questions or situations, offering guidance or warning.

Journaling provides a way to process your emotions and experiences related to decision making. You can make note of any thoughts or feelings that come up during a reading and explore them further. This can help you gain clarity and understand your actions and choices.

Here is an example of what a tarot journal entry might look like:

Date: January 15, 2022
Question: What do I need to know about my upcoming job interview?
Spread: Three-Card Spread
Card 1: The Empress – represents abundance and nurturing
Card 2: The Lovers – represents partnership and harmony
Card 3: The Magician – represents manifestation and creativity
Notes: Feeling confident about my abilities and excited to showcase my skills (Empress), need to establish good rapport with interviewer and focus on teamwork (Lovers), should highlight my versatility and problem-solving skills (Magician).

Keeping a journal can deepen your connection to the tarot, enhance your decision making process, and provide valuable insights into your own psyche.

Working with a Partner

Collaborating with a partner can be an enlightening experience when it comes to interpreting tarot spreads, providing a fresh perspective and new insights. Here are some tips for working with a partner:

1. Choose a Compatible Partner
Find someone who you trust and feel comfortable sharing personal information with. Look for someone who has experience with tarot cards or is willing to learn.
2. Define the Roles
Before you begin, establish what each person’s role and responsibilities will be. For example, one person can be in charge of shuffling and drawing the cards while the other person is responsible for interpreting the cards.
3. Communicate Openly
Communication is key when working with a partner. Be open and honest about your thoughts and feelings, and listen carefully to your partner’s insights and interpretations.
4. Collaborate and Build on Each Other’s Ideas
Collaboration can lead to new insights and understandings. Build on each other’s ideas and work together to interpret the cards and formulate a decision.
5. Consider Multiple Perspectives
Two heads are often better than one when it comes to decision making. Make sure to consider multiple perspectives and interpretations, and be open to different ways of looking at the situation.

Working with a partner can add a layer of depth and nuance to the tarot reading process, and may even provide unexpected insights into your decision making.

Trusting Your Intuition

When it comes to using tarot spreads for decision making, it’s important to trust your intuition. This means that you should listen to your inner voice, and pay attention to the thoughts, feelings, and sensations that come up when you look at the cards.

Trusting your intuition can sometimes be challenging, as it requires you to let go of your rational mind and surrender to the unknown. However, learning to trust your intuition is a valuable skill that can help you make better decisions, and live a more fulfilling life.

Here are some tips for learning to trust your intuition:

  • Practice Listening: Take time every day to quiet your mind and listen to your inner voice. This can be done through meditation, deep breathing exercises, or simply sitting in silence.
  • Follow Your Gut: When faced with a decision, pay attention to the physical sensations in your body. Your gut feeling can often be a reliable indicator of what is right for you.
  • Pay Attention to Your Dreams: Dreams can be powerful messages from your subconscious mind. Keep a dream journal next to your bed, and write down any dreams or images that come up during your sleep.
  • Trust the Cards: When interpreting the cards, don’t overthink or second-guess yourself. Trust the images and symbols that appear, even if they don’t initially make sense. Trust that the cards are providing you with the guidance you need.
  • Take Action: Once you’ve received guidance from your intuition, take action based on what you feel is right. Even if it doesn’t make logical sense, trust that your intuition is leading you in the right direction.

Trusting your intuition can be a powerful tool for decision making, both in using tarot spreads and in life. By learning to listen to your inner voice, and trusting the guidance that comes through, you can make decisions that are aligned with your true desires, and create a life that feels authentic and fulfilling.


In conclusion, while tarot spreads may seem mysterious and intimidating at first, they can be a useful tool for decision-making and gaining insight into one’s life. By selecting the right spread and framing the question properly, tarot cards can reveal hidden patterns, offer advice, and prompt self-reflection.

It’s important to remember that tarot cards shouldn’t be relied upon as the ultimate decision-maker, as they are merely a tool to help guide one’s intuition and inner wisdom. Journaling and working with a partner can also enhance the experience and provide deeper insights into the cards.

Trusting one’s intuition is also crucial when interpreting the cards. The meanings of the cards can vary depending on the individual’s personal associations and experiences, and there is no one right answer.

Ultimately, tarot spreads can offer a valuable perspective and aid in decision-making, but they should not be viewed as a substitute for critical thinking or professional advice. By approaching tarot cards with an open mind and a willingness to learn, anyone can begin to incorporate them into their decision-making process and gain a deeper understanding of themselves and their lives.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I have never used tarot cards before?

No worries! This beginner’s guide is perfect for someone with little to no experience using tarot spreads.

Do I need a special deck of tarot cards?

It is recommended to use a traditional tarot deck, but ultimately any deck that resonates with you can be used.

How do I choose a tarot spread?

Consider the insight you are seeking and choose a spread that aligns with that purpose.

Is it necessary to shuffle the cards before drawing them?

Yes, shuffling the deck is crucial to ensure a random selection of cards.

Can I ask any type of question with tarot spreads?

Yes, but keep in mind that tarot is not meant to predict the future and instead offers insight and guidance for present situations.

How often can I use tarot spreads?

One can use tarot spreads as frequently as desired, but it is recommended to not rely solely on the cards for decision making.

How can I avoid bias when interpreting the cards?

Practice mindfulness and remain open to different interpretations of the cards rather than seeking confirmation of preconceived notions.

Can I use tarot spreads for decisions in my professional life?

Yes, tarot spreads can be used for personal or professional decision making.

Do I need to be in a specific state of mind to use tarot spreads?

It is recommended to practice tarot when feeling centered and calm in order to receive the most accurate guidance.

Can I change the tarot spread mid-session?

Yes, the spread can be changed at any point if the insight sought changes or the current spread is not offering the desired guidance.


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