To perform a tarot reading, there are many ways of spreading the tarot deck. But first there is the matter of shuffling the Tarot deck for the Tarot reading. If the sitter (client) is present then the tarots would have been cleansed at the start, the Tarot pack will be given to you and you will be asked to shuffle the cards, and at the same time, asked to clear your head of general thoughts, and to concentrate on the question that you would like asked/answered. Some tarot readers will ask you to shuffle the cards for a set amount of time, or shuffles. I prefer to ask the sitter (client) to shuffle until they feel they are ready. The cards are then placed on the table, or given to the psychic tarot reader. If it’s a distant reading, when the sitter (client) isn’t present, either because of the distance, or its an email reading, or telephone reading, then I like to ask the sitter to choose a set amount of numbers which relate to the fortune card reading, 5 numbers from 1-78 for the 5-card reading and so on. There are 78 cards within the tarot deck. As the reader (psychic tarot reader) I would then concentrate on the client’s name, and question whilst shuffling the tarot cards. There will always be a moment where the cards will feel to move, or jump as they are being shuffled, and to me that is the sign, which works for me, that the tarots are now ready for the reading.
The patterns or displays that the cards are laid out in are called “tarot spreads”; all readers have their favourite spreads. There are many to choose from, ranging from a simple one card, to three cards, five cards, tree spread, and the Celtic Cross to name a few. As you would expect each spread will relate to different situations, and the card positions will also have a particular private meaning for the sitter. Most of the standard Tarot spreads have positions within them for past, present and the future. The order in which the cards are laid out, are the order in which they will be read.
The most important part is that each card is turned over, one at a time, and details of the reading are given, at that point before the next card is turned over. Each card place can be associated with an interpretation, which indicates what aspect of the question the card and place is referring to.
Sometimes instead of the cards being shuffled first, a card is chosen to represent the Sitter in the reading; the card, which has been selected, this maybe known as the significator.
The 3 card spread uses three cards which typically has meanings of Past, present and future. Where as a 5 card spread would have the more cards to give a more detailed reading. Sometimes meaning the atmosphere surrounding the client, or influences that will take the client to the final outcome.
The Celtic cross spread is probably the most common spread used. Ten cards are normally used, the first six cards are used to give the shape of a cross, (with one of these cards being placed across the centre card), and the remaining four cards placed vertically beside the cross. The centre card is normally the sign of the significator. The first card represents the present; with the second card showing the immediate change, which is ahead, the third card shows the Distant past and the foundations to the root of the asked question. The fourth card shows the more recent past or events, not always connected to the main question, but will may have the connection to the sitter. The fifth card shows the best that can be achieved; this would have an impact to the direct question that was asked. The sixth card shows the immediate future, with card seven showing the factors and the inner feelings. Card place eight show events which will effect the outcome, and card nine shows the hopes and fears from the sitter, Card ten shows us the final outcome if the past is followed.