Spreading the Tarot Cards
A spread is a preset pattern for laying out the tarot cards. It defines how many cards to use, where each one goes, and what each one means.
The most important feature of a spread is the fact that each position has a unique meaning that colors the interpretations of whatever card falls in that spot.
Tarot spread can be any size or pattern. Radue’s Wheel includes all 78 cards and creates a vast tableau of one person’s life. A spread can also contain just one card.
Most spreads contain between six and fifteen cards. This range is small enough to be manageable but large enough to cover a topic in some depth. The pattern of spreading often forms a design that reflects its theme. For example, the Horoscope Spread is in the shape of the traditional circle that forms a person’s birth chart. The twelve cards of this spread correspond to the twelve houses of astrology.
When cards are related to each other in a spread, an entirely new level of meaning is created. Combinations appear, and a story line develops with characters, plots and themes. The weaving of a story from the cards in a spread is the most exciting and creative aspect of a tarot reading. It is an art, but there are many guidelines you can follow.