5 Easy Steps To Creating Your Own Tarot Spread

Do you want to create your own tarot spread? There’s no shortage of tarot spreads to choose from. Just spend five minutes on Pinterest and you can find thousands of them.

So, why would you want want to create your own spread? This post explores why we want to spread our tarot wings, and how to design a new spread in five simple steps.


Why create your own tarot spread?

Whether you’re new to tarot, or a seasoned veteran, we sometimes feel the pull to create our own unique spread. Why is that?

Here are four possible reasons:

  1. When you make your own spread, you can get even closer to the truth of the real question because you get to design something that’s made especially for the question at hand.
  2. Having a unique spread allows you to engage and connect with your client or yourself on an even deeper level.
  3. Designing your own tarot spread might be the perfect way to escape the overwhelm of choosing the “right” tarot spread.
  4. Your spread will always be “right”. Yes, there are many spreads, and yes, some tarot readers are sticklers about sticking to them. From this perspective, some believe you can do tarot “wrong”. But there’s actually no wrong way to do a tarot spread. Designing your own and allowing yourself to be led by intuition means you will always have a spread that is right.


How to make your own tarot spread

The advantages of creating your own spread are enticing. They allow you to listen to your intuition, connect on a deeper level and get to the crux of the matter.

But how do you go about creating one?

Use these five steps as your guide.


#1. What is Your Real Question

Usually, we approach tarot with a specific question or problem that we want to resolve. For example, you (or your client) may want to know if you should stay in a certain relationship, or switch careers.

Instead of picking a pre-designed tarot spread for these questions, set the cards aside for a moment. It’s easy to approach tarot with a surface level problem. But by digging deep and asking the right questions, you can get to the crux of the matter. What is the real “problem” or question?

There are several questions you can ask to get to the crux of the matter:

  • When your client states a problem, ask “Why is that a bad thing?” Keep asking this until you arrive at the root issue.
  • When your client states a problem, ask “What is the ideal outcome you want to experience?” Or “What do they want to experience in _______?”

During this time, listen with your intuition. Listen past the words and tap into the phrasing, word choices, energy, body language, and limiting beliefs that surface. These convey deep meaning, too.

Not only can you get to the crux of the matter this way, but you bring the querent into the reading also. Yes, you are the guide who translate symbols and imagery. But ultimately, you’re helping the querent make decisions and create their own life experience.


#2 Create Your Questions

After you’ve gotten to the heart of the matter in Step 1, take the main question and divide it into many sub questions.

For example, if the main question is: What can I do to land this promotion? Your sub questions may be:

  • What have I already done to land this promotion?
  • What did I do right?
  • What did I do wrong?
  • What didn’t I do?
  • What should I do next?
  • What should I have done?
  • Should I be careful about anything?
  • What will be the outcome of my actions?
  • What might I experience if I land this promotion?
  • What do I need to know about this promotion?

There is no limit to how many questions you can create. Allow them to flow naturally, and don’t be afraid to dig for them. In Step 4, you select the best ones for your tarot spread.


#3 Decide how many cards will go into your Tarot spread

Some spreads have five, seven, or even 15 cards. When you’re creating your own spread for the first time, start with three card positions or less. Otherwise, you may get distracted, lose track, or get lost in the symbols and messages coming through.

Additionally, fewer cards may lead to stronger, more focused messages, rather than generalized ideas amidst an undue amount of cards.


#4 Create balance in your spread

Now that you’ve decided how many cards you want in your spread, go back to your mini questions. Now’s the time to narrow them down to that same number of cards. For example, if your tarot spread has three cards, select three mini questions.

How will you know which questions to choose? Start by asking what you’d like to focus on in the reading. Do you want a spread that focuses on the present situation? Or, does this scenario lend itself better to action-based questions?

A guiding principle here is to create an empowering reading that puts the querent at the center, and accompanies them on a journey of self-discovery.

If you feel unsure, trust that the perfect questions are already there. Ask your intuition to guide you in recognizing them. You don’t have to “figure it out.” It’s already been figured out.


#5 Pick a shape for your Tarot Spread

In this fifth and final step to creating your own tarot spread, it’s time to think about shape and form. How should you organize the card positions? There are popular shapes, like an “X” that represents crossroads. Or, hearts for love and relationship readings.

If this is new for you, don’t be afraid to stick with elementary shapes, like vertical or horizontal lines. And don’t be afraid to follow your intuition and see what flows. You may find it helpful to first design your shape on a sheet of paper, listing the appropriate question on its card to get a feel for your spread design.

You may also choose to go with a pre-existing spread/shape, but don’t feel locked into every single card’s position. The personal questions you need to ask are not always cut-and-dry, and the tarot reading may not be as beneficial if these questions are thrown into a predesigned spread.

If you choose a pre-existing spread, you can cut away the non-essential cards that don’t align with this reading. This way, your reading is short and purpose-driven. If you choose to play with a pre-existing shape, use cards positions that lend themselves to the questions you need to ask.

Here’s a quick recap on how to create your own tarot spread:

  1. Get to the crux of the matter
  2. Create sub questions
  3. Decide the number of cards
  4. Create a balanced spread
  5. Pick a shape


Creating your own tarot spread is a wonderful way to support someone in finding the answers they need. And when you design a spread from a personal place, you may feel greater connection and alignment, not only with your reading, but also with your querent.

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