Playing Card Divination

Beginner Spreads

The 3-Card Spread

1         2        3

This spread provides a quick overview of your life or of a situation.

#1 = Past. Your past or the events leading up to a situation.

#2 = Present. Your present or the present situation.

#3 =  Future. Your future or the results of this situation.

The time frame on this spread is often very small, usually within a week or two or a couple of days.

Another elaboration on this spread is the 9-Card Spread. It simply provides a more in depth reading of your life or a situation. You have 3 rows of 3 cards. Each row represents the past, present, and future.

The Outlook Spread

1     3

2     4

#1 = Outlook for the situation, event, or project

#2 = What/Who will help

#3 = What this will lead to

#4 = How you will feel about the outcome

Medium Spreads

The Celtic Cross

            3                                 10

5          1          6                      9

             2                                  8

              4                                 7

#1 = Situation

#2 = Present concern

#3 = Desired goal.  This card represents what you ultimately want from this situation.

#4 = Underlying fear.  This card shows what may be impeding your progress or development.

#5 = Decreasing importance. This card reflects issues that are becoming less important to you.

#6 = Increasing importance. This card reflects issues that are becoming more important to you.

#7 = Self.  This card represents your attitude regarding the situation.

#8 = Environment.  This card represents the people or events you are encountering.

#9 = Guidance.  This card suggests the appropriate action to take at this time.

#10 = Outcome.  This card reveals the most likely outcome given the present circumstances.

Two Choices Spread

  7     8     9

  5                 6

   3                      4

    1                            2
#1 = The nature of the first option/what the querent feels about first option

#2 = The nature of the second option/what the querent feels about second option

#3 = Consequences/negative aspect/drawbacks of first option

#4 = Consequences/negative aspect/drawbacks of second option

#5 = Rewards/Positive aspect of first option

#6 = Rewards/Positive aspect of second option

#7, 8, 9 = Three-card advice

The Destiny Square

1          12        11        10

2                                  9


3                                  8

4          5          6          7

After shuffling, turn over cards until you come to a face card.  This becomes the significator and it gives clues to the essence of the reading.  The next card after the significator becomes card #1.  With this spread, it is important to notice in which houses (numbers) the suits fall.  Combining the house and suit meanings provides a broader understanding of the reading.

#1 = Your personality or expression.  How others see you.

#2 = Financial issues, spending habits, self-worth.

#3 = Short-term contact and connections with others.  Immediate surroundings.

#4 = Home and family concerns.  What brings comfort and security.

#5 = Pleasure and fun.  What makes life enjoyable.

#6 = Work and responsibility.  Your sense of duty.  The status of your health.

#7 = Your partner or traits you attract in others.  Relationships with others.

#8 = Major changes and transformations.

#9 = Expansion, education and travel.  What you are learning.

#10 = Career and public recognition.  Goals and ambitions.

#11 = Friends, peers and colleagues.  Hopes and wishes connected with others.  Social life.

#12 = Hidden fears and inhibitions.  Unconscious striving.

Using this spread, you can also find out what will happen during each month of the year.  Instead of using the spread for astrological houses, make each card represent a month of the year.  Look for clues in the cards that suggest timing issues.  For example, if the questioner is asking about when he will get a raise and the Ace of Diamonds shows up in the month of July, a raise may be forthcoming at that time.

Advanced Spreads

The 15-Card Spread

1     2     3     4     5
 6     7     8     9    10

  11    12    13    14    15

The querent is asked of a specific situation for which he or she would like further insight. Five cards are then picked and overturned. To provide further insight, another five cards are then picked, and so on. It is important to select and read only five cards at a time, leaving the selection of the next five cards, till after the first five cards have been interpreted.

The Romany Spread or 21-Card Spread


1          2          3          4          5          6          7


8          9          10        11        12        13        14


15        16        17        18        19        20        21

This spread requires you to choose a significator to represent the questioner, however, it is not removed from the deck. 

The cards should be read in chorological order or at least a cause/effect order where the top row represents the past, the middle row represents the present and the bottom row represents the future. 

Check to see whether the significator shows up.  The row in which it appears reveals whether the questioner is clinging to the past, living in the present, or yearning for a brighter future.

This is a somewhat advanced spread that calls for the ability to weave a story with the cards.