If you need a quick answer to your question, you simply need to draw one card. A single card can give an overall impression about your problem. If necessary, you can draw an additional card to clarify the first card.
In addition, this method is suitable for finding out how your day is going to go. For example, drawing a Hearts card means that issues to do with emotions and the home are going to be important that day, drawing a Diamonds card means that issues to do with hard work and affairs outside the home will be important, drawing a Clubs card means that issues to do with business and money will important, and drawing a Spades card indicates problems and difficulties will be important.
Naturally of course, spreads which include more cards give a a far more detailed reading.
Three Card Spread: This spread gives a quick answer/overview to a
single question/issue. Lay out three cards in a row from left to
1 2 3
The cards represent past (card 1), present (card 2) and future (card 3).
This spread can also be extended to a Nine Card Spread using
three cards for the past (top row), three cards for the present (middle row) and three cards for the
future (bottom row).
1 2 3
4 5 6
7 8 9
The Horseshoe Spread: This spread gives a more general overview of
your life and uses 21 cards. Lay down seven groups of three cards in the shape of a horseshoe or arch.
Each group covers a category.
The seven categories are:
1 The past situation.
2 The present situation.
3 Developments in the near future.
4 What you don't expect.
5 People around you.
6 Obstacles and opposition.
7 The outcome.
The Gypsy Spread: From left to right, lay three rows of seven cards.
The top row of seven cards represents the past. The middle row the
present and the bottom row of seven cards the future. This 21 card
spread demands great skill and is not to be attempted until you are
very confident with the meanings of the cards and combining them into
a meaningful narrative.
The Meanings of the Cards
Ace: The home, love, friendship, joy the start of a romance.
A love letter.
Two: Success and prosperity. An engagement or partnership.
Three: You need to be cautious. Don't say something you'll regret.
Four: A change, a journey or a move of house/business. A late marriage.
Five: Jealous people around you. Take your time to make any decisions.
Six: Unexpected good luck. Someone helping you out.
Seven: An unfaithful or unreliable person. Broken promises.
Eight: Visits and visitors. Invitations out or attending a party.
Nine: The wish card. Dreams come true.
Ten: Good luck and happiness.
Jack: A close friend or a good-natured, fair-haired youth.
Queen: A kindly fair-haired woman.
King: A good-natured, fair-haired man. Good advice.
Ace: A ring or present of jewellery. News about money. A letter.
Two: A love affair attracting disapproval from others. A business partnership.
Three: Legal problems, domestic arguments. A legal letter.
Four: An inheritance. Improvements in finances.
Five: Success in business. Happy family.
Six: Problems in a second marriage.
Seven: Surprise news or a gift. Problems and losses at work.
Eight: A marriage and travel late in life. Financial ups and downs.
Nine: Surprise with money. New business opportunities. Restlessness.
Ten: Money and travel highlighted. Fortunate changes.
Jack: A relative. A very fair-haired youth. Watch out for dishonesty or unreliability.
Queen: A woman who loves to party and to gossip. A flirt. A very fair-haired woman.
King: A stubborn and influential man. A very fair-haired man.
Ace: Wealth, health, love and happiness. A letter concerning money.
Two: Gossip. Disappointments and opposition.
Three: Marriage to a wealthy partner. Money coming from the partner.
Four: Changes for the worse. Lies and betrayal.
Five: New friends and a successful marriage. Help from friends.
Six: Business success. Getting financial help.
Seven: Prosperity and success. Be careful of trouble coming from a person of the opposite sex.
Eight: Trouble in relationships, business and personal. Jealousy and greed.
Nine: Achievements. A new lover or admirer. Don't be stubborn.
Ten: Unexpected money coming in. Good luck. Travel abroad.
Jack: A reliable friend. A dark-haired youth.
Queen: An attractive, self-confident woman. A dark-haired woman.
King: An honest, generous and affectionate man. A dark-haired man.
Ace: Emotional conflict, obsession, death. Things coming to a head.
Two: Separation, gossip and deceit. Difficult changes.
Three: Unfaithfulness and partings. Be wary in partnerships.
Four: Illness. Business and money worries. Broken promises.
Five: Happy home but interference from other people. Reversals and opposition but eventual success.
Six: Small improvements.
Seven: Loss of friendship or loss of a friend. An unexpected burden. A warning against losses and sorrow.
Eight: Trouble and disappointment. Plans go awry. Friends let you down. Cancellations.
Nine: Bad luck in all things. Depression and low energy. Destruction, deaths. Extreme anxiety.
Ten: Misfortune and worry. Imprisonment. Unwelcome news.
Jack: A well-meaning but immature and unreliable youth. A very dark-haired youth.
Queen: A widow. An unscrupulous woman. A very dark-haired woman.
King: An ambitious and authoritative man. A very dark-haired man.
Joker: (optional) New developments, fresh starts, taking a risk.
You can also experiment with adding your own meanings to the cards.
This is perfectly acceptable. Experience will show you new meanings
along the way. The key to successful divination is to believe in
your own meanings and remain consistent.
Interpretations from Shuffling and Cutting
Who would have thought that a reading can begin from the cards even before that first card is laid out. Look carefully and note how the cards are shuffled and cut. Every person is different and has their own style, but this can even differ between readings. Thank you to Andreia "Shana" Gaita for sharing insights on shuffling and cutting which appear below.
When a person shuffles only the bare minimum number of times, this of course shows how eager they are to get straight to the point.
When cards one or a few cards fall out during shuffling, take note of what they are because they are important to the reading.
When a lot of cards fall out, the querent is either not used shuffling cards, or they are reluctant or ambivalent about the reading.
When a person cuts only the top few cards from the deck, or leaves a tiny little pile, then they are reluctant to do the reading. This shows they do not really want to reveal too much or find out the true answer.
When cards fall from the deck as a person cuts the cards, this also shows a certain ambivalence or reluctance about the reading.
Shy and impressionable people cut the deck with their face virtually inches from the cards. They also tend to take any interpretations extremely literally despite their avowed scepticism.
Troubled querents also cut the deck with their faces inches from the deck and may take some time to do it. I also find these people tend to cut the deck dead centre if they can manage it and are most concerned to be doing it "right". These people tend to demand exact predictions and interpretations but this is because they are so troubled by their question.
Complex people tend to cut into multiple piles. These people cannot decide if they want to take the cards seriously or not.
Querents who are confident of the answer they think they will receive cut with their arm fully extended, often with a smile on their face.
There are people who barely glance at the cards when cutting them and expect you to shuffle and replace the cards in one pile. These people do not expect anything from the cards and are majorly sceptical or simply do not really want a reading.
When querents sit right back in their chairs and cross their arms you know they are feeling defensive. When the cards get right to the heart of the issue, you notice them lean forward and the arms are uncrossed. This simple body language reveals so much, and can be useful when the querent is determined to say only the bare minimum.
The next time you do a reading for yourself, notice how you cut the cards. Often you can pick up from the cut if you are secretly reluctant to know the answer (usually because your intuition/subconscious already knows the answer won't be what you want to hear).
If you are interested in teaching yourself how to read the cards, I can recommend you taking a look at these excellent books: