Joe’s Three Aspects Tarot Spread

In my recent post On Secular Tarot, I promised to share the spread I use most often. I call it my 3 Aspects Spread. I mostly use my Alleyman’s magpie deck with this spread, but any tarot or oracle deck will work. (In the future I’ll do a post on my ever-changing magpie deck.) You’ll also need two coins.

Here is the general layout of the spread.

Start by thinking of some question or situation to concentrate on for the reading. Then, place cards 1, 2, and 3 face up. Then, place cards 4 and 5 face down with a coin set between them above the first three cards. Finally, place card 6 face down below the first three cards with a coin on top of it.

Cards 1-3 represent the three aspects of the query. Get creative. Don’t think too hard but find connections between these cards to tell a story. At this point the querent may pick which of the three aspects on which they would like further clarification. Flip the coin from between cards 4 and 5. If the coin lands on heads turn over card 4, if tails, turn over card 5. The turned card acts as further clarification on the chosen aspect.

Card 6 remains face down under the other coin and represents that there is always more to learn.

Now you have a full reading. Did the cards tell a story which helps work through the query? If not, do it all again from the top.

I love this spread. It’s extremely flexible. Spreads like the Celtic Cross are wonderful, but they are stricter in the meaning of card placement and are much more complicated. This one is fairly short and simple and has a slight touch of showmanship to make it fun.

Here is a sample reading to show you how I use it.

Query: How should I approach attending StokerCon this year?

1.     The Four of Wands. Generally, this stands for success and status in career because of hard work. The card itself depicts a party on rolling hills under a shining sun all framed in a canopy of grape vines. A super positive card.

2.     The Seven of Swords in reverse. Generally, this represents that you haven’t finished what you started and that you need courage. I think this one is from the Welcome to Nightvale Tarot. The image of the door of swords previous chained shut on a snowy plain, but now opening with flames bursting through is vivid.

3.     The Ten of Eyes in reverse. This one is from the Alleyman Deck in the weird suit. Here is the interpretation of the card from the Alleyman Guidebook: “In reverse, you lay there every day with your eyes closed, looking the wrong direction. Keeping your eye away from anything that might hurt it is a good way to not have any idea how bad things are for others. You must look.” The body lying in a pool of tears from its ten eyes baking in the sun is amazing.

4.     The Seven of Wands as clarification of the Ten of Eyes. Generally, this one reads as success against opposition. In this image, a figure stands triumphant above those who would carry weapons against them.


All of these are very interesting cards. Here is my interpretation of the spread in relation to my query:

First and foremost, a writers’ conference is meant to be a celebration. Don’t be afraid to let loose. To gain the most out of the experience, learn from your past observations; don’t repeat what didn’t work before.

And that is how I use my 3 Aspects Spread. Try it out for yourself and let me know in the comments how it worked out for you.