Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of Tarot spreads out there? Seriously, just go to Pinterest or Google images and type in, “Tarot spread” or “Tarot card spread” and prepare to get sucked down that rabbit hole for a few weeks or months. There are quite literally thousands of spreads out there, covering everything from love to money to career to health to buying a house to having a baby to taking a trip to…well, you get the picture.

For someone new to Tarot, using a spread can be a fantastic way to help you learn how to interpret the energy of the cards. But do you always have to use a spread? And how the hell are you supposed to memorize hundreds of tarot card spreads and know just which one to use for just the right situation?

In a nutshell, you don’t.

Don’t get me wrong – using a Tarot card spread is great when you’re looking for specific guidance to a specific question. I keep a notebook filled with hundreds of spreads that I use for study to help me learn more about the cards and their meanings and how they work in combinations. I love a good tongue-in-cheek WTF Tarot spread, too. And they look pretty – there’s something that’s just pleasing to the eye when you have your Tarot cards all in a row or in a V or in whatever appealing shape they happen to be in for that particular Tarot card spread.

BUT. Spreads can be very limiting to some of us when we’re reading Tarot, both for ourselves and for others. It can be distracting when you’re worried about placing the cards just right in a large and/or complex spread, and it can be even more distracting when you’re trying to make the energy of the card fit the question being posed by that particular position in the spread.

What’s the solution? Go with your gut. If you feel like you need a spread to do a particular reading, go for it. Keep a notebook of all the spreads that resonate with you, including the position of each card, the question posed by that position in the spread, and anything else that pops up as relevant for you as you do the reading. Whip out that notebook whenever you think you need to – honestly, when I’m doing a Tarot reading using a spread, there are very few times when I don’t need that notebook to help me stay on track with what I’m asking.

On the other hand, there are times when I find myself with a few extra minutes before I start teaching a yoga class or at the end of the day or over breakfast when I have my deck handy and I just want to pull some cards.

Doing these free form Tarot readings is really where I find that I get the most bang for my buck when it comes to strengthening my intuition and going deeper into the card meanings. But that’s just me – since each of us is different, we’re each going to have to figure out for ourselves what works best when we’re learning how to read Tarot cards.

Interested in learning how to find your voice with Tarot? Stay tuned for my upcoming 6-week self-guided online course, How To Find Your Voice Reading Tarot! It’s gonna be good! (And make sure you sign up for my newsletters to stay up to date on all the cool stuff I’m doing and offering, both online and in-person!)