How To Do A 5 Card Tarot Reading

Five card Tarot readings are a popular layout to choose because they give a little more insight than a three card reading would, yet they aren’t quite as long and intense as a reading with more cards. Five card spreads are a regular part of most Tarot readers’ repertoire since they can be used for a number of different situations. Just like 3 card spreads, the simplicity of five card spreads make them easy to modify and adapt depending on the querent’s question.

You can use a five card spread when you need quick answers, help to make a decision, or support through a time of transition and change.

Here you’ll find the basics on how five card spreads work, but feel free to change the meanings of some of the cards in these spreads to suit your own needs perfectly.

The Basic Five Card Tarot Spread

The basic five card Tarot spread can be used to determine a course of action. This spread isn’t too hard to do and is great for beginners. It offers a little more insight into the querent’s concerns, suggests the most likely outcome and any hidden potential the situation may have.

The Basic Five Card Tarot Spread

  • Card 1: The Present – This card represents the present situation of the querent. Relate this to the querent’s question or concern to set the general theme for the reading.
  • Card 2: The Past – This card reveals past events that are still having an influence on the current situation. These may need to be let go of in order for the situation to reach its full potential, shown in card 5.
  • Card 3: The Future – This card shows you the future outcome of the situation, given the current circumstances as they are, if the querent stays on their current path.
  • Card 4: Reasons/Causes – This card reveals the reasons/causes that led to the querent’s current situation. It may reveal any obstacles that are standing in the querent’s way and works in conjunction with card 2. If there is a strong correlation between these two cards the querent must work on what is shown by them to reach the potential shown in card 5.
  • Card 5: Potential – This card reveals the possible outcome that can occur if the querent chooses to take the advice given by cards 2 and 4.

NOTE: If card 3 shows a positive outcome, but cards 2, 4 and 5 are negative the cards are urging the querent to stay on their current course and avoid the negative situations indicated by the other cards. The 5th card shows the hidden potential in the situation and therefore can be either negative or positive, keep this in mind throughout the reading.

The past card can be positive and therefore points to a time when the querent made a good decision and they are advised to do the same in this situation. In this case, card 4 will most probably give the reason why they should do the same as they did in the past, rather than giving the reason why the querent is currently facing, or cause for, their challenge.

The Five-Card Horseshoe Spread

This variation of the basic five card spread grants more insight into the querent’s expectations and how they are influencing the situation. The past is not an integral part of this layout and any advice given relates to the querent’s beliefs rather than what they have or have not done. This spread is simple enough that it can be repeated several times to represent the different aspects of a problem.

The Five-Card Horseshoe Spread

  • Card 1: This card represents the querent’s present situation. Relate this to the querent’s question or concern to set the general theme for the reading.
  • Card 2: This card represents the querent’s expectations of the situation. It may reveal things that the querent currently believes or hopes will come true.
  • Card 3: This card represents the unexpected or what is currently hidden from the querent.
  • Card 4: This card represents the near future. This is what is going to happen in the coming days or weeks. These will be things that are just out of reach for the querent, but are approaching soon.
  • Card 5: This card represents the far future. This will reveal the long-term consequences of the situation if the querent continues on their current path.

NOTE: If card 2 is negative the querent believes they don’t deserve a good outcome. This tendency to self-sabotage stems from a deep seated belief that must be changed in order to achieve the best outcome.

If cards 4 and/or 5 are negative, relate them back to cards 2 and 3. If either of the latter are negative this is the reason for the negative events in the future and the querent should adjust accordingly in order to change the short and/or long-term outcomes. Short term outcomes may be more difficult to change as the energies are already in the process of forming the events depicted, but the severity of the situation can still be lessened.

Five Card Spread for Embracing Change

This five card spread is useful when the querent needs help navigating through a transitional period in their life. Major changes can be overwhelming and hard to accept, so it can be helpful to consult the Tarot for some guidance.

Five Card Spread for Embracing Change

  • Card 1: This card reveals the querent’s best course of action to make the transition easier.
  • Card 2: This card reveals the people, attitudes, beliefs, or things that will help the querent through these big changes. This will be things that can help them feel grounded and stable.
  • Card 3: This card provides insight into why all of these changes are happening. This card shows how the querent will benefit from the situation.
  • Card 4: This card reveals the things the querent needs to let go of to move on. It may also reveal past wisdom that will help them through their transition.
  • Card 5: This card provides the querent with Higher Guidance. This card will reveal the important things the querent needs to know about this transition period.

NOTE: If any of these cards are negative the querent should be reminded of the binarity principle. For any good to happen there must be bad. Nothing is ever only good or only bad. Either state is constantly moving toward the other and they may currently need to go through the negative to reach a higher level of understanding and thus evolve spiritually.

Five Card Money Spread

This layout is a modification of the basic five card spread. It is useful to examine the querent’s current financial situation.

Five Card Money Spread

  • Card 1: This card represents the querent’s current financial situation.
  • Card 2: This card reveals if money is coming to the querent in the near future.
  • Card 3: This card represents opportunities that the querent may want to look at closer. These will be opportunities or situations that have the potential for the querent to have some financial gains.
  • Card 4: This card will reveal any people or projects that will help the querent financially.
  • Card 5: This card reveals the outcome of the querent’s financial situation.

NOTE: If card 4 is negative, the situation represented will give the querent the opportunity to use their initiative to make lemons into lemonade. The situation may not directly involve the querent, rather it may happen in their immediate environment.

If card 5 is negative the querent is urged not to get involved in the situation depicted by card 4.

As you can see, the simplicity of the five card spread makes it the perfect Tarot layout for modification. You have the freedom to change the positions and descriptions of any of the five cards to better suit your needs.

Although five-card readings are a great way to receive some quick answers, I have an even simpler way of giving you the answers you need. Request your free 3-card reading from me today and I will shed some insight into your past, present, and future. This personal, no strings attached reading may just illuminate the hidden truths of your life.