Categories: Soul

7 Tarot One Card Spreads for Quick Guidance & Instant Magic

You can use tarot cards without doing a full spread.

In fact, a tarot one card reading can provide plenty of insight into situations or specific questions. One card pulls are also perfect for daily inspiration or messages from spirit.

How do you read a tarot one card layout? And when should you use one?

In this guide, we’re sharing all that, plus 7 quick tarot one card spreads.

When Should You Use a Tarot One Card Pull?

As opposed to a full reading, tarot one card spreads focus on one theme. Although a one card pull probably won’t give you the ins and outs of a situation, it will help you focus in on an aspect.

When is it best to use a tarot one card pull? You can pick a one card spread whenever it feels appropriate. That includes:

  • Lack of time. When you do a full Celtic cross tarot spread, reading the meanings of each card and how they relate to one another can take time. Especially if you’re a tarot beginner, a full spread can take a while to read while a tarot one card spread can be done at any time. If you’re short on time but looking for some guidance, a quick pull is perfect.
  • Getting to know the cards. If you’re just learning tarot, reading the meanings of 10 cards at once can feel daunting. Doing a quick tarot one card pull each day can help you learn the meanings quicker. You can focus on one card a day, giving your mind time to fully “soak” in each card.
  • Daily guidance. Even for advanced tarot readers, a daily tarot one card pull can provide guidance. You can take the wisdom of the card throughout the day and ponder it.
  • Tarot one card spreads are fantastic to use before meditation. After you’ve selected your card, meditate on its meaning, symbolism and how it may relate to different situations. Ask yourself what the card means to you personally and if it has a message for you.
  • Doing a tarot one card pull is also a great idea if you need a card for your altar. Rather than picking a specific card, let the tarot work its magic for you. You might be amazed at how well the card fits your altar theme. You can display crystals, herbs, candles and other small trinkets to complete your tarot altar.
  • Personal development. More and more, people are turning to tarot not just for magic, but for personal development. Do a tarot one card reading and with your selected card, pay attention to the symbolism, the traditional meaning and what your intuition is telling you. Journal about it. How does this card relate to you or your current situation? What wise advice does it have to offer you?
  • One question. Another time you might only do a one card reading is when you have a very specific question. Sometimes, we don’t need 10 cards to interpret a situation. Many times, one card can give us all the information we need.
  • Use for pets. Some people use tarot one card readings to learn about their pet. For example, you might ask the cards, “what message does my dog have for me?” or “what’s something I need to know about my cat?” After you pull the card, interpret it through an animal lens, understanding how it may relate to your pet.

How to Read Tarot One Card Readings

Reading a tarot one card spread is a lot different than reading a full spread.

With a full tarot layout, you interpret each card, their placement and each card’s relation to each other.

When you only pull one card, how can you get the most out of your reading? The answer is by going deeper into the card’s meaning. Consider these tips on how to read a tarot one card spread.

  • Use your intuition. A good place to start a tarot one card reading is by using your intuition. What does your intuition say about the card?
  • Next, look at the image on the tarot card. What symbols are there and what do they mean? Are there a certain number of object that symbolize something? Look at the big picture symbolism and the small illustrations you may usually overlook.
  • Check traditional book meaning. Most people who study tarot have book they work from the holds the traditional meaning of each card. Even if you know what the card means, referring back to this book for a tarot one card reading can reveal aspects you’ve forgotten about. Also, different ideas might “pop out” more this time.
  • Check online meaning. Your go-to tarot book is a good place to start when getting a deeper interpretation of the card. However, checking online versions can help you learn different ways to see the card and how it may be applied to varying situations. You can simply Google, “meaning of [card name] love spread” or “meaning of [card name] career spread.”
  • Pay attention to the symbolism on the card you’ve pulled. What do certain objects mean? Are there a certain number of the same objects (if so, then what does that number mean?)? If you’re not sure the symbolism of something, do a quick Google search and see what resonates.
  • Suits and numbers. As with any reading, you’ll want to pay attention to the suit and number on the card you’ve pulled. How do those meanings factor into the card’s interpretation?

Tarot One Card Spreads

Choose the tarot one card spread ideal for your situation.

Today’s Wisdom

In this tarot one card spread, this card represents what today has to teach you. This could be something you can expect to happen today or it may be a lesson to ponder inside your mind. Think about the advice this card has to offer. If it presents a challenge, what solution does the card hint at? What stage of the hero’s journey might this card refer to and what can you learn from that step in the journey?

One Question

This is a great tarot one card spread to use if you have a single question. Ask the card a question. Try to be as specific as possible. The card you pull represents the answer. Look at the symbolism on the card to better understand possible internal and external influences.

Energy Around a Situation

If you want to know the energy around a situation but don’t want to dive in too deeply, this tarot one card layout is for you. Ask about a certain situation, like a new job offer, relationship, or challenge. The card pulled represents the current energy around that situation. The card may refer to internal or external influences or aspects you’re not considering. Mostly though, it summarizes the situation, helping you understand it better.

My Solution

Life is difficult and although tarot can’t give you all the answers, it can inspire your solution. Before shuffling, ask the cards to give you guidance on specific challenge you’re experiencing. The card you pull represents the solution or something to consider that will draw you closer to a solution. Use this card to gain insight into the situation, both from other perspectives and from a birds-eye view.

Next Step

Sometimes we know where we want to go, but we’re not sure how to get there. This tarot one card pull helps you understand your next step forward. Before shuffling, tell the cards about end goal and ask them to provide guidance on your next step. The message may reinforce the step you’re already pondering taking, or it may highlight a route you haven’t considered.

Spirit Message

What message does your spirit guide or higher-self have for you? Before shuffling the cards, ask your spirit guides or higher self for a message. Investigate the card that’s drawn for its meaning and symbolism. How does it relate to your life and what may it be trying to tell you?

Happiness Surprise

Life can be dull and depressing and if you’re going through that stage, this is a good tarot one card spread for you. Before shuffling, ask the cards to help guide you toward happiness. The card you pull may represent something tangible you can do for a glimmer of happiness (ex. doing crafts, having a hard conversation, going for a walk). It may also point to a belief that you can practice to amplify happiness.

Summary: Tarot One Card Spreads

Tarot one card spreads are great to use when you need quick insight into a situation. They’re also great for when you have a very specific question that doesn’t require a full layout. Others use tarot one card spreads to get a message from spirit or daily wisdom.


YoHumanz is a blog dedicated to helpful and inspirational content about being human today—written in a non-bullshitty, (hopefully) more approachable way. We focus on 3 main areas: Heart, Brain and Soul.

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