You may practice tarot all year long. But it seems especially special in Halloween season.
Maybe it’s the vibes everyone is giving off.
Maybe it’s the spooktacular inspiration everywhere.
Or maybe the veil between this world and others really is thinner this time of year.
In any case, fall season is a great time to try a Halloween tarot spread.
In this post, we’re giving you a quick primer of what tarot is and why you’d want to do a reading for Halloween or Samhain. Then, we’re showing you 5 magical Halloween tarot spreads you can use to gain a better hold of your upcoming year.
What is Tarot?
Tarot is a pack of cards originally used for playing, but now used as a divination tool. People who use them say it helps them tell or gain insight about the future, themselves and the world around them. Tarot cards can also be used in readings to help the reader learn about the querent. Sometimes, you may use the cards when you have a specific question, such as about your love life. Or, you can use them for general messages.
There are 78 cards in each deck, which are broken up into 2 categories: The major arcana and the minor arcana. Each card has a different meaning. Some readers also read a different meaning when the card is reversed. The card meanings combined with where they are in the spread and your intuition tell a story.
Since there are so many cards, tarot takes a long time to “completely” learn. However, as with any divination tool, there’s probably no real end to the learning since you learn more and more as you go.
If you’ve never read them before and you want to do a Halloween tarot spread, you may want to spend some time getting to know the cards first. This way, you can work off of the written meanings while also adding in some of your own intuition. Of course, as you do a Samhain tarot spread, unless you know the cards off-by-heart, it will be helpful to have a guidebook beside you. Many tarot teachers suggest you use your intuition to guess the meaning of the card first. Then, you can check what your book says.
Why a Halloween Tarot Spread
There’s a few reasons you may want to try out a Halloween tarot spread.
- Samhain New Year— Many people who love tarot do readings on New Years. This is because it can help you see the past while also seeing future opportunities and prepare for the upcoming challenges. Halloween, or Samhain, is actually called the Pagan New Year. So, many people do readings on Samhain the same way they would on New Year’s Eve or day.
- Samhain Celebration— As we mentioned, people who are Pagan celebrate Samhain/Halloween on a less superficial level. They may participate in Samhain dinners with friends and rituals. Tarot is another idea to add to that list.
- Celebrate Halloween— Some people have a connection to Halloween and want to honor it by spending the evening doing magical activities. Tarot is a fun one to try.
- Messages from Those Passed— Many people believe that the veil between earth and the other words are thinner are Halloween. This makes it easier to communicate with loved ones passed on, they say. Depending on the Halloween tarot spread you use, you may also receive messages from those on the other side.
How To Do a Samhain Tarot Spread
So you’ve got your cards ready and you’ve chosen a Halloween tarot spread (suggestions below).
Many people recommend meditating before a tarot session. This is because it can help clear your mind, leaving it free and open for intuition to flow through. If you don’t like meditating, you can simply take a few deep, cleansing breaths.
#2 Set the Stage
Many times, people love to create an atmosphere that is conducive to intuition. This can include setting up an altar, bringing out crystals, etc.
#3 Protection Prayer
After that, you’ll want to say a prayer for protection. If the word “prayer” turns you off because you relate it to religion and you’re not religious, you can choose a different word for it. The intention behind this is to protect yourself and your cards from less-than-ideal energies.
You see, when we open ourselves up to other realms, there’s also a potential for negative energies to come through. These can rob your energy but also lead you to confusing tarot results that may not reflect your question. To prevent this, simply say a prayer. You can address this to God, Goddesses, the Universe, your spirit guides, your angels or your higher self. Intention is what matters here. For example:
“Angels, spirit guides, the Universe, thanks so much for being with me and continuing to be with me for this reading. Please help me with protection, clarity, accuracy, understanding, focus and calm. Thank you/amen.”
#4 Knock on the Deck
There’s a few things readers do to “clear” previous energies from their deck. They may shuffle in a different way before shuffling completely, for example. My favorite though is to knock on the deck three times. To me, it symbolizes pushing stale energy out, making it a clear slate for the new reading.
#5 Shuffle Cards
Now, you’re ready to get started. Thinking of your question or intention for the reading (even for general insight), shuffle the cards. Again, different readers have different ways of shuffling. Some cut the deck in 3 parts and others shuffle the whole thing. Stop when your intuition tells you the deck is clear or ready. After you’re done, keep the deck face down.
#6 Lay Out the Cards
Next, take a look at your Halloween tarot spread placements. Then, starting with the top card, place the cards into the pattern your spread dictates.
#7 Samhain Tarot Reading
When it comes to reading your Halloween tarot spread, first take a look at the overall layout to see if you notice any patterns. If you’re not familiar with the cards, this may take looking at your guidebook. However, it’s always a good idea to use your intuition before checking on the “official” meanings. After, you can reading the meanings.
Most tarot card decks come with a guidebook you can use. But if you don’t have one or lost yours, you can always Google the card online and read varying meanings people suggest. Another way is to download a tarot app that will quickly give you the written explanations.
After you’ve gotten your individual meanings, remember to go back and look at the layout as a whole. See what kind of story it tells from a birds-eye view.
#8 Close-Out Tarot Ritual
After you’re finished, try a close-out ritual. Although some people don’t do this, most readers do because it’s a way to thank your God/Universe/Higher Self and build a relationship with the cards. You can build your own ritual by saying a prayer, knocking or shuffling the cards to “clear” the energy, taking a few deep breaths, etc.
5 Halloween Samhain Tarot Spreads
Now that you know the very basics of how to set up and read your Samhain tarot spread, let’s actually get into the options.
Use your intuition to decide which layout would be best for you or the friend you’re reading for.
#1 Messages from Other Worlds
This is a good Halloween tarot spread to use if you want to connect with other worlds and receive their individual wisdoms for you.
Card #1: A message from your higher self
Card #2: A message from your angels
Card #3: A message from your spirit guides
Card #4: A message from a loved one/ancestors passed on
#2 Ghosts of Every Tense
Halloween is a great time to get all those ghosts out, literally and, in this case, metaphorically. This spread helps you identify the challenges you’re having/will have that you’re not being completely honest with yourself about. Shedding light on these can allow you to gain insight to move past time.
Card #1: Ghosts in the past you’ve released
Card #2: Ghosts in the future to consider releasing
Card #3: Future ghosts you’ll need to work on
#3 Witches Broom Halloween Tarot Spread
Just like a witches broom sweeps up all the dust to make a clear path, so will this spread. The cards at the bottom represent issues or challenges you’re currently trying to work through. The 2 cards at the top making up the “handle” give you hints on how to work through those situations.
Card #1: A current challenge in your love life
Card #2: A current challenge in your career life
Card #3: A current challenge in your health: physical or emotional
Card #4: Barriers to moving forward on these challenges
Card #5: Advice on “getting the ball rolling” for any of these challenges
#4 Bag of Candy
On Halloween night after trick or treating, you get home and peer inside your humongous bag of goodies. What good things did you get this year? This tarot spread answers exactly that.
Card #1: Something good that happened in the past.
Card #2: Something good that’s happening now.
Card #3: Something good that will happen in the future.
Card #4: Barriers that could stop these “goods” from flowing in.
Card #5: Insight on overcoming the barrier to receive the goods.
#5 Black Cat Samhain Tarot Spread
Some people believe black cats are s symbol of bad luck, even an omen of misfortune or death if one happens to cross your path. In reality though, they’re are like any other housecat—sweet and cuddly, full of love for their kitten parent. Just like a black cat, the way the world sees you and the way you see yourself may not line up with who you actually are. This spread helps explore that idea to discover ways you can take off your own costume.
Card #1: How you try to present yourself to the world
Card #2: How the world/others actually see you
Card #3: How those close to you see you
Card #4: How you see yourself
Card #5: The essence of who you actually are
Card #6: How you can free yourself to be truly you
Summary of Samhain Tarot Spread
Halloween night or autumn season can be a great time to do a fall or Samhain tarot spread. Whether you see Halloween as your New Year, an opportunity to connect with the other side, or just a night to be celebrated, a tarot spread can be a great activity to add. Using your intuition alongside the meanings of the cards and their placements can help you gain insight about yourself and your world.