Riding out rough waters? Try this easy tarot spread to find a clear path to a smoother ride. Perfect for beginning readers or advanced practitioners in search of a quick, simple layout to use on-the-fly.
(Please note: This post contains affiliate links. You’re welcome to read all about this practice on Moody Moon’s disclosure page. Spoiler alert: It’s pretty boring.)
Choosing A Deck
Any tarot deck available to you works just as well for this (or any other) spread.
But if you own a variety of decks, choose something soothing or “watery” for this spread.
In this article, I featured Paulina Cassidy’s Joie De Vivre deck for its whimsical, unique art.
Selecting and Laying Out Cards
Use whatever selection method you like. Fan them out face down, shake the deck until one falls out, close your eyes and let your fingers “do the walking.” Whatever.
Select 5 cards. Working clockwise from the bottom right, lay out the card like the below spread.
Position 1 is the bottom right card (in this case, it’s the Nine of Wands). Read the spread clockwise from the position.
Position 1: The Undercurrent
This card symbolizes the deep energy that underlies the situation and continues to drive it forward.
For example, the Strength card might indicate an over-reliance on one’s self, or an overbearing personality that exerts too much force on the people around.
Get to the bottom current of this wild river first. Everything else rides on top of it.
Position 2: Surface Reflections
The card drawn for this position represents superficial factors that nonetheless contribute to the turbulence of the situation.
For example, a court card may indicate a person with minor influence who frequently instigates gossip.
Identifying what this card represents in your life is usually the easy part; you were likely already aware of it.
Recognizing it it for the distraction it poses and learning to pay it less attention usually requires a little more effort.
Position 3: First Step
Look for insight in this card about how best to proceed.
The way over “troubled water” often requires us to think creatively outside the constraints of our every day thought patterns.
What does this card trigger in you that you haven’t yet thought of?
Position 4: Crossing Over
Often, the most uncomfortable part of escaping difficult circumstances requires us to walk back through the mess.
When you “cross over” the bridge of your troubled waters, don’t close your eyes! Survey the damage with clear sight so you know what went wrong. If you learn something from your journey, then no mistake was made.
Look to this card for why and how you got here. Then own it!
Position 5: The Other Side
This card indicates the outcome of the situation based on the circumstances as they are.
If you like where things are headed, stay the course. If not, look over your “bridge” cards again, and see where you might change direction.