Many tarot readers make use of a “daily draw,” wherein they’ll pull a single tarot card when they wake up, looking for a kind of “theme of the day.” Some readers will take this a step further and draw one card for the morning, one card for the afternoon or evening, and maybe even another card for the day as a whole. In any case, the reader isn’t looking to answer a question per se, but rather they’re using the tarot to get a bird’s eye view of what to expect as the day unfolds.
This works for many people, but personally? I’ve never gotten very much out of it.
Partly, this is because I find that the tarot works much better for me when I’m asking a specific question. Further, I don’t tend to get very good or clear results when the question I’m asking has become mechanical or rote in nature. And asking the tarot “What’s today going to hold?” or something similar every morning tends to feel pretty mechanical to me.
As a kind of default, when my life circumstances are particularly hectic, or I’m otherwise dealing with a lot of stuff, I’ll sometimes ask the tarot “What do I need to know right now?” I’ll throw a few cards, and usually get a workable answer. Even so, I rarely do this sort of reading more that two or three days in a row. Any longer than that, and the answers start getting less useful.
Lately, though, I’ve been doing almost daily tarot pulls using a fairly simple two-card spread which seems to give me good results. And since I recently shared this with someone on Twitter who’s also been struggling with the utility of daily draws, I figured I’d write it up here for everyone else.
To be clear, this isn’t a unique or original method of my own design. I’ve seen similar versions of this two-card technique shared by several tarot readers and authors over the years. At most, this is just my own, slightly different spin on it.
First things first—as I wrote above, this is an almost daily tarot reading. If I already know how I’m spending the day, and I intend to spend it pretty close to home, I don’t bother throwing the cards.
Second, I usually take about five minutes to set up my reading area, clear my head, and really invest myself in the reading before I do it. This means I don’t just hop out of bed and deal the cards all willy nilly. Instead, even when doing this simple and short reading, I intentionally create a serious space both around and within myself before proceeding. I find this not only helps me read the cards when I deal them, but also it seems to keep that “mechanical attitude” at bay.
So, if you normally burn some incense or light a candle before doing a “serious” reading, do the same thing before you try this method. Treat it just as intentionally as you would any other attempt at divination.
The Questions and Spread
After I’m in the right mind space, I shuffle the cards and ask the following:
“What do I need to work with, embrace, or focus on today?”
Then, I deal one card to my left.
Next, I ask:
“What do I need to avoid, be wary of, or not engage with today?”
I’ll then deal one card to my right.
This gives me a simple, two-card spread. The first card reveals what I need to put my attention toward during the day, whereas the second card tells me what to watch out for. Looking between the cards, and how they interact with each other, gives me a pretty good idea of the sort of tension, decisions, and energy I can expect to encounter.
Using this method, sometimes it isn’t exactly clear what a particular card means. This makes sense given that we’re only using two cards, and asking each one to summarize what might be a complex circumstance or event. I can usually work out what they’re pointing to with a few minutes of patient reflection, but when I can’t, I’ll gather the cards, reshuffle them, and do a more typical three-card spread asking for clarity.
For example, let’s say I get the Tower as the answer to “What do I need to avoid?” This card usually points to some sort of significant and abrupt disruption. If I’m not expecting or worried about such a thing, I’ll throw the cards again and ask for specifics.
Similarly, let’s say I draw the Two of Cups as the answer for “What do I need to focus on?” This card often signifies friendships, or relationships between two people in general. If I’m not quite sure which relationship I should focus on (or why), I’ll do a follow-up reading for the details.
As a Daily Draw
Like I’ve already said, in my experience, a daily tarot draw isn’t always the most reliable or useful tool. But this method? It’s pretty close, and it almost always gives me both reliable information, but also information I can use as my day goes on. If I get the Five of Wands as my second card, I know it’s probably not a good day to get into any verbal sparring matches. The Nine of Swords? I usually take that to mean I should keep busy and not let myself get bogged down with inward reflection since it’s likely to turn a bit dark and unproductive.
It’s a short and simple sort of reading, but I find the “heads up” it gives me to be pretty useful.
Let me know how it works for you!
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