This 12 month tarot spread is often used to plan the year ahead. It is very similar to the 12-month Zodiac Spread, which can also be used for annual planning.
Even though there are more cards, this spread is much less complicated than the Celtic Cross Spread, which makes it a great tarot layout for beginners who want to explore the cards deeper. You’re basically reading 12 individual cards, one at a time, without relating them to each other.
Reading the Year Ahead Tarot Spread
Because this spread covers the upcoming 12 months, it is usually read predictively. If you don’t read for divination, be sure to phrase your question as something related to “what do I hope will happen?” or “what is the best case scenario?” instead of “what will happen?” or “tell me my future over the next year.”
It’s a good spread to get a general feel for the year ahead, but you can also ask a specific question such as, “What will my finances look like over the next year?”
The Basics of the Year Ahead Tarot Spread
This spread is best done infrequently. This isn’t the spread to use for daily draws or weekly planning. I like to do this one in January, to plan out the year ahead, and once each quarter, to see if I’m on track. It’s also a great spread to use for your birthday.
Laying out the Year Ahead Tarot Spread
This tarot layout uses twelve (or sometimes thirteen) cards, laid out in a circle.
Once you shuffle and cut the deck as you normally would, the first card is placed at the far left, at the 9 o’clock position. The remaining cards are laid counter-clockwise, one at each hour of the clock, with the optional 13th card in the center of the circle.
Interpreting the Year Ahead Tarot Spread
Starting with the first card, which represents January, you’ll read the cards individually, with one card representing each month of the year.
It’s a very simple spread that can give you a lot of information. Take it slowly, and go card by card. You’ll first read each of the first 12 cards individually, without relating them to each other.
Once you have a feel for each of the individual months, see if you can find a “thread” or common theme for the year. Tell a story of all 12 months to guide you over the next year.
The (optional) 13th card can be intentionally pulled from the deck before the reading as a significator card, representing you. Or it can be the card that represents the overall theme of the year, read as the last card.