The Zodiac Spread – also known as the 12-House Astrology Spread – is extremely popular among professional tarot readers.
I think this spread is slightly 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 Zodiac Tarot Spread
There are two ways to read this spread:
- Informative, with each card representing its astrological house. That’s today’s spread.
- Predictive, with each card representing a month of the year. (I’ll share this one next week.)
Because the Zodiac Spread uses all 12 astrological houses (or areas of a person’s life), it’s an excellent spread to use in a general reading. It’s also a good starting point when you have more detailed questions, like “What will my finances look like over the next 12 months?”
The Basics of the Zodiac Tarot Spread
Before we get started, it’s important to know a few things about this spread. First, there are a zillion different variations on how to read it. The version shown here is one of the simplest, but if you have a deep familiarity with astrology, you may want to hunt down some of the more complicated interpretations.
Second, 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 Zodiac 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 Zodiac Tarot Spread
To understand this reading, it helps to be familiar with the astrological houses of the zodiac.
Because this is a complicated spread, I highly suggest you download the (totally free) companion PDF, available right here. This companion PDF goes into much more detail about each of the zodiac houses and how to read the related cards.
The First Card – Your Identity
The sun sign (and the first house) represents your personality and general attitude towards life. It’s how you express yourself outwardly to the world – how you see yourself, and how others see you.
The Second Card – Your Resources
The second house is the money house. It shows your relationship to money, personal possessions, and security. It also indicates your current earning potential.
The Third Card – Your Environment
The third house is all about your extended family, neighbors, and who you know. This includes siblings, grandparents, cousins, and the whole mess. (It does not include your parents, spouse, or kids).
The Fourth Card – Your Home & Family
The fourth house shows information about your relationships at home, specifically with your parents or children. This house is for your attachments, your roots, your domestic life, and your emotional security as it relates to your family.
The Fifth Card – Your Creativity
The fifth house reveals your creativity in all areas of your life. It’s not just creativity as in art, music, and hobbies. It’s more about what you create and how you solve problems.
It’s also the house that indicates what kind of lover you are. It’s the house that shows how you love and fall into love.
The Sixth Card – Your Daily Work
The sixth house reveals how healthy you are internally. Where the first house is about physical health externally, the sixth is more related to how you take care of your insides.
The Seventh Card – Your Partnerships
The seventh house reveals your attitude about your partner, and about partnerships in general. If you’re romantically involved, this indicates how you feel about that pairing, or what type of partner would best suit you.
The Eighth Card – Your Secrets
The eighth house is for the things that no one likes to talk about – death, sex, and taxes. It includes possessions you get from others, such as gifts, an inheritance, or winning the lottery. It’s the house you consult when you are thinking about making a big financial investment.
The Ninth Card – Your Growth
The ninth house holds your dreams and your growth, and all the ways you can expand yourself. This includes religion, philosophy, long-distance travel and education.
The Tenth Card – Your Career
The tenth house indicates ‘you in the world.’ It’s not about how you present to the world (that’s the first house). It’s more about how you are fulfilling your dreams and self-expectations.
The Eleventh Card – Your Community
The eleventh house covers your casual friends, acquaintances, and social connections. It’s how you interact with the world.
The Twelfth Card – Your Shadow Self
The twelfth house is the house of your unconscious mind. It has been called the ‘house of sorrows’ because it deals with those issues and psychological problems that are not being dealt with.
The Thirteenth Card – The Overall Theme (optional)
This totally optional card is placed in the center, to indicate the overall theme of the reading. It can give clarity to any of the other cards.