Can You Get A One Card Tarot Reading?
It’s easy for Tarot beginners to feel overwhelmed by complex spreads containing a dozen cards or more.
These multi-card spreads may leave you wondering if a newbie can get clarity on a situation with a one-card Tarot practice.
The answer is yes! It is possible to ask for a one card Tarot reading or to do one for yourself.
One card Tarot spreads are known as a popular learning tool for people starting with their first deck.
Read on to learn about the different types of spreads as well as a method for reading them.
What Is A One Card Tarot Spread?
As the name suggests, a one-card Tarot spread allows the reader to imagine a question or scenario, shuffle the cards, and gain insights by choosing a single card from the deck.
One card readings are popular with those who:
- Are performing a Tarot reading on themselves
- Are new to Tarot and are learning the cards’ names and meanings
- Want to pull a daily card
- Are in a soul-searching phase of their lives in which they ask deep questions
One card readings are less popular with those who:
- Have a professional Tarot business
- Are more advanced in their Tarot knowledge
Professional readers might argue that one card Tarot readings don’t work as well for readings between strangers. After all, just because you pay someone to read your cards doesn’t mean they have psychic abilities! If a reader doesn’t know you personally, they are likely to get better insights into your situation by pulling more cards rather than less.
However, since you know yourself better than anyone, a one card Tarot spread can be a great tool for personal use. This is especially true for daily cards.
Many people enjoy turning a single daily card pull into a ritual to start or end their day.
If you pull a card at the start of your day, it can be used as a guide – a way to notice subtle signs and synchronicities that appear in life throughout your day that relate to your card in some way.
For example, in a morning one card Tarot reading, you could ask:
What’s the most important attitude for me to have as I move through my day today?
Pulling a card at the end of your day can be used as a tool for reflection – a way to hold yourself accountable to your values and life’s mission.
For example, your question for your evening reading could be:
In what ways did I live in full alignment with my core values today?
It’s important to note that just because your spread starts as a one card Tarot reading doesn’t mean it has to stay that way.
In fact, many readers see the vagueness of pulling a single card as an opportunity to ask what they call “clarifying questions.”
For example, if you ask the question about your core values and you need more clarification about what you pulled, you can pull a second card and ask:
How Can I Align My Behavior More With My Core Values Tomorrow?
As you can see, those questions have more open-ended answers than “yes or no.”
By now, you might be wondering if that’s always the case.
Can You Ask “Yes Or No” When Pulling One Tarot Card?
While it is certainly possible to ask the cards a yes or no question and get an answer, professional readers who do readings for a living might find this practice limiting. This is especially true if they’re a stranger to you rather than your buddy who offered to read your Tarot cards for fun.
If you want a simple yes or no answer, you might be better off asking your Magic Eight Ball.
The detailed illustrations, metaphors, and psychological archetypes present within Tarot cards are best used for queries with more nuance and depth.
For example, instead of asking something like:
Is my partner going to leave me?
You could instead ask:
How can I cultivate a more trusting relationship with my partner?
Besides the fact that yes or no questions can make a reader feel stifled, it can be difficult to know how to read the Tarot cards in this manner once you pull one.
Some professional readers suggest using the “upright or reversed” method for reading cards for querents who want a simple “yes or no.” In this instance, an upright card would be a yes, while a reversed card would be a no.
There also seem to be specific cards traditionally associated with either “yes” or “no.” However, anyone turning to the Internet as a tool to help them learn Tarot might find themselves confused. That’s because if you ask Google a question like “Does the Two of Swords reversed mean yes or no?” then you will get one reader saying it means yes while the next search result tells you the exact opposite.
The main takeaway? Your mileage may vary with one card Tarot readings with the expectation of a specific “yes or no” answer. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the method of pulling one Tarot card is “good” or “bad.” It just means that, since we’re all human, different methods work better for different people.
How Can The Major Arcana Be Used In One Card Tarot Readings?
There is another way to get deep insights from your deck by pulling only one Tarot card.
You can ask the Major Arcana.
The 22 cards comprising the Major Arcana are the most powerful in the deck. They represent archetypes – symbols that have existed in the collective unconscious since the dawn of humankind. These are the types of images that can resonate with almost anyone. They may even remind you of people you know or characters from your favorite books, shows, or films. Perhaps they even remind you of yourself.
If you’re trying to learn more about who you are and your purpose in life, these cards can give some of the deepest and most prescient insights. They’re also particularly good cards to consult if you’re experiencing a “dark night of the soul,” or a major life change or milestone.
Since these cards are so striking, they are particularly effective in one card readings, especially if you want guidance toward something big.
Think of it as an intuitive “mic drop.”
It’s a way to connect with things you may already know about yourself but may not be consciously aware of – perhaps a calling from your childhood that you forgot when life got in the way.
To find answers to these deep spiritual questions, use the following method:
- Think of the area of your life where you are focusing the most energy right now, whether positive or negative.
- Form a question about the deepest parts of your soul relating to where you’re focusing your energy in life.
- Separate the Major Arcana cards from the rest of the deck and shuffle them well.
- As you shuffle, picture your question and how it makes you feel.
- When it feels right, pull a card.
- It helps to have a notebook handy or a blank word document open.
- Write down the first associations that pop into your mind when you see the image on the card you pulled – positive and negative – thoughts and feelings.
- Draw as many connections as you can between the question you asked and the associations you wrote down.
- If you’re new to Tarot, consult a book, or find a website you trust to consult for guidance during your reading.
- Repeat the process based on how many questions you come up with.
Hey! Aren’t One Card Tarot Readings Totally Random?
Well, yes and no.
The nature of pulling a card from a deck is random, of course. It’s similar to a magician asking you to choose any card from his deck as part of an elaborate trick. It seems random to bystanders, sure, but the magician knows how to make it meaningful – he knows how to ask the right questions.
In this situation, the Tarot reader is the magician – whether they’re reading for themselves or for a client.
In this sense, the magician can be a powerful, intuitive sorcerer rather than simply someone doing tricks for the sake of public entertainment. Sure, the card that’s pulled is random, but how the querant’s brain interprets the images they see on the card are anything but random. The brain is a pattern recognition machine, and using Tarot cards to hone your intuition can help you to see patterns throughout your life.
Tarot is a valuable tool for deep, intuitive, psychological work. Only swindlers will treat it as a cheap parlor trick.
While there is no scientific basis to this, many people find themselves asking certain questions and pulling the same card as an answer repeatedly over the course of their lives. This intuitive process is profoundly significant to people as they deepen their Tarot card reading practice – even when pulling a single card.