General Spread

I have mixed feelings towards general spreads. I always think of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy when it comes to them. The inhabitants of the universe construct a giant supercomputer that will calculate the answer to “Life, the Universe, and Everything.” The answer they receive: 42. Naturally, everyone is perplexed. So, the computer tells them that what they actually seek is the right question.

In Tarot, the philosophy is the same. Without a good question, the answer is meaningless. For readers of the cards, a general reading will often produce a generic answer, the sort that is ridiculed and parodied in cartoons and comics. “I see great joy and hardship in your future…” is a fortune of no use to anyone.

My answer to this conundrum is a 6 card spread. The first row is mind, body, and heart. Together they make up the spirit. This tells me of desires, goals, and problems. This row helps me find the right question. The second row is challenge, advice, and outcome. This is the answer to the question.

General SpreadMind – Two of Hearts

The desire of my inner self is union and intimacy. It’s position here instead of in the Heart category tells me that I don’t necessarily seek this from another person. I want a sense that I am connected and valued in this world.

Body – Six of Swords

The desire of my outer self is to transition to a more secure situation. This position speaks of the physical body as well as material possessions. In the material world, I feel waylaid and would like to continue on that journey.

Heart – The World

The desire of my other self is of a deep connection with the world and understanding of myself. This position speaks of relationships. This card tells me that the fulfillment of this desire depends not on a specific person but on myself. I desire a relation with the world itself.

Challenge – Three of Pentacles

This card tells me the key is fulfilling work. Right now I am not engaged and thus not satisfied.

Advice – Three of Swords

This card tells of sorrow, despair and depression. If I succumb to these emotions I will remain trapped.

Outcome – Ace of Pentacles

Reward lies at the end of this path.



Right now I feel trapped and alone when I desire to be moving and connected. However, if I participate in an engaging project and don’t succumb to depression I will arrive at a better place.


2 thoughts on “General Spread

  1. Ah, a lady after my own heart. Only a true nerd could draw inspiration from Hitchhiker’s Guide for a tarot spread. Makes me want to go read the books again.

    I agree that the general theme here seems to be about finding your place in the world. Is there anything you’ve been meaning to try lately, but haven’t had the time or energy? It could be making space for something new will be refreshing. Maybe something you can do with others.

    • I’ve actually been on an extended break for a while, trying to figure out what I want to do with my life. Now, I feel like I’ve arrived at my answer and will resume my studies in a few months.

      I suspect the cards have picked up on the restlessness I feel. I’m ready to be moving again, but I still have to wait.

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