Tarot spread for communicating with spirits

I’ve seen a lot of people asking questions about spreads to use when communicating with ancestors, spirits, guides, and other otherworldly beings. This is a simple spread to help you out, though I warn you that not all spirits are good at communicating via tarot. If you’re getting a whole lot of garbage when you try this, maybe switch to automatic writing or tea leaves. Your spirit might communicate better that way.

Also, be aware that spirits can be quite tricky – like living humans, they aren’t all lovely kind people. When you speak to spirits, sometimes you get a spirit that isn’t very nice. You need to be vigilant for any sign that the spirit you’re speaking to isn’t who they say they are. If you’ve been speaking with a spirit for months and you’re pretty sure it’s okay, but suddenly it’s demeanour changes, chances are you’ve gotten an interloper, not your friendly spirit. If any spirit says something you don’t feel great about, don’t let it slide. If they won’t behave, chase them off.

Now that the warnings are out of the way:

When you do this spread, first address the spirit you wish to know more about – if they’ve been manifesting interesting phenomena around you, you might state ‘I want to communicate with the spirit who (did this thing).’ If you’re interested in speaking with spirits you know the names of, address them by name. This is an introductory spread, so you probably won’t want to use it with spirits you know well.

Next, ask the spirit if they would like to speak with you now. It’s only polite. Use some form of divination that gives you a clear yes/no. A pendulum works well. Otherwise, you could tell the spirit that all odd numbered cards are yes and all evens are no, and draw a single card to see how the spirit feels about chatting now. They may be busy, and nobody likes getting phone calls when they have their hands full.

If you get a no, maybe try again tomorrow.

Once you have a solid yes, go ahead with this spread:

The first card represents the spirit present. Unless your spirit understands tarot, they’re probably going to pick a card that looks a bit like them, or at least matches their gender. Be watchful for cards in this position that are overly boastful or over the top. For example, if you get the Devil in this position, chances are the spirit is messing with you, has a very negative self image, or is overtly telling you that it means you harm. Regardless, you probably don’t want to have that spirit hanging around. Stop the reading and chase the spirit off.

The second card is the spirit’s relationship to you. Again, you’re best off interpreting the card here via the image on the card rather than it’s book meaning. Be wary of cards that look like they’re picked to make you uncomfortable – if a spirit is giving you bad vibes, trust that feeling. Don’t work with that spook.

The third card is how the spirit makes themself known to you – this one represents signs that you might want to look out for when trying to examine the influence of this spirit. This one tends to be a bit more difficult to interpret, as most spirits don’t manifest physically. They often leave you with a mood, or a feeling of some kind. You may struggle to interpret this if you haven’t been actively noticing odd occurrences in your life prior to the reading. Draw a clarification card or two, and if you can’t work it out, just take note of it and come back to it in a few weeks.

The fourth card is why the spirit has chosen to make itself known to you now – when interpreting this card, keep in mind that ancestors are often quite interested in big family events, guides come to you when you need them, and stray spirits are often drawn to people they think they can learn from or trick.

The fifth card is about what the spirit wants from you. This will tend to be some kind of small offering – water, flowers, biscuits, that kind of thing. Something they can get a little bit of energy from. Sometimes they want weird stuff, and you need to be honest with the spirit if you can’t get them whatever weird stuff they want. If you get a very negative looking card here, like the 10 of swords, chase that spirit right off. No spirit worth working with will ask you to suffer for them.

The final card is what the spirit can do for you. Watch for cards that are too grandiose – spirits rarely have much more to offer than friendly support. If they seem to be offering you copious wealth or great knowledge, they’re likely a trickster trying to get presents from you for nothing. This is the spirit equivalent of a Nigerian prince email scam type of thing. If you’re unwilling to chase the spirit off immediately, respectfully ask for proof. A lot of proof. Proof that can’t be easily written off as coincidence. Only give offerings to such a spirit after they have proven themself to you.



May the cards fall in your favour,


  1. Hi Toren,

    I’m curious about the fourth position. I can see how automatic writing can be more of a benefit here, but when it comes to Tarot, what is your advice for perceiving what the spirit wants as their offering…considering the limited imagery. Based on your experience, have you actually seen things in the cards that pointed to a specific offering, or has this been a feeling/thought/word that has come to you during connection.

    Thank you 🙂

    • Sorry for the belated reply! My advice here is that if you’re not getting an intuition from the card, you’re usually looking for something depicted on the card. Using the RWS, a 9 of coins might be asking for fruit or wine, while a page of cups may be asking for fish or seashells. Between your knowledge of the spirit and the image on the card you can usually get a vague idea of what might be wanted. At one point I had a spirit who wanted a cup of tea – but was stroppy with me because I didn’t put any sugar in it, so it can be a bit of trial and error before you get it right. Just let the spirit know you’re trying your best, and to give you further signs if the offering is not what they needed.

  2. I got the death card for the fifth position, does the position literally want me to die or change? What did I do lmao

    • Sorry for the belated reply – while I can’t say for certain, chances are it’s sassing you. Kind of a ‘How cute that you want to help; I’m already dead, you can’t help me’. Could also be asking you to do something new and interesting so that they can sort of… tag along? Or it could be asking you to help it move on. I could offer thousands of interpretations, it’s kind of difficult to narrow it down without that spirit there.

  3. I have a question. Lately I have been visited by spirit children in my dreams, last time there were about 8 of them very small children and they were all coming up to me saying thank you so sweetly they were beautiful little children none of them could have been older than 7 years old. Last night there was a little spirit girl who came to me in my sleep and asked me if I could keep the light on for a little while because she wanted to bring some other children in too. I thought I was awake so I told her I wasn’t sure cause me and my fiancée sleep in the dark. She then said can you please help me? This was after she had looked all over the top of my nightstand where there were bags of tarot cards but I keep my cards somewhere else so that was odd! She told me thank you for helping me and then went on to tell me there were creepy children living under my trailer. She said I should see them too. She had pretty long dark hair dark eyelashes and brown eyes her clothes looked a little like a punky Brewster style she was sweet and friendly and I really want to help her. Is there another tarot spread that would work to help her? What would your suggestion be? Thank you.

    • Sorry I didn’t reply sooner! If you still need it, I can see what I can do to make you a spread especially for this spirit. It seems you have a pretty good line of communication with her, so I assume you’ve asked what she needs, but she doesn’t have an answer?

      • No the first group of children wanted me to go somewhere with them the second dream of the girl by herself she didn’t seem to know how to tell me what she needed but was at first terribly interested in my tarot cards. She did say that there were other children there too and some were creepy. She seemed to really want help. Thank you for offering a spread that may help with this I really appreciate it.

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