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,