“Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place,” said the writer Zora Neale Hurston. And if tarot shines a light on the soul, it’s no wonder that the most common questions people ask the cards are about love! That’s why there are so many different tarot love spreads out there!
Whether you’re in love, out of love, in love with love, or currently hoping you’ll never experience a broken heart again, the tarot can teach you a little something about your desire, your relationships, or what might make your heart flutter in the future.
Tarot Love Spreads for General Questions
Sometimes, we’re not sure what we want. That’s OK! If you’d like to consult the cards for insight into your love energy, try any of the simple tarot love spreads below.
One-Card Tarot Love Spread
The single card you pull reveals the tone of your love life at the moment. Most of the time, this card won’t surprise you. Many of us have pulled the three of swords, a card of heartbreak, at one point in our lives and sighed, “Of course.”
As with all tarot readings, if you pull a Major Arcana card, big things are happening to you. There might be forces out of your control—doesn’t that sound a little like falling in love?
You might be responding to big changes, like the emergence of a new theme in your life or the consequences of a decision you and your partner made together.
A Minor Arcana card usually refers to a smaller feeling, conflict, or conversation.
In general, Cups and Pentacles suggest emotional connection and relationship building. Wands energy brings something new, either exciting or overwhelming.
And Swords don’t always mean tough love; if they appear in a love reading, they can help you understand how your communication style and your personal truths are influencing your love life.
To learn more about what individual cards mean in a tarot love spread, read our guide to the top tarot cards in love readings! (Spoiler: They can mean everything from practicing self-love to proposing marriage.)
Three-Card Tarot Love Spread
If you have another person in mind (a potential love interest or partner), a three-card tarot spread is a great option.
In a traditional three-card tarot love spread, the first card represents you, the second represents the other, and the third card represents your current state or potential together. Some readers place the first two cards around the third card, which rests between them.
For example, imagine you pull the following three cards in order: (1) Temperance, (2) the High Priestess, and (3) the Hierophant.
As Temperance, you are balanced and secure. If you’re single, now would be a good time to welcome healthy love. If you’re in a relationship, this card suggests that the solid union helps you access new parts of yourself.
The other person in your reading, the High Priestess, likely values spirituality and creativity, maybe especially in love.
The card that joins you, the Hierophant, is a card of structured union. His appearance could mean literal marriage, or it could mean that the connection is publicly recognized and long-lasting in some other way.
Five-Card Tarot Love Spread
For a little more information, add to the basic three-card layout by pulling one card to represent the past and one to represent the future. Place the past card below the three original cards, and place the future card above them.
If the three-card spread raises some questions for you, pulling two additional cards can provide clues or ideas to clarify what’s going on.
Let’s say that for the three-card reading described above, you think to yourself, “Weird. This is a person I just met! Why in the world is the Hierophant here already?” Then, a past card reveals the Ace of Wands, and a future card reveals the Three of Pentacles.
In this case, the Ace could be an idea you’ve had for a long time but haven’t been able to build into something more yet.
The Three gives you a hint: maybe this person will be part of a collaboration that helps you bring your idea into existence.
A reading like this would clarify that you could be excellent creative partners but not necessarily romantic partners. Even in a love reading, the cards can point you in another direction!
Tarot Love Spreads for Understanding New Love
So now you have a special someone. This person could be a crush, someone you flirt with online, or someone you’ve been on a couple dates with. For new love, a variation on the five-card tarot spread works well to determine your compatibility.
Compatibility Tarot Spread
Pull the following five cards for a basic cross:
- Your feelings about the relationship
- Your partner’s feelings about the relationship
- Dominant characteristic of the relationship dynamic (place in the center)
- Challenges or conflicts influencing this characteristic (place below the third card)
- Potential of the relationship (place above the third card)
In this tarot love spread, the first and second cards you pull give you a sense of how well you and your partner are currently aligned. The third card reveals a relationship tone, which might not reflect the relationship overall if there is something unique influencing your relationship at the moment.
As with most five-card crosses like this one, the fourth and fifth cards provide insight into the significance of the relationship dynamic. What might be causing or could cause tension? What impact might this relationship have on your life?
Tarot Love Spreads for Supporting Relationship Growth
After the discovery and honeymoon phases of love, there comes a time of deeper bonding and commitment. During this time, the tarot can be a very powerful tool for understanding relationship needs and building trust with a partner.
For these goals, check out the ideas below.
Tarot Card Pulls to Discover Needs
Using tarot cards as a method of starting conversations in your relationship can be very effective. You can set aside time to pull one or more cards with a partner and use those cards as prompts for discussion. The following questions are great places to start:
- What do I want from a relationship?
- What do I need most right now?
- What are we doing well together?
- What’s not working so well in the relationship?
- How can we address problems in the relationship?
- What language or energy should I use to show my partner love OR address a particular concern?
- How am I contributing to unresolved tension or conflict in the relationship?
- What personal growth do I need to focus on to address relationship issues?
For each of these questions, each partner pulls one card. (Note that you don’t need to address all of these questions at once; you can go through them in order or just pick the most relevant.)
Then, you both discuss the similarities and differences between the cards. Similarities reveal where your attitudes, values, perceptions, or opinions are aligned. Differences reveal, well, differences!
Differences don’t always mean conflict. Instead, they can be a great jumping off point for understanding each other better, which can ultimately lead to contentment.
Imagine that you and your partner are pulling cards for what you want from the relationship. You pull the Six of Cups and your partner pulls the Hermit. Oh, no! It might seem on the surface that you are motivated by family and your partner wants to be alone.
However, these pulls could also start a really interesting conversation about what those desires really mean. Maybe the family dynamic you want is one where independence and creativity are highly valued.
And for your partner, all the Hermit means is that personal space for creative projects is important. There’s no real incompatibility here, just an opportunity to learn how you and your partner fit together.
Check-In Tarot Love Spread
Another way to use tarot cards is by checking in with your partner periodically by using a specific tarot love spread that you choose and return to together.
Although you can perform relationship check-ins solo, pulling the cards with your partner helps you answer any questions you have for each other right away.
The following ten-card tarot love spread uses three rows, one for you, one for your partner, and one for the relationship.
Pull three cards for the first row and lay them out in order:
- How you view yourself
- How you view your partner
- How you view the relationship
Pull another three-card row for your partner. Each of the three cards can represent the same things, only for the other person.
Finally, pull a four-card row for the relationship:
- A relationship strength
- A relationship weakness
- The relationship’s direction
- Advice for supporting the relationship
Arrange these three rows in any shape or design as long as you can remember what each means.
Tarot Love Spreads for Trouble in Love
We’re not always lucky in love. For some people, love is synonymous with heartbreak. It can be helpful to have a few tarot tricks to address your needs when relationships are troubled or ending.
Relationship Decisions Tarot Spread
You’ve reached a breaking point, and the time has come to make a decision: should you stay or should you go? A simple four-card tarot love spread can help you understand the best course of action.
First, pull these three cards to create a row:
- Current state of the relationship (place in the center)
- Reasons for staying
- Reasons for leaving
Then, place a final card above the center card. This card represents advice for the situation or previews the outcome.
Heartbreak Tarot Love Spread
When the going is really tough, you might need a tarot spread to analyze the problem and, in some cases, prepare for an ending.
For this, I recommend a variation on a five-card spread with additional pulls for more information if necessary:
- Your responsibility
- Your partner’s responsibility
- Action you can take
- Action your partner can take
- Relationship outcome (an ending, a change, or a resolution)
Place the fifth card in the center of the spread. Cards representing you can be placed in a column on one side, and cards representing your partner can be placed on the other side.
If you’re still curious about the relationship outcome, you might choose to pull clarifying cards for things like external influences and your feelings about the relationship continuing or ending.
These pulls depend on the specific questions you have after you pull the five cards listed above.
Tarot Love Spreads for Self-Love
To love others easily, we need to love ourselves! Self-love tarot spreads help us tap into our strengths and joys. They also bring awareness to the tools we already have to give ourselves what we need.
Practicing Self-Love Tarot Spread
I like to start a self-love reading by selecting an object in my life to represent who I am and what I want to manifest at the moment. For example, you might choose a precious stone, a written affirmation, or some other trinket.
Place the object in the center of this spread and arrange the four cards around it in a diamond shape:
- Something about yourself that you can focus on loving
- An area of your life to treat with more kindness
- A self-limiting belief to let go of
- Energies or actions to cultivate in your practice of self-love
For the fourth card you pull in this spread, set an intention or make a plan that helps you access the energies represented by the card. For example, the Empress might ask you to indulge in pleasurable activities while the Hermit would encourage deeper study of an interest.
Daily Tarot Ritual
A simple way to practice self-love is to draw one card every day. This card grounds you in positive energy or directs your attention to a specific part of yourself that needs love.
To reflect on your practice, consider keeping a journal of your cards. What responses do you have to the various cards? What patterns do you notice?
Let Love In
Now that you’ve practiced some of these love tarot spreads, how does your soul feel? Has it come out of its hiding place? Do you see yourself more clearly? Are you nourished?
Let us know about your tarot love spread readings and how they’ve impacted you! If you want to try out different spreads, check out our article about popular spreads for both beginners and advanced tarot readers.