5 Card Tarot Spread- Unlocking Your Soul’s Past, Present and Future

Ever wonder what the tarot cards have in store for you? Get a tarot reading from experienced tarot readers and discover the insights hidden in the tarot spreads. Explore the mysteries of the major arcana and unlock the secrets of your future. A simple 5 card tarot spread with the major arcana can give you insight into your career, healing and future. You don’t need to be a tarot expert to get started with card reading. Whether you’re new to card spreads or familiar with different card positions, you can explore the career aspect of tarot. All you need is a tarot deck for card reading, some quiet time to yourself, and an open mind to explore different card spreads. During the reading, pay attention to the top card and the central card for meaningful insights.

Sit down, take a few deep breaths and shuffle the tarot cards while thinking about a question or situation related to a relationship, career, or any other area you want clarity on for your tarot reading. Once you feel ready, lay out 5 tarot spreads cards face down in a cross shape to gain insights into your place in your career and the order of things. Flip over the first tarot card – this represents your past and the events leading up to your present situation, whether it is related to your career or a recent breakup. The second tarot card signifies your current state of mind or the key challenge you’re grappling with now in your career. The third card in tarot spreads points to what’s on the horizon – either career opportunities or obstacles coming your way. It could also signify the right love coming into your life. The fourth card in tarot spreads reveals unseen forces at play behind the scenes that may be working for or against your career. Make sure to interpret the cards in the right order to gain insight into your professional path. Finally, the fifth card represents the ultimate outcome of the tarot spread if you continue on your current path as ordered by the querent.

With the order of the cards spread before the querent, it’s time to interpret the messages and gain a new perspective. Let the images, numbers and symbols in tarot card spreads speak to you – your intuition will guide the way. Trust your intuition as you choose the central card and interpret the final card. A simple 5 card reading can be an enlightening experience, showing you where you’ve been, where you are and where you’re headed. The future is open – it’s up to you to determine your destiny with card tarot spreads. The top card and central card are key elements in these spreads.

What Is a 5 Card Tarot Spread?

A 5 card tarot spread is a simple spread that gives you insight into your past, present and future.

The Cards

The 5 cards represent:

  1. The past – What led you to your current situation? Explore this with card tarot spreads by examining the top card and the central card. Explore this with card tarot spreads by examining the top card and the central card.

  2. The present – What is currently influencing you?

  3. The future – What may come if you continue on your current path of card tarot spreads? The central card will reveal the answer.

  4. Tarot Spreads Advice – What can you do to ensure the best possible outcome for your card tarot spreads?

  5. Outcome – The potential resolution of your situation.

To do a 5 card tarot spread:

  1. Shuffle your tarot deck to energize the cards with your intention and question.

  2. Lay out 5 cards face down in a cross shape. The first card is your past, the second your present, the third your future, the fourth your advice and the fifth your potential outcome.

  3. Flip over each card one by one. Read the imagery and symbolism to interpret the meaning and message of each card. Notice how the cards relate to and influence each other.

  4. The past card provides context for your current situation. The present card represents where you are now. The future card shows where your current trajectory may lead. The advice card suggests a course of action to improve your situation. And the outcome card reveals the resolution and end result.

With some practice, a 5 card tarot spread can provide a well-rounded glimpse into where you’ve been, where you are, and where you’re heading. The key is taking the time to interpret each card and understanding how they work together to unveil insight and guidance. By following the advice, you have the power to influence your future outcome. What story do your cards reveal to you?

Card 1 – Your Past

The first card in a tarot spread represents your past and how it has shaped you. This card gives insight into events and experiences from your earlier life that have influenced your present situation.

As an example, if the Five of Cups appears in this position, it could indicate past feelings of loss, regret or disappointment that still impact you now. Perhaps a past relationship ended badly, or you went through a difficult experience that caused emotional pain you’ve struggled to move on from.

On the other hand, a positive card like the Ten of Cups in your past position suggests you came from a loving, supportive family environment or had a past filled with joy and happiness that continues to sustain you.

Either way, this first card provides context for your present circumstances and a glimpse into what has made you who you are today. Your past is the foundation for where you stand now, so reflect on how the events and themes represented in this card have shaped your life journey up until this point in time.

Don’t be afraid to examine both the positive and painful parts of your history. Our most difficult life passages often teach us the most, even if those lessons were hard won. See your past with compassion and understand that every experience, good or bad, has value. Your past suffering and your past joy have conspired to bring you to today, so make peace with all that has come before.

Allow the imagery and symbolism in this foundational tarot card to open you up to deeper insights about yourself. Your past is a treasure trove of wisdom, and this first card in your spread has come to remind you of that.

Card 2 – Your Present

The second card in a 5 card tarot spread represents your present situation. This card gives you insight into what’s happening in your life right now and the energies that are currently surrounding you.

After drawing and interpreting the first card to understand your past, pause and take a few deep breaths to center yourself in the present moment. As you draw the second card, reflect on your current circumstances, emotional state, relationships, challenges, and opportunities. How do you feel about your life right now? What events or situations are most prominent? Focus your mind on the here and now.

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Once you’ve drawn the card, interpret its meaning based on the imagery, numbers, and suit. The card may depict exactly what you’ve been thinking about, or it may reveal other influences you weren’t fully aware of. Some possibilities include:

  • A Major Arcana card like The Empress could indicate this is a fertile time where your creative endeavors and relationships are blossoming.

  • A Suit of Wands may point to new inspiration, adventure, or entrepreneurial pursuits on the horizon.

  • A Suit of Cups could signify deepening emotional connections and a period of intimacy with loved ones.

  • A Suit of Swords may reveal you’re grappling with challenging thoughts or decisions at the moment.

  • A Suit of Pentacles could represent stability, security, and progress on long term plans or business matters.

Whatever the card reveals, its message applies specifically to what’s happening in your life now. Look for any symbols, actions or scenes depicted that resonate with your present circumstances. The card’s meaning, combined with your intuitive insight, provides a snapshot of your current situation and the influences – both harmonious and challenging – that are shaping this moment in time. Take note of what the card illuminates about your present so you can apply its wisdom and guidance.

Card 3 – Your Future

Card 3 represents your future and what may come to pass if you continue down your current path. This card gives you an idea of what you can expect in the near future based on your past actions and current circumstances.

What Does This Card Mean For You?

The third card in the spread indicates what is likely to unfold in your life if things remain unchanged. This could be events that are destined to happen or goals and outcomes you are working to achieve. The future is not set in stone, however, and the actions you take today can influence your tomorrow.

This card may reveal new opportunities, relationships, or life transitions on the horizon. It can also forewarn you of potential obstacles or challenges you may face if you don’t make a course correction. The future card serves as a compass to help guide you to manifesting your desired outcomes.

Consider the imagery and symbolism on the card to determine the overall tone and message regarding your future. Is it a mostly positive card depicting fulfillment and harmony or does it suggest struggles or setbacks to come? Look for clues as to what areas of life the future may impact the most, such as career, finances, relationships, home, or health. The more specific details you can gather from this card, the better equipped you’ll be to navigate what’s ahead.

How Can You Shape Your Future?

The future is unwritten and in your hands. While card 3 provides a glimpse into what may be, you have the power to influence your destiny through the actions and choices you make today. If you don’t like the future the card reveals, you can take steps now to steer your life in a different direction. Likewise, if it shows a bright future ahead, keep doing what you’re doing to make it a reality.

Your future is created by the thoughts you think today. Choose positive and empowering thoughts to manifest the life you desire. Take action on your goals and dreams now to build momentum. Address any issues revealed in the future card to avoid potential obstacles or make course corrections to ensure smooth sailing ahead. The future is yours to shape and mold as you see fit. What will you create?

Card 4 – Advice

The fourth card in the spread represents the advice the cards want to offer you. This card gives you guidance on the best approach to take in your situation.

Listen and Learn

Pay close attention to the imagery and meaning of the card drawn for the ‘advice’ position. The cards may suggest slowing down, opening your mind to new perspectives, or seeking counsel from someone with more experience.

  • Are there lessons you need to learn or truths you’ve been avoiding? Now is the time for reflection and growth.

  • Is the card encouraging you to tap into your intuition or creativity? Take a step back and look at the situation from a place of openness and non-judgment.

  • Does the imagery depict collaboration or teamwork? Seek input from others or ask an expert for guidance. Multiple perspectives can help shed light on the best path forward.

This card holds the key to progressing positively through your situation. Keep an open heart and mind, stay flexible in your thinking, and consider all options available to you. The solution may not be obvious at first, so patiently explore all angles.

While following the advice is ultimately your choice, the guidance offered in this position aims to steer you toward the most constructive resolution and help deepen your understanding of yourself and your circumstances. The cards wish to counsel you wisely so you can move ahead confidently, assured you are making the best decision for your wellbeing and growth.

Heed the advice and work with the cards as allies. They will not lead you astray. Trust that by understanding yourself and your situation more fully, the answers you seek will come.

Card 5 – Potential Outcome

Card 5 represents the potential outcome of your query or situation. This card provides insight into what may transpire if things continue on their current trajectory. However, the future is not set in stone. Your actions and choices can influence the ultimate outcome.

  • Examine the imagery and symbology on the card to determine if the potential outcome seems positive, negative or neutral. A card with a sun, growth or harmony may indicate a favorable result. One with darkness, conflict or loss may point to an undesirable outcome. A card with balance, justice or transition can suggest an uncertain or complex potential.

  • Consider how the potential outcome relates to the present state of affairs shown in Cards 3 and 4. Is the outcome a natural progression or culmination of current events? Or does it signify a departure from the current path? An outcome very different from the present may indicate your situation could take an abrupt turn, for better or worse.

  • Use your intuition to interpret the subtle signs and symbols. What is your immediate impression of the card’s meaning in this position? Our instincts can guide us to the most accurate interpretation. But also analyze the card rationally using your knowledge of tarot meanings and imagery. A balanced approach tends to provide the clearest insight.

  • Know that the future is mutable. This potential outcome may come to pass, but the path can change based on choices made and actions taken. This card reveals one possibility, but you have the power to influence your destiny. The future is shaped each day by how you think, speak and behave.

While Card 5 provides a glimpse into what may be, you are the author of your own story. Choose wisely and stay true to your heart, and the outcome can be one of growth, harmony and fulfillment.

How to Interpret the Cards Together

Now that you have laid out your 5 card spread, it’s time to interpret what the cards mean together. The cards work in combination to tell a story about your past, present and future.

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Look for connecting themes between the cards. Do multiple cards share a similar meaning or element? For example, if you have several cards representing new beginnings, creativity or passion, this indicates an overarching theme of starting a new creative venture or reigniting your enthusiasm for life.

Pay attention to the journey the cards take you on. Your first two cards will set the scene of where you are coming from (your past circumstance). The middle card represents where you stand now (your present situation). The final two cards signify where you are heading (your future potentials). Is the path straightforward or twisting? Uphill or down? The progression of the cards through your spread can reveal a lot about the trajectory of your situation.

Consider how the cards relate to each other in terms of elements. Having a mix of elements (earth, air, fire, water) shows a balanced, multi-dimensional situation. An abundance of one element indicates the overall mood or environment of your situation. For example, a predominance of fire signifies high energy, passion and creativity. A plethora of earth denotes stability, practicality and material matters.

Look at the imagery and symbols in each card. How do these connect across the spread? Recurring symbols or visual themes tie the cards together and amplify their combined meaning. Pay attention to the colors, numbers and objects depicted. Are there any repeating patterns?

The relationships between your cards create extra layers of insight into your reading. By interpreting the spread holistically, you can gain a deeper understanding of where you have been, where you stand now and where you are heading. The sum of the parts is greater than the whole. Putting it all together will reveal the bigger picture of your past, present and future.

5 card spread example

5 Card Tarot Spread
5 Card Tarot Spread

A 5 card tarot spread is a simple spread that gives insight into your past, present and future. Let’s walk through an example reading:

Past Influence – The Lovers

This card represents a past choice or decision that is influencing your present situation. Perhaps you chose a new career path or ended a relationship. The Lovers card indicates this was a meaningful decision that shaped who you are today.

Present Challenge – The Tower

The Tower indicates your present includes an unforeseen challenge or setback that is causing disruption. This could be a job loss, health issue, or broken relationship. The tower represents structures crumbling, but also new beginnings emerging from the rubble. This difficult time will pass, though you must rebuild on new foundations.

Goal or Destiny – The Sun

The Sun is a positive omen for your future goal or destiny. After enduring the challenges of the Tower, the Sun promises new vitality, success, and happiness. Your future is bright, and you will find more joy and optimism ahead. This could indicate professional success, a new relationship, improved health, or greater life satisfaction in general.

Past Lesson – The Hermit

The Hermit represents a lesson you learned in the past through soul-searching or solitude. Perhaps you gained wisdom from a period of isolation or learned greater independence and self-reliance. This lesson from your past continues to guide you toward your destiny.

Future Influence – Strength

In the future, you will need to call upon inner strength, courage and self-confidence to overcome final obstacles between you and your goal. The Strength card is a reminder that you have everything within you already to achieve your aims. Believe in yourself and stay determined.

This 5 card spread provides insight into the journey that has led you to your present moment, the challenges you now face, the destiny ahead if you persevere, the lessons that guide you, and the inner strength required to fulfill your future. A simple but powerful spread for gaining perspective on where you’ve been and where you’re heading.

Tips for Getting the Most From a 5 Card Reading

A 5 card tarot spread can provide insight into your past, present and future. To get the most out of your reading, keep these tips in mind:

Focus Your Question

Have a specific question or situation in mind that you want guidance on. Ask the cards for clarity or direction, then center your mind on that inquiry as you shuffle the deck. A focused question will lead to a more meaningful reading.

Relax and Reflect

Take a few deep breaths to clear your mind and relax before you begin. Reflect on your question and try to adopt a meditative, open state. Your emotional and mental state can influence the reading, so aim for a balanced, receptive outlook.

Shuffle Thoroughly

Shuffle the cards thoroughly to allow your energy and question to infuse into them. Mix the cards well and handle them face down, allowing some to drop out of the deck at random. Reshuffle as needed until you feel ready to begin laying out the spread.

Lay Out the Spread

Place the cards face down in a cross shape, with one card in the center representing your present situation. The card above is the past influence, below is the future outcome. The cards to the left and right signify opposing forces affecting your present. Turn over each card one by one, spending time interpreting the imagery and meaning of each card before moving to the next.

Look for Connections

Look for connections between the cards, such as common symbols, colors or numbers. The relationships between the cards reveal the story. Pay attention to the major and minor arcana, suit and numerical value of the cards. Note both the individual meaning of each card as well as how they relate to and build upon each other.

Ask for Clarification

If needed, you can draw additional cards to clarify the meaning or gain more insight into a particular area of the spread. Be open to messages you may not expect—the tarot can reveal what you need to know, not just what you want to know.

With practice, tarot readings will become more intuitive. Take your time and be patient with yourself as you learn. A 5 card spread is a simple starting point, but can provide a wealth of guidance if you remain focused and open to the insight it reveals.

Using the Five-Card Tarot Spread for Decision Making

The five-card tarot spread is a simple but powerful spread that can provide insight into your past, present and future. It can be especially useful for gaining perspective on a decision or choice you need to make.

To do a five-card tarot spread:

  1. Shuffle your tarot deck and cut it into three piles. Reassemble the piles into a single deck. This helps to randomize the cards.

  2. Deal out five cards face down in a straight line from left to right.

  3. Flip over the first card on the left. This card represents your past and the events leading up to your current situation.

  4. The second card represents your present. Flip it over to see your current state of mind and any obstacles you may be facing.

  5. The middle card signifies the key issue or most important factor in your decision. Flip it over for insight into what is at the heart of the matter.

  6. The fourth card symbolizes the likely future outcome if you follow a particular course of action or path. Flip it over to see what may come to pass.

  7. The final card on the right represents the overall energy and what will ultimately influence your decision. Flip it over for guidance on the best direction to move forward in.

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Career Guidance: Five Card Spreads for Career and Finance

A five card tarot spread is ideal for gaining insight into your career and financial situation. This spread uses five cards to represent your past, present, future, challenges, and outcomes.

Past Influences

The first card represents the events in your past that have impacted your current career or financial circumstances. This could relate to your education, upbringing, previous jobs or investments. Reflect on how these past influences are still affecting you today.

Present Situation

The second card signifies where you currently stand in your career or financial matters. This card may reveal strengths to build upon or weaknesses to improve. Look for any themes that tie into the first card. Consider your present job, income, skills, and financial responsibilities.

Future Prospects

The third card points to future possibilities for your career or money. This card suggests where your current path may lead if you continue on the same course. Look for both opportunities to take advantage of as well as potential obstacles to avoid. Think about any recent decisions or changes that could influence your future direction.


The fourth card highlights any challenges or roadblocks that may hinder your progress. These could relate to lack of skills or experience, financial difficulties, job insecurity or unhealthy money habits. Determine constructive ways to overcome these challenges through problem-solving, learning or seeking advice.


The final card reveals the likely outcomes if you are able to navigate the challenges revealed in the fourth card. This outcome may not be set in stone but provides motivation and guidance for moving in a positive direction. Look for themes of greater stability, advancement or prosperity as a result of your efforts.

This five card spread offers a well-rounded perspective on where you’ve been, where you stand now and where you’re heading in your career and financial life. Use the insights gained for making empowered decisions and taking purposeful action. With awareness comes opportunity for growth and success.

Structured Five Card Spreads and Their Versatilit

The five card spread is a simple but versatile spread that can provide insight into your past, present and future. It’s a great spread for beginners and more advanced readers alike.

To do a five card spread, shuffle your deck thoroughly and deal out five cards in a row from left to right.

The first card represents your past influences – events from your past that have shaped who you are today. This could relate to childhood, upbringing, or events from many years ago that left an impression.

The second card signifies your present circumstances. This indicates where you currently stand and the factors actively influencing you now. Examine this card closely to gain clarity on your present situation.

The third card represents your immediate future or obstacles you may face. This could indicate events coming up in the next few weeks or months, or challenges you need to overcome. Prepare yourself accordingly based on the imagery and meaning of this card.

The fourth card signifies distant future outcomes – where your current path may lead you if you stay the course. Although the future is unwritten, this card gives you an idea of what may come to pass if nothing changes.

The final card represents the overall outcome or culmination of the reading. It ties the whole spread together and gives you the big picture view of where you’ve been, where you are, and where you’re heading. This card can represent ultimate success or failure of your endeavors depending on the imagery.

The five card spread provides a quick but insightful glimpse into different time periods in your life. By interpreting the relationship between the cards and the meanings of each one, you can gain a better understanding of your circumstances and what may lie ahead. Use this spread often to monitor your progress and make sure you’re moving in the right direction.

FAQ – Common Questions About 5 Card Tarot Spreads

Once you’ve done your first 5 card tarot spread, you’ll likely have some questions about how to interpret the cards. Here are some of the most common questions that come up:

What do the positions mean?

The positions in a 5 card tarot spread each have their own meaning and influence how you read the cards:

  1. The Present – This card represents your current situation or state of mind. It’s the starting point of your reading.

  2. Challenge – This card indicates an obstacle, struggle or issue that is affecting your present situation. It could be an external or internal challenge.

  3. Past – This card symbolizes events from your past that have led you to your present circumstances. It provides context for your current situation and challenge.

  4. Future – This card represents the likely outcome or path ahead if you continue on your current course. It shows where your present situation and challenge may lead if left unaddressed.

  5. Advice – This final card offers guidance or a recommendation on how to overcome your challenge and improve your outcome. It suggests a course of action to positively influence your future.

How do I interpret the cards together?

The cards in a 5 card tarot spread work together to tell a short story about your situation. Look for connections between the cards like:

  • Similar imagery or symbols that link their meanings. For example, two cards featuring water could indicate emotions are at play.

  • Numerical sequences that indicate a progression or process. For example, cards numbered 1 through 5 could show the stages of a journey.

  • Reversed or opposing orientations that suggest conflicts or imbalances to resolve. For example, a reversed Challenge card could mean the obstacle is self-imposed or imagined.

  • A combination of Major and Minor Arcana cards. The Majors often represent major life events or lessons while the Minors reflect everyday ups and downs.

Seeing how the cards relate helps you understand their collective message about where you are, what may come and guidance for moving forward in a purposeful way. With practice, interpreting the connections between cards will become second nature!


The 5 card tarot spread is a powerful way to gain insights into where you’ve been, where you are now, and where you’re heading. By laying out cards representing your past, present, future, unconscious desires, and final outcome, you can start to weave together the story of your life journey so far and glimpse what may be yet to come. The cards act as a mirror, reflecting back at you patterns you may not have noticed before and nudging you toward new perspectives. While the future is never set in stone, tarot provides a chance to explore possibilities and gain clarity on the path ahead. So take a deep breath, shuffle the deck, and see what wisdom the cards have to impart. You might just learn something new about yourself.

Also Read : Reconciliation Tarot Spread

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