The reading I use most often in conjunction with the Tree of Life is a three-card daily spread that gives me an idea of the energy out there for everyone. That spread is: a card for the energy of the day; a card for how we can best engage with it; a card for advice/our goal. I draw the cards and then place them where they belong on the Tree of Life and consider the relationship between them; I listen for connections. There is so much that the Tree of Life offers your intuition!

Here is how you might adapt the daily three-card spread for a personal question:

The Tree of Life Spread

  1. a card for where you are now / the energy around you
  2. a card for your best path, or advice
  3. a card for where you’re heading

Getting in the groove

My approach is not a very structured approach, because I just kind of go with it. It isn’t my preferred way to do anything if I’m honest. But it works here because otherwise, if you had a checklist of every layer of interpretation you could apply, it would take hours to do one three-card reading. I look at the cards for what jumps out at me – is it the astrology? Or is it the relationship between cards on the Tree? Is it the Elements? And then I go from there.

Another approach could be to set the intention before you draw any cards that you are going to work with astrology only, for example.

And sometimes what stands out is the card itself – if I draw the 7 of Wands, that 7-of-Wand-ness might be clearer than the fact that it’s a 7, or is ruled by Venus, etc. The Qabalah always has a hand in how I see readings, but sometimes the message is really simple and I have to be careful not to look so hard for something complicated that I miss the obvious! Sometimes a spade really is a spade.

It’s a bit like rolling up to a friend’s house when they’re not expecting you – you might get a cup of tea and cake, and you might get to help hoover, you might get asked to come back later!

A map to the edge of the forest

I have developed a kind of approach for working with Tarot and the Tree of Life. I don’t know if anyone else reads like this, but it’s come from working with the cards in various combinations and thinking about what that might be telling me. I explain a bit about my method in the next post and I hope it will give you some new ideas about exploring the Tree of Life – since, as we know Crowley said, the Tree of Life is different for everyone. So when I make statements like “this is X” or define terms in a certain way, it’s just the easiest way to express my own method, rather than qualifying every statement. I don’t mean to suggest any kind of objective truth.

Before you go on to the next post, take your Tarot deck and draw these cards:

The 8 of Disks/Pentacles, the 4 of Cups, and the 2 of Cups


The 7 of Swords, the 9 of Cups, and the 4 of Disks

If you use the spread above, how would you interpret these two 3-card readings?

Go on to Tree of Life Spread: Three-Card Daily, Part II.