Complete Guide for the 8-Card Tarot Spread

  • By: Reece
  • Date: 20 February 2023
  • Time to read: 4 min.

Deciding on the spread to use for your tarot card reading makes a difference when it comes to conducting a productive reading. You can use anything from one card to ten, and as long as you determine beforehand which card represents what, your spread is going to be successful.

Most readers find that spreads that use fewer cards are easier to learn, which is why they are recommended for beginning and intermediate readers.

Often, when you choose a spread that involves more than six cards, it is sometimes easier to accommodate if you use two decks of cards instead of one. In fact, the 8-card tarot spread discussed in this article does just that, and it is therefore not meant for a beginning reader. This 8-card spread is also used to determine answers and revelations for couples to help with their love life. The cards are laid out in two separate vertical columns, one for each party in the relationship.

Laying Out the Spread

Complete Guide for the 8-Card Tarot Spread

While you can lay out your eight cards any number of ways, here is an effective layout you may want to try. On the left side, the column looks like this:

  • Card 6
  • Card 2
  • Cards 3, 1, 4 (in that order)
  • Card 5
  • Card 7
  • Card 8

The column on the right side will be similar except for the third row, being laid out in this order:

  • Card 6
  • Card 2
  • Cards 4, 1, 3 (in that order)
  • Card 5
  • Card 7
  • Card 8

For these two columns, you should utilize two decks of cards, choosing a deck that you feel adequately represents each partner in the relationship. Use the left side of the spread for partner 1, or the woman; and the right side for partner 2, or the man. Use the card deck #1 for the left-hand column and card deck #2 for the right-hand column.

To start with, shuffle the cards then lay them out according to the arrangement mentioned above. You’ll notice that card 8 is at the bottom of each column, and it is usually called the base or shadow card.

Here is what each of the cards means:

  • Card 1: The Partner (how each partner feels about themselves as individuals)
  • Card 2: The Partner’s beliefs and thoughts regarding this relationship
  • Card 3: The Partner’s needs and desires regarding this relationship
  • Card 4: The Partner (how each is seen by the other partner; the main quality that the partner displays in the relationship)
  • Card 5: The Partner’s emotions (how this relationship makes the partner feel)
  • Card 6: The Partner’s actions (how this relationship influences and affects the partner’s behaviors or actions)
  • Card 7: The foundation of the relationship (what it is mainly based upon from this partner’s side; what it is that ties this partner to the other)
  • Card 8 (the base or shadow card): The forces that are underneath the surface; these are strongly affecting this partner and therefore the relationship

Other 8-Card Tarot Spreads That You Can Use

When you’re practicing tarot readings, you have choices regarding which types of revelations you need, so the cards can be set up to reveal whatever it is you’re looking for. Simply put, this means you can use your 8-card spreads for all types of readings, not just those related to love and relationships. For example, here is an 8-card tarot spread that is used to answer the question, how psychic am I?

To get started, lay out cards 1-4 on the top row and cards 5-8 on the bottom row. Here is what each card symbolizes:

  • Card 1: What are the blocks I’m experiencing that may be preventing the development of my psychic ability?
  • Card 2: What changes can I make to improve my psychic ability?
  • Card 3: Where exactly do my psychic abilities currently lie?
  • Card 4: How will these psychic abilities manifest themselves?
  • Card 5: Do I have enough faith in myself to grow my psychic abilities?
  • Card 6: How will I be able to use my psychic abilities in the future?
  • Card 7: How can I expect to benefit from having psychic abilities?
  • Card 8: The Final Outcome/Summary card.

You can also choose an 8-card spread that is arranged in the shape of a diamond, using the following layout:

  • Card 6 (top center)
  • Cards 5 and 7 (on either side of the 6)
  • Cards 1 and 8 (on either side of the 5 and 7)
  • Cards 2 and 4 (fourth row, underneath the 5 and 7)
  • Card 3 (bottom center)

You can use this layout to help you with living with uncertainty. If you need some clarity in your life, this is a good reading to utilize. Here is what each card represents in this layout:

  • Card 1: This is possible for me
  • Card 2: This is important to me
  • Card 3: This is courageous of me
  • Card 4: This is a trivial matter
  • Card 5: This is a necessity in life
  • Card 6: This is a light-hearted piece of my life
  • Card 7: This is a witty part of my life
  • Card 8: This will take me farther in life

Similarly, if you’re looking for a layout to help you reconnect with your soul, lay your eight cards out like this:

  • Row 1: Card 1
  • Row 2: Cards 2, 3, and 4
  • Row 3: Cards 5, 6, 7, and 8

And when you’re pulling the cards, this is what they’ll reveal:

  • Card 1: This card describes your soul
  • Card 2: This card tells you how to quiet your thoughts
  • Card 3: This card tells you how to better trust your intuition
  • Card 4: This one answers the question, why should I speak my truth?
  • Card 5: This one indicates things you need to accept
  • Card 6: This one indicates things you need to embrace
  • Card 7: This card tells you how to be the very best version of yourself
  • Card 8: This card represents a message from your soul


As you can see, an 8-card tarot spread can be utilized in numerous ways. You just have to find the one that works best for you and keep in mind that larger spreads should be used only by readers with a little more experience.

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