We all want to gather all the good fortune we can, which is why so many of us have a lucky horseshoe about our home. If you have a fondness for horseshoes, or even if you don’t, you will find this tarot spread a useful item in your tarot tool chest.
There are two variations on this spread, this one is the most detailed and uses seven cards (or eight if you count the base card). The Horseshoe spread is most effective when used in relation to a specific theme such as romance or work.
Shuffle the pack and then choose seven cards. Don’t touch the pack, you will need to return to it in a moment. Set out your cards from left to right in an arch or horseshoe shape. The first card on your left is number 1, this is followed by 2 and 3. The 4th card is the uppermost point of the horseshoe, then 5 is placed opposite 3 and 6 is placed opposite 2. Card number 7 is opposite card 1.
Remember I told you not to touch the pack? That’s because you need to put the card at the bottom of the pack at the base of the arch in the middle of cards 1 and 7, this card is called the Base Card. If you need any extra insight with any of the cards it is permissible to return to the pack to choose another to ‘back-up’ the original card, but don’t overdo this or you will end up with a muddled reading.
What do the cards represent? Firstly, look at the base card. This tells you the undertones of the reading which are sometimes buried so deeply you may not be aware of them.
Card number 1 represents the past. I am often asked how far back this goes; it’s a bit like asking how long a piece of string is. Usually, it relates to a time period between a couple of weeks or two years. In the case of a complex issue such as an attitude to romance, it could even refer to childhood. You really have to rely on your intuition to guide you, or, as I said earlier, choosing a second card might help clarify matters.
Card number 2 represents what is happening now, and this refers to events two to three weeks either side of the present time. If you find a King, Queen, Knight or Page loitering here it will tell you more about someone involved in the situation. In general, keep an eye out for any of these court cards which fall opposite a negative card, they can point to a person who is involved in the situation in a negative capacity.
The 3rd card gives an insight to the near future, the timescale for this is about a month, and it shows the likely outcome if you follow your present course of action (remember if you don’t like the vibe from this card, the future can always be changed if you are willing to change your behavior).
Card number 4 is sometimes called the answer card and is often read last, but perhaps it would be better thought of as an advice card. It shows you where you are heading over a longer period than card 3. If it is negative you may need to change tack at some point. If you have framed your question so a yes/no answer applies, this card will give you the answer. An upright or positive card such as The Star will signify ‘yes’ whereas an inverted or negative card such as Five of Pentacles would mean ‘no’. It is also important to read this card in relation to the 7th card. For instance, a negative 4 but a positive 7 might suggest you will not get what you want, but something better is on the way.
The 5th card tells you how other people see the situation.
Card number 6 is associated with your hopes and fears. A positive card here suggests you feel optimistic about the situation, whereas a negative card would suggest a pessimistic approach, and it should shine a light on why you feel this way.
The 7th card represents the outcome if the situation remains unchanged. If it is disagreeable remember the whole point of the tarot is to guide you to the best course of action and enable you to take control of events and change them to provide a better outcome.