One Two Card Tarot Reading

One & Two Card Tarot Reading

Have you just recently started learning Tarot reading and are looking for simple spreads to incorporate into your practice? Perhaps you’re a seasoned reader looking to expand your bag of tricks with quick but versatile spreads for everyday use?

In this article we will cover a range of short and sweet Tarot spreads that use only one or two cards.

First, we will explore different ways to interpret a single Tarot card, then we’ll examine different types of questions to ask the Tarot, then we’ll move on to two card spreads.

I’m a professional Tarot reader from the Passing Fancey Tarot Corner. Over more than 15 years of Tarot reading,

I’ve collected a solid base of knowledge and experience about the traditional meanings of the cards, different reading and interpretation techniques and psychic insights. You can visit my website here.

The cards depicted in this article are from the Everyday Witch Tarot by Elisabeth Alba and Deborah Blake.


Everyday Witch Tarot by Elisabeth Alba and Deborah Blake Everyday Witch Tarot by Elisabeth Alba and Deborah Blake back Ace-of-pentacles The Magician Tarot Card The World Tarot Card

One Card Tarot Reading

Sometimes less is more and we’re just looking for a quick, straightforward answer, so we shuffle the cards, think of our question, and draw a single card.

ace of cups

This one card on the table has a surprising number of layers of meaning! Apart from consulting the trusty guidebook, these are a few ways we can glean messages from a single card:

The Suit of the Tarot Card in the Minor Arcana

 A Tarot deck is split into the twenty-two cards of the major arcana and the four suits of the minor arcana containing fourteen cards each.

Suit Of Swords

The suit of Swords represents the classical element of air.
If a Swords card appears, it references matters related to thoughts, the mind, planning, problem-solving or conflict.

Suit Of Wands

The suit of Wands (also sometimes named Staves) represents the element of fire.
Wands reference creativity, will, power, passion and desires.

Suit Of Cups

The suit of Cups represents the element of water, Cups reference the realm of emotions, memories, relationships, love and spirituality.

Suit Of Pentacles

The suit of Pentacles (often named Coins or Disks) represents the element of Earth and brings messages about our physical world, health, jobs, wealth, and home.

A major arcana card indicates important events or themes in your life, or life-altering circumstances you have little control over.

Meaning of each number  in the Minor Arcana Tarot cards

The number of the card

 The numbering of the minor arcana cards from one to ten represent various stages along a path.

Ace or 1: Beginnings, opportunities, lots of potential but a long road ahead.

2: The first steps and decisions.

3: The path taking shape and opening up to us.

4: Our path stabilizing, stalling, a pause.

5: The most challenging part of the path, conflict, difficulties.

6: Moving on from struggles, succeeding, finding a better way, getting help.

7: Confusion, frustration, delays, not being sure of the way.

8: Movement or progress.

9: Almost there, the destination is in sight, we’ve mastered the path.

10: Arriving at the destination, the path ends, it’s all behind us now.

The four suits also contain four court cards each: A Page, A Knight, A Queen and King

The court cards often represent people in a reading. These people can be the querent or other people in the querent’s life.

  1. A Page is someone starting out on a path.
  2. A Knight is someone pursuing goals, someone all about action.
  3. A Queen is someone in a sharing or supporting role.
  4. A King is in a position of authority, leadership, and experience.

Note that all court cards, also Queens and Kings may be people of any gender, as they refer to roles the people fulfil. Therefore, some modern Tarot decks rename the court cards.

The Image on the Tarot Card

What is depicted, what’s going on in the card? Images can be interpreted in several different ways. First off, try describing what is happening in the image. A fierce storm? People dancing and celebrating? Someone working hard on their craft.

See also  Numerology in Tarot

Someone else sneaking around doing things in secret. Sometimes, especially in day-to-day readings, the simple, literal meanings of the images are the most relevant. Imagine the cards as photos of your or the querent’s situation.

Beyond what is directly depicted on the card, try imagining what is implied.

  • What happened before to create the scene on the card?
  • What happens after?
  • What are the characters’ intentions?

All of these can help formulate an answer to your question.

The images can also be read metaphorically. For example, someone having been stabbed in the back is a saying that refers to betrayal.

Cards of the Major Arcana

The pregnant Empress represents all kinds of creation and nurturing. 
Perhaps the most famous metaphorical card is Death, representing radical change and transformation. 

Because the card’s name can be frightening to querents, some decks rename it to Rebirth or Transformation.

Finally, the imagery of the Tarot is steeped in symbolism. The Magician’s traditional gesture of “as above, so below” symbolizes the ability to shape one’s own fate.

The two pillars behind the High Priestess are said to be the pillars of the temple of Solomon and represent the gateway to the unknown and mysterious.

The infinity symbol or lemniscate classically found over the head of Strength and the Magician show the characters having achieved balance and control.

A Note about Tarot Card Reversals

Many guidebooks include both upright and reversed meanings for the cards. Including reversed cards by shuffling your deck in a way that some cards end up turned around. 

This can add another layer of meaning to the individual cards, but it’s important to decide in advance what a reversed card means, or the readings can get confusing.

Common meanings for reversals include: the opposite of the upright meaning or a blockage or delay in the themes represented by the upright card.

Note that it’s not necessary to use reversed card meanings, this is an optional modification.

Example 1 Card Reading

Sara shuffles the cards, asking what her day will be like and draws the Ace of Cups.


ace of cups

Seeing as this card comes from the Suit of Cups, the theme of emotions and relationships will be important during the day.

It’s an ace, which suggests new beginnings and lots of potential for the future. Looking at the image, Sara’s attention is drawn to the cat at the witch’s feet.

The cat is drinking the water overflowing from the cup, and already plants sprout from it, emphasizing the potential for the future and showing that there’s lots of room to grow and to let emotions unfold.

She also notices the two white doves in the upper left corner. White doves are symbols of peace, and the two together look like they are dancing, in love.

Sara has a date in the evening with someone she recently met, which fits the themes of the Ace of Cups.

She takes this card as a good sign that the date will be a happy one and that their new relationship will continue to grow and deepen.

It gives her hope that though they may still have a long road ahead, their bond can develop into something meaningful and long-lasting.


One Card Tarot Reading Questions 

Asking Questions and Answering them

 When reading the cards on the table, picking out the symbols, themes, and general meanings of the card from the suit, number and image is only the first step.

To complete the interpretation, we need to formulate these details into an answer to our question.

Going back to the example above, Sara asked what her day would be like, so she answered her question by formulating an answer that describes important events of the day.

Another type of question to ask is one that seeks advice. Sara wants her date to go well, of course, so she may ask how she can make sure that the evening will be enjoyable for both her partner and herself.

If she then pulls the Ace of Cups, the answer to her question might be that she should acknowledge the very early stage of the relationship and scale her expectations accordingly, she should allow her feelings to unfold naturally and she should let herself enjoy the time together.

See also  Looking for a tarot reader but don't know where to begin?

The key themes of the card remain the same, but they are formulated into a different form of answer.

Two Card Tarot Reading

For a quick, versatile reading where we want a little more detail, we can add a second card. Now that we have more than one card, we can start thinking about spreads.

Tarot card Reading

What is a Two Card Spread?

 Spreads are patterns or maps that assign empty positions, into which we draw our cards during the reading. The spread positions represent different parts of our question.

With two cards, the spreads remain quite simple. We can either place two cards next to each other, or one above the other. They can be touching at one side or separate.

2 Card Tarot Spread for Everyday Readings

2 Card Spreads for everyday use, we can imagine two cards representing two parts of a sentence, with the two cards filling in blanks. Here are some useful answers that two cards can give us:

  • I will feel (card 1) about a particular person, event or thing because of (card 2).”
  • The obstacle in front of me is (card 1) and I can do (card 2) to overcome it.
  • (Card 1) is where I am now and (card 2) is where I am headed if I stay on my current path.
  • (Card 1) is something that is important right now and (card 2) is how it is affecting me.
  • I should make sure to avoid (card 1) today and do (card 2) instead.

You can make your own fill-in-the-blank sentences by thinking about what kind of answers you would like to have from your reading.

One of the simplest ways to use two cards is to place them beside each other and read them as if they were one image.

Now that there is more than one card, we can also interpret the interactions between the scenes and characters involved.

Example 2 Card Reading

king of cups 9 of swords

A few months later Sara is still seeing her partner, but she starts feeling uneasy, remembering past relationships that ended painfully.

She asks for a quick reading to gain some more insight into what is going on with her relationship.

Using the above method of placing two cards next to each other to form a single image, I pull the King of Cups and the 9 of Swords.

A first impression examining the suits of Cups and Swords tells us that the relationship and the feelings around it, represented by the suit of Cups, are being affected by thought patterns.

This confirms Sara’s current situation, as she is feeling uneasy due to expectations learned from previous relationships, and due to thinking about what could also happen with this one.

In the image consisting of two cards, it looks like Sara is having a sleepless night of worries, but there are others looking out for her and trying to help!

The cat and bird in the same card are both there consoling her, and the King of Cups points his spyglass in her direction too.

He seems to know something is wrong, but he can only see so much with his spyglass, so he waits patiently, offering his cup.

The 9 of Swords confirms that Sara is indeed plagued with worries, but the good news of this card is that these fears are really just fears, and that the situation isn’t nearly as bad as it feels at the moment.

Previous bad experiences have led to pessimistic thought patterns, but they don’t translate into the actual state of the current relationship with her partner.

Another encouraging sign is the caring, supportive King of Cups. Sara’s partner has probably picked up on the fact that she feels uneasy and wants to support her.

If the character of the 9 of Swords would look up, she’d see the sun rising and the King offering his cup.

In the same way, if Sara can put her fears aside for a moment, she could lean on her partner’s support, and they can work through things together.

Are you seeking some more insight into a situation? The Tarot can provide a new perspective and empower you with intuitive wisdom. Try a quick, versatile 2 card reading today!

Click here to book a reading


2 Card Tarot Spread for Decision Making

2 Card Spread for a Decision – A Two Tarot Card Yes or No Reading

See also  Seven of Cups Tarot Card Meaning

A common question type often encountered in Tarot readings is “should I …?”

While this question leads only to yes or no answers and can only be answered by the querent themselves, it can be transformed into a powerful spread that can inspire the decision-making progress.

Here, the two cards represent the two possible outcomes of the choice. The left card represents choosing not to do the thing in question, while the card on the right represents choosing to do it.

The two cards thus describe the two outcomes, and the querent is free to decide for themselves which one they prefer, without being told what they should or should not do.

Example Decision 2 Card Spread

Sara is bored at her current job and is drawn to going back to college for a degree. She draws two cards to represent, on the left, not going to college, and on the right, taking a leap of faith and going.

The two cards she draws are the 4 of Cups on the left and the 8 of Pentacles on the right.

4 of cups 8 of pentacles

The 4 of Cups represents boredom, stagnation, a time where one is unable to appreciate the treasures within reach. Sara immediately recognizes her current state of mind in the card.

She spends a lot of time at work leaning on her desk just like the man in the picture, wishing she were somewhere else.

This card tells her that if she decides not to go to college, things will stay the same as they are now, and though stability can be a good thing, there isn’t really any room to grow.

The 8 of Pentacles is often known as the apprentice card and signifies the long but rewarding journey of learning and practicing new skills, perfecting details, and mastering one’s craft.

Learning new, interesting things for a more engaging job is exactly why Sara began thinking about going to college in the first place.

Sara realizes that the cards reflect how she feels about the decision, so she is encouraged and chooses to pursue the possibility of going to college.

2 Card Tarot Spread for a Relationship

2 Card relationship spread, two cards can be used to represent any two parts of a whole, and that includes the two people in a relationship! Note that this can be a romantic relationship, but can also include friends, family or even colleagues.

The two cards can represent where the two people currently are within the relationship, how they feel, where it is taking them, or how they are affected by something.

Example Relationship Tarot Spread

Sara has gone to college and is assigned a teammate to work on a project with. Curious how this will go, she decides to pull a card for both to reflect how they will get along. 

For herself, she pulls the 10 of Cups. Sara has been overjoyed since arriving at college, making new friends, and feeling like she’s arrived in a place where she belongs, and this card of pure happiness reinforces this.

king of swords 10 of cups

She sees herself getting along well with her teammate and enjoying the social aspect of this project.

For her teammate she pulls the King of Swords. As the King of the suit representing the mind, he is in his element enjoying the intellectual challenges the project has to offer.

Sara sees his tendencies to take the lead in planning and decision making reflected by the King’s authority, and of his posture of towering over the happy picnic scene in the other card.

There are of course countless other two card spreads to be found in the vast expanse of the internet, or to be created by yourself.

Use them for readings where you want a little more detail and depth provided by interactions between cards, but still want to keep the reading short, practical and to the point.
If you are not familiar with the tarot check out the Tarot Cards for beginners page.

For a better understanding of the Major Arcana cards visit the page with a list & a brief overview of them all. The other Minor Arcana Suits are the Suit Of PentaclesSuit Of SwordsSuit Of CupsSuit Of Wands.

Are you seeking some more insight into a situation? The Tarot can provide a new perspective and empower you with intuitive wisdom. Try a quick, versatile 2 card reading today!

Click here to book a reading