5 Simple Steps to Read Tarot with Confidence

Horoscope Tarot Spread with Jo Tracey

By January 30, 2013Tarot Spreads

Today, I welcome Jo Tracey, astrologer, writer, mum and fellow Aussie. Thank goodness for people like Jo. Jo is a super-star astrologer AND knows how to read the Tarot cards. Not like me. I’ve had three big books on astrology sitting on my bookshelf for YEARS, never read. Every time I go to start, I freak out about how much I have to learn! So, when I met Jo and found out she has a talent for marrying up Tarot and astrology, I couldn’t wait to get her on the Biddy Tarot blog.

Today she shares her down-to-earth version of the Horoscope Tarot spread. Over to you, Jo…

I had a tarot reading the other day.

I tend to have one done at least once a year. It helps clarify the themes that I see coming through astrologically for me.

Fridays reading went much as I thought it might, until:

‘it looks like there’s a move on the way…’

‘I don’t think so,’ I said.

‘I’ll leave that with you, then,’ she says.

In the very next spread:

‘Are you sure that you’re not thinking of moving?’

and the next…

‘Jo, three times can’t be a coincidence. There’s definitely something happening on the home-front…’

That’s when it hit me. Jupiter will be moving through my 4th house for most of the next 12 months- and Jupiter in the 4th house always involves expansion or change a home…and very often signifies a move.

So, what is the 4th house, and what does it have to do with tarot?

The easiest way to describe this is to look at the Horoscope Tarot Spread.

Horoscope Tarot Spread

horoscope-tarot-spreadThis Tarot Spread resembles a Zodiac chart, with each card representing an astrological house, or area of life.  I like to think of the houses as the stage on which the planets, or actors in your life, play out their roles.

Here’s how it works:

  • Shuffle the cards as you normally would and spread them out face down.
  • Select the first card. This is placed at the 9 o’clock position. This represents the first house.
  • Lay the next card at the 8 o’clock position. This represents the second house.
  • Continue to lay another 10 cards anticlockwise until you have a round spread that looks like a clock.
  • Interpret the cards in relation to their house meanings. As an example, in my spread, the card that signified the 1st house, or me, was Knight of Wands. I’m feeling ready to go on crusade, my health is good, my enthusiasm high. The message? Go for it.

The Houses

Each card represents a “house.” Each house is associated with an element, a tarot suit, a zodiac sign and the planet that rules that sign:

1st House– is identity. This is you – your personality, your physicality, how you look.

Associations: Fire, Wands, Aries, Mars

2nd House- is resources. This is your self worth, your possessions, your money (& how you earn it).

Associations: Earth, Pentacles, Taurus, Venus

3rd House– is communication and knowledge. What you know, your early learning style, your siblings, your neighbours, your short or routine journeys, your environment. Associations: Air, Swords, Gemini, Mercury

4th House– is Home & Family. This is where you live, your attachments, your roots, your structure, your history, your domestic life & your emotional security (or otherwise).

Associations: Water, Cups, Cancer, the Moon

5th House– is Creativity & Children. The things we give birth to & take risks on. This is where we play, fall in love and create.

Associations: Fire, Wands, Leo, the Sun

6th House– is Work & Service. This is your health (& habits), your responsibilities, the mundane work that you do & those who do work for you.

Associations: Earth, Pentacles, Virgo, Mercury

7th House– is Relationships. This is where you interact with others- and how. Committed romantic or business partnerships…& openly declared enemies are represented here.

Associations: Air, Swords, Libra, Venus

8th House– is Tough Stuff. This house represents the things we don’t want to talk about- death, taxes, inheritances. It’s also joint resources, other peoples money, sex & transformation.

Associations: Water, Cups, Scorpio, Pluto*

9th House– is Expansion & Beliefs. This house is about expanding your mind, your horizons, your knowledge & your belief systems. It’s religion, philosophy, travel, adventure, law and the learning we do because we want to.

Associations: Fire, Wands, Sagittarius, Jupiter

10th House– is Career. This is your career, your reputation, you in the world, your public persona, your social responsibilities.

Associations: Earth, Pentacles, Capricorn, Saturn

11th House– is Friends & Community. Here we find your hopes & dreams, your friends, your associations, & your social life.

Associations: Air, Swords, Aquarius, Uranus*

12th House– is Secrets & Undoing. This is us in private. It’s the things we keep locked away in the closet- the things that bring us undone. It’s also karmic lessons, spirituality, where we escape and what we know subconsciously.

Associations: Water, Cups, Pisces, Neptune*

*The modern rulers of Scorpio, Aquarius & Pisces are Pluto, Uranus, & Neptune. These signs also have a traditional rulership- Mars, Saturn & Jupiter, respectively.

Over to you, dear reader. Try the Horoscope Tarot spread for yourself and share your insights from your reading below.

About Jo Tracey

jo-tracey-astrologyJo Tracey is a Sydney-based Astrologer, Blogger, Writer, Domestic Diva, Cookbook Queen, Melbourne Tragic and Corporate Refugee…in no particular order. Pisces to the core, her dream job title would be Author/World Traveler. You can follow her blogs at , Your Career and the Cosmos for  or email her at [email protected]

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  • Christine says:

    Another timely article,Brigi.:-) I started practising& jogging my memory about astrology 2weeks ago,thought of introducing the 12 houses astrology spread( actually I was interested in astrology before my tarot encounter:-)) in one of my reference about the OOTK spread,there’s the Astrology spread too. And I have plans to incorporate astrology to my tarot work too:-). (So far just tarot +some numerology) anyway,its great that you brought out the related or compatibale modalities with the tarot. Good Brigi and keep up your meaningful work. Warmest regards 🙂

  • Liza Pretopapa-Schneider says:

    Hi Brigit and Jo! I’m thrilled to see this spread getting some attention as it is one of my favorites. I started studying Astrology several years ago, and while I am not a professional yet, I HAVE found, that the current aspects transiting the sky are always very accurate to what is going on in my life :). As related to Tarot, I have found that the study of each has significantly increased my depth of understanding in the other. This spread is WONDERFUL to be able to pinpoint exactly what types of energies are playing out in every area of my life. Sometimes we read a spread for love, sometimes money, work or career. Every aspect of our lives falls into a “house”. This spread lets you see what type of energy is at work in each of them :). Right now, with Capricorn being such a powerhouse, loaded with planets, everyone should be feeling some serious “earth” energy. Lots of Devil and World energy, as these are the cards associated with Capricorn, and Saturn, the sign that rules it. Thank you so much for sharing this awesome spread Jo and to Biddy for posting it! As always, I deeply enjoy your posts.
    Peace Love Light
    Liza Pretopapa-Schneider

  • Aasheesh says:

    Excellent post.I love this spread. Astrology is my favourite subject and it is absolutely wonderful to see this synchronisation. This spread woould be a great help to figure out how various aspects of life are playing out at any point of time.
    All the twelve zodiac signs are represented by a Major Arcana and the 3 decantes of each sign are too signified by Minor Arcana cards.These are very helpful in timing events and understanding personality traits.
    A big thanks to Jo for sharing this with us.Look forward to more such posts where she shares her vast knowledge to enlighten us.

  • Sami says:

    Thanks for the article, Jo and Biddy!
    Wow, its so dead-on it’s scary. A few of them had me confused, not the position but how to interpret them. I still find astrology pretty daunting still. I’m wondering, say you have a wands card for a house like pluto, something non-fire, is that a bad thing? How does that affect the overall interpretation for the card? Also is it in a circle counter-clockwise formation, for a reason? I had trouble interpreting these 3. Everything else was extremely easy. My identity was Knight of Swords, and I’m a Gemini, and I have dark hair! My spread was full of swords too!
    3rd House- Strength-
    6th House- is Work & Service. 6 of Swords – Realm of thought, helping people cross figurative difficult waters?
    11th House- is Friends & Community. 2 of cups Would this be a fairly weak card in this position?
    12th House- 9 of pentacles Karmic lesson I would guess is being independent.

    Love your blog! Thanks again for the article!

  • Jo Tracey says:

    Hi Sami,
    The spread is anticlockwise because that’s the way an astrology chart looks. I know- sounds a little back to front. The left hand is like the Sun rising- you facing the world. The right hand side is the sun setting- you with other people, the bottom of the chart is night- you at home, you inside. The top of the chart is you in the world.
    Oh, and nothing is good or bad- it just is.

  • Kim says:

    Another awesome post, and the incorporation of astrology was the icing on the cake. Astrology appeals to my calculating side as well as my intuitive side. 🙂 Anyway, here was my spread:

    House 1: Four of Cups. House 2: Ace of Pentacles. House 3: Ten of Cups. House 4: Two of Cups (rev). House 5: Ace of Cups (rev). House 6: Sun (rev). House 7: Two of Swords. House 8: Nine of Wands (rev). House 9: Nine of Cups. House 10: Death. House 11: Magician (rev). House 12: Seven of Cups.

    The first thing that hit me was all the Cups. They begin AND end the spread, and both the Four/Seven of Cups feature people “choosing”. (An emotionally-charged decision/refusal to make any?) That may also tie in to the Magician (talents I’m reluctant to share with others). Then I have Death in the 10th house/Midheaven, signaling either an imminent and drastic change or a REAL need for one. Whew! Pretty heavy.

    Again, thank you, Brigit and Jo.

  • Jo Tracey says:

    Thanks everyone for the feedback- there’s so many similarities between tarot and astrology- and the layers just make it all so much more fascinating.

  • Johan Steinfeld says:

    Awesome article!! Can’t wait to ‘feel’ my cards well enough to play with this. While I am far from being an astrologer, I have found it profound ever since I took my first course in the ’70s ~ before PCs, or at least before for me ~ did all calculations by hand with stacks of reference books. Astrology is wonderful and proven, for me, incredibly accurate in terms of a descriptive science (yes, science). I am so excited to be finding resources through you that are beginning to interrelate all these fields of study in a practical way!!! I have always known that this is all connected. Thanks for sharing. Would it be possible to get a sample reading?? I know each house has its ‘realm’ and natural sign and that most charts show different signs for different houses which affects the energies. I would find it very helpful to see how you interpret the card(s) interaction with these energies along with a sample question.

    Namaste (indeed), Johan

  • minnie says:

    thanks jo and biddy.its a wonderful spread.i have been practicing tarot and learning i know how to use both of them together.biddy your weekly mail is too good.

  • Gunita Zaube says:

    Very often for Astrological Spread is used 13 cards. A thirteenth card is placed in the centre of the spread. In general, you use it to look at the next twelve months for for the querent. You actually begin by looking at Card 13, which gives an overall of the flavour of the year ahead.

  • Manashi says:

    Thank you so much Brigit & Jo Tracy for the blog …. amalgamating Astrology & Tarot. This blog is so useful for me as I am learning Astrology & tarot simultaneously. It’s really a divine intervention I must say … This is what I call synchronicity .
    Thanks once again & God bless

  • Kathy F says:

    Hi Jo. I enjoyed the info on the astrology spread. Do you ever read the cards in aspect to each other? Is this even possible?

  • astrodian says:

    I really love this post. Thanks for your sharing. Hope that I could read more and more useful article like this. Keeping moving forward!! <3

  • Aparna says:

    Lovely and very informative post!
    I am curious to know from astrology point of view, sometimes we tend to have an empty house with no planets in them and also houses with multiple planets at once. How can this concept be incorporated? The above technique of the spread shows all 12 cards in order so how can it be modified?All ideas are welcome!

  • Denise says:

    Just wondering if cards come up reversed, do you leave them or turn them upright?

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