No matter how you look at it, reading cards will always involve creating some kind of structure in order to determine what each card means in reference to your question. Even thought is will not eliminate the need to know the specific meaning of each card on its own, memorizing these three spreads will enable you to pursue just about any divinatory question that arises. That said, if you feel inclined to add more cards based on intuition, you should follow your instincts.
Single Card Draw
A single card draw lends itself well to a wide range of interpretative methods. Among other things, you can use upright and inverse positions to provide "yes" or "no" answers. If you do a more complex reading, you may also want to use a single card draw to provide more information about a point that seems unclear. Many people use single card draws to find out what kinds of energy will govern a day, as well as any given event that may come up in their lives. In some cases, you can also interpret these cards in terms of individuals that may shape a particular event or outcome.
Three Card Spread
In most cases, when you use a three card spread, the left card most is dedicated to the past, middle to the present, and right most to the future. You can also interpret a three card spread based on course of action, or even the beliefs and hidden perceptions of yourself and others. As a general rule of thumb, you do not have to keep the cards in a time frame, although you may want to use left side for hidden meanings, or factors that may represent obstacles. That said, a great deal will depend on your intuition and general sense of meanings assigned to locations. In some cases, you may even want to consider card placement to the left of center in terms of energies coming in to a situation, and then the right one as the energy going out.
Celtic Cross Spread
The Celtic Cross Spread is made up of 10 cards. The positions and meanings are as follows:
1. Present- located at center of the cross.
2. Obstacles - placed over #1
3. Past Influences - below #1
4. Future Influences - above #1
5. Past Events - to the left of #1
6. Future Events - to the right of #1
7. Personality - lowest card to the right of #6
8. Home Life - above #7
9. Hopes and Fears - above #8
10. Outcome - above #9
Many people use this spread to gain a wide range of perspectives on a specific question. For example, if you are thinking about moving from one location to another, this spread can give you insights into some areas that you might not have considered. This spread is also ideal if you want to read a fortune on someone else's behalf.
As you learn more about reading fortune cards, you are sure to find hundreds of different spreads. If you are not interested in becoming a professional reader, then three spreads should provide enough information for most questions that you might encounter. At the very least, if you use these three spreads to learn how to tap into your deepest intuitions, you are bound to find it much easier to work with other spreads that may be of interest to you. You are also likely to find that modifying the Three Card and Celtic Cross spreads will provide endless opportunities for you to make the best of your divinatory skills.