How To Do A Samhain Tarot Spread

From the sunset on the 31st of October through to the sunset on the 1st of November, the Celtic Pagan holiday of Samhain (pronounced sow-in in Gaelic) is celebrated.

In today’s society, people are more familiar with celebrations of Halloween taking place on the 31st of October, but what many may not know is that this holiday’s roots lie in Samhain.

The beginnings of Winter and the Celtic New Year, along with the end of the Summer and harvest season, are marked by celebrations of Samhain, which follows the Mabon sabbat.

samhain tarot spread

The reason that we celebrate all that is “spooky” at Halloween time is because the ancient Celts believed that the veil between the dead and the living is particularly thin during this period.

If you are looking for a time to work with spirit to learn about what has been and what is to come, then this time, where the realms are more closely linked, is ideal.

One activity I often recommend people try during Samhain is a tarot reading – it’s the perfect time of year for reflection and connecting with your higher self.

Read on to learn how to do your own 5 card Samhain tarot spread.

Starting Your Samhain Tarot Spread

As with any spread, it’s vital that you choose an area where you will be able to focus and have no distractions. It’s important that you feel at ease and comfortable in your chosen environment.

Make sure you have everything to hand before you commence your spread to minimise disruptions.

My recommendations here would be a cleansed tarot deck, a pen and paper, a candle, and a drink.

Whilst the deck itself would, of course, be the most important item here, I would encourage you to have the other items nearby so that you can write down information about your spread as well as any thoughts or feelings you experience, a candle which can help create a better atmosphere for reading tarot and connecting with spirit, and the drink as it is not uncommon for energy levels to alter when reading tarot.

It is vital to ground yourself by taking deep breaths. You may want to have some crystals to support you with grounding and protection during your spread – particularly those crystals that are best to work with during Samhain.

Once you feel grounded, close your eyes and shuffle your cards. Convey your gratitude to the cards and to spirit whilst you are shuffling, as they are about to share knowledge and guidance to support you.

Laying Out Your Cards

When you feel ready, you may begin. Continue to allow the gratitude to circulate through you as you put your questions to the cards during your spread.

When you draw each card, place them so that when you have all five cards, they create a “+” shape. When card 1 is drawn, this can be placed at the top, followed by cards 2, 3, and 4 underneath card 1 (card 3 will form the middle of the cross), and finally card 5 will be at the bottom of the cross.

samhain tarot spread

Set Your Intention With Each Card

Ask your cards, “What do I need to bury in order for me to move forward?” when you are drawing for card 1. Here, you are asking the Universe what you need to let go of in order to progress along your ideal and intended path.

Samhain is a time when we accept the pivotal role death plays in our lives, both literally and symbolically. Therefore, it makes sense to begin by asking what from your past needs to “die” in order for you to grow and reach your full potential during this season.

When drawing card number 2, ask, “From my darkness, what do I need to accept and celebrate?” We cannot change every part of us or every experience we have had, and whilst there are things we may wish we could “bury”, sometimes the best course of action is to celebrate our darkness as this is where the true learning happens.

Rather than pretending those parts of us do not exist, it can be helpful to learn more about those parts, using them as key tools to evolve.

For card number 3, you are asking, “What are my fears teaching me?” Again, Samhain is a time to look inward and learn about what happens within our darkness. Our fears are important to acknowledge and be aware of, as it is only when we face what scares us the most that we can change and prevent them from holding us back.

Ask the cards, “What beauty will come from my courage when facing the darkness in the months ahead?” when you are drawing card number 4.

Here, you are asking what your courage at this time will result in you manifesting as you move towards the end of the calendar year.

Once we are aware of our fears from card number 3 and what they can teach us, it is equally important to learn what being courageous can do for us, as this can help us when times get challenging.

Lastly, for card number 5, ask, “What message do my ancestors have for me during Samhain?” Samhain is a wonderful time to connect with those who have passed over and allow them the opportunity to carry one final message to you to close your spread.

What do your ancestors need you to know above all else at this time?

Pace yourself – this is not a rush. It is important for you to feel the connection to those in spirit when you are reading your Samhain spread, as it is only through this connection that you will receive those messages accurately.

Continue to give thanks throughout the spread when spirit delivers each response to the question you have put to them. Note what your feelings tell you as you draw each card – your intuition is key.

As You Finish Your Reading

Look at any notes you made about your feelings. If you are new to tarot, you may want to look up the meaning of each card – how does the meaning of the card tie into the feelings you got from the card?

The impression you took from the cards is the most important takeaway from your reading – this will tell you what spirit is trying to convey.

Before putting your cards away, remember to give thanks again to the cards, to spirit, and to the Universe, then release your reading to the Universe.

This is important as you are putting trust into the Universe that your reading is safe with it and that the Universe will deliver. Once your reading is released, put your cards away safely, being gentle with them and handling them with care and respect.

Listen to your body at the end of the reading and ensure that you nourish or recharge it.

Final Thoughts

Samhain is a powerful time of year – the veil is thinner, and spirit draw nearer, so it’s perfect for divination.

Above, I’ve shared a really simple Samhain tarot spread that can help you get a little more insight at this time of year. I hope you find it helpful.