The One Card Tarot Draw: 9 Ways to Read It
The one card tarot draw is the simplest possible tarot spread.
But simple doesn’t mean easy. In fact, drawing a single card and letting it stand on its own takes some special skills.
ETA: If you love the deck in the header image, you’re not alone! Every time I feature it, readers ask me about it. It’s called the (affiliate link —->) Joie De Vivre deck by Paulina Cassidy and it’s gorgeous!
What is a one card tarot draw?
It’s pretty straight forward.
The one card tarot draw simply means you draw a single card to conduct an entire reading.
But if the meaning doesn’t come to you right away, the challenge is, you don’t have clarifying cards to expound on it.
For this exercise, I encourage you to resist the urge to draw more cards.
Instead, dwell on this single card until its meaning reveals itself.
Drawing a single card for a tarot reader is like painting a picture with a single color.
It requires imagination, innovative thinking and keen perception.
But you need not feel intimidated by that little card staring you down! Check out these 9 ways to stare right back.
1. As a daily focus point.
If you maintain (or want to begin) a daily witchy morning ritual, incorporate the single-card draw into your waking routine.
Spend a few moments committing it to memory.
Then, let it fade into the background, and go about your day.
If it pops back into your mind at some point, notice it, and briefly ask yourself why.
Either way, at the end of the day, take another moment before bed to look at it today. How did this card manifest itself in your life today? What relationships, situations or struggles applied to the imagery or meaning of the card?
2. Color dominance.
Draw a single card. Then, look carefully to see what the dominate color is.
Use color magic to determine the meaning of that color.
How does this apply to your situation, your life or the people in it?
3. Tarot spells.
If you’ve never tried tarot spells, it’s time you start!
A single card makes a fantastic focal point on the altar to draw energy and power into your spell.
Choose a purpose for your spell, then choose a corresponding single card.
Surround the card with herbs, flowers, stones and other natural spell ingredients to support your intention.
4. Draw a card for your dog. (Or cat. Or turtle. Whatever).
Okay, I know this sounds a little ridiculous.
But if you think about it, it’s a great way to pick up on the non-verbal, unspoken ideas that tarot cards often communicate.
It’s harmless, it’s non-threatening, and it’s a great way to bond with your animal familiar.
How does The Moon card apply to your Chihuahua? What about the Fool Card, or the Queen of Cups?
5. Use it in your meditation practice.
Sit in front of your altar with your favorite deck.
Draw a single card and lay it flat. Focus on a single, tiny details. Something well-defined and distinctive. A shape, a flower, a single brush stroke.
Now, close your eyes and visualize that detail. Once you see it clearly, add in another detail.
It takes a lot of practice, but eventually, more and more details become easier to “hold” in your visualization.
6. As a prompt for your personal spell book or grimoire.
Suffering from writer’s block?
If you keep a personal spell book, try drawing a single tarot card as a writing prompt for your book of shadows.
Forcing yourself to stick to one card actually generates more insight.
Studies show that constraints actually fuel creative thought.
7. For dream interpretation.
If you like working with your dreams for spiritual insight, try using a single card tarot draw to help you interpret your dreams.
This technique is most effective in the morning, when you first get up.
Keep a pen and paper or a blank book by your bed.
On first waking, write down any dreams or impressions you recall. Don’t leave out even the smallest details.
Your dreams begin to fade from your thoughts almost as soon as you wake, so this as soon as you are conscious.
Even allowing a few moments to go by, you lose a lot.
Once you’ve finished, draw a single tarot card. See what details, impressions or meanings of the card connect with your dreams.
8. As a tool for learning.
Perhaps the most challenging initial part of getting to know your tarot deck begins with memorizing the basic meaning of the cards.
Rather than trying to memorize them all at once, try learning them one card at a time.
When you draw the card, commit to learning all you can about it before you move on.
Look its meaning up and generate your own keywords for it.
Recognize that you’re not drawing the card to read it for yourself, but to learn it.
This way, you can try applying it to things outside of yourself so that you can begin the practice of reading for others.
9. The “one thing” spread.
Draw a single card to represent the most important thing you need to work on in your life right now.
If the card jumps out at you as obvious, you’re probably on the right track.
If you find the card confusing or ambiguous, take some time to ruminate on what in your life you might be ignoring that needs your attention.