Spread overview

The 'Root, Cause, Solution' tarot spread is a powerful divination tool that is specifically designed to unravel the deeper layers of a situation, providing clarity and direction. This spread is particularly useful for those moments when you are faced with a problem or challenge and are searching for understanding and a way forward.

By using just three cards, this spread focuses on the essential aspects of your query. The 'Root' card offers insight into the underlying foundation or origin of your issue. Understanding the root can be a revelatory experience, as it often points to influences that you may not have been aware of. The 'Cause' card follows, highlighting the reasons or the dynamics that are contributing to the current circumstances. Recognizing these can empower you to address the challenge more effectively. Finally, the 'Solution' card suggests a viable course of action, providing guidance towards resolution and progress.

This spread's beauty lies in its simplicity and depth. It encourages introspection and understanding, prodding you to look beneath the surface of a problem. Moreover, it’s a versatile spread, applicable to personal, professional, emotional, or spiritual inquiries. Perfect for both beginners and seasoned tarot enthusiasts, the 'Root, Cause, Solution' spread serves as a lens, bringing the profound aspects of one's life into sharp focus, and illuminating the path towards resolution.

Three card "Root, Cause, Solution" spread

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Eight of Swords tarot card


Knight of Pentacles tarot card


Three of Swords tarot card


Eight of Swords tarot card

The Eight of Swords signifies feelings of entrapment and self-imposed limitations. It highlights the need for introspection, courage to face fears, and reassessment of one's perceptions to find a path to freedom.

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Knight of Pentacles tarot card

The Knight of Pentacles represents commitment, reliability, and hard work. It signifies methodical progress and the importance of being thorough and steadfast in one's endeavors. This card encourages a meticulous approach, assuring success through perseverance and integrity.

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Three of Swords tarot card

The Three of Swords symbolizes heartbreak and emotional pain but also the growth and clarity that can come from such experiences. It calls for confronting sorrow, honest communication, and the eventual healing and understanding that follows hardships.

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The tarot card meanings provided here offer general insights and may not precisely reflect your personal question. Use this tool as a catalyst for self-discovery, understanding that the interpretation is subjective, and the true value lies in your own reflections.

What questions you can ask?

When approaching the 'Root, Cause, Solution' spread, it's important to formulate your questions with clear intention. This spread is designed to uncover the deeper aspects of a situation, so your inquiries should be aimed at understanding and resolving issues.

Here are some examples of questions you might ask when using this spread: - What is at the root of my current challenges at work? - How can I understand the cause behind my relationship difficulties? - What solution will guide me towards financial stability? - What foundation is my current emotional state built upon? - Where is the cause of my creative block, and how can I overcome it? - What actions can I take to resolve the tension in my family?

What questions better to avoid?

The 'Root, Cause, Solution' spread is less effective for questions that require a simple yes or no answer or when seeking predictions of specific outcomes.

Questions to avoid might include: - Will I win the lottery? - Is my partner cheating on me? - Should I take the job offer from company X? - Will I move to a new house this year? - When will I meet my soulmate? - Can I trust my new business partner? The focus of this spread is on understanding the underlying dynamics of situations, not forecasting explicit events or binary answers.

Spread step by step guide

  1. Establish a quiet, comfortable space free from distractions, where you can focus on your reading.

  2. Begin with a few moments of meditation, concentrating on your question or the situation you wish to explore.

  3. Shuffle the tarot deck, keeping your thoughts on the issue at hand.

  4. When you feel ready, cut the deck into three separate piles and then reassemble it in any order you choose.

  5. Draw three cards from the top of the deck and lay them out in a line. The first card on the left represents the 'Root', the middle card is the 'Cause', and the rightmost card is the 'Solution'.

  6. Take time to reflect on each card, considering their meanings individually and in relation to each other, within the context of the spread positions.

Card positions in details

The 'Root, Cause, Solution' spread is designed to give insight into the sequence of factors that lead to your current situation and guide you towards a resolution.

The 'Root' card is symbolic of the foundation upon which your situation stands. It encapsulates the beginnings or underlying factors that have a significant influence on your current predicament. Understanding the root can give you a historical perspective on your query.

The 'Cause' card sheds light on the mechanisms and dynamics that are currently at play. This card helps you understand the driving forces and behaviors that are contributing to your situation, offering insights that may not have been apparent at first glance.

Finally, the 'Solution' card provides guidance for moving forward. It doesn't always give a direct action plan but suggests an approach, mindset, or area to focus on. The solution card can hint at what needs to be addressed or changed in order to strive for a resolution or improvement.

Sample of reading

A client recently asked, 'Why am I facing obstacles in advancing my career, and how can I overcome them?'

The drawn cards were as follows: The 'Root' card was the Four of Cups, the 'Cause' card was the Ten of Wands, and the 'Solution' card was the Ace of Swords.

The Four of Cups as the Root suggested a deep-seated dissatisfaction or reluctance to seize opportunities in the past. It revealed a possible complacency or emotional detachment that hindered early career growth.

In the Cause position, the Ten of Wands indicated a current state of overburden and stress. It suggested that taking on too many responsibilities or trying to juggle too much was central to the stagnation being experienced.

Finally, the Ace of Swords in the Solution position offered a clear message of a breakthrough via clarity of thought and communication. It advised cutting through the noise to prioritize tasks and communicate boundaries effectively, signaling that new, strategic approaches to problem-solving were the key to moving forward.

Spread tips

  1. Stay focused on your question during the shuffle and draw to infuse the cards with your energy and intent.

  2. Be open to the messages, even if they seem unrelated at first. Meditate on the connections between the cards and your situation.

  3. Use clarifying cards if the messages seem vague or unclear. Draw an additional card to lay beside any spread position that needs more information.

  4. After the reading, journal your insights. Writing them down can bring additional clarity and track your progress over time.

  5. Remember that tarot provides guidance, not absolute answers. Use the insight to empower your decision-making and own your path forward.

Common mistakes

  1. Asking overly general questions without a focused topic can lead to ambiguous readings.

  2. Expecting the cards to predict the future or reveal a deterministic outcome instead of focusing on understanding and guidance.

  3. Ignoring the context of each card's position within the spread, which can result in a misunderstanding of their significance.

  4. Not spending enough time reflecting on each card and rushing the reading, which can lead to missed insights.

  5. Disregarding personal intuition and the subtleties that personal connections to the cards can bring to a reading.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Do I need to have a specific question in mind to use this spread?

Yes, having a clear focus or question in mind helps to direct the reading and provides more relevant insights.

Can I use the 'Root, Cause, Solution' spread for daily guidance?

While this spread is typically more suited for in-depth exploration of a particular issue, it can be adapted for daily use by focusing on the root and cause of any current feelings or situations and seeking daily guidance for a solution.

Is this spread appropriate for beginners?

Absolutely! This spread is excellent for beginners because it consists of only three cards and encourages understanding the basic structure of a situation.

How often can I perform this spread for the same issue?

It's wise to wait until there has been a significant development or change in your situation before repeating the reading, to avoid confusion and give time for insights to manifest.

Can the 'Solution' card represent a person?

Yes, if the card drawn is a court card or one that features a significant figure, it can represent either qualities you should embody or a person who might influence your path to a solution.

Should I use reversals in this spread?

Use of reversals depends on personal preference and your reading style. Reversals can add depth and nuance to the reading, but they are not necessary for everyone.

Check other tarot spreads