‘The Bridge’ tarot spread

Cards from the Sasuraibito Tarot

The Bridge tarot spread places you at a mid-point on a journey.

As an extended metaphor, the bridge – made up of seven cards – illustrates your journey from one era of your life to another. We begin in the centre, in the present, where we stand at the apex of the bridge, a high point where we can pause and see both backwards and forwards. We can turn backwards across the bridge and see the road travelled so far, then here in the present, we can peer over the edge of the bridge to the water below, where the subconscious influences sit, often seeing how the results of those past cards are playing out. Looking forwards, we then see next steps and an overall trajectory, or perhaps a goal to aim for. And in the sky above, a guiding star with an important, but concise, message.

I play with this bridge spread all of the time – I think it’s my absolute favourite. You’ll find it in my e-book, Little Red Tarot Spreads, and if you have a reading with me, there’s a high chance I’ll be using this spread. I love how flexible it is. Using the metaphor of a bridge enables me to add in or adapt positions to suit the querent’s question. This is the spread I use the most in my professional practice.

The Bridge Tarot Spread

Card positions:

  1. You, where you are right now at the apex of the bridge
  2. The shore you left behind. This card represents the past.
  3. The journey’s lesson. How have things been, so far?
  4. The river: Unconscious influences on you now, what lies in your subconscious and what your intuition wants you to know.
  5. Your next step. Here’s where to focus in the short term.
  6. The shore you are heading for. This may be an indication of your overall trajectory, of if you have a specific goal in mind just now, this card speaks to that
  7. A guiding star: A source of support to guide you.

The Bridge tarot spread: extended version

This spread adds three extra cards to go deeper into the situation and look at unconscious influences and sources of support.

Card positions:

  1. You, where you are right now
  2. The shore you left behind
  3. A lesson you learned
  4. Something that has helped you
  5. Your next step
  6. A lesson you must learn
  7. The shore you are heading for
  8. The ‘water’ below you – this represents the emotional journey you are making, the feelings (perhaps unconscious) that are flowing beneath the current situation and the steps you are taking.
  9. A source of support to you – this is something external to yourself, for example a person/relationship or a special place, which will help you to take that next step.
  10. A guiding star.

The Bridge tarot spread: shorter version

Card positions:

  1. You, where you are right now
  2. The shore you left behind
  3. A lesson you’ve learned
  4. Your next step
  5. Where you’re heading

If you like these spreads, you’ll really like my book!

Little Red Tarot SpreadsLittle Red Tarot Spreads

A 60-page e-book containing 21 of my favourite tarot spreads to cover all kinds of questions, plus helpful tips about using and reading cards in tarot spreads, and a guide to creating your own. PLUS: 23 printable worksheets – perfect for tarot journalling.

Buy here

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  1. This is great! I’m really new at this, but I just did my most successful self-reading to date using this spread, and it’s been really enlightening. Thanks for sharing :3 x

    • Beth says:

      Great! Yes – I find that this has become my favourite spread, it’s so useful to place a querent at a mid-point/vantage-point/turning-point like this. I use this spread for a *lot* of my client readings.

  2. Corina says:

    I am a Tarot newbie and English is not my native language – so please forgive any spelling errors or odd grammar AND especially if this is a “stupid question” (I know, I know, there is no such thing as a stupid question) or if I get the idea wrong.

    The original bridge spread makes perfect sense to me in terms of energy flow: from the present, I look into the past, peak at what is “in the water” and thus I am able to move on over the bridge and embrace the future with a higher entity/star to watch over me and guide me to my destination. Beautiful. Love this spread!

    The extended version gives me a head ache though. I cannot follow the flow, but get confused with the jumping around: From the present to the past, revisiting lessons and pasts supports, then right into the near future, what is to be learned on the way to the shore and over to my destination. Now BACK to peak under water (but I would need this information in order to understand the way ahead, wouldn’t I?), to an external support crosing my path nearby, then up to the guiding light.
    To me I feels a little messy (sorry, I don’t mean this harshly) and twirled? I am simply not able to wrap my head around it.
    Could you please explain why you designed the spread this way, so that I can try and follow your train of thoughts?

    By the way, love your blog! I am binge reading it on this rainy Octobre weekend and it has already given me so many ideas and insights and hours of pleasure and enlightment.
    All the best to you!

  3. Carolina says:

    Thank you, Beth! <3 I've just done this spread with the Mary-El Tarot and it's been so, so accurate and so, so enlightening. I'm amazed. I'm in love, with Tarot, with Mary-El, with this spread, with how incredibly powerful this self-knowledge tool is. There's nothing like Tarot for me. No therapy, no book, no conversation has even been so deep and so healing as my work with Tarot has been so far. And I'm very happy I found your site when I started re-connecting with Tarot, because you have provided me with very useful resources and information.

  4. Evelyn Garing says:

    very helpful spread, I have been exploring it and I love how it is so easy to see the connection between the different cards. This is fast becoming my favorite spread also. Thanks! I think this ought to replace the celtic cross as the main tarot spread.

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