Reading for your roots, how you can use a tarot spread to uncover what lies beneath

Uncovering your roots: discovering what lies beneath using a tarot reading.

What does it mean to “read your roots” in a tarot reading?

When you seek answers and insight in a tarot reading, it is important to look at the foundation, the roots, that uphold you.   Imagine a tall oak or great spruce tree.  The trees achieve their height and longevity because of their roots.  The roots of a tree provide nourishment, oxygen, water and strength to it, just to name a few of the primary functions.   Trees have more than one kind of root, smaller ones and larger ones, working together in a complex system to sustain well being.

Much like a tree has physical roots, you have spiritual roots that sustain you and allow you to grow.

Tree roots

And like a tree, your roots can be varying states of being.

Your roots might need tending or be suffering from negative external forces (and you may find that you have internalize those forces). This impacts your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual alignments and can manifest in your life in various ways.

Perhaps you have encountered a run of “bad luck” or seemingly unexplainable dead-ends and obstacles?  Maybe you recognize a negative pattern playing out repeatedly and you want to create a positive change.


Root readings can help in times of challenges but also in good times when preparing for expansion and growth.


What if  you are in a really good place right now in your life.  Can a Root Reading still be helpful?


The answer is YES!


You might be experiencing a divine flow where everything is coming together and you are ready to launch into a new realm.  Perhaps you want to know what best supports your success while creating a new project or embarking on a new endeavor. 

A Root Reading can help you assess the energetic condition of your roots so you can map out a plan for co-creating for the your highest-potential outcome while maintaining your self-care.

So, to recap, you can use a root reading to assess the conditions of your roots, in both good times and challenging ones.

Can you give yourself a root reading?


YES, you can!


What does a Root Reading tarot spread look like?

I created this Root Reading based upon my spiritual practices and experiences.  To do this, I started with a brainstorming session to help me construct a spread.

First, I reflected on the image of a tree and what elements either support optimal growth or negatively impact it.   For a tree, if the ground is too compacted, then it is difficult for it to expand and grow.  If it has a girdling root, a root that grows sideways across other roots, that can cut off the flow of nutrients.

Brainstorming my Root Reading Spread


From the brainstorming stage, I moved to refining the spread.  Here is the finished spread.  I invite you to try it out. Feel free to share it with others (I just ask that you give me credit).

Root Reading Tarot Spread

Here’s how to do the reading:

To begin, clear  your cards.  Take a deep cleansing breath to ground and connect you. Then shuffle.  As you shuffle, go within and reflect on a particular situation you would like insight upon the condition of your roots.  You could work with a general assessment rather than a focused topic.


Root Reading Tarot Spread by Winifred CostelloWhere you stand:  The first card you pull refers to where you stand in regards to a current situation, whether a challenge or opportunity.

Primary Tap Root:  The second card is to assess the overall condition of your primary root, also known as the tap root.

Flow: The third card is to evaluate the flow of energy running from your root to you.  It is helpful to look at the condition of your flow to see if it is restricted in any way (like a girdling root).  A pinched off flow or blockage can impact your ability to fully receive nourishment from your roots.

What Feeds Your Roots:  The fourth cards speaks to what feeds and restores you (self-care, inspiration, etc)

Environmental Factors:  The fifth card lets you check-in on the surrounding environment and assess the quality of your personal eco-system.  Think of it like a soil and air quality test.

Expansion or Restriction:  The sixth card lets you assess if you have plenty of room for growth and expansion.  Is anything restricting or constricting you?  Are the obstacles to be addressed?

Actions to Take: The seventh and eighth cards are cards of action to support forward movement.  The seventh card is action to take to support your expansion (card six) or assist with overcoming an obstacle or restriction.  The eighth card is action to take in response to the condition of your environment; either to uphold a currently good state or to help improve it.

Grab your free, downloadable copy of the Root Reading Tarot Spread.  You can print it to have handy for your next reading!

Grab Your Root Reading Tarot Spread

Tarot root resized

Grab your free, downloadable copy of the Root Reading Tarot Spread you can print for quick reference.

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Pulling it all the together, the message is in the story

As with any reading, once you have pulled the cards, sit back and take a moment to view the reading with “soft sight”.   That means scanning the reading and allowing your intuitive side, your right brain and your subconscious to come forward with insight on patterns and messages.

Take time to connect to Spirit and ask for guidance on interpreting the story in the cards.

You can access your knowledge of what individual cards mean but remember to look for the conversation that is taking place among the collection of the cards that have chosen to show up in your reading.

Root Readings allow you to connect to what nourishes and sustains you.

By taking time to look at the current conditions of your roots, you can better understand the actions to take to nourish yourself.  This can help support your success as you move forward in your life.

Now, it’s your turn.  

I would love to hear how this particular spread worked for you.  Leave your feedback in the comments or feel free to message me privately. 



















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{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Branwen September 4, 2015, 7:51 pm

    Winifred, this spread is THE BOMB! I just gave it a try and the *clarity* of the cards was jaw-dropping. I have been used to doing all of my readings with the Celtic Cross but I think I just might add this to my repertoire. I am super impressed. Thank you so much for sharing this with the rest of us.

    • Winifred September 4, 2015, 8:32 pm

      Branwen, thank you for sharing about your experience with the Root Reading Tarot Spread. It is awesome to hear that it compliments your repertoire. Blessings, Winifred

  • Julie September 13, 2015, 11:07 am

    While I am not a card reader, I love this spread. It speaks to our steps along our spiritual pathway, which to me is the entire purpose of divination, be it for ourselves or others.
    Great spread! Thanks for sharing it

    • Winifred September 14, 2015, 2:10 pm

      I am so glad you enjoyed it! Thank you for sharing your wise insights. Blessings,Winifred

  • Karen January 15, 2016, 12:14 pm

    Beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing.

    • Winifred January 18, 2016, 10:37 pm

      Thank you Karen! Blessings, Winifred

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