A Tarot spread is often filled with the cards from each suit, as well as one or two images from the Major Arcana. Sometimes one suit dominates the spread and this indicates that the focus of the reading is about one issue in particular.
A spread filled with Cups is going to be offering relationship advice or another emotional response to the situations. Lots of Pentacles in a layout suggests that business and financial matters are on the person’s mind or can also relate to life’s practicalities. When Swords dominate a reading, the person has lots of issues they are worrying about or have a concern. It also suggests that action of some kind is needed in order to put something right. Moods or attitudes may be colouring the spread. A spread with many Wands shows travel, inspiration, or restlessness. Reading is likely to deal with events in the material world. Action is the keyword.
But keep in mind that sometimes you can learn a lot from reading when certain cards are missing. In a spread, if you don’t have any cards from the suit of Cups, it means that emotional attachment to the situation is not present. And emotions are not playing a big role in your life at present. Not a good sign if you are doing a relationship reading! A Tarot reading without any Swords might indicate being immersed in emotions without any plan or action. There is not a lot of rational, logical thinking is going into the situation. A business reading that is missing the suit of Pentacles means the financial aspect of the business is not as important as other qualities associated with the person’s work. When Wands are missing, you can ask yourself, “Where’s the passion gone?”.
What about when the Major Arcana is missing from a spread? It shows that the reading is only about the mundane aspects of a person’s life. There are unlikely to be any highs or lows for the person at this time. It also indicates that the future is mainly in your hands. If a spread of cards throws up more than a third of the Major Arcana cards, it tells that your future to some extent being directed by fate.
So remember, look at the spread with the intention of seeing what’s in front of you, and also look for what’s missing or overpowering, too.