The one card spread. Straightforward? Yes. Limiting? Absolutely. But that can be a good thing.
It's not appropriate for every question. But it does cut to the heart of the matter. If a spread is not making sense (it happens), then stepping back and pulling one card to sum the whole thing up can be radically clarifying. You're focusing the energy of the reading into one area. All the non-essentials are cut out. Note that this is different from a clarifying card. You're not asking for clarification on the cards. You're asking the question again, and pulling one card with the expectation that it will provide the answer. It's a re-boot of the spread.
Here are some other ways to use the one card spread:
- Pulled at the start of your day, it gives an overview of what it will be like.
- Use it to see the energy you are manifesting. For example, if you're receiving hostile reactions from people and you don't know why, pulling The Chariot could suggest that you're trampling over them.
- A quick Yes/No spread. Reverse half the cards in the deck and shuffle. Pull one card. Reversed means No, upright means Yes.
Using one card is very Saturn. It limits the scope of the interpretation and forces you to really dig into the meaning of the card.