The Good, The Bad & The Ugly Tarot Spread

Good Guy or Player?
Good Guy or Player? He won’t tell you if he’s a Bad Boy but the cards will!

Ladies, instead of complaining about there being so few good men left, use the Good, The Bad, and The Ugly Tarot Spread to help you find the one worth keeping. This Tarot spread sorts the men from the boys, the good from the bad and the emotionally intelligent from the clueless. The latter are the ones who know neither themselves nor what they want from life but operate at an opportunistic level and don’t care much about potential collateral damage.

Step 1

Decide which significator to use. The significator is chosen from among the 16 Court Cards in the Minor Arcana. To make it easy for you, I have compiled a list you can use based on his Zodiac sign.

Aries – Queen of Wands
Taurus – Knight of Pentacles
Gemini – King of Swords
Cancer – Queen of Cups
Leo – Knight of Wands
Virgo – King of Pentacles
Libra – Queen of Swords
Scorpio – Knight of Cups
Sagittarius – King of Wands
Capricorn – Queen of Pentacles
Aquarius – Knight of Swords
Pisces – King of Cups

If you don’t feel comfortable using a Queen for a man, feel free to choose a significator based on appearance instead!

Step 2

Stick the significator back in the deck. Shuffle and cut as usual. From the top (deck face down), keep pulling cards until you get to your significator.

Step 3

Carefully turn the deck over and fan the remaining cards out (don’t change the order of the cards!) and look from right to left for either The Lovers (good), The Devil (bad) or The Fool (“ugly”/clueless guy). It’s the first one of these three that falls to the left of the significator that counts. If all three of the Good/Bad/Ugly indicators precede the significator, you are not meant to read on it at this point in time. Put the cards away until you are better able to read in a detached state of mind!

Step 4

Collect the cards from the Good/Bad/Ugly card and include your significator, as well as all the cards between the two. It is possible that you will find one of the three main cards immediately to the left of your significator, in which case you are not meant to read further on this right now. But if you have three cards or more you can shuffle the cards together and do up to three rows of three. In this case, we had enough cards to do a full 9 Square.


As you can tell, this spread tells a story. The 2’s (including Justice and the High Priestess) talk about an ultimatum being delivered or the need to make a choice in order to move forward. But the central card being the 5 of Cups tells us that the Seeker has little hope of things actually going her way. She chooses to focus on service (High Priestess). However, her love interest (King of Cups) is likely to return after a while, with the Page of Wands as the final card… but has he learned his lesson? And by then she will have a choice between lovers (The Lovers).

If you only have 3-8 cards, simply shuffle them, lay them out in a line or two and read them intuitively, as a story.

Blessed be!


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Comments 8

  1. I didn’t really understand how to do this. I was confused at step 4. Do you shuffle all of the cards left from good bad ugly then cut the deck or randomly insert your signifier into the deck and just deal the cards into the 3 rows until you’ve used all cards. As I had way more than 9 left.

  2. Dear Lisa, beautiful spread and really dense as well!it really provides good food for thoughts 🙂 I did it about I guy I just met and find interesting.. I got the Judgment card as Major Arcana close to my knight of cups (significator), I think it has to do with a particular period of life where you have to make big changes and take important choices, can it be? I also got the Devil 🙁 – but the three card of the last raw are: the Devil, the Temperance and the ten of cups … which make me think that probably this situation will evolve better than expected..

    1. Yes, life-changing choices are indicated with Judgment. For how things will evolve, you will need to read the third column (not row) as these three cards speak of the future. Be very careful about moving this forward if you are dealing with a ‘Bad Boy’… the 10 of Cups could just mean emotional entanglement that you are better off without! If you had the 10 of Cups with the Lovers rather than The Devil, you would read it as the happy family card.

      1. Thanks for the insight! yes I also see this reading as a kind advice of a Guardian Spirit to think twice before stepping further 🙂

  3. Dear Lisa, a beautiful spread. I had my future partner in mind and it will be a Good guy! I don’t know if this spread was designed for that or is it only for men that are in your life now? Also is it possible to read a time indication in the spread? I had 7 cards between the Lovers and my significator. Could it stand for 7 months or are there other indications possible in this spread like certain cards? Or is it impossible to tell when it will take place? The fact that the next man in my life will most likely be a good guy is rather comforting!

    Best wishes,


    1. How did you know which significator to use if it’s a guy you haven’t met yet? I suppose you could use the spread that way but I guess you would have to choose a random significator from among the court cards first…? As for timing – any system you are comfortable to use. Personally, I’d do a separate reading on that.

      1. Well I used the King of Cups because I am looking for a man that is comfortable with sharing his feelings and ready to take responsibility for his feelings. I am working with that aspect myself in my life now to take responsibility for my own emotional well being and that is what I am looking for in a partner as well. That is how I picked a significator.

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