As I write this, heat is radiating and the sun is at its full grandeur. Yesterday was the summer solstice, and here in the northern hemisphere we are unabashedly facing the light!

Last year I got in the habit of doing tarot spreads for myself at each solstice and equinox. For this year’s solstice, I’m doing something a little different: an inverse tarot spread (I just made up that term, and I quite like it)! Instead of shuffling the deck and drawing cards at random, an inverse spread is created by consciously selecting cards from a face-up deck. Today, I’ll share my approach with you, and I invite you to try it for yourself it if piques your interest.

You can still totally do this if you’re in the southern hemisphere! But the energies I’ve incorporated in the spread are notably summery, so tweak things if you’d like.

Radiant Spectrum Intentions Inverse Tarot Spread

My personal spread w/ Robin Wood Tarot


This inverse tarot spread is designed to help you engage your rational, thinking mind in setting intentions. This asks you to activate your powers of conscious creation, using a combination of critical and intuitive thinking. This is ideal for summer, which is often a ‘yin’ season. You’ll be setting five main intentions and using those as a focal point for the entire summer season.

Why five? When I think about the sun, I think about outgoing, straightforward energy. In tarot, the number five is associated with power shifts and changing influences. Five isn’t always an easy number, but it is an assertive, confident number. Five is a number that holds the potential for real change, and that potential must be intentionally directed.

If you have an extra deck that you won’t miss all summer, I suggest laying out your spread and leaving it somewhere you can reference it throughout the season. Referring to your spread throughout the season is a good way to keep yourself anchored in your intentions. You’ll also want to take notes on your spread and articulate why you selected each card.

Let’s get started!

Take a few deep breaths, or do whatever you typically do to clear your mind before a reading. As you go through your deck face-up, select a card for each of the following prompts. The idea is to put active thought into choosing your cards, but don’t overthink! Let your intuition and your conscious mind work together. You can add a visual effect by laying your five cards out to look like sun rays, as I’ve done in the photo above.

Once you have selected your cards, journal or take notes on how these cards correlate to your solstice intentions. I’ve given some example cards for each of the prompts, just to get your gears churning – you may view the cards differently than I do, and that’s fine!

1- The energy I choose to radiate this season

This card represents the way you want to show up in the world this summer. What traits do you desire to embody? If you’ve already been working on making changes, this card can be an affirmation of those developing qualities. Here, you’re setting an intention for the main approaches you want to embody in your life as a whole.

For example, would it be useful for you to be bold (Queen of Wands), or kind (Six of Cups), or disciplined (the Emperor), or receptive (the High Priestess) this summer? Why?

2- What I will release or transform

This card reminds you of an ongoing intention of release. Letting go is a process. The seasons show us that. Spring doesn’t transform into summer overnight; it is a gradual process of flowers becoming fruit. Select a card that represents the main burden you want to release or transform this summer. Be patient with yourself as the change takes its course.

For example, would you like to release an addictive behavior (The Devil) or an old relationship (Two of Cups reversed) or a limiting belief (Eight of Swords) this summer? Why?

3- Who I will warm

Summer is an outgoing time of year. The warm weather that makes us want to gather for parties, festivals and reunions! This card lets you set an intention about how and who you’d like to interact with and serve others this season. If you know someone in need of support, you might set the intention to reach out and hold space for them.

For example, would you like to warm your clients (Six of Pentacles) or your family (the Empress) or your broader community (Three of Cups) this summer? Why, and how can you best warm them?

4- What I will accomplish

The unabashed energy of the sun seems very goal oriented to me. Even though if you’re naturally more inclined to feel your way forward, the solstice is a great time to set specific, tangible goals. This card will reflect the clear and concise outcomes you’d like to reach this season. As always when setting goals, make sure this is as specific as possible!

For example, would you like to spend one hour in your garden each week (Queen of Pentacles) or write 10k words (Knight of Swords) or paint your living room (Four of Wands) this summer? Why?

5- My glowing mantra

For your last card, you’ll choose an affirmation or mantra to use throughout the summer. Use this card to create a simple statement that feels empowering. If you’ve already been working with a specific affirmation, you can pick a card that lines up with it. For example, lately I’ve been using the affirmation “light drives out darkness” (paraphrased from Martin Luther King Jr). I’ll be using the Sun as my tarot card here!

I hope you’ll find this idea fun and useful. If you do try this yourself, feel free to post your spread and tag me on Instagram. I’m @carriemallon.

Sending many warm summer wishes your way!

A few other things!

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