A tarot reading can help with any difficult decision in your life. Your question may have to do with your love life, career, financial situation, or dealing with change. You might want to consult the cards, but a reliable tarot reader isn’t always available at a moment’s notice. Fortunately, there are a number of tarot spreads that you can do yourself to give you instant answers and direction, right when you need it the most. A 3-card tarot spread is designed to answer questions about your past, present, and future on practically any topic.
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Shuffle the Cards
There’s no wrong way to shuffle tarot cards. You can fan them out, shuffle like a poker player, or cut them into piles; it’s all acceptable. Take time to really think about what question you want the tarot to answer while you’re shuffling. To many tarot readers, the ability to concentrate and focus on a question is the most important part of the process, but not one that needs to make you sweat.
Select 3 Cards
Your energy influences your reading when you’re shuffling, cutting, and picking your cards. Some people cut the deck into three neat piles and choose the top card from each pile; some fan them out and make a big mess, and some don’t cut at all and take the first three cards from the deck. It’s not important how you shuffle the cards, only that you remember the order in which you picked your three cards, place them in order, and read them from left to right.
Read Your Tarot Cards: Past, Present, and Future
The secret to understanding tarot is knowing that you already have the answers within you, they simply need to be revealed. Each of the symbols on the cards you draw reveals a section of your reading. In a past, present, and future reading; the left card represents the past; the middle card corresponds to the present; and the right card is the future, as it relates to the question you asked.
Now it’s time to pull out your trusty tarot reading guide and start the fun part: interpreting your tarot cards and the message they are trying to give you. Begin by laying your tarot cards face up in front of you in the order you selected them. Keep an open mind, and let the cards start to speak to you.
First Card: The Past
The first card represents past events and issues as they relate to your question. You may also see events in the past that resulted in the situation you were asking about when you shuffled. Court cards can represent people that influenced the situation.
Second Card: The Present
The present card represents the current state of the situation of your question. Here you will find out if there is information you might not be privy to, secrets, or hidden insights. You might learn where you really stand where your question is concerned.
Third Card: The Future
Naturally, the third card you draw represents the future and the potential outcome of your question at hand. There’s wisdom to be gained here regarding how everything will turn out. You can also discover action you can take to get the desired outcome you want.
Look up the individual tarot card meanings and apply your knowledge to the question you asked when you were shuffling the tarot cards. You may be surprised by your reading - the outlook could be positive or negative. Ask yourself the questions: “Do the Tarot cards make sense? What is the first thing that comes to mind when you read the meanings for these cards?” With time, as you learn the tarot symbolism and become one with your deck, your intuition will lead the way in all of your readings.
A word of caution on getting bad news from the tarot, as it will happen sometimes. Use your reading to either change those events, or ease them. Don’t sweat it if you pulled a dark card or two. Every tarot reading and answer is based on circumstances in the moment, which is constantly changing. There are times when the cards may only reflect your own fears and anxieties about a particular situation.
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A simple 3-card tarot reading will get you started on your journey with the tarot. With time, you can add more cards to your spread to do a 7-card relationship spread, Celtic Cross, and explore many more layouts that will help your enjoyment of the tarot grow more every day. Even as you gain experience, though, don’t negate the 3-card reading. Even in its simplicity, it has much insight to offer.
Hi! I’m Charla Stone and I learned astrology and mysticism way back in the 1970s. I've spent the last four decades using the stars, tarot, runes, crystals, totems, and more to bring light and guidance to others. I’m just an old hippie at heart who has traveled the world to learn of its cultures. I’ve been published online and in print—which still rather surprises me, as this isn’t something I do, it’s just who I am! When I’m not writing or doing readings, I’m spending time in my garden or the art studio, or with my beloved dogs.