How to do Your Own Daily Tarot Reading

Posted on December 05, 2016

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.

Related Article: 3 Common Mistakes When Reading Your Own Tarot

What You′ll Need

How to do the Reading

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.

Interpreting Your Cards

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.

Related Article: How to Read Tarot Reversals

It′s the Beginning of Your Tarot Journey

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.

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Charla Stone

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. Read More by Charla Stone

Tarot Cards & Their Meanings

The tarot is a series of 78 tarot cards used in fortune telling, psychic readings, and insight into past, present, and future events. These tarot card definitions help you understand how to interpret your tarot reading. Tarot cards are divided into 2 main sections—the major arcana and minor arcana—and further into 4 suits:

Before a tarot reading, the cards are usually arranged in a spread. A tarot spread is the pattern in which the cards are placed on the table to be interpreted by a tarot card reader. There are many different types of tarot spreads—entire books have even been written on the subject. Spreads can be as simple as a 1-card draw, or complex enough to use all 78 cards.

One of the most popular spreads is called the 3-card spread, which gives you answers to immediate questions about your relationships, career, and life in general.

A Brief History of The Tarot

No one knows for certain where or when the cards originated—some say the practice goes all the way back to ancient Egypt. What we do know is that reading the tarot cards gained notoriety sometime around the 18th century.

The tarot can be used for many different purposes. The archetypal images reflect your story back to you, and bring you insights on situations in the lives of those around you. Those same images make good meditation companions or provide you with a ‘thought for the day.’ You might even use the tarot as a writing prompt in a blog, or as inspiration in artwork. There is no limit to how these images can be used, you just need to decide what works for you and go for it.

Modern technology made it even easier to get daily readings, peruse different interpretations of the classical images, and connect with others who share your interest in the cards. Of course, before you can get really immersed in understanding the tarot, you have to know a few basics. They’re not difficult, and once you recognize them you can master the mysteries of the tarot.

The Major Arcana (Tarot Trump Cards)

The major arcana (trump cards) represent your journey through life, starting out as the innocent and carefree card representing The Fool (at number 0), and going through all your stages of life until you get to The World (at number 21). Each of the trump cards represents an important issue in your life and asks that you pay particular attention to this situation. As you get to know the Major Arcana, you’ll see that the first 11 cards represent your journey out into the world while the last 11 represent your journey into your own awareness.

The Minor Arcana

The minor arcana is a grouping of 56 tarot cards that acts as a support system for the major arcana. It's divided into 4 suits, much like playing cards, and each suit has 10 numbered cards and 4 court cards. Traditionally, these court cards are called page, knight, queen, and king.

Some decks may use different titles for these figures but their meanings and their positions in the hierarchy of the court cards remain the same. Each suit of the minor arcana corresponds with a specific area of life, and each card has a meaning within that area. The number 1 is the first in a sequence (representing beginnings).

The numbered minor cards may have images on them, or they may just have ‘pips’ on them like playing cards, depending on the deck you're using.

Each suit of the minor arcana is also associated with specific signs of the zodiac.


Wands (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius)


Pentacles (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn)

Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn

Cups (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces)

Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces

Swords (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius)

Gemini, Libra, Aquarius

The tarot provides guidance that has stood the test of time. And as with any tool, the tarot needs to be used responsibly. The cards themselves are not good or evil—it’s how you use them that creates them a positive or a negative experience. After all, the tarot is just a collection of images and have no power on their own—it’s their mystery that allows them to endure. What wisdom do those images want to share with you today?