A Tarot Spread for the Start & End of Your Day

Posted on September 22, 2021

tarot cards spread across a table

Pulling Tarot cards each day can be a beautiful gift to the self, a quiet few moments to reflect and consider.

For beginners, a card-a-day practice is often recommended as a way to get to know the deck without feeling overwhelmed — but even as a professional Tarot reader and writer, I still pull a Tarot card each morning, taking some time to think about what my day might hold and how I can best approach any challenges or obstacles that may emerge. Sometimes the simplest methods can be the most effective, and I am a strong proponent for short readings rather than pulling dozens of cards at a time.

But while a single-card reading can be great for a quick moment of reflection, if you’re looking for something with a bit more depth, a three-card reading can provide nuance, offering more detailed perspectives or identifying patterns that we can spend time examining.

Looking for your own three-card reading but don’t have a Tarot deck? Get your online Astrology Answers free three-card Tarot reading.

The Benefits of Daily Tarot Reading

When it comes to creating and maintaining a Tarot habit, most people prefer to either read at the start or the end of their days.

Morning readings are wonderful for preparing for the day ahead, thinking about tasks and responsibilities, and getting emotionally organized, while evening readings are best for reflection, understanding, and relaxation.

Both can be incredibly useful, particularly if you record your Tarot readings through Instagram, journaling, or another method of tracking your card pulls. By doing this, you can begin to identify patterns of cards that come forward and see your readings’ general themes, which can be a powerful way to deepen your practice and develop a more personal relationship with your deck.

Don’t miss: Include a Daily Tarot Reading in Your Morning Routine

How to do a Three-Card Tarot Reading Daily

If you’re eager to make a three-card reading part of your daily routine but aren’t sure which to choose, think about what you appreciate the most about your regular readings and what kind of tarot reader you are.

Are you someone who wants your readings to prepare you for something on the horizon, frequently turns to the cards for advice, and uses readings to help lay the groundwork for future plans and challenges? Then a morning reading might be particularly motivating or helpful for you in planning out your day.

Or do you more frequently grab your cards when you’re eager to reflect on something, dig into your own emotions or fears around an event that has already happened, further understand a decision or reaction or occurrence? An evening reading may serve you best in this case.

Of course, many of us use the cards for both kinds of readings, and that’s absolutely fine — even encouraged! But if you lean to one side or the other, try reading at that time of day first, with some consistency. Commit to reading every morning or evening for a week and take notes for yourself. Pay attention to how it feels, then try the other option and compare the experiences.

In all likelihood, you will find that one suits your needs much better, and you may end up surprising yourself with your preference.

A Tarot spread featuring the Eight of Swords, Knight of Swords, and Two of Wands from the Modern Witches Tarot deck.

What Kind of Spread Should You Use for AM & PM?

There are many different kinds of Tarot spreads that you can use for morning and evening readings, but I find the best ones to be simple and straightforward. I’ve put together two different spreads for different times of day, which leaves plenty of room for individual expression and personal preferences.

And if you find yourself fixating on a particular event or occurrence in your day ahead, or if you end the day craving a more detailed reflection on something that happened, you can always tweak these spreads to address something with more specificity.

To help show you how to use these spreads and demonstrate how each spread can offer different insights on preparing for or processing a particular day, I’ve pulled three cards and will read them twice, first with the AM spread and then again with the PM spread.

As always, this is a sample reading and has not been pulled with any particular person or situation in mind.

Related article: Use This Five-Card Tarot Spread to Bring Order to Your Life

An illustration of a sample Tarot spread for reading in the morning.

A Tarot Spread for the Day Ahead of You

Card One: Overall Theme of the Day

8 of Swords

This is typically a card that indicates that we are blind to something, that we are so focused on our narrow version of truth or interpretation of information that we cannot see any other way forward.

The 8 of Swords is a card of feeling trapped, but of actually having far more options than we realize — and as a card for the theme of a new day, indicates that we need to be thoughtful about listening to multiple perspectives, and perhaps seek someone else out to help us find our way through a challenge or obstacle.

Clarity is essential today, so rather than giving up before we even try to get out of a sticky situation, we need to open our eyes and actually pay attention to what is happening, rather than indulging every last fear and concern.

How can we prioritize truth today?

Card Two: Something to Pay Attention to

Knight of Swords

Tying into the messages of the first card, the Knight of Swords is a figure of decisive action and captivating ideas. Insightful, conclusive, and eager to get things done, this knight is bold and opinionated, charging forward with that blade held aloft. And while this is someone intelligent and focused, someone unafraid to fight for what they believe is true, knights always challenge us to consider how we are using their element.

Consider:

  • What information are we acting on?
  • How many perspectives have we listened to?
  • Are we open to new ideas, new opinions, or are we so sure that we’re right that we ignore any dissenting voices?

As something to pay attention to, this card urges us not to get so wrapped up in our own view that we overlook critical information. Where are we tempted to move too quickly?

Card Three: Advice to Remember

2 of Wands

The final card in our spread, the 2 of Wands, is usually tied to planning, organization, and long-term consideration for a creative effort.

After we have a wave of inspiration, it’s essential to take a moment and think about how we want to actually achieve it, checking in with the self and acknowledging how much effort it will take. Is this something that we really want to pursue? As a card of daily advice, this pip reminds us that we can decide where to put our energy, our brilliance, our magic.

Consider:

What do we really crave? What is our vision for the future?

As a morning reading, all three of these cards ask us to slow down, pursue truth, and be thoughtful about where we are putting our energy and intentions.

There may be challenging situations to navigate, and it may at times be difficult to tell where the truth lies. Rather than rushing forward and pushing past any doubts or concerns, the cards want us to show patience and restraint, move at a gentle pace, and ask questions of both others and ourselves. Progress can be made towards our goals, but not if we aren’t thoughtful about our choices and actions.

And with two cards from the suit of Swords, it may be that communication is particularly important to be aware of today.

An illustration of a sample Tarot spread for reading the the evening.

A Tarot Spread for the Day Behind You

Now, let’s look at the same three cards in the context of the PM spread layout and see how the meanings shift.

Card One: Overall Theme of the Day

8 of Swords

The overall meaning of this card does not change — but in looking at this as a reflective card rather than energy to be looking for, the way we work with the 8 of Swords can bring an energy of interrogation.

Consider:

  • Where have we been close-minded, afraid to try something new?
  • What self-limiting beliefs may have held us back today?
  • There’s likely something under the surface, something that makes us uncomfortable, something that has us questioning ourselves and our abilities.
  • When and how did doubt creep in? What have you been afraid to question, afraid to examine? How do you feel trapped, and why?

Card Two: A Challenge to Reflect On

Knight of Swords

As something to pay attention to, this card urged us not to rush past doubts and be open to new ideas instead of obsessively fixating on our own.

But as a challenge to reflect on, the Knight of Swords asks how your sense of confidence might have impacted your choices today.

  • Was there anyone that pushed back against your ideas, any situations that left you frustrated, impatient, or feeling disrespected?
  • Think about the ways that your mind, your opinions, your perspective impact your choices.
  • Have you been close-minded, stubborn, sure that you’re right?
  • How might you have made progress more difficult by being unwilling or unable to hear other viewpoints or ideas?
  • Is there somewhere in your day that collaboration and cooperation could’ve made something easier?

Card Three: A Lesson to Carry Forward

2 of Wands

As for advice, the 2 of Wands is a card of thoughtful growth and checking in with the self — but as a lesson, this card is one of slowing down, being thoughtful, and taking more time to plan.

  • Where did you move too quickly, and how could both the Knight of Swords and the 2 of Wands offer different perspectives on the motivations for your rushing?
  • When did stepping back from movement help you assess what you really wanted and make a plan for success?
  • How are your creative goals beginning to clarify in your mind, and how can you continue to carve out space for more organization?
  • What choices that you made today felt really good, and which ones do you want more time with?

As an evening spread, these cards shift into contemplation, urging us to note patterns of stubbornness, close-mindedness, or taking our time to make decisions. Where did we see these energies throughout our day? How do these ideas resonate? Where did we rush past thoughtful attention, and where do we need more space to think?

Whether AM or PM, Be Sure to Pull Your Cards Today

Whether you choose to pull cards at the beginning of the day or at the end, giving yourself a few moments for awareness, reflection, and gratitude can be a beautiful way to express love and compassion.

When do you like to read Tarot, and how do you work with the cards you pull for each day? Does it feel more valuable for you to pull cards in the morning, in the evening, or does it depend on a specific factor?

This deck features cards from the Modern Witch Tarot.

Did you enjoy this article? Please share it with your friends!

Meg Jones Wall (she/her) is a queer photographer, writer, and tarot reader based in NYC. She is a columnist and contributor at Autostraddle, shares daily card studies and original… Learn More About The Author »

Next Article

You might also be interested in


All About Scorpio Rising in Esoteric Astrology

As we delve deeper into Esoteric Astrology (or Soul Astrology, as it is also known), we explore the enigmatic and mysterious sign of Scorpio. Some astrologers believe that a soul… Read Full Article »

Feeling Stressed? Cool Down with Amethyst

Minimizing the stressful aspect of this season is just as crucial as enjoying the fun and enjoyable times that come along with it. One of the best ways to do this is through the… Read Full Article »

Venus Enters Sagittarius 4-Card Spread

It’s that exciting time of the week where somewhere in the far-flung corners of the Universe one of our beloved planets has decided to provide some new and wonderful energies… Read Full Article »