The humble three card spread is extremely underrated when it comes to Tarot Readings. In fact, one never really has to go to bigger readings, as this type of reading ticks all the boxes, gives great clarity and excellent guidance to you, the seeker.
One also doesn’t have to stick to one type of three card spread – there are many, many great three card readings out there, and it can be fun to play around with quite a few of them. The Three card Tarot Reading can be done for Romantic Relationships, for job prospects, for understanding the timeline of the Past, Present and Future and so much more. This type of reading is fabulous if you don’t have much time or want a quick answer, if you are a beginner starting out with Tarot or even a seasoned reader who knows that the fewer cards means better, clearer and more “to the point” answers.
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It’s important to not allow one’s ego to get in the way of a good reading – just because there are ten or twenty cards in other layouts, does no demean this reading – rather, it implies that you, the Reader, are confident enough in your skills to not need extra affirmation from too many cards – which often just confuse the situation in any case and complicate matters. TOP TIP : If there is a card that just baffles you in the reading, pull one more form your deck and lay it next to that confusing card to get extra clarity.
Let’s start by having a look at what types of three card readings there are –
Types of Three Card Readings
It can be a lot of fun to play with these readings, or even making some of your own up!:
- Me/Them/The Relationship
- Choice One/Choice Two/Choice Three
- What will be gained/What will be Lost/How to choose
- What I want/What they want/Resolution
How to Lay Out the Three Card Spread
Most people start by laying out their three-card spread in a linear, Horizontal row, starting from the left, to show the flow of events.
However, one doesn’t have to stick to this rule and there are a few ways in which you can lay the cards out a little differently, perhaps specifically suited to the type of reading you are doing. For example, the Past, Present and Future Reading is best done in this linear line as it shows the flow of time.
But, the Stop, Start and Continue Spread might be best laid out diagonally, with the Start card higher and to the right of the Stop card (which is the starting point for the reading), and the Continue card to the right and higher than the Start card. This shows an arrow like movement, a moving forward and upward energy.
One can also play with a triangle shape, a very powerful symbol showing a foundation and an aspiration. One might use this shape or layout for the Conscious/Unconscious/Subconscious reading, with Conscious being the highest pinnacle of the Pyramid.
Lastly, one might use a straight Vertical Line showing a rising of energy. This is a lovely one to do with the Body, Mind and Soul Reading.
- 1 Looking for a FREE 3 Card Tarot Reading?
- 2 Types of Three Card Readings
- 3 How to Lay Out the Three Card Spread
- 4 Preparing and Asking the Right Question
- 5 How to do a Past, Present and Future Spread
- 6 Example of a Past, Present and Future Reading:
- 7 How to do a Me, Them, The Relationship Spread
- 8 How to do a Body, Mind and Spirit Spread
- 9 Pros and Cons of a Three Card Tarot Reading
- 10 Where can I get an Accurate Tarot or Psychic Reading online?
Preparing and Asking the Right Question
The MOST important part of ANY reading is always the question. It can be very easy to simply pick up the cards and lay them out, but if you haven’t formulated a clear question, the cards won’t show you anything useful – what you put out is what you get in. Hence, take some time to really think about what you are asking, and try be as CLEAR as possible.
If possible, make the question one that is actually happening in your life, so rather than asking what could the future holds for you, ask what the future holds in terms of the job you applied for, or the house you want to buy, and then lay your Past, Present and Future cards out, the same goes for any other reading. Rather than ask about when you will ever find love, ask if John at the office is the guy for you.
Create a space to lay your reading out – it could be your desk at work, or it could be a special altar you have created – wherever it is, make it sacred and special, and perhaps you can have a scarf or lovely material laid out to put your cards on.
This is the fun part – pick the deck you would like to use, if you are lucky enough to have more than one deck. I like to use different decks for different things i.e. I like to use a Rider Waite Deck for external world stuff (money, work etc.), and the Osho deck for spiritual guidance, and the Goddess tarot for love related questions.
Ask for guidance, if you need it, from your higher self, your angels or the Gods or Goddesses you believe in. When reading, try and do your best not to let any of your own expectations interfere – be as objective as possible here.
Shuffle your cards thoroughly, and then lay them out in the layout that you prefer, depending on the reading itself.
How to do a Past, Present and Future Spread
This spread is a classic; and reads like a story, with a clear beginning, middle and end. Each card leads on form the next, and hence should not be read in isolation. It is up to you if you would like to use “Reversed Cards” – but I prefer not to, so when I see one, I simply turn it the right way up. First, frame your Question clearly, and then begin :
Card Number One: The Past
This card, of course, represents the Past according to the Question you have asked. It shows what past events now influence the Present, what has led up to this situation.
Card Number Two: The Present
This card shows the situation as it is, right at this very moment in time. It is like a snapshot of what’s going on right now in relation to your question.
Card Number Three: The Future
This card is the final consequence from the Past and Present Card, and shows the potential outcome of your question, provided you don’t change direction and continue as you are. It can be very handy to pull another card next to this one if you need a little more clarity.
Example of a Past, Present and Future Reading:
Katy is in a predicament regarding her career. She is struggling to get along with her boss but loves the job she is doing at the moment, and so doesn’t want to leave. She has applied for a future jobs but her heart has not been in it, as she is afraid of leaving security behind, as well as being fearful of not enjoying another job as much as this one. Her question therefore is:
“Should I change my job?”
Card Number One: The Past
The card Katy has pulled here is the Devil Card. It can be a rather scary card to pull, yet in this case katy can be happy because it is in the past – it shows what has led up to this particular issue. The Devil is a Major Arcana card, which means that, in the past, there have been significant spiritual lessons up until this point, particularly a lesson in attachment or freeing herself from illusion. The Devil is a materialistic card, a card of lust and desire, and even though the two people can free themselves of their chains, they choose not to, hence, this card can show Katy feeling very trapped in the past due to money or desire for the prestige of the job, but that is has actually chained her into an unhealthy or even codependent relationship with her boss.
Card Number Two: The Present
The card here is the Ten of Wands – it depicts a man carrying a very heavy load of sticks, seemingly burdened and with his face hidden. Wands classically mean work-related issues, and the ten means endings and new beginnings, so here we see Katy doing all the work, yet getting none of the reward, and feeling very resentful, probably because of her codependent relationship with her past as shown by the Devil card, in which she is taking on all the responsibility. The tend shows that there is an end in sight soon.
Card Number Three: The Future
The card Katy has pulled here is the Seven of Pentacles. This card depicts a man standing and watching his harvest grow, presumably after planting a few seeds. There is a sense of waiting, as Pentacles represents Earth, which is a slow-moving element. The guidance for the future, if katy continues as she is, is to have patience, and wait for the seeds she has planted to grow, to trust that the situation, as shown by the Ten of Wands, is going to resolve itself over time. She should plant seeds wherever she can, perhaps in new jobs, and wait for them to flourish.
How to do a Me, Them, The Relationship Spread
This spread is very helpful for all relationship readings, whether it is a romantic relationship or a family relationship, or even a professional relationship. It can shed light on how you are in the relationship how they are, and the relationship as a separate entity.
Card Number One: Me
This card talks about you, how you are in the relationship, how your energy is seen, perceived and your approach to the relationship.
Card Number Two: Them
This card shows the other person, be it a boyfriend, a girlfriend, spouse, child, or business partner – or even your boss. It shows their energy and contribution to the relationship, and if that is healthy or difficult when it comes to your connection.
Card Number Three: The Relationship
This card shows what the two of your create together, and it is a blend of your two cards together – it shows where the relationship is at, where it might be going and perhaps even the advice and guidance you both need to keep in mind about the relationship.
How to do a Body, Mind and Spirit Spread
This spread can be laid out in a vertical line, showing the growth from the baser physical energy, to the mental realm, and finally the physical realm. It can be extremely useful to understand where you are at in all three of these areas of life and perhaps where one might be suffering, and needs a bit of extra attention – and conversely, which areas of life might be strong and sturdy at the moment.
Card Number One: Body
This card conveys how you are in terms of your physical health, where you are at with your body and what you might need to do to get into a better physical space and shape to be at your best It can show if you are worn out, perhaps if you will be pregnant (the Sun and the Ten of Cups can indicate this, as well as the Empress card) or if you need to avoid excess (as shown by the Devil card).
Card Number Two: Mind
This card shows where you are at mentally, and whether it is an easier or a more difficult space to be in at the moment, and what you might need to do to improve or change your mental perspective in life at the moment. It can also show what is weighing on your mind at the moment.
Card Number Three: Soul
This card is at the top of the spread, and represents where your spirit is, where your soul is at, and what might need work in order to get to a place of connection with you Self, your Spirit and your inner Soul.
Pros and Cons of a Three Card Tarot Reading
- There are many pros to the Three Card Spread – the first being the easiness of it. From beginner to seasoned tarot reader, this is a reading that is simple and very effective.
- The variations one can have on the Three card is vast – you can either use the ones as described above, or you can make up your own, which can access your own creativity!
- It’s quick – you don’t have to fuss with this reading and create a whole drama around how long it will take, It can take five or fifteen minutes, depending on how deep you want to go.
- This reading can cover a huge range of topics, such as work, relationships, soul, spirituality and even money. There is no limit to what you can ask with the Three Card Spread.
- This simple Reading might frustrate those who wish a more in depth, longer and complex reading, and might not satisfy everyone,
Where can I get an Accurate Tarot or Psychic Reading online?
Psychics these days are no longer viewed as people to be afraid of, but healers who can helps guide us on our path and illuminate the way ahead. Technology has made it that much easier to access these gifted individuals, and below we have a few, great recommended sites to explore.
Oranum offers 9.99 FREE credits when you register for the first time and they have a section especially dedicated to reading Tarot Cards, so if you need a bit of extra insight, on your own reading, then this is a great site to work through.
Keen has fabulous reviews in their site, and their statistics are very impressive indeed – they boast 100% satisfaction, and have a lovely “featured advisors” section to explore. They also have a list of categories, which include Tarot Readings, so if you nee that bit of extra clarity, get hold of them now – they offer ten minutes for just $1.99 to all newbies!
AskNow is now on your phone – they have a fantastic app which makes it that much easier to get some insight right at your very fingertips! All of their Psychics are screened, which lets them boast a 100% satisfaction guarantee, and if you are new, they give you five minutes free when you purchase a twenty or thirty-minute package with them.
Kasamba’s website has a fresh, young and easy feel to it. Their landing page has excellent FAQ’s which as how to find the right reader for you, if online readings are real, and what the most popular types of readings are. Their first three minutes are free, letting you get a feel for who they are and what they do.