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The Three-Card Spread & How to Use It

Anyone who is anyone has heard of the Three-Card Spread, detailing the past, present, and future of the querent in Tarot readings. Learn how to perform this simple divination using your deck of Tarot cards here! Detailing the intricacies of the placement of each card, you will learn just what it is about the three-card spread that resonates with so many people.

The Three-card spread is the simplest of Tarot readings to perform, but is also surprisingly detailed and deep. The three cards represent the past, present, and future of the person for whom you are doing the reading, and the cards can fall in such a way that you might land on a touchy subject. Be that as it may, here are the best tips on performing this spread.

First, you shuffle your cards in whatever way you see fit. Make sure to shuffle them well, as cards clumped together from previous readings may throw off the good energy of your querent. Next, in order to get a feeling for the querent’s energy, allow them to shuffle the deck once or twice. When they hand it back to you, it is good practice to cut the cards in half once.

Second, spread the cards face-down on the table in front of you. Instruct your querent to choose three cards, and place them in this order: your left, the center, your right. You will read these cards from your querent’s perspective, not yours.

Third, reveal only one card at a time. The first card is the most difficult to read for many people because it details the past, but at what point in the past can be unclear. Choose your words carefully when explaining it.

The center card, representing what is happening now or in immediate past, is a matter-of-fact card, and has very little room for interpretation. The cards know what is happening right now, even if the querent does not want to admit to it.

The last card, which is probably the main reason you are doing this reading, cannot be considered absolute. The future card represents only one possible future for the querent, but only, and this is the most important point, only if the querent continues on exactly as they are at the time and does not make any grand changes in their life.

The three-card spread is popular because of the sort of mysticism surrounding the Tarot as a “fortune-teller” device. While that’s not really what the Tarot is for, it is certainly useful to have a glimpse of what could happen given the past and the present.