The 3-Card Tarot Reading: A Simple Guide to Understanding How it

Tarot card reading is one of the most popular and wide-spread New Age practices. It is a method of divination that can be used for a variety of purposes, such as measuring potential outcomes of a certain event, evaluating the influences of events on a person, or simply to find answers for a person’s piece of mind. Tarot card reading (technically called taromancy) is actually a type of cartomancy, which is divination using a set of cards (not necessarily through a set of tarot cards).


Types of Tarot Card Reading


There are several methods of reading tarot cards depending on the formation and number of cards used. Here are some of the most common ways:


·        The Pentagram Spread

For the Pentagram spread, you will use 5 tarot cards placed in a pentagram formation. Four of the five points symbolize the elements – air, water, fire, and earth -, while the fifth point symbolizes the spirit.

·        The Horseshoe Spread

This particular method utilizes 7 cards spread across a horseshoe shape. Each card will be placed in a certain position and read in a way that connects to your particular situation.

·        The Celtic Cross

Perhaps the most popular method, the Celtic Cross is one of the most complex and detailed ways of spreading and reading tarot cards. It uses 10 different cards, and each card is a specific step or answer to your inquiry. This is a good spread to use for particularly difficult situations.

·        The Romany Spread

Although the Romany spread looks like a very difficult and complicated spread because it uses 21 different cards, it’s actually quite simple once you get the hang of it. Each of the cards again represents an answer or step and reveals a good amount of information for the questioner. This is one of the best tarot cards spreads to use if you’re trying to grapple with several interconnected issues at once, or if you need a general overview of your particular situation.

What is the 3-Card Tarot Spread?


If you’re a beginner who wants to get into tarot card reading or if you want a quick and simple reading session, your best bet is the 3card tarot reading. It only uses three cards representing the past, the present, and the future.



The first card (leftmost) symbolizes your past. The concept of the past is both a simple and complex one due to memories, biases, and preferences. While most people can easily remember the major details of past events, it is often the smaller details and the emotions attached to these details that can easily be forgotten or changed during the present. You probably remember what you ate for breakfast a week ago, but do you remember how you choose that particular meal? Do you remember what thoughts you had while eating?

The past is important in a reading because it greatly influences who you are in the present, and these small details still play a significant role. It’s crucial that you recognize that everything you went through in the past helped shape you today.


The center card symbolizes your present. Since this particular spread only uses three cards, this middle card usually holds the most significance attached to it because it contains a summary of everything that’s happening to you right now. It also includes other things that are not directly yours, such as how others around you influence you or hidden obstacles that you might not be seeing clearly.


The last card (rightmost) symbolizes your future. It can be a final outcome to your current situation, the answer to your question, or even a simple possibility in your future. With the 3rd card, you have to keep in mind that nothing is etched in stone, which means that it is not necessarily the outcome that will happen.

The best way to approach the 3rd card is to look at it as a guide. If it points to a future that is positive to you, you can take it as a sign that you are on the right path. However, if the outcome points to the negative, this is a sign that you can still influence your present and change the outcome into something that’s beneficial to you.


As with every tarot card reading, the one thing that you need to keep in mind is that it’s essential to be open to the ideas being presented by the card. If you are dishonest with yourself, it will most certainly affect the reading of the tarot cards and any outcome will be tainted.

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