How To Do A 3 Tarot Card Reading

Whether you are a tarot card beginner or you want to work with more than a single card at a time, there is a wide range of different techniques you can use for a tarot card reading.

A tarot card deck consists of 78 cards which are divided into the Minor Arcana and the Major Arcana.

How To Do A 3 Tarot Card Reading

The Major Arcana, which are the labeled cards, symbolize ideas, concepts and principles, while the four suits (the Minor Arcana) indicate the details of specific life circumstances.

Arranging tarot cards in a certain order during the reading is known as a tarot card spread. One of these spreads could be a 3-tarot card reading.

In this guide, we find out how you can do a 3 card tarot card reading and what your three cards represent.

Getting Ready For Your Tarot Card Reading

If you are new to tarot reading, then the three-card tarot spread is an ideal place to start with your first readings.

This being said, even as a professional tarot card reader, you can lay a three-card spread for some quick answers.

All you need for a 3 tarot card reading are tarot cards and a tarot card interpretation book. If you already know the meaning of the individual tarot cards, then you only need the tarot deck.

For a pleasant ambiance, you can also choose to light some candles or incense. 

Step 1: Choose Your Tarot Deck

Before you can begin a tarot reading, you will need a tarot card deck. Available online, in bookstores or in local stores, there are plenty of different decks to choose from.

Pick the deck that appeals to you and that you feel drawn to. One of the most commonly used tarot card decks is the Rider Wait deck.

Step 2: Prepare Your Reading Space

You will need a quiet and secluded environment for your tarot card reading. You can choose whatever space feels comfortable for you, including your living room or bedroom.

You can even choose to go outdoors and find a place that’s relaxing and calm.

Step 3: Focus On An Intention Or Question

Before you can start with the reading of the cards, it’s important that you choose an intention or question for the cards.

Tarot is a spiritual tool that can help you understand specific life situations and any uncertainties in your life.

It’s a good idea to keep your questions open and simple. Pick anything that feels important at this point in your life and what you want to learn from this reading.

Step 4: Shuffle Your Card Deck

Once you have your set intentions, take your cards and shuffle them properly. There is no specific way to shuffle your tarot cards. Just make sure that they are properly mixed.

Step 5: Divide Your Deck Into Three Equal Stacks

After your tarot deck is nicely shuffled, you will need to divide the deck into three equal stacks.

Place the three piles next to each other in front of you on a table or surface.

Step 6: Reveal Your Cards

Now, pick the top card on the left pile and flip it over. Next, do the same with the other top cards of the pile in the middle and the right.

How To Do A 3 Tarot Card Reading

Step 7: Look Closely At Your Cards

Now that you picked three cards from your three piles, it’s time to take a closer look at them.

The card on the left, which you revealed first, represents the past. It stands for any past events that are still on your mind and affect your life.

These events from the past may hold the answer to your question but they also may be something that holds you back from moving forward.

The middle card, the second card that you flipped over, stands for your current situation and any present challenges you face.

The third card on the right represents your future and a potential direction for your life.

Step 8: Examine What You Feel With The Cards

When it comes to tarot, you don’t just examine the cards but you also need to check within yourself what you feel when you see these three cards.

You may experience a certain emotional reaction, like surprise or shock. It’s important to listen to the first impression that you get with the cards.

Step 9: Interpret Your Chosen Tarot Cards

Now that you examined your chosen three tarot cards, it’s time to understand their meaning. Interpreting tarot cards is one of the most challenging tasks in tarot.

If you are new to tarot readings, then you can take a look at the reference book that came with your tarot deck.

This will give you individual interpretations for each card. This being said, there are also a great variety of online resources that go into detail about tarot card interpretation.

It’s important that you look at each card individually and think about the meaning it reveals to you, related to the question you asked.

The right interpretation of tarot cards requires a lot of practice as you will need to combine the meanings of all three cards and create a coherent picture.

Step 10: Make A Note Of Your Tarot Reading

It’s a good idea to record the date, your intention or question and the outcome of your recording in a notebook.

This allows you to keep a record of everything you have learned from the cards. Over time, you will see your progress and learning which can be immensely motivating.

What Do My 3 Tarot Cards Mean?

Generally, the first card that you pull from a three-card tarot spread represents the past, the second card stands for the present and the third tarot card symbolizes the future (read here to find out how many Tarot cards to pull).

The specific meanings of past, present and future depend on the question you asked before the reading.

Final Thoughts

A 3-tarot card spread is one of the quickest tarot card readings. It’s ideal for beginners because it only requires a basic understanding of tarot cards.

Andrea Daehma
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