3 Card Tarot Spreads for Beginners - The Simple Tarot

3 Card Tarot Spreads for Beginners

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Three tarot cards from The Simple Tarot Deck

When you are just starting out, learning tarot sometimes feels overwhelming and impossible – especially with 78 different cards to memorize and remember. Keeping things simple when you begin reading the cards is a very good idea and a simple Three-Card Tarot Spread is perfect for that.

The 3-Card Tarot Spread is used by tarot beginners and professionals alike. Sure, the 10-card Celtic Cross spread is sexy and seems more “professional,” but a simple 3-card tarot spread can give you all the information you need, no matter what problem you are having.

Of course, you could start with a simple one card reading or even two cards. But I like using a 3-card layout because there are so many different ways you can interpret it. This post contains just a small handful – there are many, many more.

To go along with your 3-card readings, I HIGHLY recommend the book The Ultimate Guide to Tarot by Liz Dean. The sub-title is “A Beginner’s Guide to the Cards, Spreads, and Revealing the Mystery of the Tarot,” and it totally is an Ultimate Guide. This book has everything you’ll need to get started with tarot and includes a very good section on different tarot spreads, including the 3-Card Spread.

I use the 3-card spread often, but especially when I’m looking for advice about a simple problem. It’s also great for pointing me in the right direction when I’m confused or stumbling around without knowing where to turn next. It’s the spread I use every New Moon and Full Moon to help me reflect and plan. It’s really the “all around” spread that’s good for every occasion!

Because this tarot spread is so useful, I’ve created a (totally free!) PDF printable tarot spread with journaling page so you can download it yourself. Just enter your email here to get your own copy:

And now, here is a list of how I’ve used and interpreted this Three Card Spread in my own readings.

Basic 3 Card Tarot Spreads

  • Card 1 – Past
  • Card 2 – Present
  • Card 3 – Future
  • Card 1 – Option #1
  • Card 2 – Option #2
  • Card 3 – What you need to know to decide
  • Card 1 – Strengths
  • Card 2 – Weaknesses
  • Card 3 – Advice
  • Card 1 – Opportunities
  • Card 2 – Challenges
  • Card 3 – The likely outcome

Three Card Tarot Spreads for Relationships

  • Card 1 – You
  • Card 2 – The other person
  • Card 3 – Your relationship
  • Card 1 – What you want from the relationship
  • Card 2 – What the other person wants
  • Card 3 – Where the relationship is going
  • Card 1 – What is bringing you two together
  • Card 2 – What is pulling you apart
  • Card 3 – What needs attention in the relationship

Three Card Tarot Spreads for Making Decisions

  • Card 1 – The context of a situation
  • Card 2 – Where to focus your attention and resources
  • Card 3 – The likely outcome
  • Card 1 – Where you are now
  • Card 2 – What you really want
  • Card 3 – How you get there
  • Card 1 – What you want
  • Card 2 – What is standing in your way
  • Card 3 – How to overcome those obstacles
  • Card 1 – What you can change about this situation
  • Card 2 – What you can’t change
  • Card 3 – What you may not be aware of
  • Card 1 – Start doing this
  • Card 2 – Stop doing this
  • Card 3 – Continue doing this
  • Card 1 – The nature of your problem
  • Card 2 – The cause of this problem
  • Card 3 – The solution
  • Card 1 – What you think about a situation
  • Card 2 – What you feel about it
  • Card 3 – What you need to do about it

Three Card Tarot Spreads for Knowledge and Understanding

  • Card 1 – What went well
  • Card 2 – What didn’t go well
  • Card 3 – Key lessons
  • Card 1 – The material state of this situation
  • Card 2 – Your emotional state
  • Card 3 – Your spiritual state
  • Card 1 – Your mind
  • Card 2 – Your body
  • Card 3 – Your spirit
  • Card 1 – What is helping you
  • Card 2 – What is holding you back
  • Card 3 – Your unrealized potential
  • Card 1 – You as you are now
  • Card 2 – You, if you follow your current path
  • Card 3 – You, as you could be (your potential)
  • Card 1 – What your head wants
  • Card 2 – What your heart wants
  • Card 3 – What your soul wants

Don’t forget to download your own copy of the Three Card Spread (with free journaling page that includes all the interpretations above) right here:

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