68 Three-Card Tarot Spreads

Isaac Newton once said, “Nature is pleased with simplicity.” The same goes for the Tarot. This is especially true when it comes to Tarot spreads. So often we are tempted to do these huge ten-card spreads like the Celtic cross and then wonder why we can’t make heads or tails of them. Sometimes simplicity is better. To that end, I have put together a list of three-card Tarot spreads.

To do these, simply lay out the cards in order, left to right. So if the spread is “Past – Present – Future,” shuffle and lay out three cards in a line. The left-most card is “Past.” The middle card is “Present.” And the right-most card is “Future.”

If you want additional insight, you can always pull clarifying cards and easily turn a three-card reading into a six-card reading or more. Clarification cards serve the purpose of adding additional insight, clarity, and context. Just be cautious about the temptation to keep pulling clarifying cards until we get the answer that makes us happy. Sometimes we have to sacrifice our own comfort for the Truth.

Spreads for Understanding

1. Past – Present – Future

2. Within – Without – Advice

3. What do I want – Why do I want it – How do I get it

4. Tomorrow – Next Week – Next Month

5. Today – Tomorrow – Advice

6. Think – Feel – Intuit

7. What do I value? – What do I desire? – How do I achieve it?

8. What should I be grateful for?

  • Something internal
  • Something external
  • Something spiritual

9. Message from the conscious mind – Message from the unconscious mind – Message from the collective unconscious

10. My strength – My weakness – Opportunity for growth

11. Where I’ve been – Where I’m heading – My hidden potential

12. Thesis – Antithesis – Synthesis

12. What matters – Why it matters – How to achieve it

13. Morning – Afternoon – Evening

14. What sparks joy – What I need to let go – What is holding me back

15. What drives me – What moves me – What I am scared of

16. A lie I’ve told myself – A lie I’ve told others – The Truth

17. My feminine side – My masculine side – My androgynous side

Spreads for Advice

1. Current situation – Obstacle – Advice

2. Where to slow down – Where to speed up – Where to focus

3. Stop – Start – Continue

4. Think – Say – Do

5 What is helping me – What is hurting me – Advice

6. Advice I want to hear – Advice I need to hear – Advice I refuse to hear

7. Where to focus – Where to ease up – Where to expand

8. Pursue – Retreat – Dig in

9. Obstacle – Opportunity – Advice

10. Keep – Let go – Give

Spreads for Guidance

1. Lesson from the past – Lesson from the present – How to apply to future

2. Why I failed – What I learned – Silver lining

3. Habit to break – Habit to form – Habit to strengthen

4. Homelife – Work-life – Work/life balance

5. What’s essential – What’s inessential – What’s the vehicle for change

6. What’s in my control – What’s out of my control – How to focus on what I can control

7. This year – Next Year – Next 5 years

8. What I am spending time on – What I want to spend time on – What I should be spending time on

Spreads for Spirituality

1. Inner Guide – Outer Guide – Unknown Guide

2. Body – Mind – Spirit

3. Self – Other – Union

4. Message from Self – Message from Earth – Message from Spirit

5. Microcosm (below) – Macrocosm (above) – How they are related

6. Inner Power – Higher Power – How to connect

7. Activity – Passivity – Harmony

8. What is abundant – What is scarce – What is sacred

Spreads for Ethics

1. Right thing to do – Wrong thing to do – Grey area

2. How to better myself – How to better my family – How to better my community

3. An injustice I should focus on – Why it matters – How I can help

4. What I need courage for – What I need strength for – What I need virtue for

Spreads for Decision Making

1. Risk – Benefit – Likely Outcome

2. Known information – Known unknown information – Unknown unknown information

3. The obvious choice – The less obvious choice – the deciding factor

4. Unlikely – Maybe – Likely

5. Option #1 – Option #2 – What I really value

6. Inner Context – Outer Context – Likely Outcome

7. What my heart is telling me – What my head is telling me – What my gut is telling me

8. Pros – Cons – Advice

Spreads for Relationships

1. Where my relationship is thriving – Where my relationship needs work – Where the relationship is heading

2. What I need to communicate – What I need my partner to communicate – What we both need to communicate

3. What I need to know about myself – What I need to know about my partner – What I need to know about our relationship

4. What don’t I know about my partner – What my partner doesn’t know about me – What don’t I know about us

5. What I value – What they value – What we value

6. What we have in common – How we are different – How we complement each other

7. Source of love – Source of conflict – How to reconcile

Spreads for Finances

1. What should I save for – What I should spend on – What cannot be bought

2. How to preserve the money you have – How much money you need – How to get there

3. Financial anxieties – financial dreams – financial realities

4. Do I want this – Do I need this – Can I afford this

Spreads for Creativity

1. Inspiration – Source – Expression

2. What’s blocking me – How to unblock – What I need to release


Related Links

201 Questions to Ask the Tarot

A Complete Guide to Yes/No Tarot Card Readings

Free Tarot Spread Collection

Should you use reversals?

Tarot Cards from Simple to Complex

101 Daily Tarot Spreads

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