3-Card Tarot Spreads For Beginner and Intermediate Readers

I had a message through Facebook about 3-card tarot spreads. The young lady who contacted me had only seen the old favorite past, present, future spread. Well, three-card readings can be as versatile as you like. They lend themselves very well to creating one-off and unique spreads.

3-card tarot spreads

Advantages of Three-Card Spreads

  • Uncomplicated yet nuanced and layered
  • Perfect for examining how cards interact
  • Give three sides to any story
  • Third card can offer clarification or guidance
  • Third card can pull a reading together
  • Three cards can indicate the balance (or not) of a situation
  • Excellent for delineating and clarifying choices
  • Good for creating your own spread tailored to the question
  • Great for parties and quickie readings
  • Basis for a journal entry
  • Good tarot teaching device
  • Good for learning how numerology works with tarot
  • Ditto the elements

3-card tarot spreads

What Questions Fit 3-Card Tarot Spreads?

Relationships: three cards are perfect for relationship readings, especially when you want a quick and straightforward answer.

Career: use three cards when trying to weigh up the pros and cons of changing jobs, or taking a new career path.

Financial: making money related choices and decisions, in what areas you need to rein in your spending or splash out.

Spiritual: 3-card readings can show you where you are, where you’ve been and where you’re headed.

Any other situation not covered above.

3-card tarot spreads

3-Card Layouts

The layout or pattern of your spread is entirely down to you. It doesn’t matter as long as you have predetermined what each position means. So horizontal, stepped, vertical, triangle, two uprights and one bridging horizontal – up to you to decide what you want the spread to look like.

Perhaps you are trying to work out how to overcome an obstacle, so an upward stepping pattern might be good for that. The base card could represent where you are now, what you need to overcome and what the view from the top will look like (outcome).

Examples of Three Card Spreads

  • Where I’m headed
    Obstacles to deal with
  • My perspective on this relationship/friendship
    The other person’s perspective
    Where we agree
  • Lessons I’ve learned
    Current challenges
    Lessons to come
  • What is working in this situation?
    What is not working?
    Who or what can help?
  • Something I need to know about
    What is the cause of this?
    What should I do?
  • Yes?
  • Strengths of the relationship
    Problems within it
    What should we focus on?
  • What am I doing wrong in this situation?
    What am I doing right?
    What should I be doing more of?
  • Financial challenge
    Financial helpers
    Other considerations
  • What are the opportunities in this situation?
    What am I distracted by?
    What action can I take?
  • Positive factors
    Negative factors
    How to change negatives to positives?
  • Stay or leave?
    If I stay?
    If I go?
  • What is hidden from view?
    How can I make use of this information?
    What positive steps can I take?
  • If I choose this path?
    If I choose another path?
    Third alternative I hadn’t considered?
  • What do I need to understand?
    What do I have to come to terms with?
    What do I need to let go?
  • My subconscious desire
    What’s holding me back?
    How do I release this resistance?

Hope some of these are of use to you and that maybe they will inspire you to create your own three-card tarot spreads.

Deck used for illustration: Inner Child Cards








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