How to read a 3 card tarot spread

How To Read A 3 Card Tarot Spread

Welcome to the world of tarot! If you’re intrigued by the art of tarot reading and want to learn how to read a 3 card tarot spread, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we’ll take you through the step-by-step process of conducting a tarot spread reading using just three cards. Whether you’re a beginner or have some experience with tarot, this simple and insightful method can provide you with valuable guidance and insights into various aspects of your life.

Key Takeaways:

  • Choosing the right tarot deck that resonates with you is crucial for an accurate and meaningful reading.
  • Find a quiet and secluded environment where you can focus on your reading without distractions.
  • Decide on a clear question or intention for your reading to gain specific insights.
  • Shuffle the cards using a method that feels comfortable to you, and divide the deck into three equal stacks.
  • Interpret the cards by understanding their meanings, positions, and any patterns or connections that emerge.

Choosing a Tarot Deck

When it comes to reading a 3 card tarot spread, selecting the right tarot deck is essential. You want to choose a deck that resonates with you and speaks to your intuition. One popular option for beginners is the Rider-Waite Tarot deck. This deck has a rich history and is widely referenced in tarot literature, making it a great choice for those starting their tarot journey.

If you’re unsure of where to purchase your tarot deck, consider visiting a local bookstore or metaphysical store. These establishments often have a wide selection of decks to choose from and knowledgeable staff who can guide you in finding the perfect deck for your needs. Alternatively, you can also explore online marketplaces that offer a variety of tarot decks for purchase.

When selecting a tarot deck, aesthetics play a significant role. Look for a deck that visually appeals to you and aligns with your personal style and spiritual beliefs. The imagery and symbolism depicted on the cards should resonate with you and evoke a sense of connection. Remember, you’ll be spending a lot of time with your tarot deck, so it’s important to choose one that you feel a strong affinity towards.

Choosing the Right Tarot Deck

  • Consider the Rider-Waite Tarot deck for beginners
  • Visit local bookstores or metaphysical stores for a wide selection
  • Explore online marketplaces for convenience
  • Choose a deck with aesthetics that resonate with you

Remember, the tarot deck you choose is a personal decision. Trust your intuition and pick a deck that feels right for you. With the right tarot deck in hand, you’ll be ready to embark on your journey of tarot reading and self-discovery.

Finding a Quiet Space

To conduct a meaningful and focused tarot reading, it is important to find a quiet environment where you can connect with your intuition and concentrate on your cards.

Quiet environment

Choose a space that feels calming and free from distractions. This could be a cozy corner in your home, a serene outdoor spot, or even a dedicated meditation room. Creating a serene atmosphere can enhance your reading experience, so consider using tools like sage, incense, or candles to cleanse the area and promote relaxation.

Setting the Mood

  • Light candles or use soft lighting to create a peaceful ambiance.
  • Play soothing background music or nature sounds to help you relax.
  • Clear the space of clutter and distractions, ensuring you have enough room to lay out and study your cards.
  • Consider using crystals or gemstones to enhance the energy in your reading space.

By finding a quiet space, you will be able to fully immerse yourself in the tarot reading process and receive clearer insights from the cards. So, take a moment to set up your sacred space and get ready to dive into the world of tarot!

Focusing on a Question or Intention

Before diving into your 3 card tarot spread, it’s important to focus on a specific question or intention. This will help guide your reading and provide you with the insights you seek. When selecting a question, opt for something simple and open-ended. Avoid questions that are too specific or bias towards a particular outcome. By keeping your question open, you allow the tarot cards to reveal new perspectives and possibilities that you may not have considered.

Examples of simple questions for your tarot reading:

  • What can I learn from my current situation?
  • What should I focus on for personal growth?
  • What challenges and opportunities lie ahead?
  • How can I improve my relationships?

Choose a question that resonates with you and aligns with your goals or areas of interest. Remember, the tarot cards are a tool for self-reflection and guidance, so trust in the process and be open to the messages they bring.

Now that you have your question or intention in mind, you’re ready to continue with your 3 card tarot spread. But before we move on, let’s take a moment to understand the importance of shuffling your tarot deck and the various methods you can use.

Shuffling Your Deck

Shuffling your tarot cards is an essential step in performing a 3 card tarot spread. Since tarot cards are larger than regular playing cards, it’s important to handle them with care to avoid bending. There are various methods you can use to shuffle your deck, so choose the one that feels most comfortable to you.

One popular method is cutting the deck into piles. Start by holding the deck face-down and cutting it into three equal stacks. Then, take one stack and place it on top of the other, followed by the third stack. This creates a randomized order for the cards.

Another method is scrambling the cards on a table. Spread out the cards facedown on a table and mix them up by moving them around with your hands. This method allows for a more free-flowing shuffle, similar to shuffling playing cards.

If you prefer a more controlled shuffle, you can use the insertion method. Hold the deck face-down and insert small stacks of cards into different sections of the deck. Repeat this process a few times to ensure the cards are well mixed.

Shuffling Tips:

  • Avoid bending the cards by using a gentle touch when shuffling.
  • Take your time and focus on your question or intention while shuffling.
  • Experiment with different shuffling methods to see which one resonates with you the most.

Remember, the way you shuffle your tarot cards is a personal preference. It’s important to find a method that feels right for you and helps you connect with the energy of the cards. Once you’ve shuffled your deck, you’re ready to move on to the next step of your 3 card tarot spread.

Dividing Your Deck

Once you have finished shuffling your tarot deck, it is time to divide it into three equal stacks. This step is essential for creating the three cards that will form your 3 card tarot spread. Place the stacks of cards side by side, ready to reveal the top card of each stack. Dividing the deck evenly ensures that each card has an equal chance of being chosen, allowing for a fair and unbiased reading.

Dividing Your Deck Method

There are a few methods you can use to divide your shuffled tarot deck. One popular approach is to hold the deck face down and use your non-dominant hand to create three equal stacks by placing cards from the top of the deck, one by one, onto the table. Alternatively, you can use the “cutting” method, where you cut the deck into three piles with your non-dominant hand and then bring the piles back together. Choose the method that feels most comfortable and intuitive to you, as this will help you maintain a connection with your cards throughout the reading.

Three Equal Stacks

When dividing your deck into three stacks, it’s important to ensure that each stack contains an equal number of cards. This creates balance in your tarot spread and ensures that each card has an equal chance of being selected. Take your time to carefully divide the deck, counting the cards if necessary to ensure that each stack is approximately the same size. If there is an odd number of cards, you can place the extra card on top of one of the stacks or set it aside for a future reading. The goal is to create three equal stacks that will provide insight into your past, present, and future.

Dividing shuffled deck

– Is Reading a 3-Card Tarot Spread Different from Reading a Regular Tarot Spread?

Yes, reading a 3-card Tarot spread is different from reading a regular Tarot spread. The 3-card spread typically focuses on the past, present, and future of a situation, whereas a regular spread can include more cards and cover a broader range of topics. Knowing how to interpret tarot spreads is key to understanding the nuances of each type.

Interpreting Your Cards

Now it’s time to dive into the fascinating process of interpreting the cards in your 3 card tarot spread. Each card holds its own unique meaning, and when combined with its position, it paints a picture of your past, present, and future. Begin by focusing on the imagery and symbolism of each card. Notice any emotions or intuitive insights that arise as you connect with the cards.

Next, refer to tarot interpretation books, online resources, or your own knowledge to gain a deeper understanding of the individual card meanings. Each card has a range of interpretations, so trust your intuition to guide you towards the message that resonates with you the most. Pay attention to any patterns or connections that emerge between the cards. These can provide valuable insights into the larger story being revealed.

Remember, interpreting tarot cards is an art that requires practice and experience. Keep a journal to record your readings and personal interpretations. Over time, you’ll start to notice recurring themes and symbols in the cards, allowing you to develop your own personal interpretations. Trust in yourself and the wisdom of the cards as you explore the depths of your subconscious and gain valuable insights into your life’s journey.

Common Card Meanings and Interpretations

  • The Fool: Represents new beginnings, spontaneity, and taking risks.
  • The Magician: Symbolizes manifestation, personal power, and the ability to create your own reality.
  • The High Priestess: Signifies intuition, wisdom, and the mysteries of the subconscious mind.
  • The Empress: Represents abundance, nurturing, and creativity.
  • The Emperor: Symbolizes authority, structure, and the power of leadership.
  • The Hierophant: Signifies education, tradition, and spiritual guidance.

These are just a few examples of the rich symbolism contained within the tarot deck. Remember to trust your intuition and develop your own understanding of the cards as you embark on your tarot reading journey.


Reading a 3 card tarot spread can be a fascinating and enlightening experience, especially for beginners. It allows you to gain insights into different aspects of your life and provides a valuable tool for self-reflection. By following the steps outlined in this guide and trusting your intuition, you can develop your tarot reading skills and deepen your understanding of the cards.

Remember that tarot reading is a journey, and it takes practice to become proficient. Keeping a journal to record your readings and track your progress is highly recommended. Over time, you will start to notice patterns and connections between the cards that will enhance your interpretations.

As you explore tarot spreads and continue your tarot journey, remember to approach the cards with an open mind and a willingness to learn. Tarot reading is not about predicting the future but rather gaining insight and guidance to navigate your path. Embrace the process, trust in the wisdom of the cards, and enjoy the journey of self-discovery and spiritual growth that tarot reading can offer to beginners like you.


How do I choose the right tarot deck?

It’s important to choose a deck that resonates with you. The Rider-Waite Tarot deck is a popular option for beginners.

Where should I perform my tarot reading?

Find a quiet and secluded space where you can focus without distractions, such as your bedroom or a peaceful outdoor area.

What kind of question should I ask for my tarot reading?

Choose a simple and open question that you have no bias towards. This allows the cards to provide insights and perspectives.

How do I shuffle the tarot cards?

There are various methods, such as cutting the deck into piles or using the insertion method. Choose the method that feels comfortable for you.

How do I divide the shuffled deck?

Divide the deck into three equal stacks to create the three cards for your spread.

How do I interpret the cards in my spread?

Start by understanding the meanings of each card in relation to its position. Look for connections and patterns between the cards for deeper insights.

Is tarot reading a reliable tool for self-reflection?

Tarot reading can be a powerful tool for self-reflection and gaining insights into different aspects of your life. Trust in the wisdom of the cards and embrace the process.


Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.