How to Perform a 3 Card Tarot Reading: A Step-by-Step Guide

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How to Perform a 3 Card Tarot Reading: A Step-by-Step Guide

For centuries, tarot cards have been used as a powerful divination tool to gain insights into past, present, and future events. One of the most popular spreads is the 3 card tarot reading. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced reader, this guide will walk you through the process of performing a 3 card tarot reading with precision and clarity.

What You’ll Need

Before we begin, gather the following materials:

  • A tarot deck: There are numerous decks available, so choose one that resonates with you.
  • A quiet and comfortable space: Find a place where you can relax and focus without distractions.
  • A journal and pen: Keeping a record of your readings can help you track patterns and deepen your understanding of the cards.

Step 1: Prepare Yourself and the Cards

Start by finding a quiet space and creating a calm atmosphere. Take a moment to center yourself and clear your mind. Shuffle the tarot deck thoroughly, focusing on the question or topic you want guidance on.

Next, with your non-dominant hand, split the deck into three roughly equal piles. Then, reassemble the piles by placing the one on the right between the other two.

Step 2: Interpretation of Each Card Position

In a 3 card tarot reading, each card represents a specific aspect of your question or situation.

Card Position Meaning
Card 1: Past The first card reflects events, emotions, or influences from the past that have shaped your current situation.
Card 2: Present The second card offers insights into your current circumstances, challenges, or opportunities.
Card 3: Future The third card provides a glimpse into what the future may hold, based on your current path.

Step 3: Lay out the Cards

Starting with the leftmost pile, draw the top card and place it face down in the corresponding position on your reading surface. Repeat this process for the middle and right piles.

Once all three cards are placed face down, turn them over one by one, starting with the first card (past), followed by the second card (present), and finally the third card (future).

Step 4: Interpret the Cards

With the cards revealed, it’s time to interpret their meanings within the context of your question or situation. Pay attention to the symbols, imagery, and intuition that arise as you examine each card.

Consider the individual meanings of the cards, as well as any connections or patterns that emerge between them. Notice how the cards relate to each other and how they align with your question.

To deepen your understanding, consult tarot resources, books, or online references. However, remember that your intuition and personal connection to the cards are equally important in interpreting their messages.

Step 5: Reflect and Record

After interpreting the cards, take a moment to reflect on the insights you’ve gained. How do they resonate with your question? Are there any lessons or guidance you can take away?

Record your reading in your journal, including the date, question, cards drawn, and your interpretation. Over time, this record will provide valuable insights into your journey and progress as a tarot reader.

Step 6: Take Action

Remember that tarot readings are not meant to predict the future with absolute certainty. They serve as a guide to help you make informed decisions and gain a deeper understanding of the energies surrounding you.

Use the insights gained from your 3 card tarot reading to take action in alignment with your goals and desires. Trust your intuition and embrace the possibilities that lie ahead.


Performing a 3 card tarot reading can provide profound insight and guidance into your question or situation. By following these steps and connecting with your intuition, you’ll be able to unlock the wisdom that tarot cards hold.

Remember that tarot reading is a skill that develops with practice and experience. The more you work with the cards, the stronger your connection and understanding of them will become. Enjoy the journey and embrace the wisdom that tarot brings to your life.

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How to Perform a 3 Card Tarot Reading: A Step-by-Step Guide