The Absolute Brilliance of the 3-Card Spread

The saying goes that ‘good things happen in 3’s’ and, with the old wives giving me a nod of approval, I’m confident that my devotion to the 3 Card Spread isn’t misguided.


It’s just so versatile!

  • past, present, future
  • problem, advice, solution
  • internal, external, advice
  • you, me, together
  • start, middle, finish
  • too big, too small, just right
  • mother, father, child
  • positive, negative, synergy

getting the idea?


Having 3 simple concepts that work together have huge advantages in a reading.

First of all, you probably don’t have to learn them. They’re already there embedded in your conscious & unconscious mind. They were put there while you learned to talk, understand and explain: the idea of ‘past, present, future’ for example or ‘beginning, middle end’.

Context is so helpful when interpreting the tarot. I’ve written before about how difficult it is to use a tarot deck to answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’. The cards aren’t polarised like that; they encourage you to get involved with the decision. So, the card placed in the position of ‘do this’ and another placed in the position of ‘don’t do this’ leading to the final card of ‘outcome’ offers more food for thought than tossing a coin.

The apparent ease of only using 3 cards is enticing. You can do it quickly, on the hop, out the front door. You can do it secretly, on the bus, in the office, waiting for the bank manger to see you now. However, just because it’s simple it doesn’t mean it’s unhelpful or vapid. You can pull your 3 cards in the morning, and think about them all day. You can really, really get your teeth into just one card! If you want.


You can also look at them as panels in a story, a triptych showing a scene

In the above example (using the sweet and sour Tarot Nova) what’s going on? I see a socio-economic commentary above with those little creatures, do you? Alternative explanations, on a postcard please to the Djinn Palace.




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