Simple Tarot Spreads.
Past – Present – Future Spread
This is the simplest and quickest spread and probably the best known of all Tarot Spreads. You just think of an issue that you require some clarification on. To select your cards you just shuffle the deck and spread the cards out (face down) and select three cards moving them out of the deck. Then turn them up one at a time or you can cut the deck (all cards face down) into 3 groups whilst you are focussing on your issue, and then turn up the top card on each stack. This is a near future spread 1-3 month timing spread.
Position 1 represents the energies and events in the past that still affect you in the present. It can highlight something that holds you back or is influencing you favourably in the present.
Position 2 This is what is happening around you right now. Your present situation. It may highlight something that may be an opportunity or a challenge or a particular event.
Position 3. The possibilities for the future and the general direction that things seem to be going. It can also represent your desires and what you envisage and want in the future. If most of these cards are Major Arcana cards then you may feel that circumstances are out of your control and you may sense that there is some higher lesson you need to learn from this experience.
The cards selected can represent people in your life, events, your feelings or awareness, your attitude or approach to a situation or problem and also new ways of looking at things and possible solutions.
Here is an example to think about for today. This spread concerns a relationship issue or situation. Have a look at the cards. Note the position meaning, the imagery of the card and the number. Are there any Major Arcana cards present? What is the message of that card? Make a note of what you think it means.
Interpretation of the reading:
The following is just my interpretation of these cards.
The 7 of Pentacles in the position of The Past.
Here we can see someone looking rather tired but that he has accomplished much with the pile of 7 pentacles. As we have previously seen the 7 of Pentacles is a sign not to give up but that hard work is involved. It shows a contemplative nature typical of the 7 where this person has weighed everything up but continues to strive. I would interpret this that the person is aware that the relationship has been hard work in the past but felt that it was worth persevering with. Pentacles is a very practical energy so they had weighed things up in the past in a very logical way and felt whatever the struggle it was worth continuing to try – Just remember though that this relates to the attitude and feeling in the past.
The 3 of swords in the position of the Present.
The image itself denotes a crisis of some sort and pain in the heart. This much is obvious. The number 3 indicates 3 people or 3 issues at hand. I would suggest that there are three factors involved that have brought this relationship to a crisis either right now or about to happen. For this person there has been a constant struggle with the demands of a partner and trying to be fair to that partner and the needs of her children and other commitment for work etc and the third factor has been time needed for herself which just never seems to happen. So there is a three way tug of war that has lead to an argument. Don’t forget the 3 represents communication and interaction with others so these issues have come to the surface and resulted in a crisis. There are feelings of loss, sadness and pain for both herself and her partner. So where to from here?
The Hermit in the position of the Future.
The is a Major Arcana Card so there is a spiritual lesson and message involved. The number 9 is about looking within, sacrifice, influences of the subconscious. Look at the hermit. He is holding a lantern with the light of illumination. The Hermit call for a retreat to search for the wisdom that will guide him. The message here for this lady is that she needs to be The Hermit. To take time out and retreat from the situation to analyse and weigh everything up. The Hermit here with the lantern suggests that she knows the answer to the problem and what needs to happen but she searching for a sign from the universe or god that will show her the right action. It will come. This is a stationary energy. Saying wait and the answer will come. It is not known how long she needs to retreat or step back from the situation but it will be at least a month. Don’t forget this is the position of the near future. The Hermit shows that she will handle the situation with compassion and fairness. She is able to see the truth and all aspects of the truth represented by the light of the lantern. At this point my advice to her was to do exactly that – take time out, step back to see the bigger picture and be mindful to be honest and caring in handling this difficult situation. Another spread in a month’s time would show a different scenario I’m sure. If you encounter a spread like this where there is no clear cut resolution you can seek further clarification with another more direct spread such as the Celtic Cross or relationship issue spread but more often than not the simplest spread and the first one you do has the only answer you need right now. A lot of reading Tarot is allowing your intuition to visualise the situation and piece together the story. It takes a little practice but is more about the feeling the cards invoke rather than just the text book interpretation of those cards.
The reality: This lady is in crisis. There have been constant struggles in a relationship between her time commitments concerning her children and trying to balance this with the needs of her partner. A situation arose that required this lady to temporarily spend more time at home temporarily with her daughter whilst her older sons were away. Her daughter is 16 and still at school. This created feelings of jealousy with her partner. In addition to this the issue of marriage arose where her partner gave her an ultimatum that if she didnt agree to marry him the relationship would end. She does love this man but finds his jealousy and possessiveness hard to handle so she has asked for time out for a few week and will meet up with him soon to discuss where they can go from here as the issue of her children and time with them is a recurrent problem as is their differing wants regarding the future.