The THREE CARD Tarot Method is undoubtedly one of the simplest of all ways to read the Tarot cards.
The THREE CARD method doesn’t take a genius to use, although being inspired helps! This system is very easy to use. It is also very simple to practice. You just need a deck of Tarot cards. I would suggest one like the Waite-Rider or Universal Waite, in which each card has a rather easily-understood symbolic picture. There are thousands of different fortune-telling decks out there. In some, the Seven of Swords, for example, is represented by nothing more than Seven Swords hanging in space. The Three of Pentacles just has Three Pentacles. These decks are much harder to read. I would suggest avoiding them. It is the same with trying to use an ordinary deck of playing cards in a reading. Only one who has studied and learned the meanings should attempt even so much as a 3-card reading. On the other hand, even a novice can have a lot of fun with the Three Card Method, on a learn-as-you-go basis!
You shuffle and cut the cards with a person or question in mind. It is best if you phrase the question in such a way that PAST–PRESENT–and–FUTURE are meaningful in an answer. If you don’t need to see the past, present, or future of something, then ask the question differently or try a different method like the 10-card Celtic Cross.
If you are doing the reading for someone, they can either tell you the question, or ask you a secret question, although they really will get a better answer if they confide to you what the question is. Sometimes it is best to tell a friend or client that so-called “bad cards”, such as Death, usually mean regeneration, a new start, etc., and the Devil usually means bondage to someone or something, or a temptation; not literally “The Devil”. The negativity of some cards is hard to get around, such as the 8, 9 and 10 of Swords, but if they turn-up in the reading, there is generally a recognizable reason for their being there, so don’t worry about them!
There is no “typical” reading, since even using just 3 cards means there are 78 x 77 x 76 possible combinations of cards. You may get all HIGHER ARCANA cards… Those are the cards numbered from zero (The Fool), to 21 (The World.) It may be an indicator that the reading is very important if you get all Higher Arcana. If you get all LOWER ARCANA, the TWOS through TENS, indicate less importance in either the reading or the result. You are likely to get a COURT CARD or two in the reading. A Court Card is one of the four kings, queens, knights, or pages. Remember these indicate a certain person. Kings are older, more experienced; authoritative! Knights, or Knaves, are of middle years; usually energetic. Pages are typically young people, who may therefore be naive or just starting out in life, or on a project or love affair. The hair color or general nature of the person will be reflected in the symbol of the card. The King and Queen of Swords are quite severe, may be restrictive, even vengeful. The King and Queen of Pentacles are intuitive, resourceful, helpful. A good look at the cards is all that’s required, although the more intimately you study them, the better. You may or may not recognize who someone indicated by one of the Court Cards…it may be someone new who enters the scene, or someone you didn’t know about… for good or bad! If you are quite experienced, you may wish to include reversed cards. If not, read any cards that might show-up upside down, as right side up. I feel reversed cards bring in more difficulty than needed in a reading.
Let’s look at an example reading! It might well go as follows. A good question is necessary. Let’s try: “Does Suzanne love me?” One asks the question first. Then the cards are shuffled — at least three times! Your or your friend or client then ‘cuts’ the card, and you take the three consecutive cards exposed by the cut. In this case, we get:
First Card — THE LOVERS
Second Card — THREE of WANDS
Third Card — THE WORLD
FIRST CARD. There WAS indeed love at one time between you and Suzanne. THE LOVERS card occurs in the past. “It” has already happened. Love has been felt, the lovers may well have gotten together. There was a very good, even an obvious, basis for love between you and Suzanne, and chances are, the experience of love, or at least, the strong possibility of intimacy, was there.
SECOND CARD. But the THREE OF WANDS shows a person standing on a hill, looking out upon a lake or the sea. He or she is either looking toward the future, or someone who is in the distance. He has turned his back, his eyes are upon a future goal. This card must be considered as a consequence or a change from the first card. There WAS intimacy, there was love, thee was a connection. Now the person is looking out at something that seems far, far away, or has been relegated to a future time. Perhaps he or she is too busy with work to share love at this time.
THIRD CARD. The future is represented by the 3rd card, and the WORLD seems to be what he or she is gazing upon and longing for in the 2nd card. There is no immediate return to intimacy, or even family. There is a going out into the world, either just for the sake of travel or perhaps on account of a job. The World means diversity. Someone else may be in the future for this person, and this person, who represents so much, may come to her in her local area, or she may literally go out “into the world” to find him.
A three-card reading, including the interpretation of the cards, should take no more than 10 to 15 minutes! I hope you enjoy trying this method! Good Luck!