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Jim  Jim is offline
Join Date: 23 Feb 2003
Location: Norwich UK
Posts: 7
easier spreads

Hi, as you can tell from my post count, I'm a complete newb. This relates to my question. In the book I learnt Tarot from (mythic) its good for explaining to meanings of cards but poor at helping you to read (only giving two examples).

It suggests the celtic cross method but I feel with so many cards it would be overwhelming for me. I've heard people here talk about 1 card and 3 card readings... they seem easier to handle so could anyone please explain how to "do" these types of readings? Lots of detail
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Umbrae  Umbrae is offline
Join Date: 20 Mar 2002
Location: Upper Left-Coast, USA
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The most common Three-Card spread is what is referred to as a PPF (past present future), some folks use a body-mind-spirit…the exact meanings can be flexible.

After many years of reading, I still use this – it is accurate. It may look short (“Only three cards!?!”), but given some time you may very well learn how to do very in depth readings with only three cards.

Just practice, do three card readings over and over and you will become comfortable.

I have never used a Celtic Cross, it is neither celtic, nor just a cross.
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Aoife  Aoife is offline
Join Date: 09 Jan 2003
Location: England
Posts: 1,469

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I also like:
Issue [or problem]
Advice [possible solution[s]
Outcome [likely outcome if I follow the advice]

I like to use this first thing, as a 'reading for the day', particularly if I anticipate a trying day ahead - helps me concentrate my thoughts and feelings.

Edited to say: I think the celtic cross is one of the most awkward and obscure ways of working with the cards. I never have/ never will use it.
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Emily  Emily is offline
Join Date: 14 Feb 2002
Location: England
Posts: 7,664

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The 3 card Past/Present/Future is a nice easy one, and you can always add cards on to make it a 6 card, or make it a 1 card past, 2 card present, 3 card future.

I also don't like the celtic cross, I don't think its a spread that's easily learnt - I don't use it, there are too many good spreads out there that are easy to use and understand.
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Trogon  Trogon is offline
Join Date: 27 Aug 2002
Location: Arizona, USA
Posts: 2,916

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Re: easier spreads

Howdy Jim, welcome to Aeclectic Tarot!

I also use the 3-card spread, one of the things I like about it is it's flexability. As already mentioned, the Past-Present-Future is fairly common;


1 = past
2 = present
3 = future

This is the way I do it anyway... I also use a variation as a "daily" reading;

1 = beginning
2 = peak or main theme
3 = ending

However... I find that for general readings, I prefer to expand the 3-card PPF to a 5-card;


1 = past (couple of months)
2 = more recent past (few weeks)
3 = present
4 = near future (few weeks)
5 = future (couple of months)

I generally find that this gives me good insight to an issue or question over a period of a few months. Then if I need to delve further, I can simply add cards to make it a 7-card or 9-card spread, though I haven't tried more than 9-cards, I suppose it would be possible.

I still use the Celtic Cross, but have modified it to suit my needs. There is a thread on this at; This thread shows several excellent variations of this venerable, old spread. Also, if you haven't already discovered it, you might want to browse the Tarot Spreads Forum, you will find many discussions on various Tarot spreads which you might find useful.
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cuddles  cuddles is offline
Join Date: 23 Nov 2002
Location: usa
Posts: 76

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i'm also pretty new to tarot and at the moment my favourite 3 card spread came from and is about values.

card 1-this will become less important
card 2-this will become more important
card3-this is important now

there are lots of spreads there to look through and get ideas from.

good luck!

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sunflowr  sunflowr is offline
Join Date: 11 Feb 2003
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 1,236

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Lightbulb Power Tarot

Purchase a book called "Power Tarot", by Trish MacGregor and Phyllis Vega. It's a GREAT book of spreads and many of them use 3 or 5 cards and are easy to use.
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scheherazade  scheherazade is offline
Join Date: 16 Jan 2003
Location: Elysia
Posts: 205

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I'm not sure if this has been mentioned yet, but there's a four-card Nova spread that looks like this-

2 3 4

1 - the querant (the issue at hand)
2 - past influences
3 - recommended action
4 - outcome if these cards are followed.

There is also the one-card draw, or meditiations to help get to know the deck better.
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Major Tom  Major Tom is offline
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Join Date: 06 Aug 2001
Location: Texas, USA
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Major Tom 
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Hiya Jim. Welcome aboard.

You're getting some great answers here.

With my co-moderator away, it's taken me a couple of days to realise this thread belongs on the Tarot Spreads board, so I'm moving it there.

Please don't be discouraged by this movement - I still post threads that get moved from time to time.

Major Tom
Co-moderator Using Tarot Cards
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Jim  Jim is offline
Join Date: 23 Feb 2003
Location: Norwich UK
Posts: 7
Thumbs up cheers!

wow, that was really helpful everyone, thank ya!
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