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Tarot Cards : 3 Different Tarot Reading layouts explained

Updated on July 29, 2013

Tarot Reading

A Tarot Reading can be conducted any where as long as you have your Tarot Cards
A Tarot Reading can be conducted any where as long as you have your Tarot Cards | Source
Each suit offers different interpretations
Each suit offers different interpretations | Source

Tarot is not a common play thing. It is also not something that every one feels comfortable handling. So why is there an increase in the number of people looking for tarot cards and tarot readings from professionals?

It is simple. The tarot offers guidance in times of need. When you are stuck in a particular situation and don't know how to handle it you look for correct guidance. This is what is available from the tarot deck. It is easier to handle well meant advice from something as impersonal as a deck of cards than it is to take it from a friend or family member.

Throw in the mystical connection of the all pervading knowledge of the universe and you are hooked. While I was quite cynical in the beginning I decided to keep and open mind when I had my first tarot reading done. The lady, who later became my teacher, barely knew me. She set up the tarot cards on a silk cloth and asked me to sit facing north in front of her.

The tarot reader is supposed to ideally face south during a reading. There are better vibes from the universe, I believe. As you can see I'm still some what cynical, but the reading that she did for me changed quite a bit. She told me about my basic nature, about the general situation I was in and what frustrations I might have at present. I was amazed to say the least.

She did mulitple layouts for me that day including a 7 cards general reading, a 3 card past - present - future reading, and a single card reading, but the Situation- Obstacle and Solution reading really was great. It told me what was wrong with the situation, and the nature of the obstacles I was facing plus in what direction the solution lay.

I sat through that tarot reading mum and I was hooked. That's how I began to learn the tarot and I still find that tarot layout the best to work out a problem situation with.

Three Card Tarot Layout

The first card stands for the "Situation", second is for "Obstacle" and the third one is for the "Solution"
The first card stands for the "Situation", second is for "Obstacle" and the third one is for the "Solution" | Source

Situation, Obstacle, Solution -

The simple "Situation - Obstacle - Solution" three card layout is a common one in Tarot readings. It is performed using only three Tarot cards from the deck. It is a clear direction and guidance layout which even inexperienced tarot readers can handle very well.

These three cards are choosen after shuffling the tarot deck and asking the questioner to pick three cards from the tarot deck. As these cards are handed to the tarot reader facing downwards, they are laid out on the table.

The first card is placed on the left and is the Situation card. The second card placed in the middle is the Obstacle card and the third card on the right hand side is the Solution card.

Starting with the first card all the cards are turned facing up on the table and the tarot card reader will then evaluate them. The exact divination of the meaning of each card can vary from tarot reader to reader. So it is important to take all cards into consideration when giving the guidance reading.

"Yes or No" Questions Tarot Layout

This is a spread when the question needs a clear cut answer. For a simple Yes or No answer this is the easiest spread to do. In fact the person does not even need to say the question out aloud to you. It is actually done with no divinition from your side at all.

Here's how it works. You get the cards and shuffle them asking for help to answer the question correctly. The you have the person shuffle the cards and ask the question thrice - either aloud or in their mind. Now ask them to place the cards on the table. Using their non-writing hand have them cut the deck into three.

Now you must pick up each section of the deck and start opening the cards till you either hit an ace or reach the 13th card. Then stop and pick up the second section of the deck and repeat the process. Once you have done it with all three sections of the deck here is how you determine if the answer is yes or no.

If you have reached an ace in all three sections the answer is a resounding yes.

If you have two aces it is a yes, but not too easy.

If you have one ace only, the answer is not very likely, or rather difficult to happen.

If you have no aces in all three sections then there are still factors at play that will affect the final outcome. So the tarot deck can not answer the question at present.

Poll for Tarot Readings

How comfortable will you be getting a tarot reading done?

See results

Past, Present, Future - Three Card Reading

This is the simplest of the tarot layouts. All you do is assign one card to the past, one to the present and one to the future. The question is usually based on a situation and the person wants to know what to expect in the future.

How to do it is described here. Shuffle the cards as you ask the person to say the question out aloud to you. Now make the person shuffle the cards and repeat the question thrice as they do so. They can say it out aloud or in their mind. Take back the cards and lay them facing down and fan them out. Now ask the person to pick out three cards from the deck and hand them over to you.

Now take the three cards still facing downwards and place them in a line in front of you. The left most card is for the past, the one in the centre is for the present and the right most card will represent the possible future.Now based on your knowledge of the cards you will be able to tell the person a bit about the situation in the past, and how it is at present. Plus you will be able to guide them about what to expect in the future.

Update 2013

The above hub is a modified version of two hubs that were originally published in 2009. Since then I have grown greatly as a Tarot reader and am doing regular readings for family, friends and even online on my website. Link to which is given below.

Should you wish to experience an online tarot reading session with me, feel free to contact me in the comments section below, or via the question form on my tarot reading website. I will ideally get back to you between two to four days.

I also give out free tarot readings once a month on the blog of the website. All you need to do is submit your question. I will then pick the most interesting question submitted that month and answer it for free on my blog. No personal details will be shared.


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    • cashmere profile image

      cashmere 6 years ago from India

      No Ananya I have no idea about crystal ball reading in India. I can find out if you like. I have an aunt who is into crystal healing, maybe she would know. Where are you based?

    • profile image

      ananya 6 years ago

      cashmere one more thing, do u have any idea where can we find crystal balls in india, as iam interested in learning crystal ball reading too, pls let me know if u have any idea.

    • profile image

      ananya 6 years ago

      thanx a lot cashmere, thanx for ur suggestion

    • cashmere profile image

      cashmere 6 years ago from India

      Hello Ananya,to switch to professional readings all you need to do is set aside a time and place when you will do Tarot readings and advertise it. Decide that on weekdays you will take appointments from 10 to 1. Then put an ad in the classifieds section of your home town newspaper.

    • profile image

      ananya 6 years ago

      hi cashmere iv been practicing tarot since past 4 years but never thought of taking it up professionally, though i do readings for my frenz & family & tarot has always been faithful in guiding them in the correct directio0n , can you guide me how can i start it up professionally

    • cashmere profile image

      cashmere 6 years ago from India

      You are the Tarot reader, so its from your left to right.

    • profile image

      Kathy R. 6 years ago

      When you say left and right, do we read from our left to right or the querent's left and right?

    • cashmere profile image

      cashmere 9 years ago from India

      Let me know if you need any help Anamika

    • Anamika S profile image

      Anamika S Jain 9 years ago from Mumbai - Maharashtra, India

      Nice Hub! I am now trying my hand on tarot cards. But have not been able to spend much time on it to master the art.

    • mrfren profile image

      Rajesh Arora 9 years ago from Amritsar

      gre8 hub

    • profile image

      ESAHS 9 years ago

      "Nice hub and very entertaining!"

      "Two thumbs up!"

      CEO E.S.A.H.S. Association

    • cashmere profile image

      cashmere 9 years ago from India

      Thanks for stopping by Charia

    • Charia Samher profile image

      Charia Samher 9 years ago

      very interesting!

    • cashmere profile image

      cashmere 9 years ago from India

      Hi Brian, yes it is based on the fact that we are all part of the universe and the fate of each individual is known to the universe. So if you want to tap into that energy and learn more about what you should be doing you can use the tarot.

    • BrianS profile image

      Brian Stephens 9 years ago from Castelnaudary, France

      Never sure about this sort of thing, I strongly believe in fate however so if Tarot is a way of tapping into your fate then who knows, maybe it does have some basis.

    • cashmere profile image

      cashmere 9 years ago from India

      Amelie it is a esoteric science. It deals with metaphysical influences on your life.

      Yes a lot of people are scared of the Tarot, simply because they don't know what it is all about.

    • ameliehub profile image

      ameliehub 9 years ago from UK

      Hi cashmere, I have always been in a confusion on Tarot cards. at sometimes yes i want to learn about them and at sometimes i was scare of them. is it a science or have some base? what's behind it?

    • cashmere profile image

      cashmere 9 years ago from India

      Personally I would never recoomend making decisions based on just one tarot reading. But there is a time when you have been considering the pros and cons so much Sabu, that you feel the need for some external guidance. That's when the tarot can help.

    • sabu singh profile image

      sabu singh 9 years ago

      Afraid I am a total sceptic Cashmere. Would you really recommend someone taking serious decisions based on tarot readings or is it more of a fun thing?

      Reminds me of a book titled "The Dice Man" by Luke Rhinehart in which major life decisions are taken based on the throw of dice

    • cashmere profile image

      cashmere 9 years ago from India

      Sure I would Candie.

      Just let me know your question.

    • Candie V profile image

      Candie V 9 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

      Ah, I'm first, no wonder my one answer in your poll gave it 100%! Could you do one for me?


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