The Past-Present-Future Tarot Spread: Insights for Your Life

Tarot spreads are a powerful tool for gaining insights into one’s past, present, and future. The Past-Present-Future Tarot Spread is one such technique that helps in understanding the different aspects of your life. The spread is easy to use and ideal for beginners who want to know about their life path in a simple yet effective manner. With just three cards, the Past-Present-Future Tarot Spread can reveal what has shaped your past, what is influencing your present, and what may be in store for your future. In this article, we will explore the layout of the Past-Present-Future Tarot Spread, how to interpret the cards, and some tips for using this spread.

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The Layout of the Past-Present-Future Tarot Spread

The Layout Of The Past-Present-Future Tarot Spread
The Past-Present-Future Tarot Spread is an essential tool for gaining insight into your life and discovering what lies ahead. Understanding how this spread works can seem daunting at first, but with a little practice, it can become an invaluable tool for personal growth and self-discovery. Before delving into how to interpret the spread, it’s essential to understand the layout of the Past-Present-Future Tarot Spread. This three-card spread is designed to provide insight into how past events have influenced the present and how current circumstances may impact future outcomes. Let’s take a closer look at how the spread is laid out and what each card represents. If you want to explore other variations of this spread, check our guide to Past-Present-Future Tarot Spread Variants.

Card 1 – Past

The first card in the Past-Present-Future Tarot Spread represents the past and what has led to the current situation. This card can shed light on any influences or events that have shaped the querent’s current circumstances.

When interpreting Card 1, it’s important to consider both the traditional meaning of the card as well as its position in the spread. Think about how the energy of the card relates to the querent’s past and what impact it may have on their present situation.

Card 1 in the Past-Present-Future Tarot Spread can reveal important information about the past or any unresolved issues from the past that may be affecting the present. It is essential to approach this card with an open mind and try to analyze the symbolism within the card. What stands out? What details do you see? How can these details be connected to the querent’s past?

For example, if the card drawn for Card 1 is The Tower, a card often associated with upheaval and sudden life changes, it could indicate that the querent experienced a significant loss or change in the past that has led them to their current circumstances. On the other hand, if the card drawn for Card 1 is The High Priestess, which represents intuition and the subconscious mind, it could indicate that the querent has been led by their inner wisdom to their present circumstances.

In any case, it is important to remember that Card 1 is just the first piece of the puzzle. It is necessary to continue interpreting the other cards in the spread to create a more comprehensive understanding of the situation.

Understanding the Past-Present-Future Tarot Spread can be beneficial in providing clarity and insight into the querent’s past, present, and future. However, it is essential to approach the spread with an open mind and a willingness to see the bigger picture.

Remember these tips when interpreting Card 1 – Past:

  • Consider the traditional meaning of the card as well as its position in the spread
  • Try to analyze the symbolism within the card
  • Be open to the possibility of unresolved issues from the past influencing the present

Card 2 – Present

The second card of the Past-Present-Future Tarot Spread is the Present card, which represents the current situation of the person seeking the reading. This card is a reflection of where the querent is right now in their life and the energies that surround them.

Interpreting the Present Card: When interpreting the Present card, it’s important to consider how it relates to the Past and Future cards in the spread. Is there a connection between the past and present that may be influencing the current situation? Is there a hint of what may happen in the future based on the energy of the present card?

Additionally, pay attention to any symbols, numbers, or colors on the present card as they can offer insight into the present moment. For example, the appearance of the number 7 could represent spiritual growth or the color blue could indicate a need for relaxation and peace.

Common Present Cards: The present card can vary greatly depending on the deck and the question being asked. Some common present cards include:

  1. The Hierophant: This card represents tradition and conformity, suggesting that the querent may be feeling the need to conform to societal expectations or follow traditional paths in their current situation.
  2. The Chariot: This card represents control and the ability to move forward with determination. It suggests that the querent is in a position of power and control in their current situation.
  3. The Devil: This card represents temptation and addiction, suggesting that the querent may be struggling with addictive behaviors or negative habits in their present moment.
  4. The Tower: This card represents upheaval and chaos, suggesting that the querent may be experiencing a major shake-up or crisis in their current situation.
  5. The High Priestess: This card represents intuition and inner wisdom, suggesting that the querent may be on a path of self-discovery or relying on their inner voice to guide them through their current situation.

Remember that the present card is just one piece of the puzzle, and it’s important to consider the overall story of the spread when interpreting its meaning.

Tips for a Successful Tarot Reading can provide more information on how to interpret the present card, and the difficulties of the Tarot Spread can offer insight into common struggles people face when interpreting the cards.

Card 3 – Future

The third and final card in the Past-Present-Future Tarot Spread is the one that represents the future. This card can provide insight into what potential outcomes or situations may arise based on the current trajectory.

The meaning of the Future Card

As with the previous cards, the Future Card can have several interpretations depending on the deck and context of the reading. Generally, this card represents what could happen in the near or distant future. It can also indicate potential obstacles or opportunities that may arise.

Interpreting the Future Card

When interpreting the Future Card, consider the following:

Aspect Questions to Ask
Meaning of the Card What does the imagery on the card suggest?
Position in the Spread Does the card complement or contrast with the other two cards in the reading?
Reversed or Upright Is the card reversed or upright? This will affect the interpretation.

Examples of Future Card Meanings

Here are some potential interpretations of the Future Card:

  • The Ace of Pentacles can indicate financial prosperity or a new job opportunity.
  • The Tower can suggest a major upheaval or change in one’s life.
  • The Three of Cups can represent a celebration or gathering with loved ones.

Pulling It All Together

Once you have interpreted all three cards, reflect on the overall story they are telling. Does the Past Card suggest a pattern or issue that has been recurring? Does the Present Card indicate a current challenge or opportunity? And finally, what potential outcome does the Future Card suggest?

The Past-Present-Future Tarot Spread can provide a comprehensive look at a situation or question. By interpreting each card and considering their overall meaning, you can gain a deeper understanding of what is happening and what may lie ahead.

Decipher the Riddles of Your Dreams: Select a Tarot Card and Unveil Their Hidden Meanings!
Card 1
Card 2
Card 3

How to Interpret the Past-Present-Future Tarot Spread

Now that you have laid out the Past-Present-Future Tarot Spread and drawn your three cards, the next step is to interpret what they mean. This can be a daunting task, but with careful consideration and an open mind, you can begin to uncover the insights and guidance that the cards hold. In this section, we will discuss the meaning of each individual card as well as how they come together to tell a cohesive story about your past, present, and future. So, let’s dive in and explore the mysterious world of tarot interpretation.

Card 1 – Past

When it comes to the first card of the Past-Present-Future Tarot Spread, which represents the past, it’s important to approach it with an open mind and awareness of the context of the querent’s situation. This card holds the key to understanding the events and experiences that have led up to the present.

Interpreting the Card:

The first step to interpreting the Past card is to understand its meaning based on the specific tarot deck being used. Once you have a grasp on the card’s general symbolism, you can apply it to the querent’s situation.

It’s important to consider both the literal and figurative interpretations of the card. For example, if the Past card is the Five of Cups, it may indicate a period of loss or disappointment, both emotionally and materially. This could be interpreted as a recent breakup or job loss. However, the Five of Cups also represents the opportunity for growth and change, suggesting that the querent has learned important lessons from their past experiences.

Connecting the Card to the Present and Future:

The Past card sets the foundation for the rest of the spread, so it’s important to connect it to the Present and Future cards. Look for common themes, patterns, or obstacles that may have carried over into the present.

For example, if the Past card is the Three of Swords, which is commonly associated with heartbreak and betrayal, and the Present card is the Four of Cups, which often represents feelings of stagnation and apathy, it’s possible that the querent is still dealing with the emotional aftermath of a past relationship.

The Role of Reversed Cards:

Just as with any other card in the tarot, a reversed Past card may indicate a different interpretation or aspect of the querent’s past. When a Past card appears reversed, it may suggest that the querent is struggling to let go of the past or is still holding onto negative emotions or relationships.

Things to consider when interpreting the Past Card:
General symbolism of the card
Literary and figurative interpretations
Connection to the Present and Future cards
The role of reversed cards

Card 2 – Present

One of the key components of the Past-Present-Future Tarot Spread is the present moment, as represented by the second card in the spread. This card provides insight into the current situation or state of being, as well as any factors that are currently influencing the querent’s life path.

Card 2 – Present:
Card two is drawn to represent the present moment in the querent’s life. This card often sheds light on the current situation, including any roadblocks or challenges that the querent is facing. It can also reveal any opportunities or strengths that the querent possesses.

To interpret this card, it’s important to take note of the symbolism and imagery depicted on the card. Pay attention to any colors, figures, or symbols that jump out at you. These can provide important clues as to what the card is trying to reveal.

Consider how this card relates to the previous card representing the past and the following card representing the future. Is there a sense of causality or continuity between these cards? Or is there a major shift or divergence in the trajectory of the querent’s life?

Ultimately, the present card offers a snapshot of the querent’s current journey, highlighting the key factors and influences that are shaping their path forward. By gaining a deeper understanding of the present moment, the querent can make more informed decisions and navigate their path with greater clarity and purpose. Here is a table summarizing key points about the second card in the Past-Present-Future Tarot Spread:

Card 2 – Present
Represents the current situation or state of being
Can reveal roadblocks and challenges, as well as opportunities and strengths
Pay attention to symbolism and imagery
Consider how this card relates to the past and future cards
Offers a snapshot of the querent’s current journey

Card 3 – Future

As we move on to the third and final card of the Past-Present-Future Tarot Spread, we come to the aspect of the Future. This card reflects the potential outcome of the situation and gives us an idea of what may be coming in the near or distant future. Let’s delve deeper into understanding this card and how to interpret it.

Element: The element associated with this card is Fire, which represents passion, creativity, and drive. This indicates that the future outcome may be influenced by a strong sense of motivation and determination.
Card Meaning: The meaning of the card will depend on the specific Tarot card that is revealed. However, in general, the Future card often represents a potential outcome that is influenced by our past and present actions. It may also suggest new opportunities or changes that are on the horizon.
Reversed Meaning: If the card is revealed in reverse, it may indicate potential obstacles or challenges that may arise in the future. It could also suggest a need for caution and careful planning to avoid negative outcomes.

It’s important to remember that the Future card is not a guarantee of what will happen, but rather an indication of what could happen based on the current trajectory. It’s up to us to take the necessary actions to steer our future in the direction we desire.

As with the other cards, it’s worthwhile to take note of any symbols, imagery, or intuitive messages that come up when interpreting the Future card. This will provide further insight and clarification on the potential outcome.

The Future card in the Past-Present-Future Tarot Spread is a powerful tool in gaining insight into upcoming events and opportunities. With a clear understanding of its meaning and potential implications, we can make informed decisions and take action towards a positive future outcome.

The Overall Story of the Spread

After interpreting each individual card in the Past-Present-Future Tarot Spread, it’s important to step back and look at the bigger picture. This means considering the overall story that the cards are telling.

To do this, start by looking at the overall themes and energies in the spread. Take note of any major arcana cards, as these tend to indicate significant events or turning points. Look for patterns or connections between the cards, both in terms of their meanings and how they relate to each other’s position in the spread. These connections can help give more depth and nuance to the overall story.

One way to visualize the overall story of the spread is to create a table or chart. Use three columns to represent each card position (Past, Present, and Future), and write a brief summary or keywords for each card in the corresponding row. Then, use the fourth row to write a sentence or two that describes the story or message that the cards are conveying.

For example:

| Card Position | Card Summary |
| — | — |
| Past | The Tower – Disruption and upheaval |
| Present | The Star – Hope and inspiration |
| Future | The World – Completion and fulfillment |
| Story | The past was marked by chaos and instability, but the present offers a glimmer of hope. The future holds the promise of resolution and achieving your goals. |

Creating a table like this can be a helpful way to distill the key themes and messages of the spread. It can also make it easier to remember and refer back to the overall story as you continue your Tarot reading journey.

Tips for Using the Past-Present-Future Tarot Spread

As with any form of divination, using the Past-Present-Future Tarot Spread can be both enlightening and challenging. To ensure that you get the most out of this spread, we’ve put together a few tips to guide you on your journey. From phrasing your questions with care to paying attention to reversed cards, these tips will help you approach your reading with confidence and openness. So if you’re ready to unlock the secrets of your past, present, and future, read on to discover our top tips for using the Past-Present-Future Tarot Spread.

Tip 1: Phrase Your Questions Carefully

When using the Past-Present-Future Tarot Spread, it is essential to phrase your questions carefully. The way you frame your question can have a significant impact on the clarity and accuracy of your tarot reading. Here are some tips to keep in mind when formulating your questions:

1. Be Specific: Try to ask specific and direct questions that will provide actionable guidance. Avoid vague questions that can have multiple interpretations or that lack a clear focus.

2. Stay Open-Minded: Avoid asking leading questions or questions that are based on assumptions or preconceived notions. Keep an open mind and allow the cards to reveal what is truly important and relevant to your situation.

3. Use Positive Language: Phrase your questions in positive language that focuses on what you want to achieve rather than what you want to avoid. This will help to keep your reading focused on positive outcomes and possibilities.

4. Be Honest: Be honest with yourself about your motivations and concerns. If you are asking a question that relates to a difficult situation or decision, be willing to confront your fears and be open to learning from the insights that the tarot can reveal.

5. Practice Self-Reflection: Take some time to reflect on your question before you consult the tarot. Consider how the question relates to your life, what you hope to gain from the reading, and how you can take action based on the insights you receive.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your questions are clear, focused, and open to the insights that the tarot can offer. With careful phrasing and a willingness to learn, you can gain valuable guidance and clarity through the Past-Present-Future Tarot Spread.

Tip 2: Trust Your Intuition

Trusting your intuition is an important tip to keep in mind when working with the Past-Present-Future Tarot Spread. The tarot cards have a way of tapping into our subconscious minds and bringing forth hidden truths or insights. While it’s important to have a basic understanding of the traditional meanings of each card, it’s equally important to listen to your inner voice and see how the cards are speaking to you.

Here are some ways to tap into your intuition when working with this tarot spread:

  • Start by taking a few deep breaths and quieting your mind. Focus on the question or situation you’re asking about and ask for guidance from your higher self or the universe.
  • Look at each card and pay attention to any immediate thoughts, feelings, or reactions that come to you. You might get a sense of the card’s energy or message intuitively.
  • Don’t be afraid to trust your first impressions, even if they seem strange or unorthodox. Your intuition is unique to you and may pick up on things that others may not.
  • Try to notice any patterns or connections between the cards. Do they complement or contradict each other? Do they tell a cohesive story or give insights from different angles?

Trusting your intuition can be challenging, especially if you’re new to tarot or feel unsure about your abilities. However, with practice and an open mind, you can hone your intuition and cultivate a deeper understanding of the messages the cards are conveying. Remember to approach each reading with curiosity, respect, and an open heart, and you’ll be amazed by what you can discover.

Tip 3: Take Note of Reversed Cards

When using the Past-Present-Future Tarot Spread, it is crucial to pay attention to reversed cards. A reversed card means that its traditional meaning is inverted, which can add a layer of complexity to the card’s interpretation. Here are some tips on what to pay attention to when a reversed card appears in your spread:

  • The meaning: The reversed card often indicates that the opposite of its traditional meaning is true. For instance, if you draw the reversed Three of Swords in the “Past” position, it might indicate that you are healing from a past hurt or that you are ready to forgive someone who has caused you pain.
  • The intensity: Reversed cards can amplify the intensity of their traditional meaning, whether positive or negative. If the upright Ace of Cups represents a new emotional beginning, drawing it reversed in the “Future” position may indicate that your emotional life will become chaotic or emotionally draining.
  • The direction: Sometimes, a reversed card can indicate that you are moving away from its upright meaning. For example, if the upright Seven of Pentacles represents hard work paying off, the reversed Seven of Pentacles might indicate that you are not seeing results from your hard work or that you are losing interest in a project.

It is important to note that not all Tarot readers use reversed cards in their readings. If you choose to use them, don’t let them throw off your interpretation of the spread. Instead, use them as an additional layer of depth and insight into the situation at hand.


In conclusion, the Past-Present-Future Tarot Spread is a powerful tool that can provide insight into your life’s journey. By examining the past, present, and future, you can gain a deeper understanding of how your choices have led you to where you are today and how they may affect your future.

It’s important to remember that the Tarot is not a magic genie that can predict the future with perfect accuracy. Rather, the cards are a tool that can help you tap into your intuition and gain clarity on the present moment.

When using the Past-Present-Future Tarot Spread, it’s essential to phrase your questions carefully and trust your intuition. The cards may not always give you the answer you want to hear, but they will provide insight into what you need to know.

Taking note of reversed cards is also crucial as they can indicate blocks or challenges that you might be facing. Don’t be fearful of these challenges, but rather see them as opportunities for growth and transformation.

In conclusion, the Past-Present-Future Tarot Spread is an effective method for gaining greater insight into your life. By following the steps outlined in this article and incorporating the tips for use, you can unlock the wisdom of the Tarot and gain valuable insights into your personal journey. Remember to approach the Tarot with an open mind, and the possibilities are endless.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a tarot spread?

A tarot spread is a specific arrangement of tarot cards used for a reading.

How does the Past-Present-Future Tarot Spread differ from other tarot spreads?

The Past-Present-Future Tarot Spread focuses specifically on the timeline of events in a person’s life.

What does each card in the Past-Present-Future Tarot Spread represent?

Card 1 represents the past, Card 2 represents the present, and Card 3 represents the future.

Is the Past-Present-Future Tarot Spread suitable for beginners?

Yes, this is a great spread for beginners to start with because of its straightforward layout.

Can the Past-Present-Future Tarot Spread be used for any situation?

Yes, this spread can be used for any situation where you want to examine the past, present, and future events.

What if a card appears reversed in the Past-Present-Future Tarot Spread?

Reversed cards can indicate a blockage or challenge in that area, as opposed to its upright meaning.

Should I ask a specific question for the Past-Present-Future Tarot Spread?

Yes, it is important to phrase your question carefully and make it specific to the situation you are seeking guidance on.

Can the Past-Present-Future Tarot Spread predict the future?

The Tarot is a tool for guidance and insight, and while it can indicate potential outcomes based on current events, it should not be relied on as a predictor of the future.

How long does a Past-Present-Future Tarot Spread reading usually take?

This will depend on the reader and their chosen method, but a Past-Present-Future Tarot Spread reading can generally take around 15-30 minutes.

Is it necessary to have experience with Tarot to understand the Past-Present-Future Tarot Spread?

No, experience with Tarot is not necessary to understand this spread. It is important to trust your intuition and use the card meanings as a guide.


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