So, you’ve acquired your first Tarot deck! Yay…but, now what?!

The good news is you don’t have to be a psychic, gypsy or Tarot card expert to utilize Tarot as a tool in your daily life. Armed with an open heart, inquisitive mind and Google (or a tarot deck guidebook), anyone can find guidance, and confidence, in the cards. Here is an accessible way to incorporate your tarot deck into your daily life and help you tap into your power:

The Past – Present – Future Spread

This is one of my favorite ways to work with my deck. We all come across obstacles in life that can, at times, feel totally overwhelming. Those are the moments that we feel simultaneously pulled in all different directions and equally paralyzed by indecision and doubt. In these instances, I’ve found profound guidance and life changing revelations via accepting the perceptive my cards provide.

The Past-Present-Future spread is one of the most straightforward spreads. As the name suggests, it can offer great insight to help understand how the past influences present circumstance, what’s going on in the present moment…and how the choices you make in the present may unfold in the future.

I suggest you start by setting the mood for yourself – light candles, put on relaxing music, pour a glass of wine – whatever makes you feel as comfortable and relaxed as possible. Once you feel present and “at home”, take the next step to connect to yourself and your energy on a deeper level. Try burning sage, creating a circle; incorporate your crystals, say a prayer or journal. Regardless of your spiritual practice or tradition, even if you don’t have one, the important thing is to tune into YOU.

Hold, handle and shuffle your cards as you reflect upon your present circumstance. If you have a specific question ask it now. Personally, I prefer opening myself to overall guidance and clarity on my journey – but if you have a burning question, ask it!…the next part is up to you. I choose to ask: “my Higher Self, Spirit Guides, Guardian Angels and Light the Universe to provide me with insight and understanding, so that I may grow for the greater good, in perfect Love and perfect Light”. I get that we all have different ways of saying ultimately the same thing, so protect yourself energetically and clarify your intention however you like – but I do think it’s important. If you have questions about this, feel free to comment or reach out.

Bring your attention to your breathing, center yourself, clear your mind, and shuffle your deck one last time. Spread the cards out in front of you and continue to pay attention to your breathing. Let your intuition be your guide, as you choose three cards and put them face down in front of you from left to right. The first represents the past; the second represents the present, and the third represents the future.

Once all cards are selected and placed facedown from left to right, begin by flipping over the card on the left – the past card. Now, this is where Google or your tarot guidebook comes into play. Look up the meaning of the card representing the past. Think about things in your past that relate to the meaning and energy of the card. It may represent emotions, people or events in your past that are still affecting your present. Are these energies helping you grow or blocking you in the present moment? What do you need to remember and take away from these past experiences? It may be helpful to write down your thoughts, as you will be reflecting back upon the relevance of each card and how they relate to one another, throughout the reading.

Next, turn over the middle card – the present. This card will represent your current circumstance, state of mind and the energy of the present moment. Again, use your reference of choice to research the cards meaning. Think about how you relate to this card and how it may be shedding light onto your present reality. Do you see a connection between this card and the past card? The present card may signify opportunities or obstacles you are currently facing – what advice do you feel the past card is offering you to best approach the present situation as it is represented in the reading?

When you’re ready, flip and research the last card – the future card. This card isn’t meant to be a prediction of the future, as much as it’s an indicator of a potential outcome. It can also provide insight into what you want and the direction things seem to be going in the present moment. Sometimes, this card can be seen as a warning of potentially unwanted outcomes; what is likely to happen if things continue on the current path. In this case, it is especially important to reflect heavily upon the advice of the cards. Changing your perspective or behavior in the present moment can instantly put you on a more clear path.

Take a couple of moments to review your notes and reflect upon the totality of the reading. Look for patterns in the cards, their meanings and how they relate to one another. Reflect upon the overall message and think about the significance of the overall message, as you interpret it. If you asked a specific question, how does the reading provide insight and guide your understanding? Sometimes, readings can create new questions – or leave you wondering how to best follow the advice you’ve received. In this scenario, I re-shuffle the remaining cards, spread them out again, ask my question and pick another card. I like to limit my follow up questions to three, so I don’t lose sight of the original message of the reading. It’s important to trust your intuition, and remember there is no “right” analysis. If your interpretation leads to a heightened sense of clarity and understanding, with a side of confidence, then you are on the right track!

Once you’ve finished your reading and reflection, take three deep cleansing breaths and allow the information you’ve received to integrate into your awareness. I like to close my practice by expressing gratitude for the guidance I’ve received and setting my intentions moving forward – then I put away my cards and do just that, move forward!

Over the years, the guidance I’ve received via Tarot has helped me in so many ways; to release old patterns of behavior, unblock negative energy, slow down when I’m “flying too close to the sun”, validate my life choices and open my eyes to future possibilities, just to name a few examples. Most importantly, through all of the chaos of daily life and the growing pains that come with “adulting”, I’ve found that working with my deck helps me to re-center myself and feel empowered to take on life lesson’s with confidence and grace. I hope Tarot does the same for you – and I hope this guide helps! Namaste, my friends 🙂


Alison Elizabeth