Past, Present, Future Tarot Spread - 3 Card and 9 Card Layouts

Past, Present, Future Tarot Spread - 3 Card and 9 Card Layouts

The Past, Present, Future tarot spread is probably one of the most commonly asked-for in my online tarot readings. It's one of the first spreads newcomers to tarot reading are likely to learn, and can be incredibly useful in uncovering truths and insight. 

If you're beginning to learn how to read tarot cards, the simple 3 Card Reading for Past Present Future may be the best. However, I've also included a nine card reading I use sometimes that dives a little deeper. Here, we'll look at the simplest versions of these two spreads. 

3 Card Reading - Past, Present, Future


This is one of the best tarot spreads for beginners, offering perhaps the simplest look at a multi-card spread. You will shuffle your tarot cards how you do, and pull three cards next to each other as pictured. I've labeled them 1, 2, and 3 for ease.

The first card simply represents the past. If there is a specific question being asked, this may signify something to do with the individual, somebody in their life, a situation they're facing, or their spiritual realm. Obviously it depends on the type of tarot reading you are doing. 

The second card is the present, showing what is going on in this moment. If the question you are investigating is one that asks for advice or suggestions, this present card in the middle may give some insight into possible courses of action in the immediate future or present moment.

Finally, there is the future card. This may be read as an outcome, or what is to be expected. Different tarot cards here may mean different things. Some cards may point toward further action, while others point toward specific outcomes. 

9 Card Past, Present, Future Tarot Spread


The other layout that I love is the 9 card past, present, future tarot spread. This one is a little bit more complex, but offers a truly insightful look at the past, present, and future. Again, I numbered the cards in the photo to help explain, especially since this one is a little more complex. So shuffle your tarot cards, and let's get started!

So the first column (cards 1, 4, and 7) is the past, the second column (2, 5, and 8) is the present, and the final column (3, 6, and 9) is the future.  The first row (1, 2, and 3) is the mind, the second row (4, 5, and 6) is the present situation/difficulty, and the third row (7, 8, and 9) is the strengths.

So, that may seem overwhelming, but you can get the hang of this spread. For example, card 4 is a look at the past situation, or the causes of the present situation. Card 2 is what is present in the mind right now. This is definitely a more complex tarot spread, but if you run through it a few times you will get it pretty quickly :)