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An All-Purpose Three-Card Spread

three-card spread with Ancient Italian Tarot

Most of the questions we put to Tarot have the same basic structure: Subject-Object-Verb; or Querant-Question-Bridge. There’s the person asking the question, what the question is about, and what’s going on between them. We can use these three components as spread positions for a made-to-order layout that works well with the Tarot de Marseille.

For example:

Will I win the lottery next week?  There’s me, the lottery, and what’s possible between us.

Is this a good time to ask my boss for a raise?  There’s me, my boss, and the energy between us. Or, me, my hoped-for raise, and the field of possibilities surrounding us.

Any unresolved situation is surrounded by a cloud of possibilities. This technique points out the possible outcome that carries the most energy.

I put the bridging card in the center to see how it interacts with the cards on either side. Then I consider how compatible the subject and object cards are with each other and the bridging card.

Here’s a sample reading I did for myself on the question: Will I win big money in the contest I just entered? (See the picture at the top)

Me: Temperance. I’m pouring water back and forth into the same jars. I’m not pouring water out, and I’m not receiving any. It looks like I’m going to be stuck with the same amount I’ve always had.

The prize money: Ace of Cups. This cup has an open door with a fat cherub popping out, and green dolphins playing at the base. It’s a good omen, but will the money flow toward me?

The energy between us: Eight of Swords. The laurel branch in the middle is the prize, but it’s pinched and walled in, blocking the flow of energy between the other two cards. The center of the card looks like the doorway in the Ace of Cups, but instead of new life and opportunity emerging, there’s an old branch past its prime stuck inside. It goes without saying, I didn’t win anything.

Try this yourself. Break a situation down into subject, object, and the bridge between them. Pull a card for each component, and let us know how it turned out.

For more tips on reading with historic decks, check out the cartomancy section.


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