One of the more popular quick spreads in Tarot is the 3 Card Spread. Many people know this as the Past, Present, and Future Spread. However, as a daily spread it is much more useful to use this as the Mind, Body, Spirit Spread. This will give you a variety of clues as to what to expect during the day. A quick look in the morning can not only warn you of upcoming difficulties, but can help provide you with clues and advice about how to overcome any adversities throughout the day.
I advise everyone to do a quick 3 Card Spread in the morning and to write it down in their Tarot Journal. Keeping track of your daily readings will provide insight as to how your life unfolds. Over time, you will begin to notice patterns and cards that tend to repeat themselves. Pay special attention to these cards as they are trying to teach you something. Look for repeats in court cards as well as these cards may come to indicate particular people in your life. However, do not rule out the possibility that they are aspects of your own personality.
Most 3 Card Spreads include a majority of Minor Arcana cards as these are daily tasks. If a Major Arcana card shows up, it is a message to pay attention as something important is going on. Let's take a look at today's 3 Card Spread using the Gilded Tarot.
Mind - 10 of Wands, Reversed
Body - 0 The Fool
Spirit - XIII Death, Reversed
Right away it is important to note the appearance of not just one but two Major Arcana cards. In general if this suddenly happened in a spread, the Querent (person for whom the spread is for, or the person who is asking the question) would want to pay particular attention as there could be major events occuring during this day. However, in my own life, Major Arcana cards have been coming up quite frequently in even my smallest spreads. This is due to changing my focus and changing my life direction. Any time you are making major decisions in your life, you can expect a variety of Major Arcana cards to come up very frequently.
Let's look at what each of these cards could mean for me for the day.
The first card I drew to represent Mind was a Wands card. Wands are generally associated with the element of fire and represent growth and development, at least when upright. Some people associate wands with air and swords with fire. When I first began using Tarot, this was my association. It worked well with the deck I used for the first ten years or so. However, after I began using a variety of other decks and studying the cards more deeply, I switched interpretations. Depending on the deck you use, associating wands with air may be more appropriate. As long as your associations are consistent when using a given deck, your Tarot interpretations will still be valid. If you find yourself struggling with interpretations, you may want to experiment with switching this particular association to see if that works better for you and the deck you are using.
The number 10 can represent completeness, or the end of a cycle. Additionally, the end of one cycle means the beginning of a new cycle.
The 10 of Wands represents a person who is overloaded and carrying an abundance of heavy burdens. In fact, they may be carrying burdens that don't even belong to them! Some people attempt to help others by not only giving the person a shoulder to lean on, but taking on a majority of the load themselves. This can indicate a nurturing nature that has gotten a bit out of hand or even codependence.
When reversed, the 10 of Wands indicates that the burden is being lifted. The Querent is free to let some of the baggage go. It can indicate that it is time to prioritize your responsibilities and let others take on some of the work. It can also mean that you have to look at your activities, decide which ones are serving you, and which ones you need to let go. There is a time to say, "no" to new activities and responsibilites, and the time is now. How many committees are you serving on? How many times have you volunteered at school or for extra projects at work? Participation in activities is great for the mind and the spirit. But over-participating and saying yes to everything can lead to burn-out. It's time to let others step up and develop their leadership skills.
In my case, there are a plethora of issues I have been concerned with lately. My mind tends to work in over-drive and I have trouble sleeping because of this. Last night, for example, I got three hours of sleep. Perhaps if I heed the advice of the 10 of Wands Reversed, I will be able to better prioritize my responsibilities, focus on what really needs to be done, and get a good night's sleep.
For the Body card we have 0 The Fool. The Fool stands alone in the Major Arcana as it is the first card and is often not numbered at all. The Fool indicates the beginning of a new adventure. In my case in this particular spread, the Fool in the Body position is an encouragement of my new physical activity. I have been lifting weights for years, but have recently wanted to add more cardio back to my workout regimine. I have never been a dancer, nor have I ever really enjoyed dancing as I feel like I am not good at it. However, I recently ordered Zumba and just a couple of days ago started using it to work out. The Fool here is telling me that it is good to continue working my body in this new way. Not only that, but since I can work out in the privacy of my own home (thanks to the DVD's), I can look as Fool-ish as I want and don't have to worry about being embarrassed if anyone else sees me!
While some people may not think this is deserving of a Major Arcana card, dancing is actually a difficult issue for me. I have many doubts and feelings of insecurity and self-consciousness around dancing. Most of my memories of dancing include other people laughing at me and making fun of me. To order the videos and try it at all was, I felt, a major breakthrough. The Fool is just here to validate my decision and to encourage me to explore this new avenue.
It is also important to note that the person in the 10 of Wands, Reversed is looking towards The Fool. Might he want to throw down some of his burdens and go dance and enjoy life? Has he been struggling for too long? Maybe he is starting to realize that life doesn't have to be as difficult as he seems to make it.
Spirit - XIII Death, Reversed
Many people can't help but panic when they see the Death card in a spread, even if it is reversed. Relax, Death is just the end of a cycle and the beginning of a new one (kind of like that 10 of Wands we talked about earlier, except on a much grander level). It is the rare occassion when it might indicate the actual physical death of a person. When in the Spirit position of the Spread, Death Reversed can indicate stagnation and the need to regroup and see if this is the path you really want to take. There is no doubt that this card will continue to come up for me at least occassionally. I am embarking on a new path, have new goals, and I am scared. I am afraid I might fail. I think about taking the easy way out instead of trying to do what I really want to do. On the other hand, when I conform to an expected life pattern, Death upright appears in my readings because on that path my Spirit slowly dies and depression creeps in. In order to find my way in life, I will have to get over the fear and carry on whether I am successful or not.
The position of the cards in this spread is important. It is worth noting that if the cards appeared in different positions, they would produce different interpretations. For example, if the 10 of Wands Reversed card had come up in the Body position of the Spread, it could indicate an illness the Querent has not gotten vaccinated for or a lack of physical motivation to get chores or work done. In the Spirit position it could indicate letting go of old patterns and habits which no longer serve the Querent.
As you can see, you gain a lot of information and insight from a 3 Card Spread. You can also receive a lot of encouragement and motivation to continue new activities you have started or to pursue new goals. Pull out your deck and try your own 3 Card Spread. Don't forget to write it down and date it. It doesn't have to be as elaborate or as long as this interpretation. You can write down each card and just write 3-5 words about what you think it means, what feelings you get from the cards, or traditional interpretations that came with your deck. As you go through the day, pay attention to whether or not your experiences match your interpretations of the cards.You just might be surprised by what you find.