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The Past, Present, and Future
Tarot Reading

       
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The Past, Present, and Future Spread

The Past, Present, and Future
 

This simple 3-card spread is read like a chronological story. The positions are apparent, and there's not much need to give instructions based on the simplicity of this spread. One of the most commonly known spreads, if it didn't already exist in every book and tarot reading website there is, probably everybody that ever used tarot cards would have invented it themselves.



The Past, Present, and Future Reading

The Past

8 of Wands
The Present

8 of Cups
The Future

3 of Swords
   
The Past

8 of Wands

Too many wands is just too many egos to work together without an extremely powerful leader. Without a leader, the mob that formed in the previous Wands card now becomes a menace without a cause. There is an organized chaos in the mob mentality, and their real danger lies in the randomness of their actions. They are prone to meaningless madness.

The democratic structure that they are so proud of is really just harmonious anarchy. They share the desire to do evil and as long as one guy isn't too much of a jerk, they'll probably go along with whatever the guy says. It may be that idle hands are to blame.

The danger of mob mentality is that nobody really knows who is doing the thinking. Without a leader, nobody has anybody to answer to so they all share the blame. Whever this card shows up, beware of random chaos.

Upright keywords: action, swiftness, messenger, haste, speed, felicity, fast, sudden

   
The Present

8 of Cups

This card shows a guy who stored up a treasure while isolating himself. When he finally completes his collection, he realizes that there is no fulfillment in his reward. Now he has all these cups, but no friends to share them with. He is a hermit on an island, symbolic of a period of loneliness.

It's poetic justice that he has all the treasure he ever dreamed of and that it is still empty. He gets what he deserves. He has burned his bridges and now all the treasure in the world would not mean anything.

His evil ways of hunting treasure on Earth at the expense of people has come full circle. The rewards that he reaps are barren cups of gold, a painful reminder of what he has sacrificed to gain this treasure. His abandonment of the cups is the only ray of light in that now he has at least learned why a rich man can not go to heaven.

Upright keywords: mildness, timidity, honour, modesty, decline, empty victory, hollow pursuits

   
The Future

3 of Swords

The 3 swords pierce a heart as if you were to receive a Valentine's card from somebody who was breaking up with you. A storm rages in the background. This is a card of particularly evil feelings. It is the tarot deck's broken heart.

The card does not really need a description as it projects such apparent symbolism that nobody could misread it. A broken heart doesn't feel good to anybody except maybe the person who broke it. Unfortunately there are many who would love to destroy others emotionally, as if it feeds their sick satisfaction.

Where this card appears there has been an evil act that has shaken a person to their core. There is probably a profound sorrow and resentment that will linger for some time.

Upright keywords: removal, absence, delay, division, rupture, loss, dispersion, spillage, waste

 
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