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1: Recent Past (usually 3 months or so)
2: Present (now and sometimes within a couple days)
3: Near Future (usually 3 months or so))
You can also think of these as Beginning, Middle, and End, which makes it feel more like a story. However, One thing you must must must remember is that the cards predict things based on probability. So, this means that if you there is an 80% chance that the future will have a particular outcome, there is still that 20% that it will go in a different direction.
This is very important to know because if you do not like the future you can often change it, or change the experience of it. For example, I got the Tower card in the future slot and I was like oh HELL NO. But, I had no idea what would be the tower card moment, but because I was forewarned, when I found out the news that I had absolutely no control over I was able to approach it in a healthy way. I was able to change the Tower card experience.
Another example, I got a 5 Wands in the future outcome and I was like, nope. I'm not playing that game with all the power struggle. And instead of fighting with people I just kept my boundaries and stayed in nonjudgement.
And. Well. I will say, there weas also this one time I got a future card where it said I handled things like a boss, but I was afraid of success, of being seen, so I changed the future, and did not at all handle things like a boss and isolated myself instead. Yeah. I saw a GOOD outcome, and it freaked me out, and I changed it to be a bad outcome instead. Welp.
Anyway, Past, Present, Future spreads are rather versatile, and tend to fall in three types; (a) a general reading, an overall look at how things are going with your life right now, (b) relationship reading, usually romantic but works for any thing, with questions such as "is this relationship worth it?" or "should I get into a relationship with this person", (c) a career reading, such as "should I stick with this job" "should I accept this job" or "what can I do to boost my career".
I used to feel eh, about this spread, but Sal Jade's course on Udemy helped me feel comfortable with it. It's not my go-to spread, but understanding this spread well helped me understand the 10-card Celtic Cross spread more easily.
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This spread gives you insights into the three aspects of yourself where you are at, and what you need to work, and what you are doing well with. This is an especially good spread for daily readings, particularly at the start of the day.
I remember being surprised that physically, bodily, I was rockin' it, (The World), and mentally, I as good to go, celebrating life (three of cups) but spiritually, I was low, I was grieving a loss (5 of cups). Knowing this, I gave space for that grief during my daily meditation so I could maintain wellness in the body and mind. Each influences each other and seeing where I was at helped me see clearly what was going on with me.
I started thinking about creating a spread like this when I read all about how to do it in Mary Greer's book Tarot For Yourself!
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1: What does my guardian angel want me to know right now?
2: What does my ancestral guide want me to know right now?
3: What does my Heart want me to know right now?
Two things I need to explain. Ancestral guide is someone in your ancestral line who has gone through sufficient healing and training to be able to guide you in a healthy way. This is not someone who is earth bound, but the wise ancestors, the healed ancestors. They are not usually those who are recent ancestors like grandparents or parents because it's not common for a soul to be ready not only for their own healing but also for the training to be able to guide you for YOUR highest good instead of living vicariously through you, or "helping" you when really they are coming from fear or anxiety.
Heart is about your deep self, your higher self. The part of you that if you do not have it, you are no longer yourself. The part of you that allows Love to be preserved, that allows love to be healed, that allows Love to enter in, and to grow and blossom. Though, I suppose if you want to know what your literal physical heart wants you to know you could do that too. ;)
You can also insert "spirit animal guide" or "archangel" or even a specific archangel or the name of God/Goddess/Deity instead of guardian angel. Or, go crazy and expand the spread to include all of them! :D
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This is the Heaven Bridge Earth spread that I created working with Rena C. Ayeras on a joint Meetup project blending our modalities together.
The question is:
What is the current state of my CONNECTION with (1) Heaven , (2) Earth, and (3) the Bridge between them?
After this you can ask a follow up question, which is especially good if the connection isn't looking so hot.
What can I do to strengthen (or enhance, or heal) my connection with (1) Heaven, (2) Earth, and (3) the Bridge between them?
Then, after you do what you need to do to either, strengthen, enhance, or heal you connection to Heaven, Earth and the Bridge between them, then you ask the original question again to see how it is. It can also be fun to ask the question, meditate or do something good for the soul and then ask again to see how it's changed. Sometimes it looks much better or it's more grounded in the reality of the here and now.
You might also wonder, hey, how come it's not all in a row? Well, for this spread having the above for Heaven, and below for Earth, and a Card to the right as a sort of Bridge gives it a nice effect, kinda like poetry that takes on shapes. ^_^
If you are local I hope you join my meetup group so when Rena and I do our joint venture again together you can be a part of that! meetup.com/tarotenergyhealing
Ruth ~ Lady of Radiant Joy :)