Spread overview

The 3-card "Current, Obstacle, Advice" spread is an invaluable tool for clarity and guidance. It succinctly reflects the immediacy of your current situation, identifies potential challenges, and offers actionable advice. Unlike more complex spreads, this three-card reading is wonderfully suited for quick insight, making it ideal for daily reflections or when you need answers without the complexity of a larger spread.

The beauty of this spread lies in its simplicity and directness. The first card represents the current energies or events surrounding your situation. It encapsulates the essence of your present circumstances, setting the tone for the reading. The second card, the obstacle, is all about understanding the challenges or blockages you might be facing. Recognizing these obstacles can empower you to find solutions or to navigate around them. The third and final card provides the advice needed to deal with the situation at hand. This advice aims to help you to move forward in a way that is aligned with your highest good, promoting growth and positive outcomes.

Experienced and novice tarot readers alike can benefit from this spread. It serves as a quick check-in or as a foundational framework for deeper explorations. This spread becomes particularly powerful when combined with clear intention and an open heart, ready to receive the wisdom of the tarot.

Three card "Current, Obstacle, Advice" spread

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The Hanged Man tarot card


Two of Swords tarot card


Eight of Swords tarot card


The Hanged Man tarot card

The Hanged Man symbolizes a necessary pause, reflection, and sacrifice for personal growth. It highlights the power of surrender to gain wisdom and the need to reassess one's path from a new perspective.

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Two of Swords tarot card

The Two of Swords indicates a decision or stalemate requiring balance and inner contemplation. A blindfolded figure suggests defense and a refusal to face underlying truths. It encourages calmness, careful consideration, and acknowledging all factors for informed choices.

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Eight of Swords tarot card

The Eight of Swords signifies feelings of entrapment and self-imposed limitations. It highlights the need for introspection, courage to face fears, and reassessment of one's perceptions to find a path to freedom.

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The tarot card meanings provided here offer general insights and may not precisely reflect your personal question. Use this tool as a catalyst for self-discovery, understanding that the interpretation is subjective, and the true value lies in your own reflections.

What questions you can ask?

When approaching the 3-card "Current, Obstacle, Advice" spread, thoughtful questions can greatly enhance the reading's relevance and depth. Choose questions that are open-ended and allow for insightful answers rather than simple yes or no responses.

Possible questions include:

- What do I need to understand about my current situation?

- What is the main challenge I am facing now?

- How can I overcome the obstacles in my path?

- What should I focus on to achieve my desired outcome?

- What are the underlying factors affecting my current circumstances?

- In what way can I best navigate my present challenges?

What questions better to avoid?

Certain questions may not be suitable for the 3-card "Current, Obstacle, Advice" tarot spread because they may require a level of detail that a larger spread could provide, or they may not align with the purpose of guidance through tarot.

Inappropriate questions include:

- Yes or no questions that don't allow for the nuance of a tarot reading.

- Time-specific questions that seek exact dates or timelines.

- Questions about other people's thoughts, feelings, or actions that could infringe on their autonomy or privacy.

- Overly broad or vague questions that don't focus on the seeker's current situation.

- Questions that abdicate personal responsibility, like those asking for predictions or fortune-telling.

Spread step by step guide

  1. Begin by creating a quiet, focused environment. Calm your mind and shuffle the deck while concentrating on your question or the situation you seek guidance for.

  2. Cut the deck in a way that feels right to you, and then draw three cards from the top, placing them facedown in a row.

  3. Turn over the first card, placing it on the left. This card represents the 'Current' situation or the energies influencing the present.

  4. Reveal the second card, placing it in the middle. This is the 'Obstacle' card, which illustrates challenges or blockages to be aware of.

  5. Disclose the third card and place it on the right. This card is the 'Advice' card, offering guidance on how to approach the situation.

  6. Reflect on each card individually, considering its meaning, symbolism, and how it relates to your initial inquiry.

  7. Integrate the messages of all three cards, synthesizing them into a cohesive understanding of your situation, the challenges you face, and the advice the tarot provides.

Card positions in details

The positions within the 3-card "Current, Obstacle, Advice" spread each play a pivotal role in shaping the overall interpretation of the reading.

The 'Current' card position is a snapshot of the moment, offering insight into the energies and dynamics in play around you. It provides context for the rest of the reading and can help set the stage for understanding the obstacle and advice.

The 'Obstacle' card is a window into the challenges that may be hindering progress or complicating the situation. It calls attention to potential blockages, internal conflicts, or external pressures that need to be addressed or accepted.

The 'Advice' card serves as a guiding light, offering wisdom on how best to move through or handle the current circumstances. It can present strategies, suggest shifts in perspective, or remind you of overlooked resources and strengths.

Sample of reading

Client Question: 'I'm feeling stuck in my career and unsure how to advance. What should I be aware of, and how can I move forward more effectively?'

Drawn Cards: 'Current' - The Chariot reversed, 'Obstacle' - Five of Wands, 'Advice' - The Star

The Chariot reversed in the current position indicates a loss of control and direction in the client's career. Their drive to succeed may be present, but it's being misdirected or blocked, resulting in feelings of stagnation.

The Five of Wands as the obstacle suggests internal conflicts or external competition are contributing to the client's feelings of being stuck. This card reflects the struggle to stand out and the lack of unity in either their own approach or within their work environment.

The Star card appearing as advice provides hope and inspiration. It suggests that the client should focus on their long-term vision and not lose faith in their dreams. It encourages seeking inner peace and clarity of purpose. The Star advises the client to engage with their creativity and to be open to new opportunities that may lead to their desired progress.

Spread tips

  1. Always set a clear intention before shuffling the cards. Focusing on your question or the situation will align the energy of the reading for more accurate guidance.

  2. Take your time to really observe and connect with the imagery of each card. Look for symbols, colors, and action that resonates with your situation.

  3. Consider the relationships between the cards—how the energy of the 'Current' card might be feeding into the 'Obstacle' and what sort of journey is suggested to get to the 'Advice'.

  4. Remain open to the messages, even if they're not what you were hoping for. The tarot is about truth and guidance, not just reassurances.

  5. Incorporate your intuition as much as the traditional meanings of the cards. Personal insights can add depth to a reading and tailor it to the individual's experience.

Common mistakes

  1. Overlooking the context of the current situation by focusing too much on future outcomes or past events.

  2. Dismissing the 'Obstacle' card if it doesn't resonate immediately, instead of reflecting on its deeper implications.

  3. Taking the 'Advice' card too literally without considering how its message applies holistically to your situation.

  4. Asking the same question repeatedly in hopes of a different answer, which can cloud the energy and confuse the interpretation.

  5. Ignoring the querent's feelings and intuition about the cards in favor of a by-the-book reading as this may lead to missing valuable personal insights.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Can the 'Current, Obstacle, Advice' spread predict the future?

This spread is more about providing guidance for the present moment and the immediate future based on current circumstances. While it may offer insight into potential outcomes, the focus is on current challenges and actionable advice.

Is this spread suitable for beginners?

Yes, it's an excellent spread for beginners. Its simplicity helps new tarot readers understand how the cards relate to each other without the intimidation of a larger, more complex spread.

Should I use reversals with this spread?

Whether to use reversals is a personal choice and depends on your reading style. Reversals can add depth, but some readers find clarity with upright cards only. Trust your intuition or established technique.

How often can I use this spread?

You can use it as often as you feel necessary. However, it's generally recommended to allow some time for events to unfold before doing another reading on the same situation.

What if the cards don't seem to relate to my question?

Take a moment to reflect deeper on the imagery and meanings. Sometimes, the relevance isn't immediately apparent. If the reading still doesn't resonate, it may not be the right time for clarity on this matter, or a different spread may be more suitable.

Can this spread be used for relationship questions?

Absolutely, the 'Current, Obstacle, Advice' spread can be adapted for a variety of topics, including relationships. It can offer snapshots of the situation, underlying issues, and sage advice for progressing.

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