Miss Tilney Tarot
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Past Present Future Spread

Hey loves! I just got done with a few chores and a pretty fun yoga session, and now I am sitting on the couch, sipping on water, and taking care of business! I hope your Saturday is going amazing :) Let's chat about the past-present-future spread! Have you heard of it? Probably, everyone and their mom has tried this spread! It's the first spread I learned how to do as a baby tarot reader. It's possible that it is the most popular tarot spread ever.

About six months ago now, as I was reading one of the many beginning tarot books out there that include the PPF spread, I realized that I read it very differently. That inspired me to create my first workshop, a workshop centered on beginning tarot skills and learning how to read the PPF spread! The fact that I did something that probably every tarot reader has done a little bit differently than any version I have read seemed pretty cool, and gave me the confidence I needed to believe that I had something to add to this massive internet wide conversation about tarot. So here is my take.

Firstly, I feel like my entire objective in using this spread is different than what I have read in books. I don't use the PPF to determine my future, I use to accomplish my goals and CREATE my future.

I have two different versions of this spread. The first is to determine what the Universe (or maybe deep down myself) believes I need to be focused on right now. The second is to look at a particular conflict or goal I already have, and determine my next step towards my ideal outcome.

In the first scenario, I feel a little lost, a little purposeless, or a little overwhelmed with my own infinite list of probably not the best ideas. Therefore, I need to start by getting in the right mindset. Take a deep breath, maybe light a candle, and allow myself to be open to the advice the tarot will bring. I ask the cards "what issue or goal do I need to focus on right now?". I flip the present card first. This card will describe what I need to focus on. To my overwhelmed brain, this flash of clarity is always so beautiful. The "ah! That!" or even a "holy shit, I knew it!!" feels so good. Then I flip over the past card, describing what past lesson I still need to learn. Sometimes, we can't move on to our next big thing until we have wrapped up something else. Sometimes though, this card can refer to a strength or a positive character trait that will help us complete our goal. Obviously, the last card is the future card. This card tells me what my goal or ideal outcome should be. Overall, this version brings clarity and direction to moments when I feel lost, overwhelmed, or generally not sure what to do next.

The second version of the spread is basically the same, except I already know what goal/conflict I am focused on, so the card meanings shift a little bit. Instead of referring to what I should focus on, the present card tells me where I am currently at with my goal. What is going on, am I headed in a good direction, at a stalemate, or caught up with a distraction? The past card tells me what I am bringing with me from the past that will help or hinder my pursuit of my goal. The future card in this version describes my next step towards my goal.

The last step for both spreads is to look over all three cards and see if there is a story there. For this step, replace the words "past, present, future" with "beginning, middle, end". Look at the connections between the cards. What story do they tell? Dig a little deeper into each card, looking at it as a stage in the story, to see if there was any insight you missed. Finally, blow out your candle and go DO it! Take that next step towards your goal.

This version of the past present future spread feels more insightful, as it doesn't just show me a set future that I need to accept, it gives me the tools I need to create the future I want.

Before I sign off, I wanted to include a link to one of my favorite tarot spreads! I did not create this spread, but I use it all the time! It is an extension of the PPF spread, and provides deeper insight into a situation that can't be fully explored with just three cards. I highly recommend you check it out!

Ok, one second of self-promotion. I am doing a beginning tarot workshop TOMORROW!!! This is my favorite workshop to do, and I am so excited! Will I see you there?

Thanks babes, have a great Saturday!


Bailey Allen