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Tarot – Celtic Cross


In Tarot there are many different Card Spreads that are used and indeed many variations on those spreads and also as to how each individual tarot reader expresses his or hers unique talent so nothing is set in stone and it is all open to interpretation.

This article highlights one spread which is very popular known as the Celtic Cross.

Some people say that this spread is complicated but personally I like it and have found it very easy to work with. Indeed I get the impression that I may have used this spread in times gone by as it comes very naturally to me.

But then just because it suits me it might not suit others after all I do come from a strong Celtic background. My surname derives from the welsh Llewellyn and that is a strong celtic name. A name that rings from the days of Merlin and the picture of the Castle that goes with this article is indicative of those past times.

Dealing with the Celtic Cross spread the cards are spread out one at a time in a set sequence.

When doing a Tarot reading many card readers like to choose and have a card to represent the Querent (the questioner for whom they are doing the reading for).

In a Celtic cross the first card is often called the significator will represent the questioner.

There is some flexibility in the style depending on the individual reader and the choice or decision depends on what one is most happy with.

Tarot readers will use what works for them best but they also need to know why they have made that choice and usually this will be based on past experience in real life readings.

In very broad terms the Celtic cross spread would be along the following lines:-

The first card is placed in the centre of the table and represents the person who is having the reading (the querent or questioner).

The second is placed on top and slightly to the side and represents’ the querent’s present situation,

The third is placed side ways over the other two cards and represents what is causing or influencing the present situation.

The fourth card represents the distant past and this card is usually placed below the first three cards at say 6pm on a clock face.

From now on in the cards are placed in an anticlockwise fashion

The fifth card represents the recent past which would have led the client to where they are today. This card is usually placed at say 9pm on a clock face.

The sixth card is the goal or aim or put it another way the best result or achievement that the questioner could hope for in the current circumstances this card is placed at 12pm on the clock face.

The seventh card is the immediate future and is but one step on the clients path it does not represent or signify the outcome of current events and this card is placed at 3pm on the clock face.

A side vertical column is now formed on the right hand side of the spread consisting of the next four cards.

The eighth card represents the actual person having the reading (the questioner) and how they are dealing with or approaching the current situation and this is placed as the first card in the vertical column

The ninth card represents the surroundings and or people or events which will arise in the life of the client in the near future and this is the second card in the vertical column.

The tenth card represents the client’s hopes and fears.

It cpuld be the best or the worst. It can also represent aspiration or a warning. This is the third card in the vertical column.

The eleventh and final card is the final outcome.

It must, of course, be read in conjunction with the other cards in the spread as undeed all the cards influence the reading.

Some readers may not place the cards in the same manner for example some might place card 4 at 3pm and work round the clock face in an anticockwse direction.from there.

I prefer that the fourth card follows down from card three and that way by the time you get to card seven you are ready for the vertical column.

Also some readers may only use ten cards as opposed to the eleven that I have described here. They would perhaps not include a card for the distant past.

As I said in the introduction there is a great deal of personal choice and flexibility in deciding ones own personal style.

In a brief article such as this one cannot cover all variations on this card spread but I hope this article is useful for either people considering becoming a tarot reader or for those whom would like a tarot reading

The author JJ writes many articles on a variety of topics and his web site is at Marbella Spain