You may or may not be familiar with the Celtic Cross Tarot Spread. It is one of the oldest, most well known and widely used spreads. However, it also can prove to be rather difficult to effectively interpret.
When interpreting this particular tarot spread, it is important to not only understand and discuss what each tarot card and position represent, but to effectively relay the message(s) from the Divine to the Querent. As such, it is imperative to tie the cards together for a true comprehensive reading. In order to do so, you must analyze how each card connects to the other cards in the spread. Be sure to note the dynamics between each card, for example: how the second card relates to the first, how the third card relates to the first and second, and so on. Additionally, note any and all Major Arcana cards in the spread, as well as the suits and any patterns you may see.
The Celtic Cross Layout
The Celtic Cross Tarot Spread is comprised of a Circle/Cross and a Staff beside it. The Circle/Cross section represents what is happening in the Querent’s life at the time of the reading. The Staff section serves to broaden the scope of the reading, as it reveals the Querent’s relationship to the world around him/her.
Below is the layout and a brief interpretation of the cards in their respective positions.
~ The Circle/Cross ~
Card One: This card position represents the present, it represents the Querent at that point in time. It conveys the Querent’s current situation or state of mind.
Card Two: This card position reveals the main conflict, obstacle, or challenge. It shows us the problem that the Querent is currently facing, this is what needs to be resolved in order to move forward.
Card Three: This card position reflects the Querent’s subconscious. This is where we see what is beneath the surface. It reveals to us any underlying feelings and what is truly driving the Querent.
Card Four: This card position represents the conscious, higher self, or potential, it can represent the Querent’s goals and aspirations.
Card Five: This card position represents the past. This is where we are able to review past events and see how they’ve contributed to shaping the Querent’s current situation.
Card Six: This card position represents the future (usually the near future). This is where we will see likely future events, it is where we can see how things will likely unfold with no immediate changes being made. With that said, it is important to note that this card does not represent the final resolution.
~ The Staff (Bottom to Top) ~
Card Seven: This card position connotes the Querent’s attitude or mindset. This is where we see how the Querent feels about the situation. This card is where we delve into Querent’s perception of things and advise as to how it may be changed.
Card Eight: This card position represents any outside influences, i.e. the environment and/or other individuals. It could also represent how others perceive the Querent.
Card Nine: This card position denotes the Querent’s hopes and fears. This card relays to us the Querent’s deepest desires, as well as what the Querent may wish to delay or avoid.
Card Ten: This card position represents the outcome, main message, or underlying theme. This card is generally meant to provide a summary of all the cards previously laid out in the spread.
~ Card Dynamics ~
When reviewing the dynamics between the cards, be sure to take note of the following combinations.
Cards Three and Four: What similarities do you see with respect to the Querent’s conscious and subconscious? What differences do you notice?
Cards Three and Nine: With respect to interpreting Card Nine, the Querent’s hopes and fears, it may benefit you to refer to Card Three, which represents the Querent’s subconscious. Subconscious drivers are likely to create, influence, or contribute to one’s hopes and fears.
Cards Four and Ten: Are the Querent’s goals and/or aspirations in alignment with the overall outcome? What was revealed to you, the reader, by Card Four? Does it help or is it more of a hindrance with respect to everything? If Cards Four and Ten are not in alignment, the Querent will need to carefully think of which action(s) will be most likely to result in the desired outcome. For further clarification, you may refer to Card Seven.
Cards Six and Ten: How do future events influence or contribute to the overall outcome?
Cards Seven and Ten: Understand how the Querent’s attitude or mindset can affect the overall outcome. What can the Querent do to better manage the current situation, as well as future events?
It is important to remember that the interpretation of each card position does vary. Though the overall layout remains the same, not every tarot reader follows the same numerical order. As you develop your skills and technique, you may find a different order resonates more with you than what is outlined above.