Using the tarot can take minutes to learn but several lifetimes to master. For this reason, it is crucial you obtain a quality tome of card meanings beyond any supplied material included with your deck. A classic writer of 20th century interpretations is A.E. Waite but seek any book easily navigable and clearly explained. Once you have acquired a loose familiarity with your cards and their meanings, as well as experimented with some simple spreads of six or less cards, a fun, informative, and flexible spread to use is the Celtic Cross.
Using 10 cards, more than ⅛ of a standard tarot deck, the Celtic Cross looks at the querent’s life from multiple perspectives and portrays a vivid image of their situation rather than attempt to divine their future. Of the 10 cards, only three point to possibilities as yet unseen while five concern solely the querent’s current state and the remaining two signify past occurrences.
After the deck has been properly shuffled, it should be split into three piles with the middle pile rising to the top. Making sure to maintain the present order of cards, the first can be drawn and placed just to the left of the center of the playing field. This first card represents the specific situation being addressed in the spread. It may be related to any questions being proposed but it may also be somewhat insequitur. This signifier card says a few details about the querent as well as their lifestyle and concerns.
Now draw the next card in sequence and place it horizontally across the first. This card represents the contributing factors involved in the previously indicated situation and what influences are closest to the querent. Understanding its meaning is a vital step in reaching the total conclusion of the spread; this first duo of cards is the center focus of everything else.
The third card should be placed directly above the crossed focal point, crowning the spread with a potential outcome ahead. Simulating a best or worst case scenario, what this card foretells is unlikely to come true in full but is a hint at what direction the querent’s life is heading. Even still, do not be worried if it seems negative or become too relaxed if the reverse: actions impact outcome.
Below the previous arrangement, the fourth card creates a tower and provides the foundation for what is already present. It represents the root causes of whatever situation is being discussed and can suggest an archetype or character trait prevalent in the querent. Delving deep into this card’s meaning can provide ample background knowledge.
Place the next two cards upon the field together, the first directly to the left of the first crossing cards representing the immediate future and the second just to the right representing the immediate past. It can be estimated that whatever event the past card to the right is depicting is as far behind as the event depicted by the future card to the left is ahead. Respect that both events concern the situation at hand in direct ways and cast a meager timeline for the entire spread’s accuracy.
These first six cards show the form of the cross and bear the closest relevance to the querent’s problems and ordeals. Studying the current arrangement and its meanings is the best way to become acquainted with the most pertinent facts regarding what is being discussed and reach a probably previously unthought of perspective. Stitching this tale together should precede laying the last four cards, which will begin in the bottom right corner and work up next to the main layout.
Card number seven aptly represents the querent’s perceived attitude. While this interpretation may not wholly describe their true nature, it shows the way others view them as well as their habitual approach to new ideas and opportunities. Let this card shed some light on who the querent doesn’t know they are.
Just above the attitude, card number eight represents the environment. This is usually directly describing the places the querent spends the majority of their time as well as the people they are generally associated with. If this seems negative, perhaps a serious change of lifestyle is needed but if this card is optimistic, you can be trusting in others for the time being.
Next, place the ninth card representing intangible hopes and fears above the environment. This card will identify irrational worries preventing the querent from achieving their goals or pipe dream fantasies beyond reach. Use this information as a guide to steer clear of, realizing that the problems here will never apparate and the goals should be ignored.
In the top left corner of the spread, place the tenth and final card representing a likely outcome. This card should only be consulted after reviewing the previous three quite closely and connecting their connotations to the initial six. The last card ties everything together but can only be trusted if the advice and warnings present in the other nine cards is heeded and followed carefully. Even still, nothing is set in stone.
Now that you have a chance to look at all ten cards laid out before you, take a moment to link them together and realize the relationships between all aspects of the situation; numerous factors affect the central issue and should be separated but intermingled appropriately. Consult multiple sources for meanings of the cards and dedicate time to unweaving the entire spread. This may be an ideal time for any sort of meditation or reflection upon the vast array of ways to view the reading. Allow your mind to sort through the cards and notice what thoughts float to the top.
Consider performing the Celtic Cross for yourself daily and keeping a journal of the cards drawn and your decided interpretations. Monitor trends that occur both in occurrences of certain cards in certain slots and the correlation between the general synopsis of the readings and the overall condition of your life. Once you are comfortable with the spread, don’t be afraid to offer your insight to others but beware closed minded individuals who will build barriers between themselves and the tarot as well as ignore its wisdom.