*I'm not gonna qualify things, but try to sound as dogmatic as possible to encourage disagreement and discussion.
In a number of posts, most in the archives, I've slammed the Celtic Cross as a spread useful for beginners. (I was the laggard caboose on Thirteen's train; she was the first to say the Emperor had no clothes.)
So, here it is, the absolutely perfect beginner's spread. (Even if this really is the very best advice ever, the absolute beginner like I was, with only a new deck of cards and the little white book (LWB) that came with it, will never see it. Alas.)
The very best spread for a beginner is the three-card spread.
(The wonderful thing about the Celtic Cross, for a beginner with a LWB, is, they have their brand new deck, and really want to look at a lot of cards. Don't tell them they should only lay out one spread a day, or one thoughtful spread a week. Hell, the very day I brought my first deck home, I layed out dozens of Celtic Crosses, thumbing through the LWB with every card, reading and re-reading the scanty definitions. And trying to remember what all those crazy spread positions meant. One card a day? Barring catastrophes, 78 days of solemn, serious study to learn the deck? You gotta be kidding. 'Least the kinda newcomer I was. 'Sides, how you gonna remember that far back, 'less you gotta steeltrap brain. But, if the 3 of Swords shows up 14 times the first day, you tend to recall it. Oh, yeah!)
The three-card spread in endlessly adaptable. It can be anything the beginner wants it to be. Tinder, Kindling and Logs. (A good formula for building a fire.) Or, Uncertain, Maybe and Undecided. Or anything that comes in threes. (I've said this before, but MeeWah, in a whimsical mood, once described it as the Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner spread.) Extremely malleable. Hammer it into the shape you want. A metal you can mold.
And think of the ramnifications of the number "three." Three acts to a play, three in fairy tales (as a pre-schooler and still life-long fairy tale addict this one hit me hard), etc. (I realize you can do this with any number, but still . . .)
What about the layout? The Celtic Cross has captured people's imaginations for more than 100 years. Well, yeah, but sometime when you're playing with your cards, see just how many ways you can lay out a mere three cards. A horizontal line, a vertical line, a fan, several kinds of triangles, etc. You'll be amazed. And, best of all, it is only three cards -- you'll never have to stop and think, "Now what does position eight mean?" Three is easy.
With three cards, you don't have to think about the position of the cards, but you can focus on the cards themselves.
With three cards (as opposed to the "card a day") you learn how to read the cards in a flow, a story.*
(*Where 'n hell is Mojo, who had the best explanation of story-telling card reading I ever read; unfortunately it wasn't in a bunch where you could print it out, but spread over dozens of posts.)
With three cards, you can lay out a quick Larry, Moe and Curly spread before the day claims you, and, since three cards take up a small space, find them waiting for you when you return. Second sight is very different. If you live in a very busy household, and you can't leave the cards laying out in a breakfast nook or something, you can leave them on top of a dresser, or even, under your pillow.
If you have a lined, spiral-fixed notebook, you can mark off three-columns and mark your daily spread in boxes, using colored pencils, water colors, markers, etc., and in no time have the beginnings of a colorful band, allowing you to spot repeptitions and patterns at a glance. Try that one with a 10-card spread.
You can have fun, instead of concentrating on esoteric bull****.
Best of all, you can explain this amazing layout (to beginners) in one simple paragraph. Try that with the Celtic Cross.