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Major Tom 
Papa Toad
Major Tom's Avatar
Join Date: 06 Aug 2001
Location: Texas, USA
Posts: 8,916
Cover and Cross Spread

I'm challenging Talisman right here and now to a shoot out - but strictly constrained to metaphorical 'bragging rights'.

My friend posted regarding what he considered the best spread for a beginner - it was the 3 card spread for those who don't remember. I recall challenging this in the politest possible terms -which could have been translated to "bollocks"!

The best possible spread for the beginner is what's commonly known as the cover and cross spread. This two card spread consists of a card placed face up with another card placed horizontally across it. The heart of the Celtic Cross spread. Also known as Covers me Crosses me.

If you want to get down to the basics of the situation = you really can't beat this spread. In a sort of basic shorthand the cover and cross gives you a summary of what's going on.

You can assign any number of meanings to the positions and I would welcome anyone's version.

You can also use the cover and cross in a row - using 6 cards or in a 3 x3 grid using 18 cards.

The permutations are endless...

"We are all free to do whatever we want to do...Isn't that a great way to run a Universe?" from 'Illusions' by Richard Bach

"Freedom makes a huge requirement of every human being. With freedom comes responsibility." Eleanor Roosevelt
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Old 31-10-2002 Need answers now? Get 50% off your first live Tarot session!     Top   #1
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Join Date: 05 Aug 2001
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 8,502

This thread certainly spreads across various other posts, and Tall is the man who toms this major challenge! What ought I do - run for cover or risk being in the cross-fire?

I suppose that to really get down to the basic fundamentals of a situation, a single card may be sufficient to open the floodgates of intuitive insight. For myself, I find that having a second card certainly adds to what may hinder, cross, obstruct, blind, or darken the situation revealed by the first card - but to render the veil, and make the darkness visible, a third card coming to light assists!

oops - I'm now in the cross-fire!
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Old 31-10-2002 Need answers now? Get 50% off your first live Tarot session!     Top   #2
Join Date: 01 Jan 2002
Posts: 8,204


Last edited by Diana; 26-03-2006 at 08:58.
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Old 31-10-2002 Need answers now? Get 50% off your first live Tarot session!     Top   #3
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Join Date: 11 May 2002
Location: wondering around in the World of Innocence
Posts: 1,589
ringing hats...

okay, here goes...

just to turn things upside-down, i hereby present the WORST spread for a beginner and it's only got four cards...

from a 'strictly' mathematical view point, the triangle is the ONLY stable plane figure-- triangle can be said to be form. any other figure has to be triangulated for stability. this said, i go for the three-card spread as giving enough information to go by.

but add a fourth, and, rather than staying in the plane, you enter into the third dimension. you now have a tetrahedron-- this can be considered structure. the tetrahedron is composed of four triangular faces.

therefore, by adding one card to a three card spread, you wind up with quite an elaborate situation. as in all spreads, you determine what each position represents. this done, you toss out the cards:




a 'complete' reading of a tetrahedronal spread is as follows:

1. consider cards individually as related to their positions (points of the tetrahedron)

2. consider cards as related pairs (edges of the tetrahedron):

cards 1 & 2, cards 1 & 3, cards 1 & 4, cards 2 & 3, cards 2 & 4, cards 3 & 4

3. consider the four triples (sides of the tetrahedron):

cards 1, 2 & 3, cards 1, 2 & 4, cards 1, 3 & 4, cards 2, 3 & 4

4. consider the entire tetrahedron.

makes the CC child's play

happy halloween all

...hey Toto, we ain't in Kansas no more, no more...

Last edited by Ravenswing; 31-10-2002 at 23:31.
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Old 31-10-2002 Need answers now? Get 50% off your first live Tarot session!     Top   #4
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Join Date: 18 Aug 2001
Location: Travelin' . . . like a ball of twine unravelin'
Posts: 491
Oh, I love an argument, a challenge

'Lo all,

"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds." -- Emerson.

(Emerson also said, by the way, "Quotation confesses inferiority.")

I love a challenge! Arguing is how I learn. If I assume a belligerant stance and say, " 'Tis not!", and any one of you take time from your daily progress and patiently explain to me why 'tis, I've learned something.

But, Major Tom hasn't quite played fair here. In the original post, a feeble rant which inspired this challenge, he wrote:

"I wouldn't deny anyone the thrill of that experience of laying dozens of Celtic Crosses -- the brain positively buzzes . . . I was always one of those that wanted to dive right in."

So, he partially disarmed me before we even start.

I am not backtracking, I'm just explaining. Who cares about consistency anyway?

(Sorry about the profusion of words, but Major Tom challenged me, and, as an honorable man, I'm sure he'd agree I've got the choice of weapons. And words are all I've got.)

In the big inning (which decides so many baseball games), I postulated someone who is entirely new to Tarot. Difficult to imagined in this day of the internet, but once so real.

I've just completed a review of a Tarot deck, which Solandia graciously accepted and posted. It is a review of my first deck, acquired way back when. Back in those days, children (do I sound patronizing ? ) there were very few decks to choose from, and you were lucky if you could even find those few.

Let me quote a bit, from the LWB from that very first deck. (On a Saturday, I might have been able to give a semi-adequate dictionary definition of Tarot, but the whole idea existed outside the universe where I lived. On a Tuesday, I held my first Tarot deck, and LWB, in my hands.) There was only one spread offered in the LWB, "The Ancient Celtic Method of Divination." (If you're guessing it was the CC -- the Celtic Cross -- you guessed right, although I didn't know that then.)

"In the Ancient Celtic Method of Divination the quality of the reading is dependend on the sensitivity and intuitive ability of the Divener . . .

"The Diviner first selects a card to represent the subject of the reading, determing which suit by the physical characteristics of the subject as follows:

"Rods -- Blonde hair and blue eyes
Cups -- Light brown hair and eyes
Swords -- Dark brown hair and eyes
Pentacles -- Black hair and eyes")

You'll notice that, with this system, more than half of the population of the planet Earth becomes Pentacles. I have green eyes. Puzzle. Nevermind. Press onward.

The layout of this "Ancient Celtic Method of Divination" was: covers, crosses, crowns, beneath, behind, before . . ."

That is not the method I would automatically use if I were laying out a Celtic Cross, so I guess my way must come from the books I soon acquired.

(Hey, it wasn't easy even acquiring books in those long ago days. There weren't many, and they were hard to find. There were some books by Eden Gray, but out of stupid perversity I avoided them. To me, they seemed to all be the same book under different titles. In the "biblography" of the LWB with my first deck, there was one book listed, "The Windows of Tarot" by F. D. Graves. I remember being singularly unimpressed by this book, and never bought it. And have never heard of F. D. Graves since.)

So, that was the kind'a beginner I had in mind. Someone totally innocent of Tarot. And, to that kind of beginner, Major Tom is absolutely right: someone who wants to dive right in, excited by the wonders offered in a Tarot deck.

And, to suggest to this person that they only put it half-way in, that they use only a two-card layout, is just about the plumb dumb goofiest idea I ever heard of in all my entire born put together.

But, for a beginner, it doesn't really matter. A spread is just a spread.

As Kipling said, "For the Colonel's Lady and Judy O'Grady/ Are sisters under their skins."


The secret to magic is knowing what to wish for. If you wish for things you're not going to get, your magic will never work.
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Old 01-11-2002 Need answers now? Get 50% off your first live Tarot session!     Top   #5
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