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The Very Best* Beginners Spread

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jmd's Avatar
jmd  jmd is offline
Join Date: 05 Aug 2001
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 8,502

Doing a three card spread shouldn't restrict anyone to just those - in fact, I doubt anyone would recommend doing away with spreads which utilise more cards, such as the Celtic Cross.

Personally, I would suggest supplementing the excellent suggestion of three card spreads with a variety of other spreads, including the Celtic Cross and others.

The 'beauty' of the three-card spread is that it can slowly and easily be expanded. For example, a card can be added above the central one to 'cross' it, thus providing some insight related to the central issue at hand.

This can then be further expanded to include a card below and one above, essentially making the reading a double three card spread, one horizontal, the other vertical. The central basis of the Celtic Cross is then complete. Add another three card spread on the side (for Self - Environment - Wishes/Fears), and a final one card outcome card, and the Celtic Cross is complete.

The various three card spreads are excellent steps in developing an understanding for other spreads, and thus make such wonderful sense in our forever-learning development.
Top   #11
HOLMES's Avatar
HOLMES  HOLMES is offline
Join Date: 31 May 2002
Location: ontario
Posts: 5,395

is the term devil adovocate ?
anyhow from the other side of the fence.:O)

i myself learned the celtic cross and i am capable of many card positional spreads and able to put them together in a big long story.

it could be the best spread for learning out there.

2.find out how the story is made
3. find out tarot combnatons
4.and is highly verstile.

consider this, a beginner comes home with a lwb that advoctes three cards spreads, vs the celtc cross.

1. the begnner will go past, present, furture but how they relate ?
and will use the what how why, to see more,
then clafiy it with another three card spread let says
reasons for problem , problem, resolutions.
then the beginner will go wow they all built on each other

2 the celtic cross goes home and gets,
the badly word this is behind you this is beneath you, this is beforeyou , this is the heart of the matter,,
look up the skies, and say what ?
pull out his tarot book (for me it was the eden gray tarot book) a beginner tends to get and go ohh the past, recent past, future and so forth,
and since the tenth card is outcome the beginner tends to read that one first,, and slowly over time will begin to understand the other postions (i seriously wish i had 78 degres when i was beginner ehh , and here i am being backwards read it after i just passed the beginner level i hope)

reasons why i think they didnt' put a three card spread in the little white book.
1. the beginer tends to stick religiouly to the spread they learn so i am glad i learned celtic cross rather then a simple tree card spread.
2. they more emphasis on the whole picture rather then a quick three cards with basic positions past present and future,

from here i am just pasted talimans, post and will any thoughts.

the celtic cross is endlesly adaptable, as well as the beginer learn to focus their questions to think ok what do we want to ask.

yup one can think of the ramification of the number ten as well, and see how cards add up, one quickly learn that ten is the completion.

easy is not necessary the best way, consider the beginner who starts learin the celtic cross they after a year will have the wider range of depth then a three card user and able to put the answr in a little story incuding the past, goals, enviroment and what is going on as well with you.

being a postional reader (think of chess, positional raders vs tactial player) the positions can help you apply the cards, and quickly end up with key words that apply to he system (ten of swords, stabbed in the back three of swords having trouble healing your heart)

same differnt as celtic cross. :O) it teache you to make a bigger story more in depth. :O)

aye one can leave them in sight, or write down the meanings on a paper and think of it at lunch time.

that is where you had me beat, :O) i never did the notebook thingy

i think most three card beginer will end up looking for more, though,, and end up throwing another spread if only just to clarify the original three card spread.

of course we ourselves are making assumptions.

1. the tarot beginner will only use the lwb, and not get a lots of tarot books
2. they will do it daily for themselves,
(i neve did only read for family and friends, (having to take the book out heeh)
3.their learning style obivously the three card method will not work for everyone the celic won't either.
4. how much they pratice, and how they practice, iwould constantl read the book but never do it with the cards.

all that being said, your probaly right ,:O)
we had a teacer in college who did her studies by correspondance lessons, and had trouble verbalizing and furthermore was alwasy talkin bou what she did and not open to other interpations

so if i had did the stuf you said. , i would problay be a bit furter off, i was going to make the arguements that at the end result the celtic user and the three card user would end up at the same place.

but it stands to reason , one must walk before they can run, (the reviews i saw for tarot combinaion did two , then three then four card combonations. )
so the three card spread can teach someoe to walk and to run, but given the three card and how many times they have to lay down the cards they might as well learn a sytem that incorpates more cards to run marathons.

even if that system is three, three cards spreads, and one overall oucome card (makes up ten card doesn't it :O)

but hey,, someone had to come and speak out for the celtic cross:O)
Top   #12
Ravenswing's Avatar
Ravenswing  Ravenswing is offline
Join Date: 11 May 2002
Location: wondering around in the World of Innocence
Posts: 1,589
3 x 3

good morning all--

I must agree here that the most versital and flexible layout is a three card spread. Short, sweet and concise. But once one has gained more experience and feels more comfortable with their own abilities, the next step, as I see it, is the Celtic Cross.

**Please note: I use the word **future**. By this, I mean possible upcoming situations based upon present direction. In no way do I mean to consider them as fixed and unchangable **

I see the celtic cross not as a ten card spread, but as three inter-related three card spreads with a card that is an **overseer**.

First triplet is the card to the left, the crossing card and the card to the right. I read these as past, present and future external events.

Second triplet is the bottom card, the first card laid out and the top card. I read these as where you've come from, where you are and where you are headed.

Third triplet is the 7th, 8th and 9th cards. I read them as past, present and future interaction between self and environment.

The tenth card is a summation or general advice.

After running through the cards, I sometimes make a 3 x 3 square of the triplets. If you read the column triplets, you can see the past, present and future triplet of external, external and relation.

For further insights, one can exchange rows or columns and read accordingly. Sometimes just seeing the cards laid out as a square will spark the intiution.

have fun
Top   #13
Trogon's Avatar
Trogon  Trogon is offline
Join Date: 27 Aug 2002
Location: Arizona, USA
Posts: 2,916

Talisman... Where were you when I was just starting into Tarot a few years ago??? This was an excellent post and sound advice. I do feel that more complex spreads do have their place, but the CC is definitely one of the harder ones to learn. Since I discovered the 3 and 5-card spreads for myself, I find myself using them more often than the Celtic Cross. I still use the CC, but because of my more recent experience with the 3 and 5-cards, I feel like I'm doing better with the CC.
Top   #14
Melvis's Avatar
Melvis  Melvis is offline
Join Date: 07 Aug 2001
Location: Minnesota - The Star of the North
Posts: 1,556

Holmes: Fabulous take on the Celtic Cross!

Ravenswing: If only they printed such a concise explanation of the Celtic Cross in those darn LWB's! Maybe we should email this thread to Stuart Kaplan at US Games. We could start an LWB revolution!

Vive la trois!

(Uh ... "long live the three"??!!! My french is too know what I mean, right? )


Top   #15
Jackal's Avatar
Jackal  Jackal is offline
Join Date: 17 Oct 2002
Location: In the Shadow of the Rat.
Posts: 31

I'm not too sure what this says about me, but the first time I tried to do a reading was with the CC and I swear on my grave, by the time I reached position 7 and had been trying not only to figure out what the symbolism meant but how that symbolism interacted with the symbolism on the other cards and how it differed if they were reversed, I fell asleep.

No joke.

I hate to admit it, but it turned me off the tarot for a long time. Now, I'm older and (hopefully) a little wiser, and I'm turning my attention to it again. And while I found the 3-card spread to be a little abrupt (like, say, Blackjack vs. Poker) it has helped me fix the symbolism and meanings in my head.

I do a 'Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow' thing. I find it interesting to see how my 'Today' card relates to the next day's 'Yesterday' card, and so on.
Top   #16
Talisman's Avatar
Talisman  Talisman is offline
Join Date: 18 Aug 2001
Location: Travelin' . . . like a ball of twine unravelin'
Posts: 491

'Lo all,

Wow! Aeclectic never fails to deliver.

I just bounced off a current spread in this forum and wrote the "best" spread idea. Just another anti-CC rant under a different heading.

And jmd adds serious things to my claim for 3-card flexibility, Melvis contributes the lovely "thesis, antithesis, synthesis" idea," then, like a stage magacian pulling colored scarfs one after another from his fist, jmd expands the 3-card into the CC. And Ravenswing makes the 3-card into the CC in such a beautiful way someone wishes that was the way it was presented in the LWBs.

Oh, how I wish I had had jmd's and Ravenswing's authored LWB.

But, in the last analysis, my idea about the absolute newcomer is pretty silly. If you accept the "newcomer" hypothetical idea, they are, of course, someone like Major Tom, and want "to dive right in." Lot'sa cards, lot'sa action.

And HOLMES has a good point. Wrestling with the CC DOES show you "how the story is made." Or gives you a headache.

Most of all, I agree with Moose, whose CC "no longer bears any resembalance to the original . . ."

If -- BIG if -- you are someone like me, who has one work-horse, do-everything, take anywhere, spread, I strongly advise you adopt-adapt-create a spread for you that fits like your skin.

In any case, you guys have turned a rant -- Oh, Aeclectic! -- into something valuable.

Top   #17
Lee's Avatar
Lee  Lee is offline
Join Date: 18 Oct 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 4,815

Raven, I really like your Celtic Cross. I'm printing it out and I'm going to try it. Thanks a million!

-- Lee
Top   #18
aeonx's Avatar
aeonx  aeonx is offline
Join Date: 24 Sep 2001
Location: Norway
Posts: 1,085

Originally posted by Lee
Raven, I really like your Celtic Cross. I'm printing it out and I'm going to try it. Thanks a million!

-- Lee
Ravenswing: Do you lay the cards out in a square? Can you please illustrate this spread?

Top   #19
Talisman's Avatar
Talisman  Talisman is offline
Join Date: 18 Aug 2001
Location: Travelin' . . . like a ball of twine unravelin'
Posts: 491
I've been challenged

'Lo all,

This is the thread that caused Major Tom to issue a challenge to me in this forum.

I'd gird my loins, if I knew what that meant.

His thread is titled "Cover and Cross Spread" so you can read about it there.

'Nother reason for moving this up -- someone asked about good three-card spreads, and others contributed some exciting ones to this thread. If the topic bores you, you'll still profit if interested by skimming through and picking those up.

Top   #20



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