~ Your personal version of the Celtic Cross

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shelikes2read  shelikes2read is offline
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Join Date: 22 Aug 2004
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A couple comments:

- I don't use significators anymore, not unless the sitter specifically requests one.

- The way I read the first 6 cards, 1-2 are related to the present, 3-4 are related to the past, and 5-6 are related to the future. Therefore, after reviewing the first two cards, I discuss what impact both cards combined have on the present. Ditto for the third and fourth cards and the past, and the fifth and sixth cards/the future.

Having said that...

1. The present. What the sitter is experiencing right now.
2. Depending on the meaning of the card, I've read this as either a current obstacle the sitter is facing, or something that is supporting card #1.
3. The foundation of the matter. Something that's not only from the past, but also is crucial to the question being asked.
4. A receding influence. Something that recently ended/happened or is about to end/happen.
5. Something in the future that the sitter is moving toward. There's a certain symmetry here with Card 3... the sitter moved from the "root of the matter"in #3, to the present, #1; now they're headed from #1 toward #5.
6. An approaching influence that will take place in the near future.. This has some symmetry with Card #4, the receding influence/recent past card.
7. The sitter's view of the situation.
8. The sitter's family and friends' perception of the situation.
9. The sitter's hopes/fears.
10. The final outcome.
Top   #71
Willocwen  Willocwen is offline
Join Date: 25 Feb 2007
Location: New Zealand
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1: Present Position
2: What Crosses The Querent or the Current Problem
3: Recent Past
4: Recent Future
5: Unconscious Desires/Motivations
6: Conscious Desires/Motivations

7: Your Perception of Where Your Find Yourself
8: Other People's Perception/Involvement
9: Hopes and Fears
10: Outcome

While 1 - 6 remain constant, 7 - 10 will vary. If I do vary it, I will detail it ahead of time, do a diagram like the one above to get the new structure in my head.
Top   #72
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Rosanne  Rosanne is offline
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I posted this in another thread long ago it seems. I use the Celtic Cross mostly.
I learned Tarot with the Celtic Cross. It took a while but is truely a complete reading spread. I taught myself a ditty to remember it, and now I just go in a circle. It does look good to the questioner in a sort of professional way, probably because of the way you lay the cards out in a pattern.
ONE- is what the readings about
TWO- is obstacles in front of you
THREE- is where you aim to be
FOUR- is what went down long before
FIVE- is just gone but still alive
SIX-is the card of a new influence mix
SEVEN- is the questioner at this table
EIGHT- is whats around your stable
NINE- is all your hopes and fears
TEN-is the possible result, the product of the previous nine.
I lay them out like this- I do not use a signifier.
Top   #73
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Little Hare  Little Hare is offline
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Little Hare 


This is a great thread but i can't figure out which CC spread to use
Top   #74
Sulis's Avatar
Sulis  Sulis is offline
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I can't believe I haven't responded to this thread yet.

I use this version of the Celtic Cross. It's geared towards getting advice from the cards and I modify it depending on the question so it doesn't always look like this.


1. The situation you find yourself in
2. What's blocking you / your challenge
3. The basis of the situation - what's caused it
4. What you should focus on / your goal
5. What to leave behind
6. Advice for the near future
7. The querant / how you see yourself in this situation
8. Surrounding energies / how others perceive the situation
9. Your hopes and fears / your attitude and how it affects the situation
10. Probable outcome.
Top   #75
rcb30872  rcb30872 is offline
Join Date: 01 Jun 2005
Location: Australia
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In agreeance with Sulis - I can't believe I haven't responded to this thread, or maybe I have


1: Current Situation
2: Factors affecting current situation
3: Conscious thoughts
4: Unconscious thoughts
5: Immediate past
6: Immediate future
7: How you see yourself
8: How others see you
9: Hopes/fears
10: Final outcome

Top   #76
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Morwenna  Morwenna is offline
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Wow! So many interesting variations!

The one I use seems to be the most common one here:


and with the most common attributions. I don't use a significator, because I too feel that any card should be available to any position rather than being consciously selected. But I also modify individual cards after the layout has been read, if the querent desires more information. Sometimes I will overlay the whole thing with one more card each (adding adjectives to nouns, if you will), sometimes I will ask which aspect(s) the querent needs more information about and simply add one or two cards there.
A friend of mine builds something like this into his regular readings; his #10 position is automatically four cards: the main one and three modifiers. His staff therefore has a big knob on the end. (Apologies to fantasy author Terry Pratchett!)

I want to thank several of you for great ideas; I'm particularly impressed by the chakra system, and by the one which uses two columns framing the cross, one for the positive influences and one for the negatives.
Top   #77
Diorbhail's Avatar
Diorbhail  Diorbhail is offline
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Location: Cambridgeshire, UK
Posts: 357

This is my take on the Celtic Cross - a mish-mash of ideas from various books!

I'm a great fan of Robert Place's 3 card reading ideas in the back of his
"The Tarot -History, Symbolism and Divination" and this is lots of 3's.



1:Current situation. Sometimes I will have an extra "crossing" card which points to either a help or a hindrance to the current situation.

2: Basis of situation- the root cause. This could be in the querent's subconscious, something they are not aware of, or even an outside influence.
Extremely important card - it shows why the situation is as it is.

3: Past- usually recent- but the main point is that it is something in the past that is relevant to current situation. However it is in the past - outgoing influence so take what is needed from that experience and let it go.

4: How the querent sees the situation, their reaction to it.

5: Incoming influence, possible outcome.

6, 7, 8: These 3 cards represent advice or action to be taken, or lessons to be learned.

9, 10,11: The outcome, result, probable future - however you want to phrase that.

As I said I like reading in 3's and there is plenty of scope for that here. You can look at 4,1,2 as a three with the situation between what the querent is aware of (4) and what they are not aware of (2).

Going across 3,1,5 a simple past present future affecting the situation.

Then of course the bottom 2 rows are in three's.
Top   #78
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Glass Owl  Glass Owl is offline
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Glass Owl 

I really like Richard H. Geer's Sky Spread and I look at it as a good variation of some elements from the Celtic Cross.

I also just found another version of the CC that Lee posted in this thread:

Here is an interesting way of reading the Celtic Cross which is contained in the book to the Russian Tarot of St. Petersburg by Cynthia Giles.

She uses nine cards, not ten. She doesn't use a crossing card .

Her position meanings are as follows:

1. Present situation.
2. (underneath) Unconscious knowledge.
3. (to the left) Past influences.
4. (above) Conscious knowledge.
5. (to the right) Future events.
6. Querent's view.
7. View of others.
8. Hopes and fears.
9. Future direction.

Now, she suggests reading the cards so as to tell a story, like so:

"Once upon a time, ________ happened (Card 3, past events). So later, ___________ (Card 1, present situation). The central character (querent) believed ____________ (Card 4, conscious knowledge), but didn't realize that ___________ (Card 2, unconscious knowledge). He/she perceived _____________ (Card 6, querent's view), but everyone else thought ____________ (Card 7, others' view). Then, unexpectedly, _____________ (Card 5, future events). The central character didn't know what to do because he/she was very afraid/hopeful that ____________ (Card 8, hopes and fears). If nothing changed, it seemed certain that ___________ (Card 9, future outcome)."

I think it's an interesting exercise to try this out. Ultimately it might be a little limiting to do all your readings this way, but I think it helps in terms of pulling the reading together into a story. -- Lee

Here are some others...

My Cross Of Advice - By Sulis

For those questions where you need a little advice on how to proceed I use this modified (by me) cross spread:




Card 2 is placed horizontally across the first card to form a mini-cross.

1. Situation / you now
2. What's blocking you
Cards 1 and 2 together give the dynamics of the situation or the problem you're facing.
3. The basis of the problem / what's causing it
4. Focus on
5. Leave behind / don't do
6. Advice for the future / actions you can take.

Eddie's Cross Clarity Spread
The spread forms a long cross


1. What am I dealing with, as I see it?
2. The reality of what it is?
3. What is influencing this?
4. What was a contributing factor?
5. What is coming up?
6. Potential outcome?
7. Advise.

All-Purpose Compass Spread (6) By Glass Owl

"Your inner knowing is your only true compass." ~Joy Page


1. Question or Current Situation
Where you find yourself presently. The heart of the matter.

2. The Weather
Forces or energies bearing down on the situation presently, affecting it for better or worse. (This card crosses card 1.)

3. Recent Past
Where you were before. The foundation or root.

4. Potential Developments
What can be seen in the horizon. This is the direction the situation is heading towards and may serve as a warning.

5. A Step Backwards: Forget This
What holds you back or weighs you down. Reduce, discard, or avoid this negative energy to make the best of your situation.

6. A Step Forward: Remember This
What motivates you to grow and provides you with a sense of purpose. Nurture and embrace this positive energy to make the best of your situation.

Nisaba's Even-Armed Cross


1) What is the immediate issue that needs your attention
2) Best you can aim for right now
3) Your anchor (what's weighing you down)
4) History (what brought you to this point)
5) Where do you go from here.
Top   #79
Glass Owl's Avatar
Glass Owl  Glass Owl is offline
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Glass Owl 

I love re-reading through all of these various versions of the Celtic Cross.
Top   #80
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