The Celtic Cross is one of the oldest and most used Tarot spreads, yet many new readers avoid this complicated looking layout. Once you understand the positions, learn patterns to look for, and discover which cards to connect, the Celtic Cross can supply you with a wonderful interpretation with amazing insights.
There are different versions floating around, with different positions and positional meanings. Once you’ve decided upon the version you wish to follow, practice and you will soon see how easy it is to master this spread.
The version I’m using feels right to me, but you may prefer one of the others. The best advice I can give is pick one and stick with it. The learning curve is much easier when your brain can automatically recall the positions and their meanings.
1. Present, where you stand.
2. Block, what stands in your way.
3. Foundation, motivation, the why.
4. Past, what has happened.
5. Expectations, what could happen.
6. Future, what will happen.
7. Fear, what you don’t want.
8. Environment, outside influences.
9. Hope, what you want.
Question: A general reading for the week - April 7-13.
Question: A general reading for the week - April 7-13.
The first thing that draws my attention about this spread is the fact that six out of ten cards are in the reversed position. This shows a lot of suppressed energies.
The next thing I look for is the abundance or absence of suits. They are all present, giving the reading an elemental balance.
Now, let’s look at some positions.
The first position shows where you are at this moment, with the second position revealing what’s standing in your way and holding you back.
The 9 of Cups reversed indicates a delay in satisfaction. What should be a success, a dream come true, shown in the upright position of this card, has been put on hold. The 9 of Swords reveals what is keeping you in this position, blocking your movements. I usually term this card ‘the Nightmare Card’. It shows mental distress, raw fear, but it’s usually not as bad as it seems. Things go bump in the night, but it is rarely a monster creeping up on you.
With ‘the Nightmare Card’ showing up as the block, I move to look at the seventh position to reveal the fear. The Fool reversed instantly makes me think of not being able to take a leap of faith, holding back rather than jumping forward. You are afraid to take that step without knowing what will come next.
Let’s take a look at past, present, and future. The fourth position shows what has happened to put you where you are now. The 3 of Pentacles, which I see as ‘the Artist Card’, falls in a reversed position. This reveals the lack of using your skills and knowledge to complete your work. It’s not that you don’t have them, or that you are not capable, you just aren't using them, or applying them to the best of your ability.
Your inactivity has left you unsatisfied and unsuccessful, because you fear what will come after you take that leap. Sounds like procrastination in its truest state.
Position six shows the future with the 7 of Swords reversed. ‘The Thief Card’ indicates something being stolen, but when reversed it is returned. Notice in its position the figure looks back at the Nightmare card. I see this as the release of fear, the return of peace of mind. Clarity will come as the clouds and worries dissipate.
Position five shows what you expect to happen; it may or may not come into play. The 2 of Swords reversed reveals renewed action, making a move rather than denying yourself choice. Looking from the 2 of Swords to the 7 of Swords, notice her two swords have been stabbed into the ground, the block diminished. He has grabbed up the new swords, new thoughts and ideas. I believe the expectations of moving forward will come to play out in the return of new ideas and thoughts.
Position three shows the foundation of the situation, the why of your current position. The Knight of Pentacles reversed expresses boredom with routine. There’s a need to shake things up and try new ways, but with this Knight routine, reliability, and commitment are his platform, it is the way he is. It may be a hard task to bring this guy right-side up and moving forward.
Outside influences are revealed with position eight. Here we have the Knight of Cups. I normally look at the Court Cards as reflections on the client, but in this position of environmental aspects it is outside of that person. In this case, we have a male influence over the client.
The Knight of Cups is a loving, emotional, and supportive man. He’s the one you want around when you've given up and have no need to return to reality. The only problem I see here is he may not be able to help pull the Knight of Pentacles back into action. He may not even understand what the problem is. His view on life is more emotional, while yours may be more practical and driven.
The ninth position reveals hopes, desires, attitude, and state of mind. The Ten of Wands usually screams overburdens, but here I’m seeing it as the burdens of success, the steady forward movement filled with activity. You want the responsibility which comes with achievement; you want to be busy and active.
The Outcome comes in the form of the 6 of Wands, ‘the Victory Card’. The rider has achieved his goals and is returning for his rewards. Success is clear in this outcome card. It’s always nice to have this sort of card fall into this position.
Overview: You are in a state of stress, worry, and dissatisfaction. Boredom with routine and lack of activity has put you here. To move forward, you will need to rid yourself of the fear and take the first step, let down your guard and allow yourself to experience new thoughts and seek out a new way of doing things. This will lead you to heavy responsibilities and many tasks, but in the end it will all come together in success. And when you need a break from reality, seek out your supportive knight and enjoy the emotional, loving side of life. It doesn’t always have to be work and progress. Sometimes you just need to live and love.