Have you heard about the Celtic Cross tarot spread? It’s the most famous tarot spread and the one every reader should know how to do.
There are a lot of variations out there, so learning this spread isn’t about learning my particular layout below. Instead, use this as a learning tool or a template for your readings. It’s okay to modify some of the positions if a slightly different meaning makes more sense to you for your particular question or just in general.
I find that this spread works best for big questions or complex situations. Professional tarot readers often use this spread when doing readings for clients.
Traditionally, a Celtic Cross tarot spread has ten cards. I rarely, if ever, see someone use oracle cards with it.
Suggestions for how to use this spread is below the image.
- Central Issue: This card is placed below the second card. It can be a card you pull from shuffling or a significator card (a card you place to represent a specific energy or person). This card, when pulled from the shuffle, describes the current situation.
- Obstacle: This card is placed immediately above the first card. Some readers will always put this card upright and never reversed. This represents an obstacle or something crossing the central issue.
- Root Cause: This card represents the foundation of the problem. Sometimes it represents a hidden truth, so you may be surprised by the card you pull here. This is the origin of the problem.
- Recent Past: Different from the third card, this represents events or situations that recently led up to the current issue. It’s not necessarily related to the root cause, but often is.
- Conscious Goal: This card represents what the person or situation you’re reading for is aware of what they’re aiming for. Sometimes, it represents not what the person or situation is consciously aware of, but their subconscious higher goal.
- Near Future: Not the final outcome, but what will happen soon or the events leading up to the outcome. This is what’s usually the most difficult to change because you have less time to alter the future.
- Suggested Approach: Advice for the central issue or current situation that will make for a favorable outcome. This suggested approach does not necessarily lead to the ultimate outcome that this spread indicates, so see this card as advice to get what you want instead of what’s likely to happen if you make no changes.
- External Influences: This card represents things outside of your control such as people, places, or events which are influential to the final outcome.
- Hopes or Fears: This represents the strongest psychological feeling about the person or situation. This will determine motivation when it comes to manifesting a good outcome. It’s an emotional feeling, not a goal.
- Outcome: What’s mostly likely to happen right now if nothing else changes. Remember to view this card in context to the others and see this card as the direction the person or situation is currently going in.
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