Reading the future with tarot cards can be complicated. With so many decks holding different significance for many people it can be difficult to decipher their meanings.
What makes readings clearer is the way cards are spread out. Among the various readings is the Celtic cross configuration. This is perhaps one of the most common and popular readings.
Celtic Cross Tarot Reading - the Spread
Typically a Celtic cross makes use of cards that are split into two sections. These sections are called the cross and the staff. Six cards make up the cross. Two in the center and one on each side. The remaining four cards make up the staff. In essence the way the cards are laid out resembles a cross. This reading is well suited to questions pertaining to a personal or spiritual inquiry.
Basic positions of the Celtic cross
1. Card number one is not part of the Celtic tarot spread. It is the Significator and represents the query or person asking the question. Traditionally a person is allowed to choose a card from the deck before shuffling.
2. Card number two represents the influences or the feeling surrounding the question.
3. Card number three is the Crossing card of the Cross card. This card represents obstacles standing in the way of the question. If this card is considered a positive card then the question or problem is surmountable and will work out to the persons benefit.
4. Card four is considered the Crown card. "That which is above". This card represents the highest hopes of the query or the best that be expected in the outcome.
5. Card number five is considered the foundation card. "That which is below". The above card signifies the birth point of the question and represents aspects that have to come into being and which the person has made their own. It represents the true point to the question which may not be consciously spoken. The above card on the other hand represents a point of fulfillment and is not something that has been actually made.
6. Card six is "that which is behind". This card shows the events that affect the question, or the past.
7. Card seven is "That which is Ahead". This card shows the events affecting the question in the future. But not the final outcome.
8. Card eight is the Personal Position card and represents the question in action, either good or bad.
9. Card nine signifies the Environment. It represents the 'other' or the question as in environment or other things that affect the question.
10. card ten is the Psychological card and represents the hopes, dreams and fears of the person.
11. The last card number eleven is the one that remains true. It shows how the question will be ultimately resolved.
The meaning of this spread
The Celtic cross tarot card spread is perhaps one of the oldest patterns for reading tarot cards. It has survived because the spread is simple and powerful as well as the strong energy that builds up around it due to its continued use.
The cross section of this spread emulated the Celtic crosses that originate from Ireland and can also be referred as the circle. The cross and the circle signify the joining of spirit and matter and the unity of all events.
There is a feminine energy in the circular section that works in harmony with the masculine energy of the staff section. These two sections mirror the dual nature of the polarities that proliferate in the human psyche. The cross section itself is divided into two crosses being a central cross consisting of two cards which are incorporated into a larger cross of six cards. The smaller cross signifies the heart of the question and what is most central to the recipient at the time of reading. It is in effect the hub around which the wheel of life turns.
The larger cross consists of two lines that overlay this smaller cross. The horizontal that makes up the H shows time moving from past on the left to future on the right. The vertical line or the V relates to consciousness and moves from unconscious on the bottom to conscious mind on top. These six cards allow a snapshot of life's lesions and what direction to take in the future.
The cards forming the staff offer a commentary of life outside the immediate situation.