Celtic Cross Tarot Reading

One of the oldest spreads used in tarot reading today, it’s been around for a very long time. The reason the Celtic Cross spread is still around is because it works.

Like anything though it’s evolved from the original version to new versions, but generally they’re founded on the basic old Celtic Cross spread layout.

Some of the position meanings in these layouts have also been adapted and in some cases people have added more cards. As long as they get you the answers you’re looking for, I say roll with your favorites.

I’m outlining what I’m going to call the classic Celtic Cross spread as explained in the book “A Complete Guide to the Tarot” by Eden Gray. If you’re looking at other Celtic Cross spread versions they should give you their own explanations.

Ten cards are used in this reading and if the deck you choose includes reversals those are read as reversals, except for the 2nd card which is always read right side up.

First, let’s have a look at the layout itself. It’s laid out in what’s referred to as the cross and the staff.

Layout of Celtic Cross Spread

The layout in any tarot reading matters because cards influence each other. First, an overall look at the cards will show if any suit is more predominant, and how many Major and Minor Arcana cards are present.

Reversals can be a bit trickier since not all reversed cards have negative meanings, so many reversals shouldn’t be taken as a negative or bad sign.

Then the cards are read using each individual card, taking into account the meaning of its position. Cards are also read in relation to each other, for example, each line on the cross – 4, 1, 2 and 6. The next cross – 5, 1, 2 and 3. Often the cross can run into the staff – 4, 1, 2, 6 and then 9 and/or 8. The staff can also be read together or cards as pairs. 7, 8, 9, and 10. It all depends on what cards are in your reading and how they work together.

The position meanings are meant to help guide both the reader and the questioner as they can determine or influence the meanings of the cards. That’s why you’ll find different variations on so many tarot spreads. Certain questions are better suited to different spreads and the position meanings to the cards.

Also, decks may have specific variations associated with their cards. In this case I always use the deck version.

This Celtic Cross Spread is using the Rider Waite deck. These are the short notes on the

Position Meanings of the Celtic Cross Spread

  1. Influences working around the question.
  2. Forces for good or evil.
  3. The past.
  4. Something just going away.
  5. This may happen
  6. The future.
  7. Negative feelings, fears
  8. Family and friends, immediate environment
  9. Hopes
  10. The final outcome.

You can see that this spread covers a lot of information that’s meant to help get to the root of your question and give you an answer or a solution that you can work toward. It includes different areas of your life that have an effect on how things are working out for you. If these areas are holding you back or getting in the way, you can work on these areas and make a big change for yourself.

One last thing about tarot cards and specific spreads, cards don’t always move in the direction we think they will. Sometimes they can go a bit sideways. That can feel like the question hasn’t been answered properly. Often though, given a bit of time, you’ll find they answered your question exactly like they should have.