One of the oldest spreads and methods for reading Tarot is, hands down, the Celtic Cross spread or Ten-Card Spread. This versatile spread is easy to use even when you don’t have a particular question in mind.
The Celtic cross can be rather complicated to read as a ten-card spread. I’ll help break things down and demonstrate what makes it so handy while presenting new ways to expand on personal and spiritual growth capabilities.
There’s a lot of information you can gain from this spread, so get ready…
The Positions of the 10 Card Celtic Cross Spread
Let’s break down the Celtic Cross in the same way you would with other standard tarot spreads by looking at the positions of the cards.
- The Present / The Self – This position reveals the current situation and what is happening. Furthermore, it can also represent the general environment of the querent.
- The Problem – This card represents challenges, conflicts, or obstacles. It may also describe a situation that must be resolved for you to move forward.
- Subconscious – The foundation or basis for the situation. Something that is already a part of the experience.
- The Past – Here, we explore past events and their influence on the present. It might also refer to something or a moment already behind the asker.
- Conscious – This card explores what you are focused on and where your mind is. These cards can represent your dreams, goals, and dreams. They represent what you want to achieve.
- Future – What lies ahead, how your life will unfold. This may also represent how you will use your abilities, take action, and its consequences in the future.
- Your Influence – This can be a tricky placement to interpret – but in general, it relates to how you see yourself and your condition or attitudes at the time of the reading. Self-Concept.
- External Influence – This card represents the world around you and how it affects this situation. It might be the social and emotional environment, others’ attitudes towards you, or their influence on you.
- Hopes and Fears – One of the more challenging positions in this spread to decode, this card can represent both what you secretly desire, as well as what you may be trying to avoid. How you confront and handle polarities within your being.
- Outcome – This card serves as a summary of all previous cards. Quality, tools, or information may also be included, allowing you to overcome obstacles; what will you gain from this experience? Given all that is happening, what is the likely resolution of this event?
The Cross vs. The Staff
The Celtic Cross Tarot Spread has two sections: the cross, which consists of the six cards on the left-hand side, and the staff, the four cards to the right. Altogether, the cross-section gives you a bird’s eye view of your life, internally and externally, present, past, and future. The staff allows you to examine life outside of the situation. You’ll also learn how the context of a current event affects you and how to change course if you desire to do so.
In the cross, you can see two different groups of card placements.
The central circle or axis is represented by two cards, which convey the heart of the matter. The surrounding four cards represent the events or cycle of your life. It creates movement around the issue. Think of it as the wheel of life.
Conscious & Unconscious
The cross can also be split into two different sections – the horizontal cards, including the central axis, display conscious time. Reading horizontally and vertically, we see these as two smaller spreads that give us the past, present, and future – as well as unconscious, self, and conscious. In contrast, the vertical cards represent the subconscious and higher-self guidance.
Whenever you read a card, try to understand it from different viewpoints. By doing so, you will be less likely to become fixated and dogmatic about your observations. Everyone reads the Celtic Cross Spread slightly differently, and the order in which the cards appear can vary somewhat, which could be a bonus to your development as a tarot reader.
Test your intuition, try reading the same cards in different positions, see how each card placement affects the other, what stories begin to present themselves, what advice you are suddenly receiving. Most importantly, have fun.