A Comprehensive Guide to the Celtic Cross Tarot Spread

The Celtic Cross Tarot Spread

For centuries, the Tarot has captivated individuals with its enigmatic imagery and deep symbolism. Among the many spreads available, the Celtic Cross Tarot spread stands as a timeless classic, offering profound insights into various aspects of life. Featuring a card layout in a basic cross shape, with an additional line of cards on the right side, this layout offers an in depth, complex reading due to the generous amount of cards laid down. 

Whether you're a novice or an experienced reader, this guide will help walk you through the steps of performing the Celtic Cross Tarot spread, helping you unlock its secrets and gain a deeper understanding of the cards and their meanings.

The Celtic Cross is a ten-card spread that offers a comprehensive look into a situation or question. Each card position has a specific meaning, contributing to a holistic interpretation of the situation. As you lay the cards out in each of the desginated positions, you interpret the cards and learn from each one. It can help to have a notebook on the side and take notes as you go. 

Step-by-Step Guide to Performing the Celtic Cross Tarot Spread

Focus on Your Question. Begin by formulating a clear and specific question in your mind. It might help to quickly read our blog post on how to form a good question. The quality of your question will significantly influence the accuracy and relevance of the reading. If you are reading for someone else, help them clearly articulate what they want to learn more about. 

Shuffle and Cut the Cards. Shuffle the Tarot deck while concentrating on your question in a meditative way. If you are reading for someone else, have them also focus on the question and clear their mind of everyting else. Once you feel ready, cut the deck into two parts (or have the person you are reading for do it) and then shuffle them back together. This process helps infuse your energy and intent into the cards.

Lay Out the Cards. You can either pause to interpret and make notes about the meanings as you go, or wait till the end and do it all at once. The layout goes as follows:

The Questioner (Card 1): The first card placed at the center represents the situation or the person asking the question. This card sets the tone for the reading and provides insight into the present circumstances. It may reflect on the questioner's state of mind or perception of the situation. 

The Cross or Challenge (Card 2): Placed on top of and directly across the first card, this card sheds light on the immediate challenges or influences affecting the situation. Even if it at first appears to be a positive card, keep in mind that it represents the difficulties the questioner is facing. 

The Past (Card 3): Positioned to the left of the Questioner card, this card speaks about the past and events that led up to the present situation. It may provide a greater understanding of the challenges the questioner is facing.  

The Near Future (Card 4): Positioned to the right of the Questioner card. This card gives an idea of what may be likely to unfold in the next weeks or even months. It shows what the next steps on the questioner's journey may be, but doesn't speak of the final outcome.  

Above (Card 5): This card is placed above the Questioner card and represents their goal or hopes for best outcome in this situation. It usually shows what the Questioner is working consciously to create.  

Below (Card 6): Placed directly below the Questioner card, this urges the questioner to see their subconscious feelings and motivations affecting the situation. It may show what really drives them, or simply some unknown person or force who affects the situation. A reversed (upside down) card here may strongly indicate things that the questioner is unaware of. 

This completes the cross portion of the spread. The remaining four cards will be placed in a pillar shape to the right of the cross, starting at the bottom and working upwards.  

Advice (Card 7): Placed to the right of the cross shape already created, and all the way at the bottom right, this card gives helpful advice and recommendations for the situation. It can show the power and influence of the Questioner, and how they can best use it for a positive result.  

Influences (Card 8): This card is placed directly above the last one. This card provides more details about the people, situations, and events that will affect the outcome in question. These things are typically outside of the Questioner's control and are helpful to know about.  

Hopes & Fears (Card 9): Placed above card 8, this might be a difficult card to read, since hopes and fears live closely together in our minds. It can show more about how the questioner's outlook is affecting the situation. For example, someone may be hoping for a marriage proposal from their partner but also fear commitment.  

Outcome (Card 10): This card speaks about where the situation is headed and how it will work out, assuming the questioner continues on their current course of action and makes no changes. This allows the questioner to change their course and plans if this is not the outcome they wanted. 

Interpret the Cards

Once all cards are laid out, begin interpreting the spread as a whole. Pay attention to card interactions, patterns, and the flow of the reading. Consider each card's individual meaning and its relationship with its neighboring cards. Incorporate your intuition and personal connection with the cards to weave a comprehensive narrative.  

As an example, card six representing the subconscious may provide feedback on card nine representing hopes and fears. Card five representing the goal the questioner is working towards plays into card ten that shows the outcome of that path. 

Summarize and Reflect

After dissecting each card's significance, summarize the overall message of the spread. Reflect on how the cards relate to the initial question and the insights they've provided. Remember, the Tarot acts as a guide, offering perspectives and advice the questioner may not have considered before, but ultimately, the decisions lie in your hands. 


The Celtic Cross Tarot spread is a powerful tool for self-discovery, reflection, and gaining insights into complex situations. By understanding the meanings of each card position and their interactions, you can unlock a wealth of information and guidance. As you practice and become more attuned to the nuances of the Tarot, your interpretations will deepen, and you'll uncover the layers of wisdom that this ancient practice offers. Whether you're seeking clarity, guidance, or simply a glimpse into the mysteries of life, the Celtic Cross Tarot spread is a time-honored method that can provide profound insights and illumination.

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