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Celtic Cross Tarot Spread

Updated September 7, 2023

The Celtic Cross tarot spread appears in books on tarot. This spread has changed and evolved through generations.

Though the Celtic Cross is lengthy, it is also simple to learn. Use this spread to examine many aspects of a question in detail.

The Celtic Cross tarot layout goes into greater depth than most readings. When you use this layout, you can tap into numerous aspects of a situation.

Many love the Celtic Cross tarot reading because it allows you to examine your future, subconscious, attitudes, and desires. You can gain insight into many layers of guidance.

The Celtic Cross tarot reading online is often the first experience with tarot. Most tarot apps and websites use this recognizable spread because it is clear and detailed.

Position One: Self

You can use a Celtic Cross tarot calculator online, but this spread is easy to learn to do yourself with physical cards. After shuffling the cards in your tarot deck, place the first card you select for the Celtic Cross tarot spread diagram in the center.

The first card in the reading represents you or the self of the person you are reading. The Celtic Cross tarot frees your mind and helps you see different aspects of yourself and your attitudes.

Traditionally, the first card in a Celtic Cross tarot reading is called the Significator and represents the questioner. Some tarot readers select only from the court cards for this card. Others intentionally pick a card based on astrology rather than randomly selecting it.

Yet modern tarot readers select the initial card randomly, trusting synchronicity. The first card tells you about your identity or role in a situation.

If the first card is from the major arcana, you are going through spiritual lessons and profound transformation. A card with troubling connotations implies you are enduring a crisis or have unresolved wounds impacting your identity and role.

The first card may be an empowering and optimistic major arcana card like the Sun, which implies you are cheerful. The card in the first placement represents who you are in a given circumstance; it’s not a consistent identity.

If the first card in the Celtic Cross tarot reading is from the minor arcana court, you can glean insight from the personality described by the card. A page indicates you are new to a situation or naive. You are open-minded but also may be inexperienced.

A knight indicates you are developing awareness and ready for change. A queen shows you are nurturing and supportive. If a king appears as the first card, you have mastered the traits associated with the card.

If a card from the suit of wands appears in the first position, you are eager and passionate. When the first card is from the swords suit, you seek knowledge and are intellectual.

A cup card in the first position suggests you are compassionate and empathetic. The pentacles suit in the first position indicates you are patient but may be approaching a situation with a stubborn disposition.

Are you at a crossroads? A live tarot reading can help guide you.

Position Two: What Crosses You

The second card in this reading gives the layout its name as it is placed across and covers the first. Place the second card on top of the first, sideways. The two cards together form the shape of a cross.

The shape reinforces the meaning of this card. The second card is what crosses you or a challenge you must overcome. The card in this position represents a source of tension and frustration.

This card can represent a person, situation, or both. The second card in the Celtic Cross spread can indicate a lifelong dilemma. This card portrays how you sabotage yourself.

The second card can represent a situational challenge rather than a long-term Achilles’ heel. You can’t progress toward your goals unless you first deal with the issue represented by the card in this position.

Position Three: What Covers You

Place the third card in the Celtic Cross tarot card reading above the cross formed by the first and second cards. The third card in the reading represents what covers you or a protective resource.

Some tarot readers think of this card as a guardian angel or protective shield in your life. The third card symbolizes a lucky break or lifeline you can draw from to derive strength and support.

A court card in this position suggests a protective person is looking out for you. A major arcana card, such as the Star in this position, can indicate a divine or spiritual entity working in your favor.

You may be confused if the card in this position has conflictual connotations. If a card such as the Three of Swords, Tower, or Six of Swords appears in this position, a crisis is a blessing in disguise.

A challenge brings new wisdom and strength, or you have protection amidst a crisis. You may not feel lucky, but divine intervention helps you land on your feet when things could have been worse.

Are you at a crossroads? A tarot reading can help guide you.

Position Four: Past

Place the fourth card at the bottom of the spread, beneath the cross created by the first and second cards. The fourth card represents the past. Your past influences your current situation.

The fourth card in the spread indicates an unresolved issue beneath the surface. You may think you resolved something from your past, but the card in this position says otherwise.

If this is a court card, you are bothered by a lingering issue with a person from your past. This could be an ex-partner or someone instrumental who still weighs on your mind.

A major arcana card in the fourth position implies a life lesson related to your past. Resolve the issue symbolized by this card so you can free yourself from this past influence.

Position Five: Future

Place the fifth card to the left of the cross formed by the first and second cards. This card represents your immediate future. It is not the long-term outcome, but the next steps.

The fifth card in the Celtic Cross reading represents weeks to months in the future. This card represents the next phase you are heading toward if nothing changes.

A major arcana card in the future position indicates you are on the verge of a breakthrough or spiritual transformation. You are on the brink of a new chapter in your life.

A court card in the fifth position of this reading indicates a person you meet in the coming weeks or months helps you advance toward your goals. A court card in this placement suggests a helpful new person, not someone from your past.

A minor arcana card from the wands suit indicates you are on the verge of taking action. You’re ready to follow through on your ideas and may need to be spontaneous and embrace change.

Your next steps must be strategic if the fifth card is a sword card. You face stress or friction but can use your rational gifts to thrive. A cup card in this position indicates an emotional phase and time for healing.

When the fifth card is from the pentacles suit, your next steps involve career and finances. Look for stability and create security in the coming weeks.

Seasons change and so do you. Chat with a psychic!

Position Six: Guidance

The sixth card in the Celtic Cross reading belongs to the right of the initial cross formed from the first and second cards. Now you will see that the layout forms a cross within a cross, reinforcing the theme.

The sixth card represents the guidance you need to make the best of the situation. This card can bring reassurance or elicits new insights. You may subconsciously suspect you know the right thing to do, and the guidance card reinforces your intuition.

If you are shocked by the guidance card you receive, continue the reading and gain a holistic view of your prospects. A major arcana card in this position suggests your guidance is part of a spiritual lesson.

A court card in this position in the Celtic Cross tarot’s meaning is guidance to emulate the card’s archetype. You may also gain insight from someone who embodies the personality on the card.

When the sixth card is a minor arcana card from the suit of wands, act swiftly and be confident and creative. A sword card in this position encourages you to analyze the situation carefully.

A card from the cups suit guides you to have empathy and compassion. When this card is from the suit of pentacles, be patient and take your time before making a choice.

Position Seven: Underlying Issues

Place the seventh card to the bottom right of your two cross formations. This card represents underlying issues that influence you. You may not be consciously aware of the issues this card represents.

The card in the seventh position brings insight into relevant issues you haven’t considered. You may not realize how an underlying situation influences your choices or perspective until you interpret this card.

If a major card is in this position, you have an underlying issue that must be dealt with, or you can’t proceed. Yet if a minor card appears in this position you can progress without addressing the underlying issue, but the outcome will be undesirable.

Paying attention to the underlying issue is the key to ensuring you have the best possible result. If you want to change something about the outcome, this card gives clues about what you must do.

Choose a tarot specialist and get a reading right now!

Position Eight: Attitude

The eighth card in this reading goes above card seven, forming a vertical line. This card represents your attitude regarding the situation at hand. You may be surprised to learn your perspective is limiting you.

The card in this position can also show you if your attitude is unrealistically optimistic. If the Fool or Seven of Cups appears in this position, you may be too hopeful and unrealistic.

The eighth card in this reading helps you remain grounded and accurately focused. You can avoid having unreasonable expectations when you interpret this card.

Position Nine: Environment

The ninth card in the Celtic Cross spread goes above the eighth, further forming a column to the right of the cross formation. This card represents your environment.

If your surroundings are aligned with your goal, this card will show you. Yet if your environment is not conducive to helping you achieve your goals, you may remain stuck until you change your surroundings.

Your environment can hold clues that help or hinder you. This card can give you insight into your surroundings about your ambitions. A major arcana card in this position suggests significant lessons in your environment.

If the ninth card is from the wands suit, your environment is encouraging but face paced. A sword’s card in this position indicates a tense and stressful environment.

A card from the suit of cups in this position indicates a warm and supportive environment unless the card is the Five or Eight of Cups. A pentacles card in this position indicates an abundant environment unless the Four of Five of Pentacles appears.

Seasons change and so do you. Get a reading right now!

Position Ten: Hopes and Fears

Place the tenth card above the ninth. This card represents your hopes and fears related to your topic or question. If fear is dominant, you’ll see this in the card that appears.

If you are hopeful about your prospects, the card placed here will reflect this. Your hopes or fears may be adequate or excessive. The Nine of Swords indicates amplified fears that overwhelm you.

Yet the Seven of Wands indicates appropriate fear that can help you prepare to stand your ground. The Page of Wands in this position indicates unrealistic hopes and illusions. Yet a knight, queen, or king of wands or cups brings real hope.

Position Eleven: Outcome

Place the eleventh card in this spread at the top far left. This card shows you the outcome. An outcome may be inevitable or changeable. A major arcana card in this position indicates a karmic or spiritual outcome that is unavoidable.

A minor arcana card is more likely to be flexible with an outcome you can change with effort. This is an important aspect of the spread but doesn’t give it greater weight than the other cards.

The outcome is part of a series of lessons related to the situation. You may be eager to know what will happen next, but you must put the entire spread into context.

While the future card indicates weeks to a few months in the future, the outcome card speaks to long-term resolution. It may take months or years for an outcome to manifest.

Get a glimpse of your future. This reading will guide you.

Position Twelve: Subtle Influences

Place the twelfth card to the right of the eleventh card, forming a horizontal line above and to the left of the cross formation. This card’s Celtic Cross tarot spread meaning is subtle influences impacting your situation.

The subtle influences are peripheral people or situations that may not seem related to your core issue but have an influence. This card represents an issue you may be able to change.

A major card like the Temperance, the Star, the Moon, or the Sun indicates subtle influence that feels like divine intervention or spiritual guidance. A challenging card in this position indicates you are influenced by an ongoing hardship.

Position Thirteen: Desires

The thirteenth card in the Celtic Cross spread is placed to the right of the twelfth, elongating this horizontal line. This final card indicates your desires and expectations in the reading.

A card from the suit of wands indicates your motivation and passion. A sword card indicates a rational motivation for your desired outcome. If the final card is from the cups suit, you are emotionally attached to your expectations.

A pentacles card in this position means your desires relate to finances or security. You are motivated by a desire for stability. A major arcana card in this position indicates your motivation is spiritual growth and evolution.

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