Celtic Cross Spread

Celtic Cross Tarot Spread

Celtic Cross is pretty elaborate Tarot spread, but It rewards you with answers. It’s probably the most common layout out there…

Celtic Cross is probably the most common spread used for tarot reading. This spread’s ten positions provide in depth insights on any question, and despite the complex looks, it’s relatively simple to read.

It’s not recommended for beginners though, because of the sheer number of the cards in the spread. If you are not at ease with the cards’ meanings, then you surely don’t won’t to look back and forth among actual cards, their meaning in the book, and significance of each position in a spread.

There are many versions of this spread. I’ll show you how to read the one I use. Once you are familiar with the spread, it’s workings and the results it brings you, you will most likely pick the version you like the most. Whatever version you pick, note that the point of this spread always remains the same: different and well thought out points of view, and how they relate to each other.

Cards Layout

There are ten positions in a spread. The layout looks like this:

Celtic Cross Tarot Spread


When explaining each position, I will assume you are reading for yourself.

So, when reading for yourself the cards will be:

1. Present situation

2. The challenge you are facing now

3. Something from a distant past, cause for the situation

4. Events in recent past that shaped the present situation

5. Immediate future you are facing

6. The outcome if nothing changes

7. Your thoughts and feelings

8. External factors

9. Your hopes and fears

10. The long term outcome, ties all the cards together

Pick the cards in above order, one-by-one. As you pick each card, notice the message it brings to this particular reading. In other words, don’t just pick all the cards at once, otherwise, you will miss the signals your subconscious will be sending.

When you have picked all ten cards, find how they relate among themselves. Several positions in Celtic Cross spread are always related. More about this below. First, let’s see each card’s significance in this spread.

Positions in a Spread

The spread can be seen as divided in two parts: the “cross” on the left, and the “staff” on the right. The cards in the “cross” are telling us about events in the outer world. At the same time, the cards in the “staff” positions are helping us to examine ourselves.

Let’s see what each card in a spread signifies:

1. The first card reveals the point-of-view you should focus on regarding the current situation. It maybe something you should know, or it may be a completely different perspective.

2. The challenge signifies what is intersecting your present. It describes what exactly is it that makes you take action now.

3. The cause of the situation is most often in the distant past. It can be either direct or indirect. This cards tells you what is the root of the problem you are facing.

4. This position in a spread represents the event in recent past that had great influence on the situation as it is now. It is important to understand the progression of events, so you could act accordingly.

5. This card talks about events coming in immediate future. You probably cannot change those.

6. The “outcome” card explains where the situation is headed, if you continue to do what you are doing now or if you take action in the same way you would normally do. To change the outcome, you have to understand the situation from a different point-of-view. Then, take different kind of action then you normally do.

7. What are your thoughts on the situation? What are your real feelings? Those have direct consequences on how the things will proceed. This card helps you to see whether you have the right mindset to cope with the problem.

8.What external influences are important here? Are they supportive or not? You have to be aware of your environment to avoid unforeseen obstacles in solving the problem.

9. This card will help you articulate your hopes and your fears. It is crucial to recognize whether your positive or your negative energy is focused on the situation. If you realize that you see only problems everywhere, be aware you are preparing yourself for, yet, another catastrophe, and this is a sure way to make one happen. On the other hand, if you are enjoying visualizing your goal, you are radiating positivity, and it will be easier for everything to fall in place just right for success to happen.

10. The long-term outcome is neither reaching the immediate goal nor failing to do so. This card tells you about the big picture: what will really happen, not only with the matter you are concerned about, but with everything related to it. Think about all other cards in regard to this message. Find how this context ties all the cards together.

Natural Progressions

It’s not often in life that something just happens. Usually things cook up for quite some time before their effects are visible. So as in tarot and in this spread.

One progression is how the situation came to be and where it is heading. The cards that explain this are Past, Present and Outcome. You can see they can be read in “cross” part of the spread from bottom card (Past) to the topmost card (Outcome).

Another and more immediate progression is told by these cards is Recent Events, the Challenge and Immediate Future. These three cards are related; they shed light on cause and effect of the challenge you are facing. You can read them within “cross” part from left (Recent Past) to right (Immediate Future).

You will gain important insights by examining those progressions. Remember, individual cards in a spread are like individual words in a story. You are telling a story, not just a sequence of unrelated words. In other words, isolated cards don’t carry much meaning. You should always find out how they are connected.

In Celtic Cross spread, it’s almost easy.

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