Welcome to lesson 11
Just like learning anything new, it is practice that will develop your skills and your confidence. As I have said before, there may be specific meanings to each card, but we are all free to be creative with how we convey those messages to people. Make your Tarot reading style uniquely your own.
So take out your deck and let’s continue with a classic spread – The Celtic Cross. We will learn two Celtic Cross spreads – 10 card & 15 Card.
Lesson 11 – Spreads Part 2
This lesson will focus on 2 spreads – The Celtic Cross and The 4 Aces.
The final lesson will cover some basic rules and guidelines about giving readings. You will also find that most Tarot books will have sections on Cartomancy (the art of reading the cards) to help guide you.
Spread 1. The Celtic Cross
This is one of the oldest and most popular traditional Tarot spreads. It is ideal as a first spread in a reading, as it gives a general overview of the major influences and events in the querant’s life, as well as the more mundane, day to day issues.
You can gather from the cards the major influence in the querant’s reading; e.g. a predominance of Wands and Pentacles would show they are mainly concerned with work and finance, or if you find many Swords, especially in the positions that relate to the querant’s frame of mind, you will see that they could be quite stressed and worried.
The Celtic Cross – 10 cards
The cards should be laid out as illustrated below:
NOTE: Card 2 should cross Card 1 (to make a cross like this + ) but this is very difficult to illustrate on a simple html webpage, so we’ve left it out!
Card 1 – your current circumstances
Card 2 – what is blocking you or holding you back
Card 3 – your conscious thoughts
Card 4 – your subconscious thoughts
Card 5 – influences from your immediate past
Card 6 – your immediate future (closely linked with the outcome card) Card 7 – how you see yourself
Card 8 – how others see you
Card 9 – your hopes and fears
Card – 10 outcome (closely linked with the immediate future card)
Take your cards and shuffle them well, pick out 10 cards in the way you have chosen to select cards. Then place them in the Celtic Cross spread and have a go at reading it and see how you get on.
The Celtic Cross – 15 cards
IDEA: Choose one card from the deck before it is shuffled that most represents the person for whom you are doing the reading. The card chosen is usually a court or major arcana card. You can also choose a card that matches the situation.
Cards 1 to 10
- Card 1 (significator) is placed vertically on top of the querent’s representative card. This will represent the influence that covers the querent’s life at the present moment.
- Card 2 (card that crosses) is placed horizontally on top of the first card. This will represent the influences that cross or oppose the querent at present.
- Card 3 (conscious mind) is placed vertically beneath the first two cards. This represents a past influence beneath the querent that caused the current situation in the querent’s life.
- Card 4 (subconscious) is placed to the right of the first and second cards. This will represent an influence that has just recently passed or is on the way out of the querent’s life.
- Card 5 (past) is then placed above the first and second cards. This card indicates the influence that is coming into being in the querent’s life, as this is what “crowns” the querent.
- Card 6 (immediate future, 1-2 weeks) is placed to the left of the first and second cards. This card shows the future influence that will act upon the querent’s life.
- Cards 7, 8, 9, and 10 are then laid out in a vertical line going from the bottom to the top.
- The seventh card (future 4-6 weeks) represents the querent’s fears on the situation.
- The eighth card (what others think of you, not necessarily what you know of yourself) represents the friends, family, and environment in the querent’s life that will have an influence on the outcome of the situation.
- The ninth card (fears and wishes) represents the querent’s hopes within the present situation.
- The tenth card (outcome, six months) is the final outcome for good or bad that the querent will experience in the situation.
Cards 11, 12, 13, 14, and 15:
- The eleventh card represents action to take using earth energy.
- The twelfth card represents action to take using air energy.
- The thirteenth card represents action to take using fire energy.
- The fourteenth card represents action to take using water energy.
- The fifteenth card represents action to take to encourage spiritual transformation.
Note: It is important to remember that the meaning of each card is interpreted in relationship to the position it falls within in the spread. Try to make the reading an interesting story in the querent’s life but read all events as pertaining to the querent.
Remember that there are several interpretations of the positions in the Celtic Cross. This example is merely one of them.
Spread 2. The 4 Aces – 12 cards
This is a great spread. I really enjoy using it, as it helps me understand what is most important to the person I am reading for.
Extract the 4 aces and the Major Arcana from your deck. Ask the querant to shuffle the 4 aces and give them back to you, then they shuffle the Major Arcana and pick 8 cards and give these to you.
You then lay the out the card as illustrated below:-
Place the 4 aces in order first – placing the major arcana cards either side as shown
This is a reading based on another traditional 3 card reading:- past, present and future.
Ace of Wands represents work, career, effort
Ace of Cups represents emotions, love life
Ace of Swords represents troubles and concerns Ace of Pentacles represents money, material issues
This tells you what issues are most important to the querant, for example if Ace 1 was the Ace of Cups followed by the Ace of Swords, Ace of Pentacles and Ace of Wands, you would see they are more concerned about their emotional state, love life, and troubles than about money and work.
OK, so now you have another couple of spreads to work with, but feel free to do your own research and find the spreads you feel most comfortable with and most want to use.
Practice using all the spreads – ask your friends to support you. You will start to see how their readings compare, how different they are.
By doing 3-4 spreads with a person you will notice that some cards and themes repeat throughout the session, and this will give you and idea of the particular issues which are most important or relevant.
Practical Exercise – quite simply practice these new spreads as much as you can.