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The most popular Tarot spread. It was created by Arthur Edward Waite who was one of the two principals behind the Waite-Smith deck.

In the Celtic Cross spread, the cards are placed and interpreted as follows:

Prior to mixing the cards a card called the significator is chosen to represent the seeker. The significator is placed right-side up in front of the reader. The seeker then thinks of a question, and the cards are mixed via shuffling and cutting and are exposed one at a time by the reader with care being take to preserve the cards orientation. The seeker may or may not reveal the question to the reader.

The first card selected is placed directly on top of the signficator. The reader may say "this card covers you", and the card is interpreted as representing the issues which are surrounding the seeker now.

The second card selected is placed crosswise across the two cards already present. The reader may say "this card crosses you", and the card is interpreted as representing the forces which are in opposition to the seeker's goals in this matter.

The third card selected is placed directly above the significator. The reader may say "this card crowns you", and the card is interpreted as representing as how the matter will likely resolve if no action is taken.

The fourth card selected is placed directly below the significator. This card is interpreted as representing the influences from the seeker's long past. Usually, this position exposes issues from the seekers childhood and formative years.

The fifth card selected is placed directly to the right of the significator. This card is interpreted either as representing an event which have just occurred or as a force whose influence is waning now.

The sixth card selected is placed directly to the left of the significator. This card is interpreted either as representing an event which is will occur soon or as a force whose influence is waxing now.

Note that the placement of the third through sixth cards is done in an upside-down "4" pattern which is a symbol of Hermes.

The seventh card selected is placed down and to the right of cards that have already been placed forming the base of a column formed by the last four cards. The seventh card is interpreted as the secret or unconscious desires of the seeker in regard to the matter at hand.

The eighth card selected is placed directly above the seventh card. This card is interpreted as the influences from the seeker's family or external environment.

The ninth card selected is placed directly above the eighth card. This card is interpreted as a surprise or something to watch out for as the matter resolves.

The tenth card selected is place directly above the ninth card. This final card is interpreted as representing the ultimate outcome of the matter.

Implicit in Waite's Celtic Cross spread is a connection between the ten cards selected and the ten nodes of the Tree of Life of the Kabala.

Also, a Celtic Cross is a Celtic version of the Christian Cross in which a circle is incorporated into to the usual Latin Cross. This version of the Cross was common in ancient celtic countries like Ireland and Scotland after they were converted. After the Reformation this version of the Cross became the symbol for the Presbyterian Chruch started by John Knox in Scotland.

         /---\               | /---\
         |   |               | |   |
         | 5 |               | | 10|
         |   |               | |   |
         \---/               | \---/
                             | /---\
                             | |   |
/---\    /---\     /---\     | | 9 |
|   | /--+---+--\  |   |     | |   |
| 4 | |  | 1 | 2|  | 6 |     | \---/
|   | \--+---+--/  |   |     | /---\
\---/    \---/     \---/     | |   |
                             | | 8 |
                             | |   |
         /---\               | \---/
         |   |               | /---\
         | 3 |               | |   |
         |   |               | | 7 |
         \---/               | |   |
                             | \---/
The Celtic Cross is one of the oldest and most popular spreads for reading the tarot. Part of its endurance is the simplicity of the spread.

There are two sections to the spread, the Cross (6 cards) on the left and the staff (4 cards) on the right. The Cross itself is made up of two crosses - a central one with two cards that is nested within the larger cross of 6 cards. The central cross represents the heart of the matter, around which the rest turns.

  1. "That which covers you" - the surrounding circumstances and the immediate problem at hand.
  2. "That which crosses you" - the contrary element.
  3. "That which is beneath you" - The root and source of the problem.
  4. "That which is behind you" - Something that is losing importance in life - a fading concern.
  5. "What could come into bearing" - the aspirations, intent, and expectations.
  6. "That which is before you" - The future, coming focus.
  7. "What you are" - how you see yourself.
  8. "How others see you" - public opinion, assigned role.
  9. "Your fears" - what you're afraid of, suspect is true, avoiding.
  10. "The final outcome" - the most likely result, and what may come to pass.

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