Celtic Cross Spread

Celtic Cross

 

 

Difficulty: Average

This is probably the most well-known tarot spread. A good, basic spread for beginners to practise with, the Celtic Cross is useful for questions of all types. In this spread, it can be helpful to notice the relationships between the pairings of cards #5 & #9, #1 & #2, #3 & #4, and #6 & #10.

  1. The significator epitomizes what the reading deals with, the initial situation.
  2. An added impulse that compounds the significator, which may be either complimentary or contradictory.
  3. This is what is consciously known (thoughts).
  4. Unconscious driving forces that may not be known fully (emotions).
  5. The immediate past regarding the current situation.
  6. The first future card indicates the immediate future.
  7. This card represents the reader and their attitude towards cards #1 and #2.
  8. The external influences, the places and people which influence the topic.
  9. This tarot card suggests expectations; what is secretly hoped for or feared.
  10. The second future card reveals the long-term outcome.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your Celtic Cross Reading

 

The Crown

The Magician

  The Outcome

Knight of Swords


Hopes and Fears

Queen of Swords


External Forces

Knight of Cups


The Querent

Queen of Cups

The Recent Past

The Hermit

The Crossing Card

4 of Wands


The Significator

The High Priestess

The Future

2 of Wands


Foundation card

Death

 

 

 

The Significator represents what the main theme of the reading deals with, the initial situation.

 

 

The High Priestess

She has the lunar crescent at her feet, a horned diadem on her head, with a globe in the middle place, and a large solar cross on her breast. The scroll in her hands is inscribed with the word Tora, signifying the Greater Law, the Secret Law and the second sense of the Word. It is partly covered by her mantle, to shew that some things are implied and some spoken. She is seated between the white and black pillars – J. and B. – of the mystic Temple, and the veil of the Temple is behind her: it is embroidered with palms and pomegranates. The vestments are flowing and gauzy, and the mantle suggests light – a shimmering radiance. She has been called occult Science on the threshold of the Sanctuary of Isis, but she is really the Secret Church, the House which is of God and man. She represents also the Second Marriage of the Prince who is no longer of this world; she is the spiritual Bride and Mother, the daughter of the stars and the Higher Garden of Eden. She is, in fine, the Queen of the borrowed light, but this is the light of all. She is the Moon nourished by the milk of the Supernal Mother.

In a manner, she is also the Supernal Mother herself – that is to say, she is the bright reflection. It is in this sense of reflection that her truest and highest name in bolism is Shekinah – the co-habiting glory. According to Kabalism, there is a Shekinah both above and below. In the superior world it is called Binah, the Supernal Understanding which reflects to the emanations that are beneath. In the lower world it is MaIkuth – that world being, for this purpose, understood as a blessed Kingdom that with which it is made blessed being the Indwelling Glory. Mystically speaking, the Shekinah is the Spiritual Bride of the just man, and when he reads the Law she gives the Divine meaning. There are some respects in which this card is the highest and holiest of the Greater Arcana.

Divinatory Meaning:

Secrets, mystery, the future as yet unrevealed; the woman who interests the Querent, if male; the Querent herself, if female; silence, tenacity; mystery, wisdom, science.

 

 

 

 

 

The Crossing Card denotes an added impulse that compounds the initial card, whether complimentary or contradictory.

 

4 of Wands

From the four great staves planted in the foreground there is a great garland suspended; two female figures uplift nosegays; at their side is a bridge over a moat, leading to an old manorial house.

Divinatory Meaning:

They are for once almost on the surface – country life, haven of refuge, a species of domestic harvest-home, repose, concord, harmony, prosperity, peace, and the perfected work of these.

 

 

 

 

 

The Crown stands for what the asker is aware of consciously.

 

The Magician

A youthful figure in the robe of a magician, having the countenance of divine Apollo, with smile of confidence and shining eyes. Above his head is the mysterious sign of the Holy Spirit, the sign of life, like an endless cord, forming the figure eight in a horizontal position. About his waist is a serpent-cincture, the serpent appearing to devour its own tail. This is familiar to most as a conventional symbol of eternity, but here it indicates more especially the eternity of attainment in the spirit. In the Magician's right hand is a wand raised towards heaven, while the left hand is pointing to the earth. This dual sign is known in very high grades of the Instituted Mysteries; it shews the descent of grace, virtue and light, drawn from things above and derived to things below. The suggestion throughout is therefore the possession and communication of the Powers and Gifts of the Spirit. On the table in front of the Magician are the symbols of the four Tarot suits, signifying the elements of natural life, which lie like counters before the adept, and he adapts them as he wills. Beneath are roses and lilies, the flos campi and lilium convallium, changed into garden flowers, to shew the culture of aspiration. This card signifies the divine motive in man, reflecting God, the will in the liberation of its union with that which is above. It is also the unity of individual being on all planes, and in a very high sense it is thought, in the fixation thereof. With further reference to what I have called the sign of life and its connexion with the number 8, it may be remembered that Christian Gnosticism speaks of rebirth in Christ as a change unto the Ogdoad. The mystic number is termed Jerusalem above, the Land flowing with Milk and Honey, the Holy Spirit and the Land of the Lord. According to Martinism, eight is the number of Christ.

Divinatory Meaning:

Skill, diplomacy, address, subtlety; sickness, pain, loss, disaster, snares of enemies; self-confidence, will; the Querent, if male.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Foundation card reveals unconscious driving forces that the querent may not be aware of.

 

Death

The veil or mask of life is perpetuated in change, transformation and passage from lower to higher, and this is more fitly represented in the rectified Tarot by one of the apocalyptic visions than by the crude notion of the reaping skeleton. Behind it lies the whole world of ascent in the spirit. The mysterious horseman moves slowly, bearing a black banner emblazoned with the Mystic Rose, which signifies life. Between two pillars on the verge of the horizon there shines the sun of immortality. The horseman carries no visible weapon, but king and child and maiden fall before him, while a prelate with clasped hands awaits his end.

There should be no need to point out that the suggestion of death which I have made in connection with the previous card is, of course, to be understood mystically, but this is not the case in the present instance. The natural transit of man to the next stage of his being either is or may be one form of his progress, but the exotic and almost unknown entrance, while still in this life, into the state of mystical death is a change in the form of consciousness and the passage into a state to which ordinary death is neither the path nor gate. The existing occult explanations of the 13th card are, on the whole, better than usual, rebirth, creation, destination, renewal, and the rest.

Divinatory Meaning:

End, mortality, destruction, corruption also, for a man, the loss of a benefactor for a woman, many contrarieties; for a maid, failure of marriage projects.

 

 

 

 

 

The Recent Past represents past events and concerns.

 

The Hermit

The variation from the conventional models in this card is only that the lamp is not enveloped partially in the mantle of its bearer, who blends the idea of the Ancient of Days with the Light of the World It is a star which shines in the lantern. I have said that this is a card of attainment, and to extend this conception the figure is seen holding up his beacon on an eminence. Therefore, the Hermit is not, as Court de Gebelin explained, a wise man in search of truth and justice; nor is he, as a later explanation proposes, an especial example of experience. His beacon intimates that – where I am, you also may be.

It is further a card which is understood quite incorrectly when it is connected with the idea of occult isolation, as the protection of personal magnetism against admixture. This is one of the frivolous renderings which we owe to Eliphas Levi. It has been adopted by the French Order of Martinism and some of us have heard a great deal of the Silent and Unknown Philosophy enveloped by his mantle from the knowledge of the profane. In true Martinism, the significance of the term Philosophe inconnu was of another order. It did not refer to the intended concealment of the Instituted Mysteries, much less of their substitutes, but – like the card itself – to the truth that the Divine Mysteries secure their own protection from those who are unprepared.

Reversed Meaning:

Concealment, disguise, policy, fear, unreasoned caution.

 

 

 

 

 

The Future depicts that which lies ahead.

 

4 of Wands

From the four great staves planted in the foreground there is a great garland suspended; two female figures uplift nosegays; at their side is a bridge over a moat, leading to an old manorial house.

Divinatory Meaning:

They are for once almost on the surface – country life, haven of refuge, a species of domestic harvest-home, repose, concord, harmony, prosperity, peace, and the perfected work of these.

 

 

 

 

 

The Querent represents the asker and their attitude towards the subject of the reading.

 

Queen of Cups

Beautiful, fair, dreamy – as one who sees visions in a cup. This is, however, only one of her aspects; she sees, but she also acts, and her activity feeds her dream.

Reversed Meaning:

The accounts vary; good woman; otherwise, distinguished woman but one not to be trusted; perverse woman; vice, dishonour, depravity.

 

 

 

 

 

External Forces represents the influence of others in your life as well as trends in your relationships with others.

 

Knight of Cups

Graceful, but not warlike; riding quietly, wearing a winged helmet, referring to those higher graces of the imagination which sometimes characterise this card. He too is a dreamer, but the images of the side of sense haunt him in his vision.

Reversed Meaning:

Trickery, artifice, subtlety, swindling, duplicity, fraud.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hopes and Fears shows the expectations you have concerning the outcome of your question.

 

Queen of Swords

Her right hand raises the weapon vertically and the hilt rests on an arm of her royal chair the left hand is extended, the arm raised her countenance is severe but chastened; it suggests familiarity with sorrow. It does not represent mercy, and, her sword notwithstanding, she is scarcely a symbol of power.

Divinatory Meaning:

Widowhood, female sadness and embarrassment, absence, sterility, mourning, privation, separation.

 

 

 

 

 

The Outcome of your question. Interpret this card in the context of the entire reading and as an indicator of the path you are currently on, but not necessarily bound to.

 

Knight of Swords

He is riding in full course, as if scattering his enemies. In the design he is really a prototypical hero of romantic chivalry. He might almost be Galahad, whose sword is swift and sure because he is clean of heart.

Divinatory Meaning:

Skill, bravery, capacity, defence, address, enmity, wrath, war, destruction, opposition, resistance, ruin. There is therefore a sense in which the card signifies death, but it carries this meaning only in its proximity to other cards of fatality.

 

 

 

 

 

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