The Cross Spread is good for questions asking for advice. It can also be used to determine the meaning of a confusing card from a previous reading, or for that matter, to shed light on other points of confusion.
In questions asking advice, this tarot spread is self-explanatory. The main thing is to determine the difference between cards #2 and #3. #1 is the topic and #4 is the result.
In questions regarding confusion, such as: "What was the meaning of Card (X) in the last spread?" the main thing is also to determine the difference between cards #2 and #3. In this case, #2 will show what the card was not referring to, and Card #3 will show what was really meant. Card #1 is the topic and #4 represents the purpose it serves.
Your Cross Reading
|It Deals with This
Page of Cups
|Do NOT Do This
8 of Cups
|It Leads to This
It Deals with This
Page of Cups
A fair, pleasing, somewhat effeminate page, of studious and intent aspect, contemplates a fish rising from a cup to look at him. It is the pictures of the mind taking form.
Fair young man, one impelled to render service and with whom the Querent will be connected; a studious youth; news, message; application, reflection, meditation; also, these things directed to business.
Do NOT Do This
8 of Cups
A man of dejected aspect is deserting the cups of his felicity, enterprise, undertaking or previous concern.
The card speaks for itself on the surface, but other readings are entirely antithetical – giving joy, mildness, timidity, honour, modesty. In practice, it is usually found that the card shews the decline of a matter, or that a matter which has been thought to be important is really of slight consequence – either for good or evil.
A woman, over whose head there broods the same symbol of life which we have seen in the card of the Magician, is closing the jaws of a lion. The only point in which this design differs from the conventional presentations is that her beneficent fortitude has already subdued the lion, which is being led by a chain of flowers. For reasons which satisfy myself, this card has been interchanged with that of justice, which is usually numbered eight. As the variation carries nothing with it which will signify to the reader, there is no cause for explanation. Fortitude, in one of its most exalted aspects, is connected with the Divine Mystery of Union; the virtue, of course, operates in all planes, and hence draws on all in its symbolism. It connects also with innocentia inviolata, and with the strength which resides in contemplation.
These higher meanings are, however, matters of inference, and I do not suggest that they are transparent on the surface of the card. They are intimated in a concealed manner by the chain of flowers, which signifies, among many other things, the sweet yoke and the light burden of Divine Law, when it has been taken into the heart of hearts. The card has nothing to do with self-confidence in the ordinary sense, though this has been suggested – but it concerns the confidence of those whose strength is God, who have found their refuge in Him. There is one aspect in which the lion signifies the passions, and she who is called Strength is the higher nature in its liberation. It has walked upon the asp and the basilisk and has trodden down the lion and the dragon.
Power, energy, action, courage, magnanimity; also, complete success and honours.
It Leads to This
A stately figure, seated, having rich vestments and royal aspect, as of a daughter of heaven and earth. Her diadem is of twelve stars, gathered in a cluster. The symbol of Venus is on the shield which rests near her. A field of corn is ripening in front of her, and beyond there is a fall of water. The sceptre which she bears is surmounted by the globe of this world. She is the inferior Garden of Eden, the Earthly Paradise, all that is symbolised by the visible house of man. She is not Regina coeli, but she is still refugium peccatorum, the fruitful mother of thousands. There are also certain aspects in which she has been correctly described as desire and the wings thereof, as the woman clothed with the sun, as Gloria Mundi and the veil of the Sanctum Sanctorum; but she is not, I may add, the soul that has attained wings, unless all the symbolism is counted up another and unusual way. She is, above all things, universal fecundity and the outer sense of the Word. This is obvious, because there is no direct message which has been given to man like that which is borne by woman; but she does not herself carry its interpretation.
In another order of ideas, the card of the Empress signifies the door or gate by which an entrance is obtained into this life, as into the Garden of Venus; and then the way which leads out therefrom, into that which is beyond, is the secret known to the High Priestess: it is communicated by her to the elect. Most old attributions of this card are completely wrong on the symbolism – as, for example, its identification with the Word, Divine Nature, the Triad, and so forth.
Light, truth, the unravelling of involved matters, public rejoicings; according to another reading, vacillation.