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Reader Q&A: What is the correct version of the Celtic Cross?

by Brigit on July 29, 2011 in Tarot Spreads

will he return celtic crossspread

Today, we have a Tarot reading question from Aasheesh…

“My question relates to the Celtic Cross spread. This is the most common spread, but suprisingly it has so many variations. One is sometimes confused with which is the right version? What is the correct sequence of cards?”

Finding the Correct Version of the Celtic Cross Tarot Spread

Aasheesh, I feel your pain! You would think that for a very common, widely-used Tarot spread such as the Celtic Cross, there would be just one version, but unfortunately there isn’t!

Take a look at the top listings for “Celtic Cross Tarot Spread” in Google and you will begin to see what I mean!

Now, before I launch into an explanation, I am assuming you are familiar with the Celtic Cross spread. If not, read my post on the Celtic Cross Tarot spread. (Note: This post shows the version that I prefer to use, but it is by no means the only version to use!)

How Does the Celtic Cross Tarot Spread Vary?

There are two main ways that the Celtic Cross spreads varies – the order of the cards and the definitions of the positions. In terms of order, different versions of the Celtic Cross have different cards in different places. For example, the Above and Below cards may be laid out before or after the Past and the Near Future cards (assuming you are using these positions!). In terms of positions, different versions will use different position meanings. For example, some Celtic Cross versions will include an “Advice” card while other versions will include “Key Concerns” or even “Factors that Affect the Situation”.

If you haven’t already, take a look at those links above and you will see how even just a random pick of Celtic Cross spreads differ from one another.

These variations make it difficult to know what version of the Celtic Cross is the right one to use! And, it makes it even more difficult when you want to share your Celtic Cross readings with others, particularly if you only list out the 10 cards (or 11 cards, depending on what version you use!), without explaining what positions you used.

So, How Do You Select the ‘Right’ Version?

Put simply, there is no one, ‘right’ version.

My advice is to firstly do some research on the different variations of the Celtic Cross, then start to experiment with the versions that you like best. As you do some practice Tarot readings with the different versions, you will no doubt find one version that feels ‘right’ to you. Consider which version gives you the most insight and advice, in a way that is meaningful for you and your clients.

For me personally, I prefer to use Tarot spreads that empower the client and provide practical solutions that they can act upon. For that reason, I like to include the “Advice” card in position #7. I also like to know what is going on outside and inside the client’s mind, and for that reason, I include the “Above” and “Below” positions. And lastly, I like the way in which the various Tarot card interact with one another in this spread. (See the Celtic Cross version I like to use here.)

So, experiment with a few different variations and find one that suits your personal reading style.

My other piece of advice is that, if you do share your Tarot readings with others (e.g. through a reading exchange or when you are reading for someone else), always include what positions you have used. Too often, people just list out the cards they drew in a numbered list without explaining what positions they used. This obviously makes it difficult to interpret the reading, particularly when there are so many variations of the Celtic Cross.

The Lowdown…

There is no one, ‘correct’ version of the Celtic Cross. Research the different variations and select the spread that works best for you.

Readers’ Recommendations?

What advice do you have for Aasheesh? What version of the Celtic Cross do you most prefer? Leave your comments below…

Got a Tarot Question? Contact me and send in your Tarot questions and I hope to be able to share them with other readers!

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Cindy October 11, 2011 at 11:04 pm

I struggled so hard with the Celtic Cross that I stopped doing it. “Good” cards in “bad” positions (and vice versa) made it very often impossible for me to do what I felt was a credible reading. Then I looked closely at Joan Bunning’s advice at learntarot.com. She offered several possible meanings for each position. For example, position 5 can be an alternate outcome, hope or goal, or what you are concerned about (in addition to several others). I created a CC worksheet that listed my 4 favorite positional meanings for each of the 10 spots, and as I draw the cards I write them down. When I’m done I go through and quickly write down a phrase for each card (trying to work intuitively)and see how it fits. For example, the 9 of Swords isn’t going to be a hope or goal, but it can be what you are concerned about. Having this freedom made me enjoy doing Celtic Crosses again, and I recommend giving it a look. It won’t work for everyone, but it did for me.

Reply

Ivo Greci January 26, 2013 at 8:14 am

I’ve been taught that “there are no accidents” and
stumbling upon your comment, Cindy, has been
a fortunate and serendipitous outcome to my own
similar problem with the celtic cross spread.
Again, thanks,
Ivo

Reply

Biljana March 29, 2013 at 8:56 pm

Good day :)
I love most open Celtic Cross, but I felt it in every house that has two meanings, so that kinda lose and do not know how to arrange the story: (eg second home, or barriers and improve the card above and below, there is somehow the most lost.
Thank you for this wonderful Brigit site :)

Reply

Brigit April 4, 2013 at 10:40 pm

I rarely use the Celtic Cross, often because I find that by creating my own spreads for the client’s specific question, I get a much more accurate result.

Reply

Darrow February 11, 2014 at 3:11 am

Well – at least most of them agree on the first Two ;)

Reply

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