How to Read the Celtic Cross Tarot Spread

How to Read the Celtic Cross Tarot Spread introduces the most famous tarot spread in the world. Part One questions whether you need a significator, or not.

Welcome to the Tarot Elements tutorial series on How to Read the Celtic Cross Tarot Spread. I will be dissecting the reading process in detail so you can see for yourself how in depth it can be, but also essentially, how simple it is once you have a few insider tricks up your sleeve.

Designed to be read sequentially, you will be able to print this tutorial and keep it as a handy reference that you can refer to time and again.

Please also use the comments section for any questions or ideas you may have regarding this spread, or indeed your own.

Choosing the Right Celtic Cross Tarot Spread for You

If you read enough tarot books, and search any number of websites and tarot blogs, you will find instruction on how to read the Celtic Cross Tarot Spread. More importantly, you will find many variations on the Celtic Cross Spread positions and their meanings. This tutorial is based on the version that I have adapted and use – the one by Rachel Pollack in her excellent book Seventy Eight Degrees of Wisdom; and also the excellent version by Joan Bunning in her free Learn Tarot Course.

The main differences between variations is the transposing of cards three and five, and also sometimes four and six; just be aware of this as you increase your study of the Celtic Cross Tarot Spread, and perhaps seek other sources of instruction for deepening your understanding and knowledge. The important thing is that you find a variation of the spread that works for you, learn it and adapt it if you need to, so it fits in with your style and you’re away!

Is a Significator Really Necessary?

I have very rarely used a significator, but I understand the need that some people place on having one in their spread, as the representation of the querent, it does place them squarely in the spread. My main problem with that is quite simply the querent’s life is in that spread anyway, so I feel there really is no point in stating the obvious.

The other reason I don’t use a significator is that we are actually reducing the deck by a card that may actually be required during the reading. For example, you use the Queen of Cups to signify your client, but what card will the tarot now use if it wants to show another woman of the same qualities in or around the life of the client? Or, if the client needs to take on the qualities of this queen, or indeed will encounter her, then how shall she be represented? It’s a personal choice really and it seems that however people were taught is how they will continue to work their spread. I feel it’s worth considering questioning the need to ever use one at all, whether you’re a beginner or a professional reader.

For further exploration of the pros and cons of using a significator in your tarot readings, please read this excellent article on Tarot Eon called Three Reasons Why You Should Use A Significator Card And Six Reasons Why You Should Not. Of course there are other more creative ways to use a significator card in your tarot readings, and this is something I explore in my post called Using the Question as a Significator in Your Tarot Card Readings.

The Celtic Cross Tarot Spread Layout

In Part Two we will begin our exploration of the Celtic Cross Tarot Spread in this tutorial series – How to Read the Celtic Cross Tarot Spread – Positions and Their Meanings. where I examine each position in depth, what they mean; and using an actual tarot reading to show you how those cards relate to the positions they land in. As we progress through this tutorial series, you will see how much information can really be gleaned from the classic tarot spread, the Celtic Cross.

Tarot Reading Check

Not sure about a tarot reading you’ve done? Do some of the cards look out of place, or not make sense to you? Sometimes we are too close to a situation to see clearly..

Let me go over your reading with you and see what else we can pull from the spread. If looks like you’ve got it nailed, I’ll show you some other reading techniques that you can apply to your future tarot readings. £20 for 30 minutes over Skype or Zoom, or via email through a number of emails to allow for interaction, language differences & keeping a record of new information.

Similar Posts:

16 thoughts on “How to Read the Celtic Cross Tarot Spread”

    • Nor me, however, I have been working on a couple of ideas that use a significator of sorts – watch this space!

  1. This should be included with every LWB and in place of wherever a CC spread is printed in a book haha! Great write up- this layout has evolved for me since I began reading and still shifts now and then.

    • Hi Svetlana,
      Wow, thank you for such an amazing compliment! It doesn’t get much better than that :)
      I’m planning on making the Celtic Cross Spread Tutorial available as a single downloadable document and/or printer friendly, I would love to know your thoughts on that, or if you think there is anything else I can add or change about it already in preparation for that.
      Glad you enjoyed the Series.

    • nice document in adobe format, makes it easier, and would be extremely helpful to some people including the means to print off, which goes with the adobe programme

    • Hi Edmund – thank you for your comment – and for prompting me to keep to my word! The conversion of the Celtic Cross Tutorial Series into a downloadable pdf document is nearly complete :)

  2. Hi. Thanks mentioning the positions of 3 and 5… I did notice this in different books and it kind of confused me. That’s why I haven’t tried the celtic cross yet… but I want to try it soon.

    • Hi AJ, thanks for commenting.
      I’m glad you enjoyed the Tutorial. I often wondered about those positions too as I was learning to read the Celtic Cross spread. There are other variations too, but they are less common. It can be daunting when you do your first Celtic Cross spread, but just take your time and take notes! It would be a good idea to keep a journal or use a nice pad to jot down the cards in their positions so you can go back over them as many times as you like until you feel you can understand the reading better.
      If you have any questions during that time, just fire away and I’ll do my best to answer them as quickly as I can :)

  3. i even read aloud when practising, and tape the reading so i can hear how i sound to a querent (i used to read to a teddy bear thirty years ago!!!! he he)

    • Hi Edmund – I think it’s very important to read out loud when practicing. I invariably think better than I speak and so what sounded great in my head comes out like a garbled mess! Teddies, dolls, cats or dogs, even and imaginary client will help when practicing with our Tarot readings. There’s a great post at Tarot Eon which takes tarot reading practice to a new dimension and will help no end. Go check it out ;)

  4. I have to agree… I do not like to use a significator either because like you, I always thought that the card chosen might be needed somewhere else in the spread. I really like your course. I have been studying the Tarot and the Celtic Cross Spread for over 15 years and still discovering new aspects.

    • Hi Jennifer,
      Glad you’re enjoying this series – it will be getting an update soon, including use of the significator….
      Thank you for your comment, and welcome to Tarot Elements.

  5. Thank you so much for your work. Your information has helped me as much as any book I have read. I love the way you write and explain.

    • Hi there, Joyce –
      Thank you so much for such kind words, it makes everything just peachy when people appreciate what you do. I’m glad you found this tutorial helpful.
      Welcome to Tarot Elements :)
      Warm wishes,

  6. Do you have this available as a printable document? I love love love this! Never looked forward to the Celtic Cross even thought I always wanted to like it. Now, I just might be able to. Would love to be able to print this off to study more.

Comments are closed.