Celtic Cross & Daily-Weekly Layouts

There are many different layouts for the Tarot … here are two that I often use.

Perhaps the best know and most widely used is The Celtic Cross layout. It is excellent for getting information on the next few months of your life regarding what may be occurring and what it is most important for you to know about the time period the reading is for.

NOTE: This reading can be done for virtually any period of time with the most common being 1 month, 3 months, 6 months or a year. It is important to determine before you shuffle the cards and layout the reading what time period the reading is for.

Here are the 12 positions for a Celtic Cross reading:

To begin, start shuffling the deck as you think of the time period you’re asking about…it can be helpful to imagine the months of a calendar going by as you shuffle.

Once you feel you’re done shuffling (3 to 10 times) place the deck in your right hand. Then fan them out and hand pick the card that is to become the issue (#1) of the reading with your left hand. Place that card on the table in front of you. Then cut the deck into 3 stacks and then restack them in whatever order intuitively feels right. Next turn the cards over from the top of the now shuffled and cut deck in the order given below placing them in the format given on the Celtic Cross form here.

You can download a blank form for the Celtic Cross layout here.

1. The Issue (aka the significator) – This is the most important card in the layout as it indicates the primary topic and area of life that the reading is about in during the coming period. All other cards in this layout relate specifically to this card and what it represents in some way.

2. The Cover – this card gives additional information about the issue card, clarifying how you hold or see the issue. It also helps to clarify what aspect of the issue card you are to focus on.

3. Cross/Bridge – this is the only horizontal card in the reading and often indicates your resistance to what the issue card represents. It can also be that once you accept the energy or lesson of this card it can become your bridge from the past to the future, or that which helps you to grow and move along.

4. Crowning position – I also call this: the “best that can be achieved in this matter/situation”. It basically gives you a sense of what positive things could occur down the road if you work with the energies indicated in the reading, opening the way for you to achieve the message and/or gift of this card once you have completed the phase indicated in the reading.

5. Base of the Matter – this is the energy that set up the current issue. It can be helpful to know just what brought us to this point. Often times this isn’t something that you’re aware of consciously that is impacting the issue. It can also represent the foundation of this issue.

6. The Past – this is the card that indicates what transpired just prior to this time that had a significant influence on the issue at hand. It is often helpful to remember this and keep it in mind so you do not have to repeat it again.

7. The Future – this is the next step or phase as it relates to the issue. A key card in getting a feeling for what is around the corner. and will help to bring in the next phase of the issue.

8. The Self – this card is one of the two cards that represents the self in this layout and the matter at hand (the other being the Ego card…more on that later). This position is more reflective of your inner self. That part of you that is often just below your conscious awareness, but that once you hear about what this card represents, thus helping you to see and better understand how this aspect of yourself relates to and influences the issue at hand.

9. The Home/Environment – this card indicates what is going on in your home and/or environment as it relates to the issue of a reading. It also gives information about how those in your environment can or may be impacting the issue, perhaps even in ways that are outside of your control.

10. The Hopes and/or Fears position – this is a most telling placement of this layout as it gives insight into how you are relating to the issue from a mental and/or emotional perspective as what you think and/or feel about something is a most important component to dealing with it. Know that your inner hopes can also be a fear or vice versa regarding the issue of the reading NOTE: Hopes are more dominant if it is a “positive” card whereas your fear are if a more “challenging” card. It can be helpful to pull a 2nd card asking further clarification for this position as then you may have a better sense of what your hope and  your fear is as it relates to the issue.  One other comment…it is important to have insights in your hope and fear around the issue so that you can bring it into the open rather than be an underlying influence. 

11. The Outcome – this card gives you an indication of where things are going with regards to this issue, especially at the end of the time period for the reading. It is helpful to get a feeling for the direction things are moving towards. It is also an indication of what may be coming in the next time period regarding the issue and thus of what you might expect down the road.

12. The Ego – this is the other self card. While the Self position (#8) is your inner, more subconscious Self, the Ego card represents the part of you that you do have a fuller awareness of making it easier to get clarity as to what this card is means or is telling you. It is also how others see you as it relates to this issue. I find that by incorporating both of these energies (Cards #8 & 12), you can get a good picture of how both your inner and outer selves are relating to this issue.

Daily-Weekly Spread

Here’s another layout that can be used for either daily or a weekly time period. Doing this reading on either a daily or a weekly basis is a great way to become familiar with the Tarot. To begin…

Decide if this will be for a day or for the week ahead:

Sit quietly at the beginning of the day (or on the same day each week) with your deck. Shuffle focusing on the coming day/week. Then fan out your deck, holding it in your right hand and with your left hand pull the following 5 cards asking these questions:

1. What is my highest focus for the day (or week if you’re doing a weekly spread?

2. How will the physical realm support my highest focus?

3. How will my mind (i.e. thoughts, ideas, attitudes, etc.) support my highest focus?

4. How will my emotions (feelings, moods, etc.) support my highest focus?

5. How will the spiritual realm support my highest focus?

I suggest that you write some brief comments about what happened that day. You may want to record these readings as well as your impressions in a special Tarot journal. You could also read about what the cards mean from a book and make some notes in your journal.

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