The Celtic Cross is probably, hands down, the most common layout used for a Tarot card reading. Ten cards are drawn from the shuffled deck to form the Celtic Cross. The meanings of the card placements may vary slightly dependent on the teaching source. Below is one interpretation of meanings of card placement.
- The first card is the signifier card, or in absence of a signifier card, an optional card is used as a 'starting point" or "focus" of the reading.
- The second card is criss-crossed on top of the first card. This card placement represents possible conflicts or obstacles for the querent.
- The third card is placed directly below the first card. This card placement generally represents distant past, or inherited traits of the querent.
- The fourth card is placed to the left of the first card. This card placement represents recent influences that are currently affecting the querent's life or situation.
- The fifth card is placed above the first card. This card placement indicates influences that are likely to occur in the near future which may or may not affect the querent's life or situation.
- The sixth card is placed to the right of the first card. This card placement represents fate or destiny. This is a stubborn placement or karmic influence that will surface in coming days, weeks, or months, not much wiggle room.
- The seventh card is the bottom card placed in a vertical row of 4 cards along the right side of the previous cards laid down. This card placement represents the querent's state of mind and emotions in this situation: balanced, erratic, stoic, anxious, or whatever.
- The eighth card is placed above the seventh card. This card placement is representative of outside influences, typically opinions of family members, neighbors, co-workers, etc.
- The ninth card is placed above the eighth card. This card placement represents the querent's hopes and/or fears.
- The tenth card is place above the ninth card. This card placement represents the final outcome of the reading. It does not have the final say by any means, all the cards play a part in the full meaning of the reading. However, this card placement has a big say in the manner. A heavy-lifter, you might say.
: Voyager Tarot
, James Wanless, 1984, Merrill-West Publishing (Compare Prices