A Celtic Cross Reading Example

Here is an example of a Celtic Cross interpretation I posted on one of the tarot forums I frequent, using my personal spread design and positional meanings. It’s a bare-bones version of the CC reading I’m offering here.

Forum Reading #3.JPG
All images copyright U.S. Games Systems, Inc, Stamford, CT

Card #1: 6 of Pentacles – Most of the Pentacles relate to physical effort, but this one implies “rest from effort” and benefiting from the fruits of one’s labor. Moon in Taurus can be acquisitive to the point of excess, but this card is not about hoarding, it implies a discriminating largesse. Therein lies the danger, since insufficiently judicious management of resources could result in over-commitment. There might be a tendency toward being a “soft touch.”

Card #2: 3 of Pentacles – This card is much more complex than it’s given credit for. Most people see “hard work,” but what I see is “work smarter;” in other words, “work the plan.” The RWS card shows a craftsman being interrupted mid-stroke by what looks like an architect with a blueprint. It strikes me that the latter wants changes to a work-in-progress. As far as “what the situation needs” in this spread, it would be a “plan.” It also suggests having “the right tool for the job;” you can’t do something with a hammer that requires a screw-driver. It offers the orderly discrimination that the 6 of Pentacles can lack.

Card #3: 10 of Wands – This one kind of makes me wonder whether you were over-burdened with the demands of circumstances in the past. It looks like the aforementioned “over-commitment” in action.

Card #4: Death – This is the card that pushes all the paranoia buttons: “BIG! IMPORTANT! SCARY!” (But of course, we readers know better ) Coming after the 10 of Wands, it looks like the inevitable consequences of exhaustion. It’s calling a halt to the habitual over-loading implied by the Ten trying to deliver on the intentions of the Six without having a coherent “shipping manifest” (the Three). There was a compulsion to “keep on keepin’ on” fueled by the perception of inexhaustible resources that had to end.

It’s quite interesting that the first three cards are “dry” (Earth and Fire) while the next three are “wet” (all corresponding to Water). It implies a complete paradigm shift, beginning with the recognition of the need for radical change.

Card #5: the Chariot – It looks like the transition is being made successfully, and the “stars are aligned” for success. Waite called it “triumph over money difficulties,” which could have significance for the implications of the first three cards.

Card #6 – 10 of Cups – I call this the “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” card, after the words of the old Beatles song:

“In a couple of years they have built a home, sweet home
With a couple of kids running in the yard
Of Desmond and Molly Jones”

To my eyes, the ten cups in the rainbow echo the starry canopy of the Chariot, full of high aspirations and good feeling. There is a cautionary note with this card, though: the idea of “satiety” or “too much of a good thing.” But it’s the “near future,” not the final outcome, so “enjoy it while it lasts” looks like the best stance to take.

Card #7: Knight of Pentacles – This card “lets some of the air” out of the over-inflated 10 of Cups, bringing some hard-headed pragmatism to the fore. It comes across as a necessary corrective that will allow further progress along the road previously walked by the 10 of Wands.

Card #8 – 8 of Wands – I see some risk of “deja-vu all over again” here, suggesting that the forces behind previous difficulties may still be active either in the environment or in the expectations of other people close to the situation. The Knight gives the impression he’s willing to take on a burden once again, and the eight Wands might be seen as coming to rest on his broad shoulders. The advice here is “Beware!”

Card #9: the Magician – This could be the advertising blurb on a self-help book: “How to Get What You Want Without Really Trying!” It’s saying “Be imaginative!” and “Be creative!” In essence, follow the advice in the George Bernard Shaw quote* in my forum signature, which could almost be the “Magician’s Creed.” The raised wand in his hand recharges the flagging energy that was about to descend on the Knight of Pentacles, redirecting it in a more productive and less relentless way. This card shows an exercise of “will” as the right way to finally get clear of past entanglements.

Card #10 – Justice – I call this the card of “just desserts.” In the final analysis, we all get what we deserve – the trick is to be deserving rather than unworthy. After the “cleansing” of Death, I would say the Chariot and the Magician will set you in good stead for an equitable judgment here.

* “Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will.”

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