Celtic Cross

Let’s talk about the Celtic Cross, the most famous Tarot spread. Let’s also talk about why I personally dislike it! I know, that’s a very shocking opinion to have. But bear with me, I have my reasons.

The origins of the Celtic Cross (the cross, not the spread) are a bit fuzzy. It appeared in the early middle ages in several European countries and then become commonly associated with Irish missionaries. There’s no exact known reason for why it appeared but I have a theory. I believe that traditional crosses were difficult to sculpt. The weight of the arms would lead them to break off. But with a ring added, the arms would stay put.

Celtic Cross

The tarot spread came much later, in the late 1800s. Arthur Edward Waite made the first official mention of it in 1910 in his book, “The Pictorial Key to Tarot.” Prior to that, it was believed to have been used by the Order of the Hermetic Dawn. A secret society, dedicated to the occult. I don’t believe it’s a coincidence that it was published by the same author of the most famous Tarot deck.

This spread is well known and widely used, believed to reveal your deepest feelings toward a situation and the potential outcome.

Celtic Cross spread with the Sacred Rose Tarot deck

I won’t go into what each card represents, you can find that easily online or in any Tarot book. What I will talk about is why I don’t like it!

It’s too complicated. Ten cards! If you’re new to Tarot, that’s really intimidating. You need to remember the specific meaning and placement of ten cards and then turn that all into one cohesive story? Even for an experienced reader, that’s a lot!

And once you’ve mastered this spread, what does it get you? I don’t think it tells you any more than what you can get from a three or five card spread. If anything, the sheer number of cards dilutes the message. I find that I get the best results from a simple one card one question scenario.

Do you love the Celtic Cross? Tell me why in the comments!

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