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Tarot Parfait: Celtic Grid Spread – 4/4/2020

One of the nice things about learning tarot is building on the foundation you receive from all you deck books, your interpretation instructions, your encyclopedia of spreads. One of the foundational layouts you learn as a reader--I would argue that it is THE fundamental layout in your repertoire--is the Celtic Cross Spread.

Readers have used the Celtic Cross so widely and for so long that its exact origins are unknown. Research suggests that the first printed use of the spread was in Arthur Edward Waite's book, The Pictorial Key to the Tarot. It's included in every deck, deck guide, and spread lexicon, and I return to it regularly. You'll fall down a bit of a rabbit hole if you go chasing after this research thread (I definitely did), but the point is this: as I learn and read and meet new people, sometimes the standard Celtic Cross just doesn't quite cut it.

I developed this version for my audition to read for Thorne & Moon in Houston. In truth, I smushed together Llew's Spread from the Llewellyn Tarot with some of the positions from the traditional Celtic Cross spread. The result is a multilayered spread that makes it a little easier for me to see the interconnectedness of both the spread itself, and the different areas of life of the person who's asked me for a reading.

One of the very first things I learned in my very first anthropology class as an undergrad was the word "holism". Some of you might already know it. For me, and for our purposes here, it means basically that nothing exists in a vacuum. You cannot study a people's myths without also studying their history, their language, and the world around them as they know it. Likewise, your stress about work may affect how you interact with the people around you, from strangers on the street to your closest friends and family. All the Grid layout does, really, is allow us to see the overlap a little more clearly. It's a good "overview"-type spread, and one I've made the cornerstone of my practice.

Layer 1: Llew's Spread

1. The Sun, or the Querent: Bringing what is hidden to light

2. Dawn: The situation manifesting; its origin and/or cause

3. Noon: What cannot be ignored; conscious concerns.

4. Dusk: The help you will receive

5. Midnight: The resolution

Layer 2

6. The "Cloud": Covers the Sun, and keeps it from reaching its truest potential

7. The Cross: Encounters and/or obstacles

8. The Past: It ripples across the grid, bringing the present to the surface

9. The Future: The shore where the ripples land

10. The "Forecast": Influences beyond your control, but which you can choose to prepare for

11. Hopes & Fears

Layer 3

12, 13: Possible Positive Outcomes

14, 15: Possible Negative Outcomes

16, Final Card: "Either Way..." the first step to bring about the best possible future.

Happy reading!

Sources: (seriously does no one know where this spread came from?)

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