The Celtic Cross Spread

by Douglas Gibb on July 7, 2009

We are almost at the end of this Tutorial Series, and we have come a long way. There are no more techniques that you need to know at this stage in your learning in order to read with Tarot cards. Everything that we have already covered in this Tutorial Series will now form the foundations needed to read, not only the Celtic Cross Spread, but any spread you choose to study. At this stage of your learning, I would highly recommend you pick a spread you like and stick with it for a couple of months. Resist the temptation to read with other spreads. Why do I say this? If you can really build your confidence with one spread then it is very easy to apply that confidence and experience to any spread, but not so the other way around.

The Celtic Cross spread has become one of those Tarot spreads that is so well known and almost every popular book or resource has written on it. I have included the Celtic Cross as part of this Beginners Tutorial Series for two reasons. The first reason is that you will have inevitably read or will read about this spread, so I wanted to use this opportunity to show you the best way to read with this spread. The second reason is to help build your confidence in the techniques we have already covered. I think you will really see the benefit of doing all that practice when it comes to using the Celtic Cross.

The spread itself is not hard to learn. It’s positional based, and therefore it forms a logical structure for reading the cards. I personally don’t think there is anything logical whatsoever with doing Tarot readings, so I tend to avoid any positional based spread. I prefer to tap into the irrationality of Tarot as completely as I can; I tend to use non-positional based spreads. Regardless, choosing a Tarot spread is matter of preference and experience and we all, at some point, learn the Celtic Cross.

As I mentioned earlier, I do feel that with the techniques we have already learned, you will begin to see how the Tarot itself provides the structure, and the need to use artificially imposed limits and rules will seem unnecessary.

There are ten cards used in the Celtic Cross spread. The cross itself indicates time and the column of four cards on the right hand side of the cross represent influences.

The Cross

The Cross

  1. The present
  2. The present
  3. The card above will provide clues to the distant future
  4. The card below will provide clues to the recent past
  5. The card to the left will provide clues on the distant past
  6. The card to the right will provide clues to the immediate future

When you practice reading the Celtic Cross, look to this section first for your ‘narrative’ and only use the column of cards to support or add strength to your interpretations of the cross.

The Column provides us with information on the influences:

a description of the Column within the Celtic Cross spread

  • The bottom card provides clues to the client’s influence
  • The next card provides clues to the environmental influences (that means anything outside of the client’s control)
  • The next card can be read as a potential outcome card and provides clues as to the influence of change
  • The last card is traditionally seen as the outcome card. This card should be used as a way to validate your ‘narrative’ or story. Think of it like any historical event; there is never a complete outcome. There are always consequences

To summarise, the cross answers questions and the column informs the cross; the cross makes predictions and the column adds some extra detail.

Let’s check out an example of the Celtic Cross spread in action, and see some of the techniques we have learned come together.

Example Celtic Cross Spread:

The following reading is published with permission of the client. I wanted to show the approach I take to reading a very simple 10 card Celtic Cross spread.

The Celtic Cross Spread

A list of the cards used in the above example

  1. The present: 8 of Wands reversed
  2. The present: 10 of Disks
  3. The card above will provide clues to the distant future: Wheel of Fortune
  4. The card below will provide clues to the distant past: The Magician reversed
  5. The card to the left will provide clues on the recent past: The High Priestess reversed
  6. The card to the right will provide clues to the immediate future: The Fool reversed
  7. The bottom card provides clues to the client’s influence: Temperance
  8. The next card provides clues to the environmental influences (that means anything outside of the client’s control): Ace of Wands reversed
  9. The next card can be read as a potential outcome card and provides clues as to the influence of change: Queen of Disks reversed
  10. The last card is traditionally seen as the outcome card. This card should be used as a way to validate your ‘narrative’ or story. Think of it like any historical event; there is never a complete outcome. There are always consequences: 9 of Cups reversed

The client did not wish to ask a question.

General Impressions:

3 upright cards, 7 reversed cards. 4 Fire, 2 Water, 2 Air (or Spirit?), 2 Earth. This suggests activity that goes nowhere.

Reversed Tarot Cards

It’s also helpful to look at the reversals as one group and the uprights as another. The reversals (High Priestess in the past position being the initial start of this cycle) are what’s happening in her life, whereas the uprights are what’s causing tension. Her influence to change her life is limited.

The Ratio Between Elements, Picture, Court And Pip Cards

Apart from the Ace, the numbers start at 8, 9 and 10, suggesting the culmination of past efforts (the Minors often indicating individual effort).

5 Major Cards and 1 Court Card.

The abundance of Major’s in the spread tells me that the client’s ability to make dramatic changes is subject to powerful forces outside of her control. The lack of other characters tells me that this is about her against the world. A maverick perhaps.

The Air cards (Fool and Magus) suggest the Element Spirit. This tells me there is no real conflict; perhaps continuing down this path is the one of least resistant for her.

The Story Or Narrative

The Priestess in the past position suggests a strong focus on the physical (money, sex and so on). This links to the 9 of Cups. Enjoyable but empty. Empty because (Art) she’s unfulfilled.

It’s clear that her plans are going nowhere (8 of Wands, Fool, Ace of Wands, Magus). The feeling is likened to hard work, inspiration and yet the money doesn’t reflect. What does she have within her environment that is the supportive element (10 of Disks)? Although, traditionally we’d be looking at the 9 of Disks (a gain in money and finances) to suggest support, the 10 explores the concept of inheritance and family. The question (only within our own minds at this point) must be, what does she have that she can rely upon…that also causes a degree of discomfort (the cross position)?

It’s probably her family (10 of Disks association with family). Also her plans have to do with career development, possibly self-employment (Magus).

The majority of Majors tells me that her circumstances play a large role in dictating what opportunities are available. The Art card tells me that her approach is balanced; her optimism is what gets her through, possibly even an inspiration to others. Does travel play on her mind?

I think that because her circumstances change (Fortune Card), people (her family- 10 of Disks) and career related opportunities, that this approach is a good one.

However, her influence is small.

The Fool and Ace (opportunities, probably unexpected) are what’s hoped for. Looks like they’ve never really happened for her, and are unlikely to in the near future. I get the impression that she works hard (8 of Wands), but nothing changes. The overall effect though (9 of Cups) is that a certain inner satisfaction is what counts for her.

The Magus (usually associated with self-employment) suggests that she is looking to build her own business.

The combination of the Fortune Card and the 10 of Disks might also suggest that people within her immediate family have:- some left, some new additions. This would probably play out (10’s being associated with family but the disk is focusing in on the financial element of the family) as a financial drain. One leaves but one gained.

To summarise so far:

A woman, self employed who works hard isn’t enjoying the expected financial rewards that her enterprise should bring. Her plans (8 of Wands) don’t seem to arrive at that expected place and the financial support (10 of Disks) allows her to continue. This support will cause a degree of tension.

Her approach is balanced (no advice needed on a change of attitude) and the inner satisfaction of the work is a reward in itself.

The opportunities that her business should be providing have not happened, and although things will continue to change (Fortune) the overall effect for the client is: no change.

The Fool also suggests the need for more adventure and surprises in her life. I suspect that she believes that career success will bring this.


Overall, (Fool, Ace, Fortune) the potential for things to change is implied, but unlikely in the next 6 months. With her balanced approach to life, when circumstances change, then success. This isn’t guaranteed unfortunately. Potential is simply potential. With her environment exercising so much control over her options, if this changed then success.

Feedback from the client:

My family although supportive are also a cause for concern and Douglas was so right about the changing dynamics – my son recently joined the Army and I also gained a teenage lodger! Although I didn’t ask a question, Douglas picked up on the factors in my life that are the most dominating. My business, though not dying, isn’t doing so well and I am struggling to maintain the balance. I have also been looking at some other options but have been undecided about what to do. I can see now that I must reassess my whole situation. I can continue on this current path and hope that things will change, or I can stop sitting on the fence and make a decision one way or another. After my reading with Douglas I know that I do have many options, it’s down to me to step outside my comfort zone.

Practice The Celtic Cross

The way I think you’ll get the most out of your practice sessions is to spend the majority of time dealing out the Three Card spread we looked at in the last post. This will provide you with the firm foundations to tackle the Celtic Cross spread with ease. I would still practice the Celtic Cross spread but at this stage it is important to be comfortable with all the techniques we have covered in this Tutorial Series. The Three Card spread will help bring all these different methods together.

There is also a new tutorial series that has just started at Tarot Elements – How To Read The Celtic Cross Spread. This series is designed to teach you how to read the Celtic Cross like a pro.

The next post will look at the most important aspect of giving a reading.

This post is part of the Beginners Tutorial Series

(Theoretically) Related Posts:

34 comments… Let's discuss

Rhys September 9, 2009 at 3:36 am

Ah… much better. Thank you!


Sheri October 25, 2009 at 5:08 am


I could not figure out the Celtic Cross no matter how hard I tried. I use to think I could but there are to many cards that I really don’t know which ones to pair which with.

I asked the same question as usual: Does he want her back in his life?
This is what I got-
1.Present-Moon (R)
2.Present-Knight Swords
3.Distant Future-Ace Cups
4.Recent Past-Queen Cups
5.recent Past-4 Swords
6.Immediate Future-3 Swords (R)
7.Client’s Influence-9 Pent (R)
8.Environmental Influences-10 Swords (R)
9.Potential Outcome Card Magician (R) I had NO IDEA that this card could be the outcome, too.
10.Outcome-9 Swords (R)

I’m thinking that the Moon (R) show that their is deception going on here. And I think there is a fear of bad news coming from the Knight of Swords. The Queen of Cups in Distant Past is her and he is taking a break from her, life, women for a while in the 4 of Swords, Recent Past. The Ace of Cups looks bright with new beginnings coming in the immediate future, but the 3 of swords says that the distant future for this couple will bring the suffering back. The 9 of Penticles or Disks (R) tells me this independent woman’s security is shaky.She doesn’t like being alone. I’m not sure about the 10 of swords (R) and how this reads unless it means that he is hurting her emotionally and she feels betrayed by him, hence the swords in the back. But the car is reversed so to me it looks like the swords would fall out of her back. the person on the card is looking towards a new sunrise/new beginning. So I’m going to guess, new beginnings are out of her control. The Magician (R) as a possible outcome-He is powerful and he’s a trickster. New directions are in the making but I don’t think he’s ready for them just yet. I think the 9 of Swords (R) shows that there is a lot of sleepless nights going on for both these people.

So, the Ace of Cups and 3 0f Swords (R) says that this relationship will continue, but it will have suffering because as the Magician shows they are not ready unless they show patience and go slow. They both have a lot of self-doubt about starting up again, each for their own reasons. The Magician says to NOT RUSH things prematurely. They need to wait until the timing is right.

Man, I hope I’m close. This was a hard reading for me because there are so many cards involved. I didn’t even get into the elements and reverse card story lines. I just basically read the surface story.



Douglas October 27, 2009 at 10:31 pm

Hi Sheri,

I understand if you feel the Celtic Cross is a spread that you would like to gradually build up to. Take your time with this process and eventually you’ll start to feel more comfortable.

In terms of your actual reading – it was great :D

You pulled a lot of different information together.

So I’m going to guess, new beginnings are out of her control.

Very insightful!

I want to point out that there is no right way to interpret. We might get similar information from these cards, but the way we get that information will be different. This is similar for all Tarot readers. We may tell a story that covers much the same information, but the way we got that information, the cards we used, the techniques we employed, even the Spread that was chosen, might all be different.

I thought you did an excellent reading. You covered some of the main points, and you covered them well.

All those Swords cards do indicate continued problems within the relationship. It may even go through an “on/off” type situation – but nothing seems to improve completely. Nothing seems settled.

You said, “I didn’t even get into the elements and reverse card story lines. I just basically read the surface story.”

This is a great sign. All the other techniques that you can learn to read Tarot cards are, for the most part, designed to help add greater depth to the story you’ve already told. When you can piece together the basic outline of what’s happening, you’re well on your way to understanding different techniques, and different approaches.

I know you don’t feel confident with this spread, but learning the Tarot is as much about confidence as anything else. Take things gradually and you will start to feel much more at ease during a Tarot reading :D


Sheri October 28, 2009 at 10:46 am

Thank you, Douglas. I think my biggest part of any and all readings is I’m having problems figuring out certain cards in certain positions and how to read them. Let’s say I have a love/relationship question and I get Disks that don’t seem to go with anything in the reading? It throws me off and I feel like I need to shuffle the cards and ask the question again. For example I asked the question should she give up on him? I did a four card spread because I am overwhelmed with the Celtic Cross… Situation:3 Cups (R)/Obstacle:4 Swords/Action Recommended:Knight Wands (R)/Outcome 4 Disks.

I see how the 4 of Disks says clinging to or hanging onto a situation in a stubborn and inflexible manner…fear of change, etc. But let’s say the 5 of Disks was the outcome card. How would would you read that? It makes no sense to me.

And I’m sure others have discovered this long before me, but today I discovered that men can be queens also. I did a reading where I pulled the Queen of Wands (R). One of the meanings I have for her is she advises you to avoid giving offense to the socially powerful. Since she is referring to women I naturally thought it was a woman she was warning me about when in actuality she was warning me about a male friend who is kind of THE center of the group or the unofficial leader of the group. At first I thought it was referring to his girl friend, but I later discovered it was him. That threw me and now I have to look at my readings even more differently. Does this happen alot?

Thanks again for helping me :)


Sharon January 7, 2010 at 10:42 am

Dear Douglas,

Thank you for your most informative article.

I was hoping that you may be able to help me to understand my celtic spread better,as I am a novice.

I am currently in a difficult relationship and I’m unsure how things will proceed:

My spread was as follows:

1.Present-Six of Pentacles
2.Present-Four of Wands
3.Distant Future- The Star
4.Recent Past-Seven of Cups
5.recent Past- Knight of Swords
6.Immediate Future- Two of Cups
7.Client’s Influence- The Emperor
8.Environmental Influences- Three of Wands
9.Potential Outcome Card- Ten of Pentacles
10.Outcome-9 of Pentacles

I am confused as I thought the ten of pentacles which related to happiness and security in love seemed to be in contradiction with the nine of pentacles which I thought signified success but being alone.

I hope you can share some of your wonderful insights with me.

Thank you



Douglas Gibb January 7, 2010 at 2:23 pm

Hi Sharon,

Thank you for your kind words :)

The nine of Disks can also indicate an independence as opposed to being alone.

When a lot of Disk (Pentacle) cards are present within a Tarot reading, such as yours, it can indicate issues involving commitment, practical concerns, security, money and so forth. These can all impact a relationship.

Another way to look at this spread, is to ask yourself,

Is there commitment?
Is there security?

Basically, ask yourself what is already there, and what might be a source of strain upon the relationship.

The Three of Wands would indicate negotiation (Wands often indicate this) and putting ones own needs first (this would imply one if not both of you). In other words, this cards indicates a kind of restructuring of the relationship.

Overall, the nine of Disks would suggest the result of that restructuring – respect for the individuals need for independence within certain areas of their life. The 10 and 9 of Disks as well as the Star card also point to a strong foundation, and the potential for this relationship to grow.

I hope that has given you something to think about with regards your reading. If you have any more questions, just ask :D


Sheri February 16, 2010 at 12:47 am

Hi Douglas,

I am trying to read the Celtic cross using Elemental Dignities, but I’m not sure if I’m doing it right.

The question is: Will this couple start over and get back together?
1. Present: 9 Wands
2. Present: Page Cups
3. Distant Future: Lovers
4. Distant Past: 3 Cups
5. Recent Past: Ace Disks
6. Immediate Future: 6 Wands
7. Client’s Influence: Page Disks
8. Environmental Influences: King Cups
9. Potential Outcome Card: World
10. Outcome: Ace Cups

Even without the Elemental Dignities I can see this couple will, but I want a deeper reading. I tried using the Two Card combination since there are 10 cards, but I’m not sure if that is correct. Should I be using the Three Card combination? It doesn’t add up right at the end with one card left over. Either way the story is a little different, but it still comes out the same.

I also tried figuring out the timing on this but I’m not sure if I should use the Lovers card (Gemini signifying May/June) with the Ace Cups (one week to one months) or the 6 Wands with the ace and the Lovers Card – all three combined. Between the Ace and the 6 Wands it’s between one day give or take. I don’t believe the Ace Cups is signifying one month. What do you think? My head is spinning from reading so many different articles and books on timing.

Thank you so much! :)



Douglas Gibb February 18, 2010 at 3:14 pm

Hi Sheri,

I tried using the Two Card combination since there are 10 cards, but I’m not sure if that is correct.

I would use the three card combination first, and I would finish the reading by pairing them. I find that ending a reading on pairing two cards together works out better.

You can think of the one card at the end of the reading as the outcome card. Two cards at the end of a three card combination can be considered as indicating a possible outcome/ a choice. Either way, a single card is more definitive as an outcome.

In terms of the timing, try one system at a time to see how accurate it is for you. Unfortunately, this is a trial-an-error process. Each persons approach to timing will be different. It may work for one person, and not another. This is one of those aspects of the Tarot that you need to experiment with the most.

What about the Cups as indicating seasons? Although the immediate future looks good (getting together), perhaps it takes till the summer (Ace of Cups) before a much stronger connection occurs?

Let me know how you get on :D


Sheri February 19, 2010 at 4:22 am

Thank you so much! I’m going to try this method. I’m still having troubles with pairing cards and understanding their duel meanings. I know it will click I just need to take a step back and give it a moment.

I have another question for you. I asked if someone was pregnant and I keep getting the Sun card in the reading. I did a five card read and the 5th card as the outcome was the Sun. I threw down another card to confirm and got the Ace of Swords. I’ve predicted a pregnancy once before with the Ace of Swords. She’s due any day now! Yay!

I asked this question: Is “so-and-so” pregnant with “so-and-so’s” baby?
1) Present- 3 Cups (R)
2) Present- Page Cups (R)
3) Near Future- Ace Cups
4) Past- 4 Cups
5) Past- 7 Wands
6) Immediate Future- 3 Swords
7) Client’s Influence- King Pent
8) Environmental Influences- Priestess
9) Potential Outcome Card- 10 Swords (R)
10) Outcome- Sun

If I pair the Ace of Cups in the Near Future spot with the Sun would you say it could be a pregnancy? I told her yes. Using the elemental pairing like you said confirms this, but the 10 Swords and Sun are throwing me if I pair them together over the Ace Cups and Sun (they are easier to read). Maybe the 10 Swords and Sun mean a difficult pregnancy? If she is it would be most likely a November baby. The guy thinks she is doing this to him on purpose. Do you think the 10 of Swords refers to him feeling like he’ll be impaled on knives if she is pregnant? What do you think?

I’ll let you know if she’s pregnant or not…Thanks!



Douglas Gibb February 21, 2010 at 1:45 pm

Hi Sheri,

The Ace of Cups with the Sun is a good combination for questions concerning pregnancy. However, we also have the Three of Swords and the Ten of Swords which aren’t favorable.

In the Environment we have the Priestess, which is interesting. If we digress slightly, the Priestess, Empress and Moon cards represent the Triple Goddess combined. The maiden, mother and crone, respectively. If you’re interested in reading more about this, check out .

The Priestess is therefore the maiden, a Virgin – the possibility exists ( cyclically, she will become the Empress), but for the moment she’s Virginal, therefore, fertility is put into question. Is she pregnant now? Perhaps (with the Sun) it happens later on.

Also, consider the reading itself. There is a subtle theme of “three”.

Taken as a whole, the reading points to the potential for pregnancy. I want to emphasis the potential for pregnancy, because the other cards represent delays. For instance, does she have a history of miscarriage (three of swords, 10 of swords) – or is there a family history of difficulties in getting pregnant (Priestess, 10 Swords (R) ).

Either way, the Sword cards do indicate things upsetting both of them. With the Sun as the outcome, it’s likely that it will happen, the Ace of Cups showing us that she is very fertile ( I’m saying her because the Cups are shaped like a womb – for further reading, check out the Grail lore).

Maybe the 10 Swords and Sun mean a difficult pregnancy?

I would also be thinking along similar lines.

The Swords could be discussing how he feels.

The 10 of Swords represents fears. It could be any number of fears – surgery, him feeling entrapment etc.

Let me know how it all goes :D


Sheri February 22, 2010 at 9:23 pm

Hi Douglas,

Thank you for helping me. When you wrote that the Swords could be discussing how he feels, I have to completely agree with you. He’s freaking out. Won’t talk to her – to the point he first changed his phone number and then when she went to talk to him face-to-face he called the police on her. He doesn’t want to face the possibility of her being pregnant.

I’m thinking the 3 of Swords and the 10 of Swords refer to the way he’s feeling, but at the same time how he’s lashing out at her and how she is feeling as well. If you read what he did to her the 3 of Swords makes sense in her immediate future and the 10 of Swords definitely shows him betraying her.

Soooo…I asked the same question and this is what I got:
1. Present: 3 wands
2. Present: 10 Pent
3. Distant Future: Ace Cups
4. Distant Past: Hierophant (R)
5. Recent Past: 6 Cups
6. Immediate Future: Judgment
7. Client’s Influence: 7 Cups (R)
8. Environmental Influences: Ace Pent (R)
9. Potential Outcome Card: Queen Cups
10. Outcome: Devil

Again, the Ace of Cups, but this time in the Distant Future instead of the Outcome. I see the Judgment card in the Immediate Future as “man, woman, and child” for some reason. I see it as more than the man and woman will be effected by this man’s behavior. I swear I do not get the Devil card as an outcome…soooo…I threw down three more cards…lol…and got:

6 Wands/5 Pent/Knight Swords

I’m beginning to believe this reading has more to do with his anger and rage against her than it does with the prediction of a baby. His need to hurt her is seen in the Knight of Swords aggressive actions. I think the Hierophant shows that he has tossed out the niceties of rules and is attacking her which leaves her completely and totally confused, 7 Cups (R), by his behavior.

Soooo…I asked again…
1. Present: 4 Wands
2. Present: 7 Swords
3. Distant Future: Empress
4. Distant Past: 9 Swords (R)
5. Recent Past: Emperor
6. Immediate Future: 4 Swords (R)
7. Client’s Influence: Chariot
8. Environmental Influences: Ace Wands
9. Potential Outcome Card: Queen Cups
10. Outcome: King Cups

You mentioned the Priestess becoming the Empress and here she is in the Distant Future. She isn’t getting the rest she needs at this time either. Most likely due to the stress the man is putting on her. The Ace of Wands in the environment suggests birth…the seeds have been planted??? Is the male going to come to his senses in the outcome as the King of Cups and start caring for her health like he should???

HELPPPPPPP!!!! Lol…This is like a soap opera and I’m sucked into it…lol!



Sheri March 4, 2010 at 9:13 pm

Hi Douglas,

Well, it turned out she wasn’t pregnant. So, can you tell me what i did wrong in these reading?

Sheri 8)


Douglas Gibb March 10, 2010 at 12:56 am

Hi Sheri,

Thank you for letting me know how it went :)

In the comment I made to the first reading you did, I mentioned the High Priestess as a card to focus on. This card represents a Virgin – in real life, this means the person is not fertile for whatever reason. Along with the 3 of Swords, this suggested difficulties with the pregnancy/getting pregnant – and of course, the sadness associated with it.

This was the main story line of the cards. The sub-plot was the relationship with the man in question.

You did nothing wrong in particular. Experience will teach you what to focus on, what to interpret as a sub-plot etc.

Pregnancy is a tough question to be asked about no matter what level of experience you have. The most important thing to take away from this experience, in my opinion, is to try and piece together the important themes first, before looking at sub-plots. It’s a difficult thing to learn ( I still get it wrong) but experience is what counts most. I would say the best thing to do is to keep reading, keep practicing. You’re doing great!

The next time you’re asked a similar question, confine yourself to doing just one reading on the question. If it seems to you that you’re not getting clarifty, use that feeling as a warning message to take a step back and reinterpret cards. Often the simplest explanation is the correct one.

Keep me posted on your progress :D


Sheri March 12, 2010 at 3:43 am

Hi Douglas,

Thank you so much. I’m trying. I am having better luck with card pairing in the Celtic Cross now. It’s making it easier for me to read the cards. Although, I read for a friend last night and his cards were so difficult to put together in a reading for me. Probably because the meanings didn’t flow well. they meant the opposite. I wish I would have written his reading down so I could explain better.

Now my big problem is understanding the High Priestess. I keep getting vague information on her so basically all I ever say about her when I get her is she is a mystery and a secret is about to be revealed. I didn’t know she represents a virgin because I haven’t found that in any research on her. What else ca you tell me about her so I can get a better understanding on this card?

Thanks :)


Douglas Gibb March 12, 2010 at 10:35 am

Hi Sheri,

I keep getting vague information on her so basically all I ever say about her when I get her is she is a mystery and a secret is about to be revealed.

That’s the High Priestess in a nutshell :D As a card, it doesn’t really provide us with concrete information. Use your definition of her as your primary meaning, with the following possible interpretations as secondary. Also, try meditating on the card and see what other things you can discover about her.

Possible Interpretations:

She is often depicted holding a book, so study, research, discovering knowledge and secrets.

She is often associated with the Moon (in a sense, the High Priestess is the Moon and the actual Moon card is Pisces) – so expect fluctuations and alterations in events. Also, Psychicism, Intuition, and an understanding of Truth which cannot be expressed in any language or in any logical system are symbolised by this card.

She also represents a Virgin! A huntress – think of Artemis of the Greeks!

However, the main thing we can say about this card is that she is a mystery and so in an actual reading, she will indicate things that aren’t known yet. We can only really intuit what that might be, we can never know with any sort of certainty given the nature of the Priestess.

Hope that helps, I look forward to hearing how you get on :D


Sheri March 13, 2010 at 3:06 am

Hi Douglas,

Thank you. That actually helped me alot. I forgot about associating her with the moon. She is such a confusing card.

I have another question for you about a reading I did for myself. I asked what’s going to happen in my life? I just broke it off with a guy and he was a nightmare! He’s a Gemini and an artist and extremely emotional (June 14, 1979) so the King of Swords or King of Cups would come up for him. But I’m also dating another Gemini (June 13, 1979) who is a cop and the King of Swords works for him, too. I sound busy and stuck in the month of June, but there is another guy who is a Gemini (June 14, 1979) that is pursuing me and I keep telling him no thank you. I also have court coming up on March 18th.
This is what I got:
1. Present – Page Wands
2. Present – 10 pent
3. Dist future – 2 Cups
4. Past – World
5. Imm Past – 3 Cups
6. Imm fut – Judgment
7. Self – Ace pent
8. Environment – Justice
9. Pos outcome – 8 Pent
10. Outcome – King Swords

I’m looking at this and I get several different readings because I have so much going on in my life. I see the Justice as court and with the Judgment card there will be a ruling and there was a mediation ruling on March 10th about the nightmare guy not being allowed to talk to me…forever. It’s not a restraining order though. Just a legal contract that we’d have to go to court to change. So, with so many Gemini men and court how would you interpret this reading? Am I starting over (8 Pent) with a new man (King Swords) in a relationship (2 Cups)? And ending (World) with a man (King Swords) because of a decision made (Judgment) in court (Justice)? Or does this all have to do with my court date on the 18th? The 2 of cups is throwing me off.



safirah August 26, 2010 at 10:44 am

Hi there guys,
i need some feedback about a reading i’ve made recently with the celtic cross.

There’s what’s going on:
The client was cheated by an instituition, and then he writted and sent a letter asking for financial indeminization to an autority…the answer to the letter one was that it can’t be possible that solution, so now…the client will sent a second letter , hoping with clarity, honesty and racionalitty, the institution gives him what he want.

I asked if he will receive this financial indeminization, after sent the second letter. The result was:

card one: Princess of cups
card two: Emperor

card three: empress
card four: lovers
card five: Aeon
card six: temperance

card seven: hermit
card eight: tower
card nine: 8 wands
card ten: justice

I’ve interpreted this way:

1-represent the client
2- Autority

3- good comunication, good feeling in relationships
4- a choice it was made
5- a decision was take by the autority
6- sucess after the client insistence

7- The client don’t have direct contact with the autority, but has racionalitty and prudence on his way
8- this one makes me with doubts…. i think that the tower as influence of the exterior enviroment, represent that the arguments of the client will break the defensive posture of the autority
9- 8 wands, suggests that the answer will be quickly, or, that’s what the client desires.
10- justice will be made, as long the client has the truth with him.

About timing, when will he receive the money? the justice points to: leo sign. But i don’t think this is the answer..but in Sagittarius(november/december) (Temperance and the 8 wands).

I apreciate very much any tips you may have for this case. It’s important that he receives this money, he was greatly impaired.

Thank you all!


Douglas Gibb August 27, 2010 at 5:21 pm

Hi Safirah,

Good reading. I like your interpretation and I agree with it up until a point.

We have some singular points of interest within this spread that are quite contradictory. For instance, we have the Justice card as the outcome. This is a great card for all legal based questions. It usually points to success. We also have the Lovers card in the future which suggests good partnerships, but at the same time we have the Tower (plans fail) and the 8 of Wands (rushed decision making).

The Emperor crosses the reading and represents the authority in this case and the Hermit card (keeping things hidden and concealed, plus turning away from worldly concerns) represents him.

It appears to me that the overall outcome is good but the Tower does suggest things continuing to go wrong. At worst you’re looking at an entirely new approach (link that to the Hermit) to this problem.

The first major event will happen around December. I also feel that September (Virgo – Hermit, Libra – Justice,) will be and important start. I think this reading shows twists and turns and isn’t going to go as smoothly as is expected. The reason I think that is the Temperance card. This card traditionally represents success, but having to go long way around to get it Therefore, this will be ongoing process somehow and won’t necessarily conclude in December (just that something significant will happen then).

Overall your reading was excellent. As you can see, I didn’t add anything new to the reading, but rather wanted to highlight some conflicts within the spread itself.

I hope that helps :D


Safirah May 12, 2011 at 9:39 pm

Douglas, just for the record…you were right in everything about what you said. It’s may now a year after…and the situation wasn’t resolved yet…although sending letters still in this year…the person is still waiting for financial indeminization :/

So i think it’s time to do another timing reading :pppp let’s see if it’s this year :/

present: hermit (our dear friend again) “keeping things hidden and concealed, plus turning away from worldly concerns” (aug23-sep22)
present: 2 wands- success with renovation projects but competition from others.(march)
distant future: knight disks (april-may) a man will bring news about money.
distant past:4 disks(10-19 jan) it’s about time but indicates great financial security in the end.
recent past: moon (feb-march) deception and lies.
immediate future: knight cups (oct 13-nov 11) — a good comunicator will send a message.
querent:knight wands(jul12-aug 11) —- impatient for a change.
environment:4 cups(jul 12-21) —- apathy, ignoring querent’s needs.
potential outcome:page cups — studying processes/messages being shared.
outcome:3 wands (mar-apr) — negotiation,and putting someone needs first.

Everything points to reception of the money…but there are so delayed cards there :/
earth: 3 fire:3 water:4 air:ausence of air…lacks of control of the querent :|

hermit+knight wands+4 cups: july / august maybe.
I think this is going to lasttttttttttttttttttt a while again :(


safirah August 26, 2010 at 11:28 am

i swich the order of two cards of the past :S

card 4 is Aeon (distant past)
card 5 is Lovers (recent future)

P.s. when i say “the client” it’s actually for family.


Safirah August 27, 2010 at 7:13 pm

Hello Douglas,
thanks for your time analysing my layout!

I sensed that i was closing my eyes to the conflicts represented in the cards because of my proximity to the person who asked for the answer of the cards, that’s why I asked for a new opinion :S I was only seeying the YES YEs! :D

So, in your opinion (wich actually is great! i loved!) the outcome is positive but it will take time , probably more letters to sent or begin a new approach (in the possibilities of the client) to get what he wants right? And only in 2011 this will be conclude? :\

Thank you very much!

I also took 3 cards to make an elementary analisy for this question “Will he receive what he wants?

8 wands – fire – (rushed decision making like you said)
10 cups – water – (family happiness)
9 wands – (defensive aproach, confidence, inner strenght)

Because fire is enemy of water , he weakens the 10 cups (sucess). But fire brings changes and also the presence of water brings transformation and joy. So the outcome is positive but it has a long way of persistence to achieve it. Am i being parcial to much? :x

Thanks for your help!


kathy October 27, 2010 at 12:13 am

hi I just did a celtic spread and I am currently seeing a leo man which we are having problems. Please tell me what this spread might mean for us. 1. The emperor 2. Two of cup. 3. Three of swords 4. Judgement 5. Four of swords 6. Ace of swords 7. 8. Five of cups 9. The hermit 10. Ten of pentacles 11. Knight of cups


kathy October 27, 2010 at 1:44 am

Here is another spread I did beacause the first one seem to have missed one card. Sorry and Thanks!!!

1.Seven of Wands
2. Knight of Wands
3. King of Swords
4. Seven of Cups
5. Five of Pentacles
6. The Moon
7. Queen of Swords
8. Page of Wands
9. Hermit
10. The Chariot


Sheri November 2, 2010 at 10:25 pm

Hi Kathy,

I looked at your cards and this is what I saw:
1. 7 wands- fighting and constantly defending yourself.
2. knight Wands- he has a love’m and leave’m kind of attitude
3. king Swords- Is he a cop or military? He has a “militant” attitude toward the relationship. Controlling. And that is the distant future of your problems and most likely why you don’t get along now.
4. 7 Cups- The root of the problem is there is alot in front of both of you. Is he materialistic? Does he want “toys” so he can look like a big shot?
5. 5 Pent- This is the past and it says that maybe he was broke before and that is why he is so materialistic.
6. Moon- you are in for a roller-coaster ride in this relationship. The moon suggests lies and things hidden.
7. Queen Swords- She is in control or wants to be.
8. Page Wands- These page can want to be a free spirit.
9. Hermit-A hope that he wants to be left alone a lot. Wanting to be alone. And I would say that is your fear.
Funny but you are both controlling. He’s a sword (King), you’re a sword (Queen).I see the outcome as a constant battle for control.
10. Chariot- the outcome is control. War.

I am so sorry this sounds so negative, but I have read so many readings just like this one. Is he a Gemini? There is very little grounding (earth), but alot of fire and air so there is anger, movement, change. Only 2 emotion cards and both are negative to me. The moon shows lies and shadowy things and the 7 Cups shows possible one-upping or trying to keep the others away or down.

Douglas will definitely tell you for sure. I hope all happens the way you want it to.



Sheri November 2, 2010 at 10:02 pm

Hi Douglas,

It’s been a really long time. I was just going over a reading I did back in February that I posted on here and said it looked as though he was trying to hurt her (he was) and there were cards that showed this. I wish I would have been able to do a time line on this because the guy has gotten so bad that she is scared for her life! She has to fight in court to defend herself because he lied to the police and is saying she is doing things to his parents house and his possessions she isn’t doing. She has a court date on November 4th and wants to know if she is going to win her plea of not guilty and her question was also about whether or not she and her boyfriend before this guy would get back together when he gets back from Afghanistan (he is writing her and asking her to go away on a vacation with him when he gets back). This is what I drew:
1. 6 cups
2. Chariot
3. 6 swords
4. 2 Pent (R)
5. Queen Cups
6. 8 Swords
7. 3 Swords
8. 7 Wands
9. Lovers
10. 9 Cups

I instantly looked at the 8 of swords and immediately thought she was going to be arrested…again. Then I looked at the 9 of Cups and was confused by the outcome. Is she going to get out in 9 months? They are talking and reminiscing (6 Cups) but what is crossing them is this war or control (Chariot) that the police are trying to have over her. The ex-boyfriend is across the ocean. Her past is the red tape that she is still presently fighting (Chariot & 8 Swords) I can’t understand why she has a queen of cups on her mind and in her future, unless this woman is going to help her with her trial or she is the Queen of Cups to her ex-boyfriend. Again the 8 Swords shows me she is going to be “bound” or “restrained”. Clearly she is very sad about this (3 Swords) and courageously trying to defend herself (7 Wands), but she is unsure of herself with her ex-boyfriend and with her court case. The Lovers show me that is her hope with her ex-boyfriend and there are people that are trying to help her stay out of jail and prove herself innocent. The 9 Cups as the outcome card…sitting alone, satisfied? A celebration? A banquet? Or is someone else celebrating that she is locked up, like the police?

I hope you can tell me this ASAP since her court date is November 4th at 8:30am.

Thanks so much,


kathy November 2, 2010 at 10:54 pm

hi sherri. Thank you so much for ur respose. It’s so funny you ask if he’s militant because he is a state trooper. Him and I don’t fight at all but I recentlkly found out the he has a girlfriend and child. They are having a lot of problems from what he says. And he says he wants out but there is a child involved. I’m an aquarius and he is a leo. For the most part we do get along. There is a huge connection beetween him and I but for now we are just friends because I don’t want any problems. From my understanding the girlfriend got pregnant on purpose and she told him she was on the pill. I also know that from what he tells me she is controlling and I think he is too. Another thing he just told me today that he wants a classic car. So there you go he does like toys…hey ur pretty good…can I get a private reading with you. If so email me ur phone number to…thank you so much.


kathy November 3, 2010 at 12:09 am

Hi Sherri again. I also wanted to let you know that he didn’t come from money and that might be way you said that he is materlistic. I’m also trying to lean how to read tarot cards but the combinations are so confusing. Thank you for all your help and I can’t wait to see what Douglas says. It is very hard to read for yourself due to emotions involved I think that when you do a reading for yourself you see only what you want to see. I’d like to learn more.


Essie January 28, 2011 at 12:57 pm

I am really confused about the position of Celtic spread..
Some shows as :
5 10
4 2 1 6 9
3 8
some shows like above,which i should count on? is there something i am missing?what if the question is :how her/his feelings is going to be for me
if the cards laying same as what i give above,how would you describe the situation.Court cards in pos. 10 and 8…(king and queen of wands) would be the feelings/thoughts for the querent or how quesited seeing himself/herself for the querent?


Essie January 28, 2011 at 1:00 pm

Its all get mixed with the question i have asked but it was actually
1 in the middle 2 crossing 3rd below 1st Card…4rd next to 2nd ,5th above 1st and 6th next to 1st.


lyanne January 28, 2011 at 1:24 pm

Essie, i think you pre define the positions of the cards before you shuffle the deck. you got to choose first wich layout you’ll use.


lyanne April 9, 2011 at 4:19 pm

Hi, need a help here people.

Evolution of this relationship:

1.present: page swords.
2.present: 2 wands.
3.distant future-page pents
4.recent past- 6 cups
5.distant past-queen wands
6.imediate future-tower

influence of the person-4swords.
outside influences-10swords.
potential outcome card and provides clues as to the influence of change – 9 cups.
The last card is traditionally seen as the outcome card. This card should be used as a way to validate your ‘narrative’ or story. Think of it like any historical event; there is never a complete outcome. There are always consequences – chariot.

Is going to somewhere this realtionship or not?

earth :1

thank you


Jade May 10, 2011 at 10:15 pm

Hello, last night I tried doing a reading and am now lost!
I asked “what changes can I expect in the next year?”
1. queen of pentacles
2. king of swords
3. nine of swords
4. king of cups
5. the chariot
6. eight of swords
7. page of cups
8. ten of cups
9. five of swords
10. Six of cups


Leelah March 15, 2012 at 6:26 am


I have been reading the tarot for years, but I am new to the Celtic Cross. Like you, I have taken to reading intuitively, and let the tarot dictate the next step.

It just flows so perfectly!

Nice insight, will keep it in mind as I study this spread! Thank you!


Sylver November 4, 2012 at 10:14 am

Can you help me interpret my love reading? I wrote everything down and my question was “is he my true love?/is it him?-specific guy)

1. 10 wands
2. Magician
3. 5 of swords
4. Hierophant
5. 3 of cups
6. King of Wands
7. Temperance
8. 8 of cups
9. 2 of cups
10. Death

I would really appreciate it if you replied soon. I have interpreted this at a novice level and wish to get feedback from someone else to see how I interpret it. This is a wry special question to me:) hope to hear from you soon <3


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