The Tarot is a set of mystical and incredibly very applicable Universal symbols.
By accessing them through a reading, they can reveal detailed information as to what unseen forces are influencing you, helping you to better see what is going on in your life. Perhaps the best known and most widely used Tarot layout is the Celtic Cross, an ancient format originating during Celtic times in England. This is the primary layout that I use, though I also use others.
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Here are the 12 positions for the Celtic Cross layout:
1. The Issue (aka the significator) -this is the most important card in the layout as it gives the topic to be discussed. All other cards in this layout relate specifically to this card and what it represents.
2. The Cover-this card gives additional information about the issue card, clarifying how we hold or see the issue. It also helps us to clarify what aspect of the issue card we are to focus on.
3. Cross/Bridge-this is the only horizontal card in the reading and indicates our resistance to the issue at hand. It can also be that once we accept the energy or lesson of this card it can be our bridge from the past to the future, or that which helps us to grow and move along.
4. Crowning position-this is the “best that can be achieved in this matter”. If we work with the energies indicated in the reading, we can thus achieve the message or gift of this card once we have completed the phase indicated in the reading.
5. Base of the Matter-this is the energy that set up the current issue. It can be helpful to know just what brought us to this point.
6. The Past-this is the card that indicates what transpired just prior to this time that had a significant influence on the issue at hand. It is often helpful to remember this and keep it in mind so we do not have to repeat it again.
7. The Future-this is the next step or phase as it relates to the issue. A key card in getting a feel for what is around the corner as it indicates the next phase of the issue.
8. The Self-this card is one of two cards that represent the self in this reading/matter (the other being the Ego card. More on that later). This position is the inner self. That part of us that is often just below our conscious awareness, but once we hear about what this card represents, we recognize this aspect of ourselves. It helps us to understand how we personally relate to the issue at hand.
9. The Home/Environment-this card indicates what is going on in our home and/or environment as it relates to the issue of a reading. It gives information about the impact of the issue in our environment.
10. The Hopes and/or Fears position-this is a most telling placement of this layout as it gives insight into how we are relating to the issue from a more mental perspective. I have found that what we think about something is often the most important component to dealing with it, and that we have either inner hopes for or fears of the issue represented in the reading (hopes being a more positive card and fears being a more challenging card).
11. The Outcome-this card gives us an indication of where things are going with regards to this issue, especially at the end of the time period for the reading. It is helpful to get a feeling for the direction things are moving towards. It is also an indication of the next cycle and what we might expect at that time.
12. The Ego-this is the other self card. While the Self position mentioned above is our inner, more subconscious Self, the Ego card represents the part of us that we do have a fuller awareness of. We often easily relate to what this card is telling us. It is also how others see us as it relates to this issue. I find that by incorporating both of these energies, we can get a good picture of how both your inner and outer selves are relating to this issue.