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This is a spread I first used for TG, and then later for a [livejournal.com profile] holiday_wishes reading.

Generally speaking, I don't like the Celtic Cross spread. I can't really make it click with the way I read cards and what I want to know from a reading (or what I think others want from a reading). The one thing I do like is the visual poetry of the first two cards: "This covers you, and this crosses you." An upright card and a card rotated 90*. It has a mystical, mysterious look to it. Moreover, those two cards contain immensely useful and pertinent information: here's the crux of the issue, here's your relationship to it and maybe what you need to know to fix things.

I knew I wanted to implement that cross imagery when I did a general reading for TG way back. In that top row you can see four crosses, one for each of the relevant parties of said reading: TG, their spouse, and their two oldest children.

When I originally came up with the spread—which was all a very organic "if I wanted general life advice, what questions would I ask? Which ones would I want answered?"—I came up with three questions:

What should I keep doing?
What should I stop doing?
What new thing should I try?

At the time I mentioned possibly adding a fourth question—What new thing should I not try?—but ultimately let it be.

A couple years later in my [livejournal.com profile] holiday_wishes reading, I (mostly unknowingly, I admit) mimicked this structure: a cross for the querent, and then four...proclamations, for lack of a better term:

1. What you're doing to your benefit.
2. What you're avoiding to your benefit.
3. What you're doing to your detriment
4. What you're avoiding to your detriment.

You can stick the four cards anywhere you like. I like to put them under the cross, with cards 1 and 2 on one side and 3 and 4 on the other (I like symmetry) but that's just me.

You'll note there aren't any future positions in the spread. I don't like predictions. There is almost certainly some level of aversion to Popperesque falsifiability in that—it's hard to disprove a Tarot reading that doesn't make predictions—but also, at this point, I just don't think they're helpful to people. Predictions—and, it should be noted, the original Celtic Cross spread—don't give people actionable advice they can do right now. And I think that when people come to the Tarot (or their oracle of choice), many times they're looking for someone or something to tell them what to do right now rather than wanting assurance about the future.

So there you have it. My Celtic Cross alternative. Feel free to take it and make it your own!


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