Breaking Down the Celtic Cross

The Celtic Cross is one of the most famous tarot spreads.  Many readers use it…yet many more are intimidated by it.

The Celtic Cross can give a wealth of information about a particular situation but it also lends well to general outlooks or closing spreads, which is why I think it’s particularly brilliant.

This series is intended to help take the fear out of it – and help you discover tips ‘n tweaks so that you can get the hang of it once and for all.  Stay tuned as I continue to add tutorials to this series once a month.

The outcome position

Now we’re moving on to the last position in the Celtic Cross – the outcome.

This card is placed on the top of the pillar to the right of the mini-cross, right above the “hopes and fears” position. This card symbolizes the future, result, or likely outcome.

If the outcome card is positive in nature, that means things are looking good! We can also start to put together the whole picture and see how the other cards lead to this result. A negative outcome offers the same – a chance to understand where we might end up if we continue on the path we are on.

Keep in mind, that a negative outcome doesn’t spell doom ‘n gloom. There is always a way to work around difficult circumstances, or, at the very least, if we see it coming, we might find a way to manage (check out my post Why that “bad” tarot reading (or the one that didn’t tell you what you wanted to hear) may be a blessing).

In a future tutorial, we’ll discuss how to work with those negative outcome cards. But for now, let’s look at a couple of examples using the spread we’ve been working with.


Breaking Down the Celtic Cross - The outcome position


In the previous lessons we decided that the querent is moving on after a divorce.

With the Lovers at the end, it’s a sign that the choices she makes going forward may lead to happy new relationship. (In a romance reading, this is the ending card everyone wants to see!) Glance around the reading and you’ll see plenty of Swords action – a sign that the path to this relationship is not an easy one but the Magician in the “self” position shows the querent’s persistence.

Let’s try a different card. How about the Moon – which is kinda negative:

Breaking Down the Celtic Cross - The outcome position - The Moon


The Moon suggests danger, anxiety, and an uncertain future. This would alert the querent that although she may be ready to re-enter the dating field, she must proceed with caution. It’s a whole new world out there and she’ll want to take her time and get to know potential suitors well before making any decisions. This says: go forth but don’t be gungho.

How about a reversal? Remember, a reversal can indicate blocked energy:

Breaking Down the Celtic Cross - The outcome position - reversal


When I look at the reversed Two of Wands, I see a figure who is holding back. She may not be entirely sure about whether or not she’s ready to date. There is a wall up, perhaps necessary due to her past. All this Wands energy might also indicate that she’s choosing to focus on her career at this time.

Let’s put a Court Card in the outcome position:

Breaking Down the Celtic Cross - The outcome position - court card


In this case, I would see it as a strong, stable partner coming her way. If she is looking for a reliable mate, the Knight of Pentacles is as steady as it gets. This would be a highly favorable outcome, especially with the Sun directly across from this card.

Mini tips:

Look at the possible outcome and the likely outcome. How do these two go together…or not?  If they are both positive, this would be a great sign that things are moving in a good direction. If they are both negative, the querent needs to pay attention. If we have a positive and a negative, that’s a sign that the querent may have some obstacles to overcome – or that despite their best efforts, problems are in the future.

Check out the near future and the likely outcome – this shows the path developing. In the examples above, we have the Ace of Wands, a sign of new beginnings and taking action. What if that card would have been the Five of Cups? That might have indicated that the querent is having trouble moving on. She may be grieving the past and having a hard time looking ahead.


Once again, grab your tarot journal and your favorite deck.  Lay out the Celtic Cross. What might the outcome tell you? If it’s good, might that encourage you to keep on the path you’re traveling? If it’s looking gloomy, what new choices might you make going forward?

I also recommend going through the whole deck this way, testing out each card in this position like I did with the examples above.  How might a different card in the outcome position affect the reading? What might that make you feel about the other cards leading up to this one?  Journal it.

Before you think that this is the final lesson – think again. We have more tutorials ahead with loads of tips that will help you trick this spread out like a tarot badass!



© Theresa Reed | The Tarot Lady 2017

deck featured in the header image is the fabulous Fountain Tarot ; other cards are from the Rider Waite deck.

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