The layout of tarot cards during a reading is known as a spread. Certain spreads such as the Celtic Cross spread have become more popular. When using tarot cards, the position of a specific card within a spread can be as important as the card itself. In most types of tarot card spreads, a certain card is known as the significator. The second card placed over the significator card identifies the conditions of the question. Other cards in the tarot card spread may depict the history of the question, the attitude of family and friends, or the future influence that can be expected.
Celtic Cross Tarot Card Spread
The Celtic Cross tarot card spread consists of ten cards. The first five are arranged in a cross form with the next four arranged in a vertical row to the right of the cross. The final tarot card is placed horizontally on the central card of the cross. Tarot cards arranged in a Celtic Cross formation is believed to be the most common spread design. The significator card is the first central card of the cross, while the horizontal cross card is used to present the conditions of the primary question. The top arm of the cross stands for the questioner’s hopes about the question. Each of the other cross cards represents certain aspects of the question. The Culmination Card is the final card placed at the upper end of the vertical row to the right of the tarot cards making up the Celtic Cross. The Culmination Card represents the result of all the previous cards in the spread.
Horseshoe Tarot Card Spread
The Horseshoe tarot card spread is another quite common display used for the purpose of seeking answers to a question. The horseshoe tarot cards design is spread in a semi circle or a V shape consisting of seven cards. From left to right, these seven tarot cards represent the past, the present, influences shaping the question, obstacles in the way of the solution, expectations for the solution, a positive course of action and the expected outcome to the recommended course of action.
Tarot Cards in a Tetrastys Spread
The Tetrastys tarot card spread is a four-level pyramid, consisting of four cards, three cards, two cards and one card on the top level. The individual tarot card rows represent the four elements, earth, air, fire and water. The position of the tarot cards within the row has a specific meaning as well. The top card of the pyramid is typically the significator card.
Reversed Tarot Cards
There is some dissension amongst practitioners of tarot card readings about the significance of reversed tarot cards. Some individuals understand a card that is reversed or inverted to mean that it is the opposite expectation from what is traditionally symbolized. Others believe that an inverted tarot card indicates that the symbolism is particularly strong. Still others who use tarot cards believe that the orientation of the card depends upon the position in the deck and has no particular significance.