The Celtic Cross tarot spread is one of the most complex spreads, but it gives a complete picture of the issues and circumstances surrounding a specific question or situation. For this reason, it is one of the most frequently used layouts. It walks step by step through the many facets of the question, giving insight into its nuances and complexities, and depicts influences that could be affecting the querent's current path.
- The significator – Represents the querent or someone closely connected.
- The situation – Indicates a current or developing situation, or if a solution is prevented by obstacles.
- Foundation – Shows the base from which the situation builds, including factors and influences from the distant past.
- Recent past – Recent events or influences, particularly actions by the subject.
- Present state – Shows the current state of the situation and whether it is progressing forward or has become stagnate.
- Short term outlook – Indicates possible events in the near future, or how the situation at hand might develop.
- Outside influences – Depicts external influences, possibly family or friends, that may have an effect on the situation and its resolution.
- Inner feelings – May indicate if the subject's true feelings are honest and open to the situation, or if they are conflicted or distorted.
- Hopes and fears – Shows the subject's conscious thoughts, either good or bad, regarding the situation.
- Long term outcome – Reveals the likely result of the situation if it can be resolved, or how it might linger. (Ambiguities may be resolved by drawing another card.)