Beyond the Celtic Cross: Secret Techniques for Taking Tarot to an Exciting New Level

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Have you ever wondered how you can bring greater depth and clarity to your Tarot readings? Have you struggled to understand just what exactly is going on in your card readings, and how the cards relate to the object of the reading?For the first time, this book shows how the professionals use secret techniques that take Tarot readings to new and exciting levels. It goes beyond the surface levels of the Tarot spread and explores the hidden depths. It explains how to decode those parts of a Tarot spread that seem to make no sense and how to break out of readings that seem to have become "stuck". Using the power of the elemental symbolism of the cards, combined with numerological techniques, this book cracks the "celtic cross" spread wide open to reveal exciting new levels of insight.Paul Hughes-Barlow is a master Tarot reader and occultist. He has previously published The Tarot and the Magus. Catherine Chapman is a Tarot reader, author, student, business woman and mother.

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The Celtic Cross Spread

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THE CELTIC CROSS SPREAD

For the most part, the Celtic Cross Spread will work for your clients, but when the problems and answers are not so clear, or when you want to add value (i.e. increase the price of your reading) then you need to know how to upgrade the reading. Since all Tarot spreads work the same way, by placing the cards in positions, we can use the techniques for reading strings of cards with any spread, particularly if it has between ten and twenty cards.

Often when laying out cards, readers get into a routine of placing them in the usual positions. Instead, simply pick up the first card of the spread, place it on the second card, then put those two onto the third, and so on. When you have collected all the cards in the spread, fan them out onto the table. Fanning the cards out from right to left, or left to right is a matter of personal preference, but it is important to be consistent. If you are using the Rider-Waite deck, you may need more space so that you can see which card is which. In contrast, the cards of the Thoth Tarot deck are uniquely coloured, so a large overlap is possible and they can still be distinguished easily.

 

Pairing The Cards

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PAIRING THE CARDS

Card Pairing can be done outwards from an individual card in the string, or—more commonly—from the outermost cards to the centre. The technique of Card Pairing includes the rules of Elemental Dignities.

Starting from the outside and working our way inwards:

Eight of Cups Reversed and the Knight of Wands

Catherine

Looking at this pair, I feel slightly different about the Knight than in my previous analysis. I find him gentle and not fiery here, not in this scene. Is he perhaps the one to persuade me not to leave when the going gets tough? Or perhaps he is the one to help me finally turn my back on the past and all my issues and repeated mistakes, and head (with him) to a new future?

Paul

By now we know that the Knight is a future relationship, but the Eight of Cups acts like a hangover.

Seven of Cups and the Ace of Cups

Catherine

So, when we have all these Cups to choose from, what could be more ironic than another Cup on offer? I think there is a huge message here. In the past I see that I didn’t choose love. I skirted around the issues, either deliberately or blindly. I either did not choose well or didn’t choose at all, judging from those upset Cups on the image of the Eight. I didn’t boldly go anywhere, refusing to choose sometimes (Four of Cups), and instead staying safely indoors where life couldn’t reach me. I think all these Cups are telling me it’s about time I chose life.

 

Analysing Three-Card Combinations

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ANALYSING THREE-CARD COMBINATIONS

In the previous section we looked how the elements interacted when there were two cards, using Pairing. Now it is time to look at how the elements interact when there are three cards. With this knowledge we can analyse each card relative to its neighbours.

FIRE AND WATER

Fire and Water are enemies, so they fight and weaken each other.

AIR AND EARTH

Air and Earth are mutual enemies, like Fire and Water, but the effect is very different.

In the next two examples Synthesis triumphs as Thesis and Antithesis go to war.

FIRE AND AIR

These two elements are both active and friendly to each other, so the problems arise from the lack of basis (Earth) or feeling (Water), in which case there will be little comfort or security in the experience. While Air will provide intelligence to actions, there will be over-exuberance at the least, and obsessive behaviour at worst. The results will either be burn-out or some kind of confrontation. Since Air is such an antagonistic and divisive element, the differences between Thesis and Antithesis are heightened, even when they are friendly or of the same element. In some of the examples below, we see an unholy alliance developing.

 

Advanced Elemental Analysis And Elemental Bases

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ADVANCED ELEMENTAL ANALYSIS AND ELEMENTAL BASES

So far we have looked at the bigger picture of the string of cards by working through the Card Counting from the Eight of Cups, Knight of Disks and Knight of Wands, and pairing the cards from outside to centre and from other cards. We have also counted and paired after adding the Queen of Pentacles and Temperance in order to increase our understanding of what is happening in Catherine’s life.

All these methods give us an overview. It is now time to go into even greater detail on how individual cards interact with each other. To do this we use the rules of Elemental Dignities to understand the relative strengths and weaknesses of each triplet. The centre card of each triplet is the focus.

It’s so easy to learn the rules of Elemental Dignities you’ll find that as you card count you will automatically factor in the subtleties of the elemental analysis.

All seventy-eight cards can be associated with one of the four elements, therefore it does not matter if the card is Major, Minor, or a Court Card; we can analyse it in relationship to any other cards using the rules of Elemental Dignities:

 

Uncounted Cards: The Magic Of Tarot

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UNCOUNTED CARDS: THE MAGIC OF TAROT

The spiritual realms by definition are invisible—we often detect their absence in our life by loneliness, sorrow or isolation. The yearning we all experience, even if we cannot articulate it, is within us all, particularly when we are looking for a partner, someone to share our life with. Beyond a soul-mate, the ultimate relationship is with our Spiritual aspects. However, as we have trouble dealing with people who are flesh and blood, how much more difficult will it be for our Spiritual Nature? With Catherine our efforts went into finding new love, but what happened was a growth in spiritual knowledge and insight. Used correctly, the Tarot helps us to connect to our Source. When we discover the uncounted cards in a spread we begin to see a trickle of water bubble up in the dry river bed, and as we track the cards that follow from the uncounted cards, the trickle increases in volume, bringing life, fertility, and growth in the river and onto the banks as the water flows towards the ocean. When we see the flow from source to goal, we have uncovered the hidden story of past, present and future.

 

Catherine’s Vision

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CATHERINE’S VISION

While we were finalising this book, Catherine’s journey continued. Her visions have been getting stronger and more profound for some time, but even so we had no original intention to include them. However, this vision demonstrates the healing power we can receive from such an experience. The High Priestess has not been part of this Tarot reading, but her appearance represents empowerment: she is an independent, confident woman who intends to go her own way. This is particularly significant in light of Catherine’s original question: ‘Will I meet the man of my dreams?’

I found Pegasus and asked him to take me to the High Priestess. She appeared, dancing, and did some kind of hand-dance with—her left to my right. I’d never seen anything quite like it. Then she did the same thing on my head and around my head and shoulders. We danced together for a while, floating, and then she left, although I didn’t see her go. The strange thing was that the figures from the cards are transparent, like glass or crystal. The idea behind this is that they don’t manifest as belonging to any particular race, making them universal. After I could not see the High Priestess any more I thanked her for her time and left with Pegasus.

 

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