So this spread, which comes from “Solitary Witch,” by Silver RavenWolf, and can be found on pages 348 & 349, is your basic Celtic Cross spread, but with five additional cards. The extra cards are not for clarification, though. They’re there to help you formulate a magical solution, by suggesting the action to take using a specific elemental energy.
Lay out the cards as you normally would when using the Celtic Cross – one card in the center, one crossing it, card 3 below those two, card 4 to the left of them, card 5 above them, card 6 to the right of them, and then cards 7 through 10 to the right of card 6 in a line from bottom to top. Once you’ve got the basic Celtic Cross laid out, below the cross, lay out four more cards in a line from left to right. Now lay the 15th card directly below that row of cards, centered between cards 12 and 13. It should also be in line with cards 1, 2, 3, & 5, and card 14 should not be in the same line as card 7 — 11 through 14 should only be under the cross.
As to the meaning of each position – I’ve underlined the meanings I use, because I don’t agree with the meanings Ms. Silver uses — I recommend you go ahead and use the meanings for the positions that are most comfortable for you — I‘ve found different definitions for each of the positions for every deck I‘ve owned, and if you‘ve owned more than one deck, you‘ll have probably noticed that, too. Go with the positional meanings you use the most. I’ve been using the positional meanings I use for 15 years. It’s what I know, and it works for me. It worked for this spread in spite of the differences between mine and hers. That being the case, I’ve not included what she thought the positions should mean.
Finally, the deck I used was The Gilded Tarot — my Work deck.
1) The question or the current situation. (The question I asked was: “Why are all these gifts coming online now — what does it mean?”)
Judgement — An angel wears a winged helmet, bringing to mind Mercury, the planet governing communication. Underlying the idea of communication, the angel sounds a horn, calling people from their former lives to new ones. They are being called to judge for themselves their old lives and compare them to their new ones. They will decide for themselves whether or not they answer the call.
The message of Judgement is clear. You are being called to do something. You might not want to hear it and are actively drowning it out with noise of your daily life (all that music I keep hearing turns out to be a message that my guides don’t think I’m ready to hear, so they’re blocking it out until I’m ready). You might be afraid of the call and the changes it will bring. Listen to it and face it with courage and action. It promises a more fulfilling life. (So, the current situation is that I’m developing all these gifts, experiencing all these shifts, here and on the astral, because I’m about to take on a new path, a new Job, completely different from my old path and Job.)
Be aware of two things: First, of ignoring the call or shirking from it in fear or obstinance; second, of mistaking the desires of others or of society for a true calling. Do not feel compelled to dance to anyone else’s tune, and do not ignore the music of your own heart. (That’s totally not an issue for me.)
2) The obstacle — the challenges facing the querent in the current situation. This card is always read upright.
The World — A woman stands with poise, dignity, and assurance. She stands before the world surrounded by laurel wreaths, indicating her mastery. She holds wands, representing her will, in both hands. Unlike the other figures in the Major Arcana, her will is in tune with both sides of herself; she has achieved balance of her consciousness and unconsciousness. She celebrates a great accomplishment. For this, she is recognized by the world and, more importantly, by her own self.
The message of The World is that of completion and accomplishment. You feel a sense of unity with the universe and mastery over self that is natural and effortless. You move to the rhythm of nature and of your heart. They are one.
Be aware of a false sense of security. In theory, The World represents total completion. (Not true – it represents the completion of a cycle — the end of the Fool’s Journey — but as with all things, it is a circle, and when you reach the end, you are ready to begin again as the Fool, on a new level.) However, in our human lives, this is never really achieved. Because we are human still, we can achieve only partial or temporary oneness. (Again not true… I am always aware of my oneness with everything.) These temporary or partial experience encourage us to keep growing and moving forward, if for no other reason than to experience that exquisite moment of freedom and understanding again. (I suspect this card is suggesting that instead of planning to read all my Pagan books, my challenge is that I should actually get off my duff and do it. Instead of planning to do all the exercises for magical training I find in my books, I should gather up the motivation and get it done. Never be complaisant, never stop growing. I am being challenged to become The World, so that I might begin the Fool’s Journey again at a new and higher level.)
3) The foundation – the past issue that’s caused the current situation.
Temperance — A fiery woman, full of passion and spark, is perhaps an incongruent image for a card meaning moderation. Like the gold and silver sphinxes in The Chariot, the gold and silver cups represent extremes. Temperance means to mix or to blend, as this woman is tempering extremes — any extremes — in behavior, belief, or feeling. She has learned to temper her life in such a way that she maintains and expresses her passion perfectly. By learning to do this, she is living her life as fully as possible, with her internal beliefs in perfect harmony with her external actions and with the world around her.
The message of Temperance is simple to understand, yet difficult to practice. Moderate your life in all ways: physically, spiritually, emotionally, and intellectually. Let your action (or inaction) be appropriate to the situation. This card, more than any other in the Tarot, speaks of perfect balance perfectly expressed. (So, basically, I’ve found my center, and everything I am and everything I do comes from that place, but sometimes I’m so wrapped up in being centered, I forget to act, and sometimes I get so wrapped up in Work with others, I forget to take care of myself and my own path.That’s happened a lot in the past.)
Be aware of intemperance and extremes in behavior. Also, don’t let the fear of making a mistake lead you to constant inaction. While inaction is sometimes the right choice, it is not always. (These are not issues for me. I was intemperate and suffered extremes in behavior and emotions while I was unmedicated and my illness was in control, but that is no longer the case. Also, when something requires action, while it might take a little while, as I decide what action I should take, once the decision is made, I will always act, very rapidly.)
4) A more recent past influence. NOTE: Sometimes, the foundation represents an earlier past — always try to check and see which of the two “Past” cards is the more recent.
4 of Pentacles — A man in rich purple robes, embroidered with gold, grips four pentacles in his arms. He has taken pleasure in achieving monetary worth. But money is an abstraction, a representation for things necessary to life or that give life beauty and pleasure. He has lost track of that and so he stands alone in his cold pride, neither sharing his bounty nor even really enjoying it himself. He reflects and extreme of The Emperor (Major Arcana IV). When The Emperor provides order for the betterment of life, all is well. When he imposes order for order’s sake, life becomes sterile.
You possess a certain amount of resources, and you’ve become possessive of them. You are hoarding your money, your time, your abilities. You’ve lost sight of what these things are for and you face a lonely, unfulfilled future unless you use your resources wisely. (I suspect this is discussing my reluctance, after Scott, to work with anyone. The sense of being so absolutely exhausted and sick of helping anyone, the desire to hold my emotions and my gifts close and not use them for anyone else, was pretty all-pervading. Even now, the reluctance to Work here, and the inability to trust or love deeply, which requires a deep sharing of my Self, continues to be a huge issue for me.)
Be aware of the opposite extreme of giving away all you have so that you are depleted and have nothing left to offer. (And there’s the root of the problem. That’s exactly what I kept doing… until I not only didn’t have anything left to give, when I began to recover, I didn’t WANT to give… and still don‘t, to a degree.)
5) The next step on the soul’s journey – this card can often show the direction the querent SHOULD go — the future cards can tell you if you’re headed that direction or not – there may need to be some correction.
Ace of Pentacles — This is a gift of resources — likely money, raw materials, or time. (That last one is why I’m giggling right now…) It is probably the most straightforward of the suits. For that reason, the gift of the Pentacles are not always as highly esteemed as the other suit’s gifts, or sometimes they are overvalued and lead to greed for material wealth or obsession with sensuous living. Whatever form the gift takes, it is up to us — as the weasel reminds us here and like the Magician (Major Arcana I) — to use our skill and determination to make something worthwhile of it.
You have been given a resource. Use it well and be grateful. (In other words, stop bitching about all the new gifts coming online, accept them, and say “Thank You.”)
Be aware of the temptation to undervalue or squander this gift because you consider it mundane and not a true gift of the universe. (OK, so the Universe, and not my Guides or my genetics, is the culprit here… and there will be more gifts coming… And all this suggests that there’s something special up its sleeves… I wonder where I’m going to go next, with all these new abilities?)
6) The near future – 1 to 2 weeks, usually, but it can be as far away as six weeks. Either way, it’s a future that’s usually unchangeable, because all the choices that are creating it have already been made.
Page of Cups — A young man holds a goblet with apparent carelessness. He adopts a posture of ease and almost of superiority and defiance. He is facing a moment of truth and is convinced that he knows best.
You are experiencing an emotional situation, one that you probably don’t have much experience with. You have the strength of your convictions and present an imperturbable face to the outside world. However, because of your lack of experience, you may feel a little apprehension under your confident mask. (So, the new path, the new gifts, are going to freak me out a little, because I’ve never dealt with them before, even though everyone else will think that I’ve got it all under control, and that I’m calm about it.)
Be aware of assuming you know everything and ignoring advice. Emotions are surprising things. Even if you think you are prepared, realize that you more than likely haven’t considered everything. Don’t shun the advice of someone more experienced. (I can’t help how I feel, but I can get help in dealing with the emotions that come up? Not sure what this is about.)
7) This card usually talks about the querent — who they are, where they are in life.
Ace of Cups — Idealism, romance, the Holy Grail — this gift of the universe provides depth and feeling to our lives. (Desire once said to me, “You are Love, and made to love and to BE loved.”) Here, the gift is purity of emotion, a spiritual love that is meant to guide us. If we set our eye on spirituality, we can more easily see our way through the tumultuous experience of the wide range of human emotions. Just as the moon remains the same but appears differently depending on the focus of the sun, so our experience of emotions varies according to how we choose to see them. Like the energy of The Magician (Major Arcana I), the gift of the Grail is meant to guide us. But it can, like the manipulative side of The Magician, lead us down some rocky roads.
You are being drawn along by a feeling. Your emotions are engaged and you feel more alive than usual. It may be the beginning of a romance (Gods, I hope not!), a spiritual epiphany, or a desire to express yourself artistically. Whatever it is, you are at the start of an exciting adventure. (I HAVE been doing a lot of listening to my inner guidance as well as my Guides lately… and a lot of my choices are based on my feelings about each situation that comes up. I’ve come a long way from the place where I thought I couldn’t hear at all…)
Be aware of running from this experience. Do not fear, discount, or avoid the intensity of your feelings. Although it may feel uncomfortable at first, learn to identify and express your emotions.
8) This is how others see the querent, but it’s also the rumor card — it says what others say about the querent as well as what they say TO the querent — it’s other people’s views on the situation or the person.
4 of Swords — A worn-out soldier finds rest in a quiet, bricked area. For the moment, he is safe from battle. In this sanctuary, he can regroup. And regroup he must, as his problems are still present, as indicated by the swords. But for the moment, he can take a break, and then face his challenges refreshed. The benefits of the Emperor (Major Arcana IV) can be seen here. By providing a stable, secure environment, the soldier can gather his thoughts and bring his best possible efforts to the situation.
You need time to regroup. Although your situation is problematic, you will not resolve it until you can take some time out. Remove yourself from the situation, meditate, and find your center. By recharging your spiritual strength, you will bring your best efforts to solve the problem. (So, just like I‘ve been feeling, everyone else also feels that I need to get away for a while and just work on myself, with no distractions… Staying at my parents’ place gives me that time to work on the problem of too many gifts by keeping the “noise” down by a distance of 6.5 acres, though I may need more than just a stay away from home. When I get home, I need to continue to work on myself, and not Work.)
Be aware of ignoring the problem by distracting yourself. This is not a card of escapism, but of utilizing your spiritual foundation for renewal. (Which I am definitely doing right now.)
9) This card represents the querent’s hopes or fears. Don’t just go by the negative or positive meaning, though… I’ve come across people who draw a card meaning success, and it’s represented their fears, so be careful when reading this card.
Three of Wands — A man stands on the shore watching a ship sail off. Or perhaps it is returning. Either way, he has invested in it. Whether he sees success or failure, his future is for the moment out of his control. He cannot affect its outcome. This is probably the most difficult card of the Wands. Like the Empress (Major Arcana III), this is a time of gestation, not of action or control.
You have made a choice and now must wait for the results. Whether you are patient or impatient doesn’t really matter — it will not affect the outcome. It is, though, a good opportunity to learn patience and self-control. (I did make a choice — to leave the path I was on and take a new path, a path that was good for ME as well as others. All this development stems from that choice… Also, this is talking about me entering a period of stasis and non-action, a circumstance that requires all the patience and self-control I have – simple, because those are pretty much my strongest traits as a person – my ability to accept any given situation is phenomenal. However, I do have trust issues that make me want to have control of any situation I’m involved in, and my lack of control over the gifts that have expanded, and the problem of trying to cope with new gifts coming in, is definitely freaking me out. I hate that I have no control over the outcome of whatever I’m becoming and where my path will take me. All I can do is choose to follow it, and wait and see what happens next. The not knowing is difficult – though now that I‘ve seen this card, I can move from fear to acceptance easily… I‘m doing that right now.)
Be aware of agitated action. Although it is frustrating to be still, let things take their course. Do not work yourself up needlessly. (I can do that. No problem. I know that the new gifts will take a while to get used to, so when you put it that way… I can chill. No trouble.)
10) The probable end result if nothing changes. No further in the future than about 6 months. This future is changeable, because a lot of the choices that the querent will make haven’t been made yet. This is normally just a prediction based on the querent’s choices up till now, and the type of person they are. If they don’t want a certain future to arrive, they can use the information in the whole spread to help them make different choices, thus changing this card.
9 of Pentacles — An accomplished woman stands by her gazebo. She gazes on her noble falcon with pride and is surrounded by a garden of plentiful pentacles. She has a right to be proud because she has achieved this luxury on her own. Like the Hermit (Major Arcana IX), she has chosen a life alone, which she does not seem to mind at all.
You have accomplished much that makes you proud. You have created a life that you enjoy and that satisfies you. In spite of your choices, you do not feel lonely. (As long as I’m happy, I’m OK with this future. I feel no need to change it.)
Be aware that you may have been happy and not lonely, but there may come a time when that changes. Don’t be afraid to change your lifestyle and find someone special to share it with.
11) The action to take using earth energy (if you want to change the outcome, or if you want to ASSURE the outcome).
The Hierophant — (Don’t quite understand how this could be an action using Earth energy…) A leader and teacher wearing vestments, indicating wisdom, almost fades into the background. The stained glass window enveloping him brings to mind the great cathedrals of the past, incredible poems of glass and stone reaching toward heaven. This is an apt symbol of humankind’s greatest achievements of understanding the physical and spiritual worlds. A view of the universe — of all there is to know, both physically and spiritually, lies beyond. Looking at these elements as three levels, we see in the background the knowable universe, then humankind’s understanding and utilization of this knowledge, and finally the passing on of that knowledge to individual people through formal education and religious training.
The message of the Hierophant reminds us of the marvelous accomplishments of humankind and of the great resources of knowledge that are available to us. Respect the achievements of generations past. Use that knowledge to create with usefulness and beauty. Do not disdain tradition out of hand but see what wonderful things it has to offer. (Time to visit the Library and get help understanding, accepting, using and controlling my gifts – all of them, including the ones that will be coming online soon but aren’t there yet. Feeling a little silly now – I should have thought of that before. Perhaps, also, I should connect to the Earth and ask for help stabilizing my gifts, the knowledge of creating a strong foundation that gives me back control. I think this also suggests that I should continue to teach. Also, maybe I need a little chaos, so that I can REACH stabilization — the only way OUT is through a period of intensity — which explains all my anxiety attacks.)
Be aware of following tradition blindly. Do not accept all knowledge without question; rather, question authority. Make sure all beliefs and practices make sense to your own heart and mind before you make them a part of your life. (So there’s a lot of information available — but I should only choose the information that works for me, personally. Also, there may be old belief systems and habits in my mind that need to be cleaned out. Be aware that it’s not just outside information, but also information that you’re used to, like what’s on the walls of your house.)
12) The action to take using air energy.
Death — Everyone faces death in some guise. Here, we are speaking of a psychological death rather than a physical death. In this card, the skull stares with inexorable resolve. The chilling message is: If you want to move past this point, you have to pass through death. Why would anyone want to; what is the incentive? Death holds the rewards on his banner and shield. The white flower symbolizes a purity of desire, and the white horse a purity of will. Anyone wanting to continue on their spiritual journey needs these. They indicate the death of the ego and with it long-held beliefs that are no longer useful. This must happen to make way for new energy and life.
The message of Death is that spiritual growth brings pain. It isn’t easy to let go of certain behaviors or beliefs, to admit errors in thought and practice. Without negating the magnitude of ego-death, the emblems of what is to come — greater spiritual strength — remind us that the endeavor is not without its reward. (So… the action to take using Air energy is to let go of old, useless ideas, behaviors, beliefs, and accept change so that I can grow in wisdom and knowledge, and continue my spiritual journey.)
Be aware of the fear of change, of letting go of outmoded ideas. Fear of change leads to stagnation, which might be longer lasting and more painful than a clean death.
13) The action to take using fire energy.
10 of Wands — A purposeful man carries his large burden through the night toward the morning sky. He is almost done with his wearisome task. The full moon above and the dawn on the horizon indicate the end of a cycle. This card echoes the turning of the Wheel of Fortune (Major Arcana X). The deer watch silently form a distance, perhaps inspiring the man with their quiet strength.
You are nearly finished with an arduous task. You may be exhausted, but the light at the end of the tunnel, like a beautiful sunrise, gives you the determination to see this through. Draw on your most basic instincts for the strength to finish what you’ve started.
Be aware of stopping too soon. Do not let the relief of seeing the end of the situation cause you to falter; rather, let it focus your actions. (So basically, use Fire energy to strengthen my will, to strengthen ME, so I can keep going, and finish this growth cycle, after I’ve cleaned up my environment, and cleaned up my mind, after I’ve passed through death, I must be reborn, so I have to keep going — that’s what the tunnel is… the womb of rebirth.)
14) The action to take using water energy.
Knight of Cups — A high-spirited knight and his horse prance around in the twilight. He holds his goblet up high. This knight is clearly ready for celebrating or wooing a fair maiden rather than fighting. Governed by the suit of Cups, this knight is dreamy and romantic. Appearances and ambiance mean as much to him as skill and bravery. He can wield a poetic phrase as well as his sword.
You are feeling very romantic. (I am NOT feeling romantic… although I am probably a hopeless and therefore bitter romantic…) You are more interested in candles (yes, because I need them for spells), decadent dinners (I do love to cook a good meal for friends), and lofty declarations of love than usual. (Yeah, you lost me, there. Ew. Just… Ew.) Celebrating the beautiful and sensual experiences of life is just as necessary as any other experience. Enjoy! (I do… every moment is beautiful and sensual… everything I experience, everything I see. So, my action to take using water energy is to celebrate beauty, especially my own. No problem. I do that all the time, already… but I think this is most about being self-loving — being romantic towards the self, and nurturing the mind, body, heart, and soul. I’ll work on that — celebrating ME… loving and trusting myself.)
Be aware of daydreaming when you shouldn’t. Don’t let romantic ideals take you away from your path. It’s one thing to celebrate a dream-come-true feeling in your life; it’s another to chase after dreams that can never be. (Don’t worry… none of these is an issue for me.)
15) The action to take to encourage spiritual transformation.
Ace of Wands — Like all the aces, this is a gift from the universe. Unlike the other aces, the Ace of Wands is bestowed by human hands, indicating a facet of the universe more sympathetic to the human condition. In some ways, this is the kindest, most generous gift of the aces. It is the beginning of everything — the spark of life. It is also the gift of will, of inspiration, of action, of passion, of courage. This illumination from the heavens is the start of all of our ideas and projects. Like the Magician (Major Arcana I), it is about a connection to higher planes, a focus of will, and the ability to achieve goals.
You are at a propitious point. You are given a gift, an idea, a project, or career opportunity. Take advantage of it with confidence and gratitude.
Be aware of ignoring opportunities and inaction. The Ace of Wands is a gift that requires the recipient to take action. (So basically, go to my guides and say… I want this change. Help me go for it. And then I have to do the work outlined above.)
So that’s the example of Silver’s Expanded Celtic Cross Spread. (That’s what I’m calling it… she just calls it the Celtic Cross.)