While I suggest that you treat yourself to a Tarot book to learn more about the cards, I would like to give you a little information here to get started. If you are looking for card meanings, click here.
The Celtic Cross Spread
This layout is one of the most popular and easy to perform spreads for a Tarot reading. This spread is used to clarify the understanding of a situation by seeing what and who are involved and where and how that applies to the situation. While many people do perform their own readings, I feel it is a more meaningful experience to perform them for others as well as have others perform readings for you.
To begin, I like to suggest a reading be performed in an area of low traffic, without lots of distractions. In my earlier days as a reader, I would perform readings whenever the opportunity presented itself just for the experience. What I learned is that when you do a reading around a large group, it is very hard to stay focused. The respect of the activity is dwindled down to performing a parlor trick and your quality of discussion will be very low. I also advise at least taking a few deep breaths to clear the air before getting started. Many practitioners insist on meditating first and burning incense to clear the room.
The reader should start by shuffling the deck three times, this clears the previous reading from the deck and puts some new random energy into the cards.
Secondly, have the querrent shuffle the cards three times themselves. If they are not good at shuffling, allow them to randomize the cards whatever way they are comfortable doing so three times.
Next, have the querrent cut the deck into three stacks. After this is done, have them re-order the stacks and re-assemble the deck.
Now is the time to draw from the deck and arrange the cards into the spread, place them in the order below, picking out each card and turning it over as you would turn the pages of a book:
Position One - The Significator
This card represents the querrent or seeker in the here and now. The meaning of the card refers to the state the seeker is currently in. This card is linked closely to the card in position two, which is why they are laid on top of each other.
Position Two - The Challenge
This card represents a current challenge or obstacle to the querrent. He or she may be at a crossroads and this card holds a clue to figuring out the matter at hand. This card in conjunction with the first card should be a clue to opposing forces within the seeker.
Position Three - The Root
This is the trunk of the cross going into the ground. This is the literal root of the matter. The card in this position is something that is anchoring the situation, and it is important to see what role this has played in contributing to the situation. If the reading is about a problem to be solved, the root is a good place to start.
Position Four - Past Influence
The card in this position will represent something that happened recently, and has freshly affected the matter at hand.
Position Five - Possibility
As change begins in the reading, this position alludes to what could be possible. New energies, meetings, and situations to develop will show themselves here.
Position Six - Crown
This card is something we already know from a higher and more objective position. It shows what is available to us when we quiet the clamoring of our lower self and the hysterics of our ego.
Position Seven - Attitude and Self Image
This card shows the seeker how their own view of things affects the situation. It can be a call-out for someone who is not facing reality with a clear intent. Conversely, it can show how a good attitude is moving them into a better place.
Position Eight - Environment
This position shows the influences and resources available to the querrent in the world around them at this time.
Position Nine - Hopes and Fears
Almost at the top of the stack of cards, is what the seeker expects of the outcome of the matter. Depending on their perspective, they may have their sites set on something good or something bad. It will help the seeker see where they are relying to much on fantasy for the final result of the situation.
Position Ten - Outcome or New Direction
The card in this spot will be able to give the querrent a new perspective on the situation, something that their focus will shift to as the situation plays itself to completion.