Celtic Awen symbol

Learn the Celtic Awen Tarot Spread

How to learn new spreads quickly

I’ve been reading Tarot for over 25 years, and in that time I’ve learned a lot about how I like to work with different spreads for the cards. I have studied different books which offer guidelines and spreads for specific purposes, often with each placement answering a question related to the theme.

These are awesome for people who relate to the cards in this way. But I’m more of a keyword kind of person. I really like theme based spreads where each position represents an aspect of the energy of the theme. Now by theme, I mean everything from a general overview to very specific purpose like choosing a new job, a couple’s reading, or life path reading. Maybe it’s just the Reiki Master in me, but I’ll explain what I mean.

So rather than using a long sentence in the form of a question, I prefer thinking of each space as a keyword or key phrase. Frankly it is much easier for me to learn it in this way. As a professional reader, I can’t constantly be referring to a book!

My favorite new General Spread that I designed is the Inspiration spread or Awen spread. 

The Celtic Awen Spread

Celtic Awen Tarot Spread

It can also be used as a Goal spread. The term AWEN refers to the Celtic concept of the divine source of poetic inspiration. The awen symbol of three rays was created by Iolo Morganwg in the late 1700s and looks roughly like this:  /|\ 

Modern neo-druid groups, as well as the Sisterhood of Avalon and other people who follow a Celtic spiritual path use this symbol. I was inspired by it when I created the spread, along with the Celtic concept of the three elements or realms of Sky, Sea, and Land. 

Triads of all kinds are important in Celtic spirituality and wisdom. So the main body of the spread contains three rays of three cards each. 

The Three Rays

Each Ray represents one of three ways to interpret the cards. For the diagram above these three rays are:

  • Past
  • Present
  • Future

This allows the Tarot to show what was going on in the past, where the present is, and introducing what may yet come to past. This a very time honored way to read the Tarot, no pun intended. In fact one of the simplest tarot spreads is a three card spread showing past, present, and future!

In keeping with the Celtic Awen theme, I have also included a representation of the three elements that the Sisterhood of Avalon refers to as the Powers.

The Three Realms

The three powers are also known as the three realms, which makes sense to me! I’ve listed them as they are in the spread from top to bottom:

  • Air
  • Sea
  • Land

The top card in each ray represents the power of air. This corresponds to the suit of swords in the Tarot, as well as the mind of the person who the reading is for. This includes all thought, focus, and intention. This is the power of making plans and decisions.

The middle card in each ray represents the power of sea. The suit of cups corresponds to this power. The power of sea represents the feelings, emotions, intuition, and even the sub-conscious of the person getting the reading.

Finally, the bottom card represents the power of land, which corresponds to the suit of pentacles in the Tarot. This represents the tangible result of the inspiration or goal, the physical reality. For an artist, it is the finished painting.  

Putting it all together

This is a spread I came up with on the fly, while a client was sitting in front of me. I have started using it as one of my go-to layouts for people who want a fifteen minute reading. It is also very adaptable, just by changing what each ray means. 

For example, let’s say that the question has to do with a project. Card #1 would represent the project as a whole. The first ray could represent the starting point, the second what action is needed, and the third is the outcome. 

As you can see, this type of reading is completely customizable. I hope you give this a try. If you want to experience the reading yourself, just book a reading with me. 

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