By Juno Lucina, The Alchemy of Tarot
The cross is an ancient symbol, much older than the Christian tradition with which it is most commonly associated today, and can be found in numerous sacred traditions throughout antiquity. At its most basic level, it is a symbol of the two intersecting paths that spirits travel upon throughout existence — the vertical axis is one of progression, where each is either on an upward journey towards spirit or a downward journey towards matter; the horizontal axis represents our actions inside the realm of time, justice, cause and effect. The Celts overlaid the basic cross with an additional sacred symbol, the circle of the Sun, representing the circle of life, the cycle of the seasons, and at each place that an axis intersects the circle, we have the cardinal directions--north, south, east and west--as well as the elements--earth, air, fire, and water, with spirit residing at the center. The Cross Spread is thus named because its shape looks like an equilateral cross.
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