Watching the recent video (above) on the French Cross, by the excellent cartomancer Serge Pirotte, has rekindled my interest in this type of spread.
In large part, that’s due to the way that Serge has presented his interpretation, especially how he uses the synthesis position.
In the video, Serge describes that synthesis as the ‘state of mind’ of the querent towards the question and the example he uses illustrates that perfectly. It’s also the first card he turns over even though it’s the last card placed. This, for me, adds context and allows for a more nuanced interpretation
I very much appreciated this approach as I don’t usually see spreads where the state of mind of the person getting the reading (self-readings included) is being considered.
Recapping the positions as I’ve recorded them:
- Pro – What’s in your favour
- Con – What’s working against you
- Judge – Advice on how to resolve positions 1 + 2
- Result – Answer to the question
- Synthesis – the perspective of the querent has of the question
As this is already an adaption, I don’t think I will calculate the synthesis card, or use just the majors, but use it in the way Serge has suggested.
As a decision making spread this is one I am certainly to be adding into my active repertoire.
I have looked into the history of the spread a little as I always thought it originated with Oswald Wirth but it seems he got it from Josephin Péladan, though I don’t have the original sources of either to compare.
But in the links below from Tony Louis and Mary Greer’s respective blogs you’ll be able to compare Péladan’s reported crucifixion of Christ model with Wirth’s more legal model of interpretation.
Is this a spread you use? Please let me know in the comments.
Oh, and if anyone has any more sources please drop them in the comments too.
- French Cross from cartomancier.com
- Revisiting the French Cross again from cartomancier.com
- The 5-card tarot spread of Péladan from tonylouis.wordpress.com
- Oswald Wirth’s Tarot Spread from MaryKGreer.com
- EL MÉTODO DE JOSEPHIN PÉLADAN from lapuertadeltarot.blogspot.com (Spanish)
2 replies on “Spreads: The French Cross (Tirage En Croix)”
I’ve been drawn to the French Cross ever since I learned about it. But I rarely use it. Partly because, like Serge and his favoured decks, I have my Go To spread. But partly as well, I suspect, because I could never quite get a handle on the Synthesis card. Serge’s take on it makes much more sense to me and strikes me as a very informative use of the position. I appreciate your sharing of this, thank you!
You’re welcome – it gave me an ‘Ah’ moment as you can see. And then I looked back at my notes and I’ve explored this spread before and must have dismissed it as fussy and impractical. I hope we both get some new use out of it.