LWB question: spread instructions


Hey all! The Tarot of Brass & Steam is almost art complete, and so I'm starting to pull everything together to send to the printer--including writing up the LWB (little white book).

My question is, is the Celtic Cross "owned" by anyone, or is it public domain? I've seen it in multiple LWBs over the years, but I'm not sure if they've all been US Games decks or not. :p

Thanks in advance--and stay tuned for news of the deck (in its own thread)!


My guess would be that the Celtic Cross itself would be public domain, as long as you're not using the exact wording of the layout instructions and position descriptions from copyrighted text. In other words, as long as you've written the layout instructions and position descriptions yourself rather than using someone else's wording, you should be okay.


The Celtic Cross is described in many, many tarot books (not just LWB's), most of which are NOT published by US Games. As long as your descriptive text is your own words, you should be free to use the layout.


Awesome--thanks all!


You could maybe take its principle but re-word the titles into more Steampunky ones. :D

Would also be cool if you create a Steampunk spread especially for the deck.


The Celtic Cross spread can be found anywhere. I think that, when there is a very thematic deck, it's much more interesting and appealing to me, when the LWB contains a unique spread for that deck, using terminology or symbols to match it. If it only had the typical (yawn) spreads in it, I would just skim through the LWB and then toss it. Same for the card meanings - I actually only read the LWB to see what makes the deck different.


If you feel compelled to include that old warhorse, I would do two things: find the version that has a convincing "flow" in the cross section; if you like Waite's "Sign of the Cross" structure, fine, but there are a number of variations - especially regarding the moving "timeline." Secondly, as mentioned above, I would re-word any or all of the position titles in ways that best suit your purpose. My personal version is an approximately 50-50 split between conventional titles and those I created to satisfy my own vision.


Please do include other spreads as well. The CC is really hard for beginners, and so many people get totally lost trying to use it - I remember the days when every deck's LWB offered it as THE spread to use. It's one I have used twice in my life, and I didn't find it at all helpful, either time.


Thanks all--I'll see what I can do! When I do my own readings it's usually with the CC, and I'm not sure how comfortable I am coming up with a custom layout, but it will be an interesting exercise at the very least!

I do agree that maybe I'll come up with my own titles, to help make the different positions more clear. :p

As for the card meanings, they'll definitely have my own spin, though influenced by the Crowley/Thoth (and by extension Golden Dawn) interpretations!


The Celtic Cross definitely isn't for everyone. I sorted it out for myself long ago by following the old idea that the "cross" part of the CC (Positions 1 through 6) is about the development of the situation itself, including the "timeline," and the "staff" portion (Positions 7 through 10) is about the subject's response to those developments, especially as it evolves from the "near future" card. This organizing principle has always made a lot of sense to me. It's also why I keep all of the psychological stuff (unconscious, conscious, subconscious) on the "staff" side and keep the "cross" side purely situational.