What’s Missing: What Is Missing From Your Tarot Spread?

In reading Tarot, it can be just as useful to notice what’s missing in a Tarot reading, as it is to notice what’s there! 

Tarot Interactions by Deborah Lipp talks about how absence is just as important as presence.

Check out the spread in the photo below. This is a variation of the classic Celtic Cross Tarot spread, using the Chakra Healing Tarot. It’s a variation in that I reverse the order of the “staff” (the 4 cards on the right); they read top down instead of bottom up.

Variation of Celtic Cross Tarot Spread using Chakra Healing Tarot created by Malumir R. Logan

What’s missing tells as much a story as what’s there

Without even looking at what any of the card positions means, we can glean a lot by looking at what’s here and what’s not (though it’s nice to see such an empowering card – Magician – as the outcome card!).


There are three Major arcana cards, which isn’t especially unusual for a spread of 10 cards.


  • Chalices (water): There are a few Chalices! That’s four out of the ten cards that are Chalices, so there’s lots of water element going on here (water element often speaks to emotions!). 
  • Swords (air): There is one Swords card in the spread, so the air element is limited here. But given how air element can antagonize water element, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
  • Pentacles (earth): There are two Pentacles cards here (one is the 8 of Pentacles under the 6 of Swords). Earth and water elements get along well, so this is supportive of all the water.
  • Wands (fire): Wands are missing entirely! Not a single Wands card. This is especially telling – there is ZERO fire element here. Which is felt even more because of the heavy weighting of the water element! 

This already tells us a lot about the situation happening here, without even looking at card positions. It’s likely there are a lot of emotions happening here, and things feel heavy and uncertain.

We should also look at what’s showing for Chakras, since this is the Chakra Healing Tarot!

We have pretty balanced Chakra representation in this spread: 

  • Crown: Two cards (Ace of Chalices and Magician)
  • Third Eye: Two cards (Lovers and Magician)
  • Throat: One card (3 of Pentacles)
  • Heart: Two cards (Hanged One and 4 of Chalices)
  • Solar Plexus: Three cards (6 of Chalices, 6 of Swords and Lovers)
  • Sacral: Two cards (8 of Pentacles and Hanged One)
  • Root: One card (9 of Chalices)

The fact that the Solar Plexus comes up three times in a spread of ten cards is the most telling factor here. This means that a desire to reflect a true sense of self is important for the querent.

In case you want to try this variation of the Celtic Cross, here’s the spread with the way that I read it. It’s a lot of cards, so if you’re just starting out with Tarot, I suggest trying a simpler spread like one of the other spreads I share elsewhere in the blog.

A variation of the Celtic Cross Tarot spread

Enjoy these and I encourage you to notice absence from your Tarot readings as much as you notice what’s there!

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