The Russian Cross spread comes from the instructions that accompany the Russian variation of the Blue Owl deck. Before shuffling the cards, the cartomante should remove the appropriate significator – either the Lord or the Lady card, or if the question concerns someone sixteen or under, the Child card.

Once chosen, the significator should be placed centrally, and the cards dealt around it as follows:

  • 0 – The significator.
  • 1, 2, 3 – The immediate circumstances or influences that preceded the question.
  • 4 & 5 – Describe action that can be taken and advice.
  • 6 & 7 – Discloses on where to forebear and moves to be avoided.
  • 8, 9, 10 – The outcome of events and final result.


The reading below was performed in 2018. The client was a single parent whose financial circumstances had changed (due to benefits and her child’s father returning to Poland). She had had two unsuccessful job interviews and asked if she would be able to solve her financial situation soon.

Our significator is the Lady.

1, 2, 3 – The immediate circumstances or influences that preceded the question.

Cards in the left arm of the cross describe the circumstances driving the question. Indeed, cards here will sometimes report more on the past. However, their message is more often contemporaneous and can orient the cartomante on what is going on.

Here we find the Bear, the Scythe, and the Road cards. The client has been forced into serious difficulty.

Let us start with narration. We see a big (Bear) cut (Scythe) in the client’s recourse (Road).

If we consider specification, we can refine the cards further. Bear – Scythe are a substantial impact delivered without mercy. A scythe cuts; paths offers different avenues. Scythe – Paths is a walk on a razor-edge that could cost one their toes. Very dangerous terrain.

4 & 5 – Describe action that can be taken or and advice.

These two cards (the Lilies and the Key) advise on what we can do. The Lilies rarely manifests as an occurrence and is more of an atmosphere card. Otherwise, it functions more as the roi de pique (King David), a protectorate figure.

In contrast, the Key card opens and closes. It facilitates access to what we need.

Read together, the client should access support and advice from appropriate agencies. There are both guidelines and duty of care (Lilies), which can help and enable the client to move forward (Key).

6 & 7 – Discloses on where to forebear and move to avoid.

Cards 6 and 7 advise on what to avoid. It must be considered against cards 4 and 5.

We know the Clouds darken and obfuscate situations; the Birds panic, squawk and fly around. We have chaotic energy, here, which can easily stoke tensions further and cause more problems.

Where should the client forebear? Don’t be panicked into doing something before soliciting proper advice. It will just make things worse and create additional problems going forward.

8, 9, 10 – The outcome of events and final result.

We now turn our attention to the final three cards. Here we see the outcome. The cards are the Stars, the Stork and the Cloverleaf.

In a clear sky, the Stars navigate and direct us. The Stork in its migration announces changes in our environment, whereas the Cloverleaf brings a little green. We can see that clarity (Stars) bring (Stork) succour (Cloverleaf).

Quite often the Stars and Stork indicate something is changing, opening up or spreading outwards. Here, however, the emphasis is navigating the change. The Stork with Cloverleaf suggests assistance in the form of a chance opportunity, which should lead to more ‘green’ (money).[2]


Let us summarise the draw. The client asked if she would be able to resolve her financial situation soon. We can say, yes with help.

Difficult circumstances (Cards 1-3 and 6-7) can lead to a desperate decisions. She has been blindsided (the Bear and Scythe tell us that) and now she is forced into a corner. Professional support and assistance is available (Cards 4-5), which will help her turn the situation around (Cards 8-10). The Stars, the Stork and the Cloverleaf are all fast cards, too.

The client came to me after seeing another reader. Fortunately, after the reading, the client approached a financial advice services and a charity aimed at helping people with Child Benefit issues. Thankfully, she was able to access support which included a small grant and help with food.

The Petit Lenormand © abCartomancy 2010 – 2020


[1] The Bear card is one that prompts numerous questions for help and advice. Is the Bear an authority figure, finances, or lifestyle?

No card is something else before it is itself. The Bear is no different. Before we think of parents and salaries, we consider strength, size and ferociousness.

First and foremost, the Bear is an apex predator and wild animal. Brown bears have an unpredictable temperament and are not the cuddly Steiff-toy. It growls, stands upright, bites your jaw. Does lifestyle fit? No. Salary? Are you paid in bears? Does the Bear get a salary?

If we ever read it is a person, both context and additional cards must agree. It is no different from the Hound, the Serpent, et cetera.

Consequently, in the above line of cards, the Bear is none of the above. It is denoting the relative size or magnitude.

[2] The Cloverleaf is small and can be held in hand. It is green. The traditional colour of printed money is green. Like the Cloverleaf, the green money can be held and exchanged for something.

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