The Celtic Cross spread is by no means a "beginner" spread, but how else will you learn to master it if you don't practice? This is my version of the Celtic Cross, which I have streamlined so you can get right to the point.
Card 1: The present. The querent in relation to their question. Their state of mind, their feelings, their position in it.
Card 2: The Challenge. What crosses the querent? What is the immediate problem they need to overcome. Always remember that even if you pull a traditionally "good card" for this position it will still represent a challenge.
Card 3: The Past. What has led up to this situation? This could tell you what brought on the question or present situation.
Card 4: The Future. This card always represents the short term future. Things that will arise within the next few days or weeks.
Card 5: Above. What is the goal for the querent in regards to the situation? This represents what they are trying to achieve, what they would like to happen.
Card 6: Below. What is happening in the querent'a subconscious? This represents the driving force within the querent in the situation. Are they aware of this?
Card 7: Advice. What can the querent do for this situation? What approach should the querent adopt?
Card 8: External Forces. What energies and situations will affect the outcome that are beyond the querent's control?
Card 9: Hopes and Fears. Think of the law of attraction in this situation. Is the querent hopeful the outcome will be positive? Do they want to be hopeful but are afraid of failure?
Card 10: The Outcome. This represents where the situation is going. This is based on the querent's current actions and course.
Now let's look closer at the relationship between the cards
Look at the Above and Below cards. Are they compatible or are they at odds?
Compare the Future card and the Outcome card. Is it positive? Is it negative? What can the Advice card do for the querent?
What about the Above card and the Outcome card? Are the querent's goals in line with the outcome?
Are there lots of Major Arcana cards in the spread? What about repeating numbers and suits? All these things will give you deeper insight into the energies surrounding the reading and the querent.
If you're using The Arcana of Astrology, make sure you look for repeating elements and polarities. Are there oppositions, squares, trines and conjunctions to your own natal chart?