When you want to attach tiles where you would have to support them while the adhesive dries, like on a sloped surface or a ceiling, Chester from Metochosin, BC has a solution.
Put the ceramic adhesive around the outside edge and then apply some hot glue to the centre. Push it into place and hold it a few seconds while the hot glue cools and takes hold. Although the hot glue would not be good as a permanent glue, it will hold easily long enough for the ceramic adhesive to cure. This is a good example of using a temporary adhesive to allow a permanent adhesive to do it's job. This will certainly work better than masking tape.
This is great for repair of a couple of tiles, but if you are installing all new tiles, you are far better off not using mastique for the tiles, but thin-set mortar. Properly applied all you need are tile spacers to hold them in place, even on a ceiling.