The Deck of Shadows | The “What’s Real – What’s Not” Spread

Greetings. I trust this finds you all well and celebrating.

I’m going to kick this whole blog thing off by discussing one of my favorite, down-and-dirty spreads to use with The Deck of Shadows – a layout I call the “What’s Real – What’s Not” spread. The spread looks like this:

To use this spread, either have The Deck of Shadows shuffled by the person receiving the reading or you may shuffle the cards yourself. While the oracle is being mixed, have the person receiving the reading concentrate on a question or a situation. Once the cards are shuffled, cut the cards.

Now, spread The Deck of Shadows face-down and draw out any two cards. The cards do not have to be next to each other. Rather, use your intuition to select the cards that seem to call to you for use in each of the two positions. I usually select these cards, myself, rather than having the person for whom I am reading choose the cards. However – feel free to incorporate your own style. If you think it adds more meaning and influence to your reading to have the other person select the cards then, by all means, go with your gut instincts! There are no rules when it comes to giving readings!

Place the first drawn card on your left and the remaining card on your right. Turn the two selected cards face up.

The first card (the one on your left) tells you the Great Truth about the situation or question; in other words, what is “real.” The second card (the one on your right) tells you the Great Lie or what is not to be believed.

I find that most people approach a situation, event, or person with some type of bias or filter that keeps them from seeing what is genuine and, at the same time, reinforces false assumptions, presumptions, and beliefs. In fact, a lot of people are willing to believe a lie before they are willing to believe the truth.  Once of my favorite writes, Terry Goodkind, once wrote: “[People] will believe a lie because they want to believe it’s true, or because they are afraid it might be true. People’s heads are full of knowledge, facts, and beliefs, and most of it is false, yet they think it all true. People . . .  can only rarely tell the difference between a lie and the truth, and yet they are confident they can.” Perhaps you will find this particular spread useful in helping yourself and others to uncover “what is.”

Borrowing from Lew Hunter, I have often said, “Know your illusions. Destroy your delusions.” The “What’s Real – What’s Not” spread can do just that.

Just some thoughts. Have a magical day.


4 thoughts on “The Deck of Shadows | The “What’s Real – What’s Not” Spread

  1. I’ve always enjoyed using a similar spread: The Hype & Scoop spread. One card is what you THINK is going on and the other is what is REALLY going on. I believe it’s from the book accompanying the Baseball Tarot … Thalassa (of BATS fame) told me about it at a Tarot party about a decade ago, so I’m not sure — so long ago. 😀

    By the way — Bertrand Russell said, “If a man is offered a fact which goes against his instincts, he will scrutinize it closely, and unless the evidence is overwhelming, he will refuse to believe it. If, on the other hand, he is offered something which affords a reason for acting in accordance to his instincts, he will accept it even on the slightest evidence. The origin of myths is explained in this way.”

    James Ricklef

  2. James, I like your comment!
    As for myself, I have been going to use Scott’s spread for a while but I seem to postpone endlessly; perhaps, I just do not want to loose my illusions, bcz they are cozily attached to my skin… Can a Tarot spread make one to re-evaluate her life? I believe so, for it is the small things that matter the most.

  3. Pingback: New Spread: Real or Not | The Creativity Oracle

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