The Deck of Shadows | The Play of the Odyssey

There has been a lot of interest in my last article. So, following on the heels of some of the hidden themes that were revealed within The Deck of Shadows, I want to share a robust spread that I use all the time. I call it The Play of the Odyssey and it is attentively based upon the stages of The Hero’s Journey.  The complete reading is broken into two incredibly powerful and compelling phases; one is what I call my Now and Then mini-spread (where you are today and where you are going), the other is the Upcoming Journey , itself. You can, of course, decide to use just one of the phases for a quicker reading experience.

I hasten to add that I prefer to combine The Deck of Shadows and Tarot cards into a blended whole when using The Play of the Odyssey (more about that in a moment).

PHASE ONE (Now and Then):


Shuffle and cut the cards. Have the deck cut into 3 piles – bottom packet to your left, middle packet in the middle, and the top packet to your right. Then turn the packets over. You will be reading the 3 revealed cards combined as the Present situation (Now) – one from the bottom of each packet.

You read the three cards together as a story. They do not have to be read in the order they are revealed (e.g., left to right). Rather, let the three cards speak to you and see what instinctive and united tale they release.

When using the oracle deck and another system at the same time (e.g, Tarot cards), the paired cards are read together. For example, a spread might look like this:

Thus, the 10 of Wands (a burden coming to an end) and Illusions cards are read together as one concept, the 6 of Pentacles  (charity) and Wealth as one concept, and the 3 of Cups (friendship) and Revenge as one concept.


Put all the cards from the Now reading back into the deck. Mix the cards and repeat the previous procedure. The new combination of cards is the consequence of the Now reading.

PHASE TWO (the Upcoming Journey):

Reassemble the deck and mix the cards. Now deal off 7 cards. These represent:

As before, you can combine The Deck of Shadows with Tarot cards or another oracle. If you combine the cards, the two cards at each position are read together.


If you don’t like all the shuffling, cutting, etc. you can easily just spread the deck out face down and select cards using your intuition for each position.  For those situations that require a “quick” read, this is the way I handle The Deck of Shadows.

Just some thoughts. Enjoy.

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2010 by Scott Grossberg. All Rights Reserved.


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