The Deck of Shadows | The Princess Bride/True Love Spread

This is true love . . . you think this happens everyday? – The Princess Bride


In honor of Valentine’s Day, what could be better than exploring a cheerful dance with “True Love?” And what could be more fun than doing so with a layout for The Deck of Shadows that was inspired by William Goldman’s exceptional and legendary The Princess Bride? Goldman wrote his novel in 1973. The book was turned into the masterful film by the same name in 1987. For those who don’t know the story, it is the tale of how true love conquers all. It is a kissing story. It is an as you wish story. It is story of how your heart’s desire vanquishes villainy.

To begin, have the cards mixed.

Then select nine cards and place them, face-down, in a column. The first card goes at the very top of the line. The last card is placed at the bottom. In addition to interpreting each individual card/location, you will be combining cards for a deeper significance.

Here is each position with its corresponding character from the story and divinatory meaning:

Card #1 – Buttercup (Meaning: That which brings you love.)

Card #2 – Westley (Meaning: What you will do for love.)

These two cards (Buttercup and Westley) represent how your wishes will be achieved. In other words, these cards, combined, show what beauty and splendor mean to you, and what you are willing to get through or survive in order to delight in your love.

But then there’s . . .

Card #3 – Prince Humperdinck (Meaning: That which comes between you and your desires.)

Card #4 – Count Tyrone Rugen (Meaning: That which torments and tests your love.)

These two cards (Humperdinck and Rugen) represent the source of your distress. These are the things/people/situations that seem to pursue and plague you.

This unhappiness, however, can be overcome by . . .

Card #5 – Inigo Montoya (Meaning: The purpose which drives you and overcomes failure.)

Card #6 – Fezzik (Meaning: What you will do not to be alone.)

Card #7 – Miracle Max (Meaning: That which helps you resurrect your dreams.)

These three cards (Montoya, Fezzik, and Max) represent the intervention, aid, and wonders you will be getting. These cards are the courage, strength, and surprises that keep you going.

Card #8 – The Grandson (Meaning: That part of you that starts out cynical and ultimately turns romantic.)

Card #9 – The Grandfather (Meaning: The ritual you will use to get rid of doubt and disenchantment.)

These last two cards (Grandson and Grandfather) are also your story within a story. These are your perspective and give context to your inner tale (cards 1 through 7).

Just some thoughts. Enjoy.

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© 2011 by Scott Grossberg. All Rights Reserved.
The Princess Bride characters, book, and screenplay were created by William Goldman. The Princess Bride movie was produced by Act III Communications, Buttercup Films, Ltd., and The Princess Bride, Ltd.

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