The Deck of Shadows | The “Taking Out the Trash” Spread

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark, and Hamlet is taking out the trash. – Last Action Hero

We all collect clutter – those bits and pieces of energy wasters. In fact, we do this so much so that, at times, we are overwhelmed by the garbage we allow. And we lose sight of the treasures in our lives. Today, we will be exploring a Deck of Shadows spread that will help to lay bare those things we should keep and those things we can free ourselves of. It all begins, of course, with the ready self-confession that the nonsense we seek to put an end to, we have allowed to happen in the first place!

This three-card spread is easy, straightforward, and rather blunt in the solutions it provides. You don’t want to use this layout unless you are ready to come face-to-face with the cards’ indications.


Step 1: Either shuffle and cut The Deck of Shadows, yourself, of have the person for whom you are reading mix the cards.

Step 2: With the cards face-down, have the person receiving the reading select three cards.

Step 3: With the three selected cards face-down, have the person receiving the reading mix them further.

Step 4: Have the person receiving the reading get rid of two of the cards. This leaves one card with the person who is being read.

Step 5: Have the card that was kept (The Treasure) turned over so that it is face-up. Interpret the card.

Step 6: Turn over the two cards that were discarded (The Trash) turned over so that they are face-up. Interpret the cards.


The Three Cards: These are the things/people/events/emotions you have allowed into your life which need your attention at the moment. Naturally, these change once our awareness is drawn to them.

The Treasure: This is what you should hold dear, value, and tend to at the moment. It the thing/person/event/emotion that will give you succor and make you wealthy.

The Trash: These are the two dominant things/persons/events/emotions that you need to let go of and release.

Some Hints: There are many three card spreads available. The important part of this technique is the intentional selection of the three cards and the deliberate casting off of two of them. Don’t attempt to streamline this process.

There may be times when the cards in The Treasure and The Trash positions seem counter-intuitive. For example, you might find the card Obstacles as The Treasure and the cards Healing and Mentor as The Trash. Why, on earth, would someone be encouraged to keep barriers or throw away feeling better and obtaining training? The answer, of course, is to look a little deeper when this type of situation occurs. One way of interpreting this particular combination of cards is: the person being read would do well to embrace the challenges (Obstacles)  in her life as they have important lessons of their own to impart, and she should stop wishing that the testing she is undergoing would cease to exist. This person also needs to abandon her current life strategy of looking for the elixir (Healing) that will instantly fix everything and make her feel better. Likewise, this person needs to do her own work for the moment and not rely on anyone else’s instructions or teachings. The pattern that emerges, then, is someone who needs to keep questioning what is going on around her and realize that there is no need – nor should there even be a desire – for the easy fix! This person is on a journey that requires some elbow grease and well intentioned direction.


Go through Steps 1 through 6, above, but have the cards all selected while face-up. This adds a deeper component to the reading because the person being read is making her selections, not from intuition, but from a conscious reading of the cards, themselves. This alternate method takes a bit longer than the original method, by the way, as you will find the person being read takes time to carefully select the cards.

Just some thoughts. Ifr you enjoyed this, please click below to share this with others.

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© 2011 by Scott Grossberg. All Rights Reserved.

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