The Deck of Shadows | The Start Over Spread – 7 Steps to Power

Well I know it wasn’t you who held me down
Heaven knows it wasn’t you who set me free
So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains
And we never even know we have the key

– The Eagles, Already Gone

Happy New Year! On this, the first day of January 2012, I want to share with you a terrific meditative technique and spread combination that can be effortlessly be used with The Deck of Shadows (or other oracle of your choice). The Start Over Spread can easily help you to clear away your negativity and give yourself a literal start over in the various areas of your life that are important. Whether you use this to strengthen your latest resolutions or simply to help carry your misery-making negativity away, The Start Over Spread is an unique way to wield your favorite see-ing tool in an intoxicating way.

Let’s begin with a quick understanding of what negativity accomplishes in the first place. For me, negativity is something that, in its counter-productive aspect, keeps us from doing what we know should be done or what we want to accomplish. It is an internal signaling that almost seems to plead with us to do nothing, change course, and even move backward from our chosen goals. Internally, it can be responsible for feelings of disappointment, annoyance, and anger. Externally, it can be accountable for making you disagreeable, gloomy, and unpleasant to the rest of the world.

So, let’s not waste any time and banish the negativity so that you can make amazing headway with your positive goals, instead . . .


STEP 1: Remove the following cards from The Deck of ShadowsWar, Faith, Riddle, and Wretched Excess. If you look at the top of each of these cards you will see that these are the 9’s (9 of Spades, 9 of Clubs, 9 of Hearts, and 9 of Diamonds, respectively). The number 9 in The Vitruvian Square system represents endings, resolutions, and discontinuing what has been happening. These are the proper associations we want to bring to bear in order to scatter the negativity in our life.

STEP 2: Now, imagine there is a compass rose or medicine wheel in the casting space in front of you. Place War (9 of Spades) into the position on your right – this represents the East. Place Faith (9 of Clubs) in the position closest to you – this represents the South. Place Riddle (9 of Hearts) in the position on your left – this represents the West. And, finally, place Wretched Excess (9 of Diamonds) in the space furthest away from you – this represents the North. After you have laid these four cards down, you will have formed an equilateral cross. There are numerous associations you can use for these four fundamental points. For this technique, I recommend using the following connections:

EAST = Thinking, Ambition

SOUTH = Intuition, Health

WEST = Feeling, Love

NORTH = Sensation, Wealth

STEP 3: Now take as much time as you personally feel necessary to reflect upon each of these cards and bring to light all of the negative thoughts, negative things, and negative people that exist in your experience in each of these categories. Looking at the War card, you might start reviewing all the counterproductive conflicts, struggles, responsibilities you have taken on, and fatalistic thinking you experienced in the last year. In looking at the Faith card, you will likely begin your musing with a review of all those times when you have doubted yourself, lacked the courage to move forward with your dreams, failed to act, and allowed fear to rule you. In using the Riddle card, start assessing all those times when you have failed to follow your own heart because of self-imposed obstacles, a flawed belief that love – for you – is an unsolved mystery, and the notion that love just happens rather than you being at the helm of your passions and desires. Finally, for Wretched Excess, you can begin to consider all the literal baggage, unneeded extravagance, and temptations you have given into and which have not served you well. This is the most important stage of the technique, by the way; the time when you become brutally honest with yourself. After all, you cannot evict the bad stuff until you admit that it exists.

STEP 4: Turn over each of the four cardinal point cards. As you do so, imagine they are doors that you are closing on your prior negativity and less than fulfilling experiences. You are now ready to start over.

STEP 5: From a shuffled and cut Deck of Shadows, select three cards for each of the cardinal points. These cards, read together, represents a next step in your journey; what you might want to consider doing next in each of the four main areas of your life (thinking, feeling, intuition, and sensation) in order to exile your negatively forever. Be imaginative and truly visionary in your interpretations and make certain that you are putting a positive spin on what is revealed to you. These 12 cards (three in each of the four directions) will divulge the pivotal route you might consider in order to make your positive resolutions a reality.

[NOTE: The four cardinal point cards are shown face-up to orient you. These would normally be face-down.]

STEP 6: Resolve that you are now moving away from all the negativity and moving towards the solutions and insights that have been shown to you. Make these current intents a must!

STEP 7: Finally, thank yourself. That’s right, thank yourself for your own honesty and openness, and your strength of character to now take your life in a whole new and positive direction.

For those of you  who might want to take The Start Over Spread to an even higher level, you can use The Vitruvian Square Casting Cloth (or project The Vitruvian Square matrix onto your casting space). Please remember that, in using The Vitruvian Square, Place of Power 6 is West and Place of Power 3 is East.  This allows you to add another powerful level of associations to the cards you are using.

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© 2012 by Scott Grossberg. All Rights Reserved.

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