The Deck of Shadows | The Fork in the Road Spread

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

                                                                               – Yogi Berra

There comes a time, on the road through life, when we reach what is fondly known as a fork in the road; that point at which we stretch out and are gifted a pivotal moment – a major life choice is offered. This spread offers you the perfect opportunity to show and tell the personal story of your Sitter (and what brought them to their present place) and all the way up to the juncture when a course of action or purposeful selection will be needed. The inbuilt beauty of this layout is that the Sitter gets to choose the preferred path and make a selection that will fundamentally change the reading’s end. Yes, they have to make a choice and live with the consequences!

The Fork in the Road Spread was inspired when I watched a friend, Frank Padilla, Jr., do a storytelling and magical routine using Loteria cards (picture cards that were originally used for an Italian board game similar to Bingo and which is now a tradition in Mexico culture). Frank’s handling was, in turn, based on a magic effect by Tony Chris. While Frank was not giving a reading, his tale included a laying out of the Loteria cards in a kind of roadway that ended in a Y – hence, the allegorical fork in the road. It is easy to imagine how my interest was piqued and my own vision of Frank’s performance gave birth to what you are about to read.


STEP ONE: From The Deck of Shadows, remove the REFUSAL (CHOICE/INTERDICTION/ WORTHY) card and place it face up in the reading area. (If you are using Tarot cards, then remove The Fool from the deck and use that. If you are using a Lenormand deck, you might prefer to use The Crossroad card.)

STEP TWO: Have The Deck of Shadows shuffled, cut, and reassembled.

STEP THREE: Deal out 9 cards face-up to the left of the REFUSAL card. The first card goes as far to the left as possible with the last (the ninth) card adjacent to the REFUSAL card. Explain that this is the path they are on and what is leading up to the major choice that will be faced.

STEP FOUR: Lay three cards angling up and to the right of the REFUSAL card.

STEP FIVE: Lay three cards angling down and to the right of the REFUSAL card.

STEP SIX: Direct the Sitter’s attention to two sets of angled cards. Then point to the REFUSAL card and indicate that this is the metaphorical fork in the road that your Sitter will be coming to. Explain that the two sets of angled cards are the two ultimate choices/paths from which the Sitter will have to choose. Now, have your Sitter close their eyes and contemplate on the spread for a moment. Tell them that a choice has to be made. Have the Sitter open their eyes and choose one of the angles (three cards angling up or three cards angling down). The one that is selected is the choice that will be made. The angled cards that are not chosen are what the Sitter will turn away from.


THE PASSAGE  (the 9 cards spread to the left of the REFUSAL card): This is the course and way through life your Sitter has been experiencing and the events that will bring them to a major life decision.

THE CHOICE (the chosen set of angled cards): The course of action that will be chosen in order to manage and take care of a situation. This is how your Sitter is going to behave and tackle their life course.

THE DENIAL (the rejected set of angled cards): The course of action that will not be chosen and the strategy that will be rebuffed. This is what your Sitter will turn their back on and find unwelcome.

The Fork in the Road Spread is a powerful layout to use when someone tells you they are stuck or that they know they are moving forward and that something is about to happen but they need some confirmation and direction.

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© 2012 by Scott Grossberg. All Rights Reserved.

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