This is a Tarot Spread I made to go with the Trial Through Shadows ritual. You can use it by itself or as part of the preparation for the ritual. The purpose of this spread is to help you receive insight into what can be found during the ritual and what impact it has on you. You can also use it on its own without doing the ritual to simply see what Shadow you’re dealing with.
Trial Through Shadows Spread
This spread contains 7 cards and follows a similar structure to the ritual.
- Current energy you’re in
It’s important to realise how you feel before you start to do shadow work on a specific thing. It influences how you act, think and feel and understanding that helps you create possibilities to work with that.
- How to access the Shadow
This is how you get to the shadow in question. This is most likely a Shadow very much on the top level surface. Shadow work tends to go through layers, this is how you access this first layer.
- Shadow personified
This is how the Shadow presents itself to you, what it means to you. This is a part of you that is neglected, outcast, hidden, denied, shamed and it needs you to understand and embrace it.
- Caused by …
Every Shadow has been caused by something, finding out what it was can help you understand and accept the Shadow.
- Keeping you from …
A Shadow can have a varying influence on your life. More often than not it is needed to deal with the Shadow to allow you to live life easier. Knowing what it is keeping you from can give you extra motivation why it needs to be dealt with.
- How to overcome the Shadow
There’s rarely just one way to overcome a Shadow, but knowing one possible way to do so can help massively during the process. It’s not going to be a precise way to do it but more as a guiding thought.
- Your energy when the Shadow is embraced.
Remember #1? This is how you will get out of the Shadow work. If it doesn’t look too positive, it can indicate there’s another Shadow layer that needs to be dealt with before you can properly sit back and relax. Either way, don’t rush it and watch your energy level. If you feel the need you can lay out a second spread for the next layer.
This is an example of what such a spread could be read like. I didn’t pick these cards on correspondence, but instead just shuffled as I would for any reading. As you can see at a glance there’s a lot of passion/action energy present and a tad of mental and emotional input related to that. Being able to get a feel of what it’s about from just that is important for interpreting the spread, as with any spread if I’m honest. I lay out nr 4 and 5 horizontally because I consider both the reversed and upright meanings for these positions.
- Current Energy – Lovers Reversed
The current energy is one stuck in the duality of choice. There’s a union to be made but without mutual agreement, it can’t be done. What part of yourself may be out of alignment to cause struggles, perhaps even struggles in your relationships?
- How To Access – 4 of Wands Reversed
There’s a form of instability present, perhaps most present in your home environment. By identifying what causes this instability you can access that which is behind it and deal with it.
- Shadow – 2 of Swords
This indicates the mental struggle of indecision, not being able to see what is actually in front of you to make a choice, causing you to remain still where you are without making progress.
- Created by – 6 of Wands
This Shadow was created by a need for success and recognition. While that never is a bad thing to wish for or receive, when it becomes too little or too much it can turn into a Shadow of self-doubt.
- Blocking from – 3 of Wands
This shadow is keeping you from overcoming obstacles in your life and thus growing, expanding at the pace you could, causing more frustration.
- To Overcome – 5 of Cups Reversed
In order to overcome the Shadow, you need to move on from the hurt, find peace within yourself in relation to it. It’s natural to feel disappointment and that that feeling doesn’t make you feel happy, but only when you move on from that feeling can you look at and express what’s actually there.
- Energy After – 8 of Wands
This feels like a natural result given the previous cards. The energy when the Shadow is embraced should turn into the ability to move more freely again, to take action and make decisions more quickly and appropriately.
I hope this example gave you an idea of how I read these spreads and what they can offer you in terms of shadow work. Good luck on this journey!