2 Tarot Spreads That Are Just Spooky Enough For Halloween

mbg Sustainability Editor By Emma Loewe
mbg Sustainability Editor
Emma Loewe is the Sustainability Editor at mindbodygreen and the author of "The Spirit Almanac: A Modern Guide To Ancient Self Care."

Image by Jen Theodore / Unsplash

Halloween wasn't always all about cutting holes in pumpkins and donning cat ears. The holiday we celebrate today is adapted from the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. According to Celtic tradition, November 1 marks the official descent into winter, and the night before is a time when the dead visit us here on Earth.

When approached from a historical lens, the holiday becomes less spooky and more spiritual. It's an invitation to connect with energies both seen and unseen.

"Some say the veil between the spirit world and ours is thinner around All Hallow's Eve, making the other side seem more accessible to those of us who are perceptive to it," explains Minerva Siegel, author of the new book Tarot for Self-Care. "Maybe that's true, or maybe it's just the changing of the seasons, causing us to be more reflective, mindful, and in touch with ourselves."

Either way, she says, this time of the year is a great one to try out divination tools such as tarot. If you've never worked with tarot cards before, the gist is that they are considered conduits to higher wisdom and clarity. When you ask the deck a question, the card(s) that are pulled represent an answer from a higher source. The meaning behind each card depends on the deck that you're using, but every deck typically come with some sort of explainer booklet. Even if you don't buy the idea that tarot cards have a magical element to them, the act of pulling them can still be a valuable form of self-inquiry. At the very least, cards can help you think about any question from a new perspective.

Ever the tarot enthusiast, Siegel says she reads cards nearly every day. "Sometimes, I use a simple one-card draw to give me advice to keep in mind throughout the day, and other days, I use elaborate tarot spreads to give me deeper insight," she says.

Here are a few of Siegel's multi-card spreads that use the cards as tools for reflection, acceptance, and goal setting. Add them to your Halloween plans, and see what sort of insights come through.

Hallowed-Ground Tarot Spread

Cards are laid in a diagonal line, overlapping one another.

Card 1: The Coffin Card. What behaviors or attitudes are blocking you from being your best self? They need to be laid to rest.

Card 2: The Pearly Gates Card. What should your true goal be? What does your best self look like?

Card 3: The Resurrection Card. This card reveals advice about how to move forward into the next chapter of your life toward the goal revealed by The Pearly Gates card.

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Shadow-Self Tarot Spread

Cards are laid out in a cross.

Card 1: The Self Card. Which tarot card best represents my traits overall?

Card 2: The Shadow-Self Card. What does my shadow self look like? What are its traits that need to be worked on?

Card 3: The Shadow Work Card. What advice do I need to keep in mind when doing shadow work to become a better person?

Card 4: Into The Light Card. This card reveals just how working on the traits revealed by the Shadow-Self Card will improve your life.

"The shadow self is a concept created by Carl Jung to give name to the primal parts of our consciousness that react instinctively, hold on to past traumas, exhibit negative behaviors, etc.," says Siegel. "Acknowledging the shadow self and doing shadow work to unlearn the negative social conditioning that isn't serving you well can make you a better, more balanced person."

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