For this spread you can use any card deck that feels right to you. Oracle or Tarot. If you are using a tarot deck then use just the Major Arcana cards. Don’t let the questions for each card scare you, these are just prompts for you to use to help you as you explore.
I recommend laying out the entire spread where it will not be disturbed. If you have an altar that you can use then that would be the perfect place for it. Lay out the cards and then, starting with card one, turn it over and using the questions as prompts, start writing. This is stream of consciousness stuff, write whatever comes to mind. Each card may take you a few days to write about and thats ok. Just write for an hour or so, then set it aside until the next day.
As you write, be aware of your small inner voice, that one we call the “gut instinct” it will tell you when you have written all you can about each card. That is when you stop and then pick up the next day with the next card.
Denial: What do people point out to me, both negative and positive, that I have trouble accepting?
This is where you will discover denial. What problems or conditions would you rather avoid? What are you afraid of discovering? What is your blind spot that blocks your growth?
What talents and abilities are you hesitant to develop? What are you holding back? What compliments make you uncomfortable?
Anxiety: When do I get nervous, anxious, touchy or sensitive with others?
What loss do you fear? Fill in the blanks, fear of ______ causes me to feel anxious. I am most anxious when ______ try to describe it in depth as you journal.
Inferiority: When do I most lack confidence?
What does this card represent in your life? What event or situation from the past might have caused this shadow to grow?
Anger: What qualities in a person do I most dislike or have the most difficulty dealing with?
Secrecy: What do I rarely talk about with others?
What are my secrets? What do you fear people will find out about you? What is your deepest darkest secret? What do you think would happen if someone discovered your secret? Would your life change? What from your past are you trying to hide, if anything? What secret does your shadow reveal?
Self-Loathing: When am I most dissatisfied with myself?
What do I need to discover? If I disobeyed my inner critic what would happen? What do I fear?
This kind of deep introspective soul searching can leave you feel a little raw, like you have just been scraped over with sand paper. A lot of things that you may have been trying to ignore will jump right out where you can see them. Make sure, while you go through this process, to also set aside time each day to pamper yourself. A long soak in the bath, time spent meditating, long walks in the park, whatever makes you feel really good, make sure you make time to do it.
I first found this in-depth look at Shadow Work in Tarot Shadow Work by Christine Jette. I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to explore their own depths.
Have you tried uncovering your shadows? What advice would you give to anyone just embarking on this adventure?