Baggage Handler Tarot Spread

Guest post by Gethyn Edwards
A few months ago I found I was regularly being asked to do readings for friends on topics about which I had a lot of prior knowledge.

Pretty soon, I noticed that I was sitting down to read with a whole mess of preconceptions and pre-judgements already in place – ideas about advice I might give; about where the subjects of the reading were going wrong; about the likely causes of the pickle they’d got themselves into; about what was clearly best for them… et cetera, et cetera…

In short, I was getting in my own way.

So to counteract this, I started running a little tarot spread to ‘clear out my baggage’ – a quick, effective method to ditch all of that nonsense and start with a clear slate.
And so the Baggage Handler Tarot Spread was born!

It’s very simple, has a slight ritual air to it, and works like a charm every time.

There’s no need to get particularly heavy about any of it; a light touch does the best work.

How to Use the Baggage Handler Tarot Spread

Baggage Handler Tarot Spread

  1. Start by identifying and noticing the situation in hand. (“OK, I’m going to do this reading for my best friend, and I think I’m probably a bit too close to the situation. I need some help to clear out the
  2. Deal out a 3 card spread, cards face down, then place a fourth card off the right, again face down. By personal habit I order the cards thus: [2] [1] [3] [4]
  3. Leave the fourth card alone for now, but flip the three card spread and take a look.
    Taken as whole, this set of cards describes what you’re bringing to the situation. It’s your baggage.
    Your job is to identify (understand, feel, top to toe) how these cards expose or otherwise highlight what you’re carrying. I use elemental dignities here. It’s better.
  4. When you’ve recognised what you’re looking at, turn your attention to the fourth card.
    This card is the antidote. It’s the medicine – the Handler that will clear the Baggage away for you.
    Turn it over and identify (understand, feel, top to toe) how this card acts to rectify and clear the situation held in the other three cards.
  5. On feeling that ‘click’, take up the fourth card, drop it on top of the other three cards, use it to swiftly sweep them all together off the table into your hand, then shuffle the whole lot back into the deck.
  6. Notice the effect that has had on you, breathe a sigh of relief and get on with your reading. It often helps to carry the memory of that antidote card with you as you go.

This spread has proved its usefulness time and again.

  • I’ve had this method unerringly highlight and neutralise things I wasn’t aware of consciously.
  • I’ve had it provide an instant cure for things I was aware of but didn’t know how to eliminate.
  • I’ve even, on one occasion, had it turn up four trumps with the clear message of “You’re doing God’s work – stop wittering and get on with it!”

This isn’t just for readings, of course, any situation where preconceptions, pre-judgements and limiting opinions of all kinds are coming into play can be cleared away ahead of time by the Baggage Handler.
Gethyn Edwards

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10 thoughts on “Baggage Handler Tarot Spread”

  1. Gethyn congratulations on your wonderful debut post with Tarot Elements! Your amazing spread is something I thought I needed but could never clearly identify to myself: I am going to try it ASAP! Thank you for such a creative and helpful ritual/discovery/cleansing technique!

    • Thanks for the kind comments, Victoria; I’m really pleased it’s hit the spot for you. I find it’s a spread that just keeps giving so I hope you get as much benefit from it as I have.

  2. Gethyn,
    Thanks for your cool spread. I like the subtlety of your “Taken as a whole…”, and “…(understand, feel, top to toe)…” – you’re talking about using the whole spread as a picture – a way to sit back and see what we are up to, getting a real feeling for our own part of the drama (recognizing that I am my own worst enemy or potentially my own best friend) and, having seen it and felt what it amounts to; then using the 4th card as the feeling release… quite different from the usual tarot as narrative formation process.
    It’s Gestalt/Magick.
    I just used your spread before doing my usual monthly preview reading. In visual order, left to right, the cards were 5 of Wands | Hierophant | 10 of Wands. Perfect. I had only said last night that God must hate me – the life process has been too much of a bitch to be something other than spite. Using GD astrological attributions, Saturn in Leo and Saturn in Sagittarius (the effects of Saturn’s heavy gravity in the realm of fire/intentions/desire) surrounding the Taurean Hierophant (“Magus of the Eternal”) – yup, life has sucked, and someone upstairs has been screwing with me. Poor, poor, pitiful me.
    Guess what the hole card was…? 9 of Cups… Mr. Happy, incarnate. I LMAO – “Lighten up, dude! Happiness is not a state… it’s a way of being.”
    I’ve been laughing all morning.
    Thanks again, Gethyn. I hope folks who peruse here at the marvelous Tarot Elements website (Tx, Catherine. Major kudos!) have a go with it.

    • What a perfect example (and analysis) of how the spread functions. Thanks for posting that. :)

  3. Very cool Gethyn…I find this to happen when I’m reading for those I’m close too…thank you for sharing:)
    I’m going to check it out!
    Nice and simple-I like that:)

  4. This is a BRILLIANT idea and I love, love, love it! I am definitely going to try it because I do have a situation with a long term friend I have trouble reading for. Off to find out what my problem is….LOL

  5. Hi Gethyn,
    Finally got to try this before a reading for my family.
    Worked a treat, got a really clear message.
    Thanks for this post!

    • Hi Austriana
      That’s very cool, thanks for letting us know. :)
      I find family can offer lots of opportunities to use this spread – before doing readings, certainly, but socially too. You know all those hot-buttons that get pushed when folks get together at Thanksgiving and Christmas and so on..? Running the spread beforehand really can help make those kind of events a *lot* easier.

    • Wow, what a great idea, will give this a try before the next family gathering! Hot buttons … oooohh yeees! :o)

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