Shuffling your tarot cards before a reading is often an overlooked yet essential step that enables you, the reader, to cleanse the cards and center yourself in preparation for the reading. Shuffling a deck is not limited to the purpose of not drawing the same cards but can rather serve as a time to meditate and reflect on the question as well.
Why is it important, you ask? When you are centered, you automatically become connected to the source energy whom you take wisdom from and to the cards which you have chosen to work with. This enables you to have clearer insights and improved readings.
How to Shuffle Tarot Cards
Cleanse the deck
As a rule of thumb, cleansing any tools you use for spiritual work is necessary. Cleanse the deck with a smudge stick, a selenite wand, or any tool with strong healing energy you prefer working with. Visualize it as a brand new deck, untainted and unscratched. This visualization exercise allows the deck to purge itself from biases or pent up energies from previous readings.
Illuminate the question
After cleansing the deck, put the deck in your hands and allow yourself to feel the question that you need to ask the card. Even if you already have a question in mind, take your time to recognize what you really want to know. A great example of this is asking the ‘general energy of the day.’ Beginners often make a mistake by asking the same question daily. The cards also like an interesting conversation with you. Vague questions are often offered with broad and general answers. To be specific, take a moment to particularize your question. Do you want to know the specific action you should take today? Or do you want to know what you should be cautious of?
Shuffle the cards, your version
Shuffling the deck is different for every witch. One thing for sure: as long as you feel good with a certain style, then you’re doing perfectly. Also, it’s okay to be shaky for your first couple of readings. Most tarot cards are designed larger and thicker than gaming cards, so if you’re flimsy and shaky, do know that you are not the only one.
If you’re new to shuffling cards, below are three basic ways you can shuffle a deck:
- Faro Shuffle. The Faro Shuffle is the most common way to shuffle a deck. It is also known as the “playing card method”. To do the Faro Shuffle, simply divide the deck into two equal parts, position them horizontally and bend the cards lightly. Allow the cards to touch subtly and let go of each card, creating a fan of intermixing cards. This technique is best used if you have large hands or small cards. If you plan to use this technique, however, you must be aware that this may cause folding or tearing after a long span of time.
- Cut the Deck. The second basic technique that you can use is by cutting the deck in small groups and stacking them on top. Repeat this until you feel like the cards are properly mixed. This technique is particularly relevant for oversized and thick decks that are difficult to shuffle using the Faro technique.
- Messy Pile. If you’re a beginner (and don’t want to appear flimsy around a client or simply don’t want to risk the possibility of folding or tearing your precious deck), the messy pile technique is perfect for you! It simply requires you to scatter your cards on your work table and to pick it up by random. This technique can also be used as an alternative to avoid your tarot cards from wearing out especially if you use the Faro shuffle often.
After shuffling and reflecting on your question, you’re ready to draw your cards! Tarot card reading doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all guide book, so whatever you draw or whatever it means in your guidebook, never forget to listen to the real message expressed by your intuition. Happy shuffling!