How to Shuffle Tarot Cards



In a word, “DON’T!!!!!!!!!”

I talk about this in my book, “Just the Tarot,” by Dan Adair, and it’s kind of a sore point with me.  You shuffle a deck of cards to make them as random and disorganized as possible. To say the least that is NOT we want when we’re putting together a reading.  We want the specific cards that apply to that question at that point in time. Never, ever shuffle Tarot cards like you were about to play poker.

Another method of selecting cards that gets my hackles up is when the reader pulls the cards out of the deck based on her feelings of what cards are appropriate.  I actually had that done for my very first Tarot reading. The reader was a beautiful, young hippie with long, black hair who dressed in silk sarongs and wore oval sunglasses constantly, even in doors.  Suzanne advertised herself as a witch and would intimate that she had deep psychic powers that she’d been born with and that her incredible sensitivity had spawned a deeply troubled childhood. No one, after all, could see what she could see.

I sat there, totally enchanted as she she spread the deck, face up, before her and selected the cards for my reading.  Hell, I was 14 years old and I’d have been enchanted if she were peeling a potato. Did I mention she was beautiful?

I really don’t remember the reading and can’t tell you whether it was accurate or not.   What I can tell you at this point is that was NOT a Tarot reading. When a reader selects cards based on her psychic impressions what you’re getting is a psychic reading, not a Tarot reading.  It may be incredibly accurate depending upon the psychic but it is NOT a Tarot reading.

You see, the magic is in the cards, not in the reader.

After all of these years of reading cards here’s what I recommend:  make a mess. Make a BIG mess. Clear a space on a table or a clean floor that’s about 3 feet by 3 feet.  Put the deck of cards in front of the questioner and have him or her spread the cards out – FACE DOWN – in a rotating circle.  Keep spreading the cards until they’re all loose and then keep them flowing in that pile, around and around, until they, “feel,” right or complete to the questioner.  Then have him or her reassemble the cards into a deck and take it from them. Lay out the reading you’ve chosen using the top card as the first card, the next card as the second, and so on.  Once you have the cards in the layout turn them over and begin the reading.

There’s some method in that madness and it’s based on my theory of how the cards work.  You can view every human as an energy field rather than just a body or a mind. We are constantly putting out energy based upon how we feel, what we’re thinking, and what we’re experiencing.  And that energy is magnetic. It draws similar energies to it. It’s a truism, for instance, that negative energy will draw negative experiences and positive will draw positive.

Think of each Tarot card as its own little energy field.  Some of them are positive, some of them are negative, and some of them are in between.  As you handle the cards your energy field magnetizes the cards that are in synch with what you’re going through at that moment and what the probable outcomes are based on your energy pattern.

Soooooo . . . the more that the questioner handles the cards the more probable you are to get an accurate reading.  Don’t put any time limit on how long the cards are touched and moved around. Let them take as long as they like and you vastly improve the probability of an accurate reading.

Author: Dan Adair

Artist, writer, semi-retired wizard, and the author of, "Just the Tarot," by Dan Adair

2 thoughts on “How to Shuffle Tarot Cards”

  1. Whatever works best for you is best. It’s always a unique intersection between the cards and the reader. Thanks so much for your comment and your interest. Dan


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