Picture the scene: your pre-ordered tarot deck has just arrived and you are so excited to get those cards into your hands! Only when you do, they don’t fit you.. Damn. A little bit of joy is lost. They are large in your small hands and when you try to shuffle them, they just fly everywhere! What can you do? How can you possibly shuffle these beautiful but large (or odd shaped) cards?
Let’s look at your options.
CARD SHUFFLING VARIATIONS
*This article assumes you are right-handed. Please make adjustments to these instructions if you are left-handed*
Every experienced tarot or oracle card reader will have settled on their preferred method of shuffling their cards. They will have tried and tested many methods before settling on one or two ways. These methods can be used for regular sized cards so if you are new to tarot or still finding your way, the following list will be of help no matter the fit between your cards and your hands.
Depending on the size of your hands, and the deck in question, you will either hold the deck vertically or horizontally and proceed to hold the front half of the deck in your left hand while you bring the rear of the deck over the top of the front with your right hand.
This can be done once per round or several times moving a smaller number of cards each time you overlap the front cards with the back. For a more thorough shuffle, it is best to do this overlap several times per shuffle.
However many times you perform multiple shuffles is up to you but as with many things in life, the more the merrier. Bear in mind though, the more you use your tarot cards, the more wear and tear will start to appear on them. Caring for Your Tarot Cards has tried and tested methods to help you counter that.
The Corgi shuffle is perhaps the least technical and most fun way to ‘shuffle’ your tarot cards. You literally push the stack down and around and around until the cards become mixed up and randomised in front of you. You need a decent sized surface for this technique if you are to mix them up properly. When you’re happy that your cards are thoroughly mixed up, spread them out as much as space will allow and then select your individual tarot cards for your reading.
It is worth noting that the Corgi shuffle will create a tarot deck with reversed cards so if you like your cards upright, this method may not be for you.
Seeing someone riffle a set of playing cards in a casino or other setting always looks pretty impressive. But I implore you – don’t riffle your tarot cards! Casinos use brand new decks constantly because they quickly become worn and the riffle will do this to your beloved tarot deck in no time at all. I’ve seen tarot readers do this and it makes me squirm. Their poor deck! My 1971 vintage Rider wouldn’t be in the excellent condition it is still in if it had been riffled regularly. Please don’t feel the need to impress anyone with your riffling skills and your tarot deck. Save it for card night and a 52 card playing deck instead.
MODIFYING A TAROT DECK TO FIT YOUR HANDS
You can modify a tarot deck to fit your hands by trimming off an unnecessarily large border. I’ve done this with several of my tarot decks, mostly successfully. While that little caveat at the end there may sound a little scary, trimming a tarot deck to fit your hands is a pleasant exercise. It is a commitment to accuracy and time though – you have to trim 78 cards, with four edges and four corners, and you need the right equipment to achieve a professional finish. I find a guillotine or rotary trimmer better than scissors and a corner rounder is essential – so is the size of the corner it will cut.
I ruined the Tarot of the Sidhe and the Golden Dawn Magical Tarot because trimming the large borders on those cards proved difficult. However, I successfully trimmed the DruidCraft Tarot and the Medieval Enchantment. Both of those decks became much more useable after trimming and remain in my top five tarot reading decks.
Do you have a different method of shuffling your tarot deck? Or do you prefer to follow a particular ritual prior to reading your tarot cards? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.