Tarot 101: How to Shuffle your Deck

If you’re new to Tarot reading, I bet you have the same question I did when I first started:

How in the world do you shuffle a Tarot deck?

Experienced readers kind of shrug at this question and just say, ‘well, you shuffle them?’

But that’s not what we’re asking as baby witches with our first deck! We’re not asking how to shuffle in general! We’re asking how we’re supposed to shuffle these larger cards that have SIGNIFICANCE!

So I’m here to help you out! Because I had anxiety for the first few weeks after I bought my first deck, of just how in the world I’m supposed to shuffle the deck?

Some of the things that hung me up for those first few weeks were how was I supposed to handle the deck in general. I was used to playing deck cards and just beating those decks up with playing. But a Tarot deck is special. You can’t quite use and abuse them like you would with a little ol’ playing card deck. These are cards you have to give a little extra energy and time and TLC.

Besides the reverence you should show your deck, Tarot decks are larger in size, which makes them difficult to handle the first few times you pick them up!

So after you get a little used to the feel of the deck, how do you shuffle them? How do you get so good at shuffling you look like one of those movie witches who can throw the cards all gracefully and artfully?

Handling a Tarot deck is going to take time and practice. For the first couple of months, I recommend one of two methods:

  • Good old fashioned kiddie shuffle, where you let be in a big messy pile and (GENTLY!) move the cards about. When you feel that they’re shuffled, you just scoop them back into a cohesive deck.
  • Or separate the cards into smaller decks and then gently shuffle the decks together by sliding a card off the top of each deck into a new new.

While these methods are not the fastest of shuffling, they will be gentle on the deck and help you get a feel of the card size and even the feel of the cards themselves.

You can always start with a smaller deck as well, as micro and travel sized decks are available and a good segway into a full-size deck.

Once you get a little bit more comfortable with the deck size you can get more into different types of shuffling. I personally shuffle by pulling chunks out of the deck and either putting them on top or on bottom of the remaining deck. Then, I shuffle the cards by bumping the top card into my right hand in various quantities; so with a full deck in my left hand, I swipe with my thumb a couple cards into my right hand, then I swipe a couple more cards under the new baby deck, then a couple more onto the top of the baby deck. I keep going until the whole deck is transferred from my left hand to the right. I’ll do that a couple of times until I feel like the deck is ‘ready’.

Don’t worry too much if the cards still feel a little unwieldy, you’ll get more comfortable in time. And don’t worry too much about if you’re shuffling is unsightly, ungraceful, or messy; grace and ease come with practice and time.

So don’t beat yourself up over being a beginner. Remember when you were first learning how to ride a bike and it was probably a little awkward, but as you practiced more and more, you became so much more good at riding a bike? Just let yourself learn and grow and before you know it, you’ll be able to handle whatever deck comes your way and shuffle like a queen/king/monarch (whatever you feel!)

While you’re still trying to figure out your style, watch Youtube videos and even practice different styles or whatever your hands feel like doing!

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