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How to Shuffle Tarot Cards

There are various ways to shuffle a deck of Oracle, Tarot, Angel Cards, etc.  Neither is better than the other. It's important to personalize how you interact with this divination to suit you and YOU only. There's no proper way to "always" shuffle for the foreseeable future because the way you shuffle will ebb and flow.

I often hear, “How many times should I shuffle” or “How long should I shuffle for?” The duration of the shuffle is up to you. It's not an exact science; it is intuitive. Sometimes I will ask the deck or my angels/guides how many times to shuffle. Let's say I hear, see or just know it's six. I'll then only shuffle six times. You can do this, too.

First, be clear on who you are asking by having a clear intention or even calling a presence by name, then state "How many times is best for me to shuffle right now in order to bring through the highest level of truth?" Give time for the answer to come and then follow through. Most often, I shuffle for as long as it feels right. Other times, I will hear "stop." Sometimes the cards fall out. A couple of decks come with instructions on how many times to shuffle before doing a spread. 

Shuffle in a way that is natural for you. Below are 8 different ways to shuffle. Try them out. Use a combination of some or even all in one sitting.  You get to decide!

8 Tarot Card Shuffle Techniques:

  1. Ruffle Shuffle or Casino: This shuffle is one of the most common types of shuffling you'll see. It is where you break the deck into two equal sides.  While holding one half of the deck in each hand you'll place them close together, flip them down, then push up to make a bridge that brings the cards back together. Casino style is simply cutting the deck into two and fanning one into the other. Less skill is needed with this approach.  You can also check out this Youtube video on how to master the ruffle shuffle.
  2. Chopping or Overhand Shuffling: This is where you hold the cards on their side or upright and pick up sections of the deck and move it to the front or the back of the deck while placing one hand over the other, over and over again. This is done forward or backward.
  3. Weaving:  Similar to chopping, this technique starts the same way, but you alternate back and forth through the deck, instead of going consistently in one way.
  4. Swirl: I use this one a lot when I want some cards upright and some reversed. Swirling is where you keep the cards in your hands and swirl them around, rotating to the right or left, then bring them back together in a uniform way.
  5. Scrambling or Messy Pile:  It's where there isn't a set direction of the rotation, it is both to the right and to the left, up and down. This is also great to get some cards reverse. Once they are sufficiently scrambled, bring them back together.
  6. Cutting: The method of cutting is where you simply cut the deck into two, three, five, eight, ten, or more then place them back together randomly. You can reverse the cards as you restack them to have some cards reversed, but you do not have to.
  7. Bag:  Put your cards in a bag, shake the bag around, and pull the cards out.
  8. 52-Card Pick-Up:  Throw the cards in the air and wave your hands like you just don't care. LOL. Then randomly pick them up. This technique is frowned upon by many but is great for kids, the rambunctious, and the free-spirited.

Shuffling the Tarot Cards Starts the Energy Flow

A tarot reading, whether it's a self-reading or conducted by a professional psychic tarot reader, relies on an exchange of energy between the questioner, the reader, and the cards. The shuffling technique often reflects the energy present, while the act of shuffling magnifies it. Here's how Psychic Abbot describes the process when she reads. “When you connect with me for a tarot reading and give me your name, I am then able to channel YOUR energy into the deck and into everything I do with the cards during your reading. When I cut the deck, it is as if YOU are cutting the deck. Each card I pull is the card the Universe wants YOU to encounter at that moment. I am simply the conduit and guide for your personal journey with the tarot.” 

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Jae has always had an infinity for the Divine. She started studying to develop as a psychic medium at the age of 15. Over the last 20 years, she has dived heart first into healing herself and passing on what she's learned to others. Her teachers range from master mediums in Lilydale to self-taught lovers of the Tarot and dedicated energy healers with more than 100 years of experience between them. She is constantly learning. Forever a lover of life, Jae only shares wisdom in her articles from first-hand experiences and remains committed to supporting the spiritual community.