Shuffling the Tarot cards before a reading is an essential step in the Tarot process. This quick action allows you to focus on why you're conducting the reading and to imprint your energy on the cards.
Introducing Gigi Santella! Gigi is a 4th generation Tarot reader based in Portland, OR. Aside from his passion for Tarot, Gi is an excellent chef and talented musician. Tarot.com is excited to bring you the insight Tarot has to offer from Gi's perspective, as taught to him by his generations past.
See how Gi shuffles his Tarot cards!
Looking for a quick answer? Use our Daily Reflection Tarot Reading to get advice about how best to move through your day!
From Gi's video: "I just throw them on the table -- it's fun. And if you're doing this for another person, do it together. Because you're supposed to be (when you're doing a reading) helping that other person. But as soon as they ask you to do the reading, you're already part of the experience, so there's no reason to take yourself out of it. I usually shuffle it then get it together, then once it's together I have the person cut it for themselves. Shuffling is the chance [to put your energy on the cards], and when you're cutting the deck, it's your own free will on top of chance. It's your own action."
Shuffle the Tarot cards yourself
Before even shuffling the cards, take a moment to reflect and relax. Reading Tarot is all about intuition. Your intuition will help you choose the best Tarot cards for your situation -- but only if you can listen to your intuition over the noise of your everyday thoughts.
Then, get ready to shuffle the Tarot cards. If you are using a deck often used by others or you were in a different space/mood during your last reading, you need to override the previous energies so that nothing interferes with the clarity of the current reading. This is called "clearing the Tarot deck," and shuffling is the easiest way to do this (also, there is something soothing about the physical action of moving the cards around that will help you relax).
As you shuffle, focus on the question for which you need answers. Many people find it helpful to say the question aloud, but this isn't necessary.
The thing to remember is that there is no wrong way to shuffle your Tarot cards. No matter how you shuffle, it's the energy and the intention that really matter. That said, you have several options for shuffling. Here are three of our favorites:
- "Playing Cards" method: Ever played poker? Use that same overhand method to bring the cards together by holding one half of the deck in each hand and fanning them together.
- "Cut The Deck" method: Repeatedly take a smaller stack of the cards and place them inside the larger deck at a random interval. Alternatively, cut the deck into many small piles and reorder them.
- "Pick Up Sticks" method: Take the whole deck and lay all the cards facedown on a table and scramble them all around. Then stack them again before picking a card.
For other ideas on how to shuffle your Tarot cards, check out Biddy Tarot's YouTube video.
Any of these methods can be repeated as many times as you'd like -- and even used together. For example, you can use the messy method once before cutting the deck twice. Again, it's all about what feels right to you and making sure that your question or intention is really at the top of your mind as you concentrate on choosing your card or cards.
For help choosing the best Tarot deck for you, browse our Tarot decks.
For help interpreting the Tarot cards in your reading, learn the Tarot card meanings!