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Clearing the Cards

If you’ve ever had a Tarot reading, you probably noticed that the reader shuffled the cards before hand and maybe also during the time that they talked to you about your topic. Quite often, it’s simply an activity that the seeker really doesn’t think about, yet seekers see it as part of the process without thinking much about it.

Well, this process ‘clears the cards’.

To the logical mind, shuffling is an exercise of reordering the cards. The idea is to get the cards as random as possible. Energetically, it helps the reader move away from the previous questions in order to allow an egoless reading of the next card or reading.

Ultimately, as a reader, you want to feel good about knowing that you can select the next card without conscious interference. This means that you need to be ‘blind’ to the cards or you need to not be able to guess cards in the deck.

Let’s look at a few different shuffling techniques and see what they do.

The Overhand Shuffle

This is the technique you will probably see a Tarot reader use. It is a very gentle way of working the cards without bending them or losing control of the deck. It also works very well for larger cards that you can’t really shuffle other ways.

The following video demonstrates this technique and points out its strengths and weaknesses.

As you have seen, if the reader is not aware of what they are doing, the shuffling process is not as effective as they might be expecting. Yet, the shortcomings can be overcome as long as the couple tips are applied to the shuffling process.

The Surface Top Shuffle

Here is another technique that I’ve seen people use. It does give off a sense of randomness, but I wouldn’t really call it a shuffle. Also, this technique works better for smaller cards then for bigger ones. Larger cards tend to block each other on edge forcing the reader to lift cards in order to get them to blend.

If you’ve never seen this, you’ll probably immediately recognize the process once you load the following video.

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As you can see, this technique may not be suited well for an organized situation.

The Riffle Shuffle

Even when it gets to the Riffle Shuffle, if the reader does not pay attention to how this shuffle is performed, they may be singling out cards that can be consciously determined. Fortunately, the shortcomings of this shuffle can be overcome with a couple simple moves.

The biggest deterrent that readers have to using this particular shuffle is that it is hard on the cards. To get the shuffle to work, you need to bend the cards. If you use your cards a lot, well, this is going to wear them out. Likewise, when you bend the cards the finish on the cards tends to flake and crack. Card stock is heavier paper, but the fabric of the paper comes apart one thread at a time leading to a warn or bent look.

Notice the cards that I use. They are warn, but not torn. My solution to this problem is to print up another deck of cards! I can print a deck up for you too. It’s a good feeling to see my cards wear out. It demonstrates to me that I’ve been using my cards and getting my money’s worth out of them!

Let’s visually look at some details of this shuffle so that we can see the shortcomings and demonstrate how to work around them.

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As you can see, if you are conscious about how you use this shuffle it’s easy to get the results that you’re expecting.

Dealing off the top

This technique always seems to leave me puzzled. It just seems too unbelievable to take seriously. If you’re a logically minded person and you witness a reader doing this you would probably lose all hope or any sense of belief in the process. Why?

Think of it this way. That reader just shuffled the deck a few times and then picked the top 10 cards as the perfect cards for the seeker for this spread. Not only does each one of those cards need to be the right card, but they have to be shuffled into the right position! If the spread is a ten card spread, it would be like shuffling the cards so you get two straight flushes on the top of the deck.

What this does is move the selection process into the shuffling activity. It’s as if some magic needs to happen in order for the cards to line up correctly.

My observations of the readers that use this technique lead me to believe that they are more psychic in their readings then literal. They tend to use the cards as a focal point in order to talk about the first thing that comes to mind.

But, hey, Tarot is that way. That can work too. I just tend to feel that when I let the body select the cards, it will simply draw the two straight flushes out of the deck with no complications and I won’t have to rely on the shuffling process aligning the cards perfectly.

To me, dealing of the top of the deck is great for a card, provided your shuffling technique allows for that top card to not be known. Or, better yet, split the deck making the top card a new one.

Selection: to Fan or to Ribbon?

The next step is a tricky one. How do you know that you’re selecting the right card?

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