Is there a right way to shuffle your tarot cards?
Yes. Whatever way mixes the cards. The key here is making sure the cards are randomized. That means not ordered in any deliberate way.
Unlike magicians who manipulate the cards in a deck to appear and disappear in the way that works for a particular trick, when a tarot reader is shuffling a deck they are purposely not manipulating the deck.
3 Common Ways To Shuffle Tarot Cards
One of the most common types of shuffling methods is the overhand shuffle.
One hand holds the deck while the other hand grabs mini segments or stacks of cards and places them in front of the segments that were grabbed before. This continues until the shuffler or tarot reader feels that the cards have been sufficiently randomized.
One form of shuffling that you see a lot at poker tables in the riffle shuffle.
It involves splitting the deck into two evenly stacked decks of cards and folding them into one another. I cringe when I see it done to tarot cards and oracle cards, but this common method used to randomize the placement of cards in a deck doesn’t interfere with the accuracy of a reading.
Another method is called smooshing. It requires a lot of space and patience!
Place a deck of cards on a table and spread them out. Then using your hands start to mix the cards, almost like they were ingredients in a bowl, but gently! We don’t want to damage the cards. Again, the idea is to have all the cards face down and to push them into what will ultimately be an unordered stack.
The smoosh method feels like the game 52 card pick-up, but in this case, it’s 78.
When it comes to randomizing and cleansing my cards before giving a reading, sometimes I find that it feels good to spread all the cards out (smooshing!), smudge them with some sage and sweetgrass and stack them up again.
Happy shuffling fellow tarot readers!