Lessons In Tarot – Lesson 8(a): Shuffling Methods

Lesson 8(a)

Shuffling Methods

  1. Card Player’s Method
    The Card Player’s Method is commonly used to shuffle everyday playing cards. Hold about half the cards face down in each hand and intermingle them as they drop to the surface of the table. This technique mixes the cards thoroughly, but it can be awkward because most tarot cards are bigger than normal. This method is also hard on your cards. They tend to form a bend in the middle. The Card Player’s Method is effective, but somewhat mechanical in spirit. 
  2. Insertion Method
    Hold about half the deck in each hand, and insert one half in a scattered fashion down through the other half. You can hold the cards on their long or short side. This method is fast, efficient and composed with a lot of hand-to-card contact. Be careful with the edges as they can fray over time. 
  3. Cowie Push/Put Method
    In Tarot for Successful Living, Norma Cowie describes her push/put shuffling method. Her technique thoroughly mixes the cards with maximum hand contact and little or no damage. Hold the deck face down in your dominant hand. Push some cards from the top with your thumb into the other hand. Then, push again, but this time to the bottom of the new pile. Continue alternating a push to the top, then one to the bottom until all the cards have been transferred. At this point, put the entire deck back into your dominant hand and start over. This method can be difficult at first. You may push too many or drop some, but your technique will improve with practice. 
  4. Scrambling Method
    The Scrambling Method is about as basic as you can get. Spread all the cards face down on the floor or table, and start scrambling. This technique creates a good mix with few ill effects on the cards. The main drawback is that you need room. This shuffle also has a rather uncomposed feel which some find undesirable.
To Avoid Reversed Cards: To Encourage Reversed Cards:
Start with your cards all facing the same direction.
Every time you divide the deck before shuffling,
make sure the two piles stay facing the same way.
Every time you divide the deck before shuffling,
rotate one of the piles 180 degrees.
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