Where is your intuition directed?
My intuition is focused on the shuffle, not the image on the card. Grab a card and look at that image. The creator of that card designed that card with a specific meaning in mind, that meaning is the value of the card. The moment intuition is used to understand that card or discern its value, the original value for that card, is void. If we could make any plea to all the tarot practitioners of the world it would be, ”stop guessing what the card means with your intuition.”
The meaning of the card, or the cards signature, is a fixed value. It is the order we have these cards that is variable and changing.
Lets have a thought experiment.
In this experiment there is only one kind of deck of tarot cards in the world. Everyone has learned the same meanings of these cards. Everyone knows the meaning of the cards so well; they don’t need pictures anymore they just need a card with a number. Everyone knows the value of the fifteenth card as well as the first as well as the fiftieth. The meanings of the cards are so well understood they are used to describe the landscapes of our psyche, the cards are road maps to our soul and all the events we encounter in life. Everyone finds they can communicate their emotional states and experiences to one another with these cards.
In this world there is no intuition involved with reading the cards, since the value of the cards are completely understood. Now that the value is always known, it becomes obvious that the intuition must be directed to the shuffle. It is the shuffle and the cutting of the cards that is bringing certain cards to the top of the deck that will give the spread the meaning that is read.
I have found that the shuffle is a meditation in and of itself. By shuffling the same over and over, shuffling becomes a mechanical movement, an action that the body goes through without any direction or conscious awareness. All awareness is directed towards the question or subject of the tarot spread.
At this point when shuffling comes without thought, is when intuition can take charge and lead the shuffling to stack the deck in it’s favor, so it can communicate the answers requested. In order to do this the shuffle has to be done with such a regular rhythm that intuition is enabled to do it’s magic. If the shuffle goes on too long, not long enough, or a different amount of cuts are made the wrong cards will be on the top.
How to build your shuffle
Before the shuffle make sure the spread has been decided on. With this choice intuition is being informed as to how many cards are going to be needed for the spread, and what type of thing each card will refer to. Make a conscious decision how you are going to shuffle, and then do that for the rest of your life. Don’t shuffle for so long it is impossible to keep track, don’t make the shuffle so short that it is not possible to re-stack the entire deck. Most importantly, NEVER CHANGE THE SHUFFLE YOU CHOOSE. The important thing is that the shuffle becomes complete muscle memory so that the focus is on the subject at hand and not the handling of the cards.
my personal shuffle
I shuffle three times then cut three times, shuffle three times and cut three times, and then finally shuffle three times and cut three times. Always cutting and breaking the deck with my non-dominant hand.
In a meditative state it requires only the lightest attention be to ensure the right number of shuffles and cuts are made. I have found this to be my sweet spot with more than enough shuffling to allow for an intuitive stacking of the deck, but not too long.
it is all about card control
It is nice that images on some cards connect with people. It is cool that artists are painting over the old stuffy religious cards with something fresh and new. It is more important to accept that cards need to be a complete system with a certain set of values. Values that cover a specific range of events and emotional states in order to communicate. Changing the meaning of one card necessitates the changing of other cards to reflect the new values. This is no small task, so let’s be mindful of our tarot, and not assign meanings where they are not meant to be.
It is now time to shuffle, shuffle, shuffle. Pull out those old decks you don’t really care for and beat them to death practicing. Shuffle till your hands hurt. Shuffle until you cannot count how many decks you have thrown in the garbage. Shuffle and shuffle and shuffle, shuffling should be your new fidget spinner. At some point it will just happen, effortlessly.
At that point the cards will become the bridge to your soul.