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Shuffling Tips from Readers, a Secret Weapon, and NaNo Update

This post was written by Barbara Moore
on November 3, 2009 | Comments (5)

A while back, I posted about shuffling techniques and invited readers to share their shuffling techniques. There were some excellent ideas and I wanted to highlight a few, plus add one of my own.

Catherine says

I’ve heard some pretty crazy methods and ways to shuffle and cut, but like most things in Tarot, I don’t believe there’s a right or a wrong way – just a lot of talking points! Perhaps one of the only things I really agree with is allowing the client to shuffle the cards as I feel this provides them with a sense of ownership over the reading, making it more pertinent to them – they shuffled after all! I don’t believe they put their energy or essence into the cards, the Tarot reader is the channel, but I believe it can be beneficial to their experience of the reading .

*It is interesting that she doesn’t think of shuffling as a way for the client to transfer energy to the cards because the reader is the channel.

Douglas comments:

I tend to be more concerned with how they cut the cards more than how they shuffle. As strange as this sounds, I’ve found that the “cut” can help the client feel more connected with the process. The shuffle does that as well – but the shuffle seems to produce a “feeling of relaxation” and the cut a “focus” in the people I read for.

*I like the idea of thinking of shuffling as relaxing and cutting as focusing.

Rose says:

As a reader, I don’t allow my clients to shuffle the cards. Often, it’s awkward for them because their hands are used to shuffling a playing card deck rather than larger-sized Tarot cards. I start by shuffling the cards myself, then I usually ask them to place their hand on the deck after I lay it on the table in front of them (and yes, I usually ask for left hand–I still follow a ritual from when I was 16 and started reading) as they think of their question or situation. I then ask them to cut the cards into three piles and then pile them into one any way they like. I then pick up the cards and deal the throw or spread off the top. I use this method for myself as well.

Zanna shares her favorite method:

I feel that the traditional style of shuffling (the poker shuffle, if you will) is much to hard on the cards. I do a push-pull type of shuffle while meditating on the question and focusing on tuning in to the client. I generally close my eyes while I shuffle and cut the cards. I then use what Norma Cowie calls the Ninth Card Method, where I count down to the ninth card, turn it up in the first position, then count down to the next ninth card, etc. Why? Because I tried it a few times and liked the results. It’s that simple.

Secret Shuffling Weapon

I feel very certain that I shared this already, but I cannot find where. Because I was recently reminded how much I love this tip, I had to talk about it again. My favorite secret shuffling weapon is fanning powder. Fanning powder is powder that stage magicians use on their cards to help them shuffle better. I think it cuts down on friction so the whole experience feels so much smoother. When I first got my powder a few years ago, I applied it to all my favorite decks. Well, I’ve gotten some new decks since then and haven’t taken the time to powder them. Last week, I worked with a deck I had powdered and was so pleased with the smoothness of the shuffle. The cards just felt so wonderful in my hands. So, get yourself some fanning powder. Totally worth it.

NaNoWriMo Update

National Novel Writing Month started on Sunday. I didn’t start until yesterday and am up to 1600 words, focusing mostly on introducing the characters. The protagonist and protagonist’s foil now have names: Juliana and Alice, respectively (thank you, Leigh, for Juliana’s name). Still working on the plot…I’ll write about my funny but sad/pitiful attempt at scrying a plot on Thursday, so check back!

Reader Comments

Written By Alayna Williams
on November 3rd, 2009 @ 9:13 am

I’m doing NanoWriMo this month, as well…though I’m off to a slow start! I’m also using the Tarot to help guide my story (as well as subject matter). Looking forward to read your experience about plot scrying!

Written By Catherine
on November 3rd, 2009 @ 9:47 am

Hi Barbara,

Thank you for including me in your post – awesome!

As for the powder, I’ve never heard of that – is there a brand you can recommend, or even where I could buy some?

Many thanks,


Written By Bonnie Cehovet
on November 3rd, 2009 @ 9:57 am

I love the fanning powder trick – I am going to have to try that with my cards. As for the thought that the clients eergy does not go into the cards – IMHO, it does, and I want it to. This is why we clear our cards, after all. 😉

Written By Joanne
on November 3rd, 2009 @ 10:30 am

Thanks for highlighting these specific tips. I have never heard of fanning powder but will definitely try some. It sounds like it would help when shuffling the larger decks.

Written By Barbara Moore
on November 3rd, 2009 @ 10:51 am

I got my fanning powder a few years ago from an online magic shop. I don’t remember which one and container doesn’t say. I think any magic shop’s fanning powder would be fine. It is inexpensive…less than $5 for a container. Catherine, I’d see if there was a magic shop near you and if not, just google fanning powder and you’ll find place.

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