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Meeting a New Deck

This post was written by Barbara Moore
on May 29, 2012 | Comments (8)

When you get a new deck, do you have a routine, ritual, or process for getting to know it? What do you do when you first unwrap a new deck?

I don’t always do this full process, but these are things that I like to do.

1. go through the cards quickly one by one in order, stopping to pay particular attention to ones that catch my eye or are my traditional favorites or are make/break cards for me. Faves include: High Priestess, Hermit, Temperance, 3 of Cups, 3 of Pentacles, 9 of Pentacles. Make/Break cards…Hierophant and Sun (I have an aversion to what I call “creepy kids” on the Sun card).

2. Lay out the cards in groups. For example, the minor suits in order, Ace – 10, and then all the Aces together, all the 2s together, etc., including all the Pages together, etc.

3. Lay out the Majors in order, 3 rows of 7 with the Fool at the top.

4. Do a reading about the deck and our potential relationship.

I do the first three things because I love the structure of tarot and like to see how (or if) the designer expresses that structure expresses that structure in a coherent way (or coherent in a way that I relate to). The fourth step is to get a sense of how it reads for me and what sort of work I am likely to do with the deck (such as general readings for others, readings for myself only, meditation, journaling, personal growth, or a combination of practices).

I’ve not added much to this in years. It’s always good to keep things fresh, so I’m interested: what do you do?

Reader Comments

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#1 
Written By Cathy Lynn
on May 29th, 2012 @ 10:15 am

I love the slipperyness of a new deck! But, I, too, go through and look at each and every card to get a feel for the theme of the deck. I pay particular attention to the Majors, the Courts, and the fives.

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#2 
Written By Fred
on May 29th, 2012 @ 10:28 am

I know in the Tarot Spread app for iPhones, there’s a New Deck Initiation spread. It’s helpful for learning the lessons the new deck will share with you.

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#3 
Written By Lynda
on May 29th, 2012 @ 11:20 am

I name all the court cards. I’ve only started doing this fairly recently but it’s now my favourite way of forging a connection with the deck.

I’m finding the names I choose tell me a lot about the personality of the deck, e.g. the Sacred Rose courts all have quite unusual names – the Page of Wands is Elk and the King of Cups is Desid – whereas the Anna K courts have quite ordinary names – Oliver as the Page of Cups, Arthur for the King of Pents.

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#4 
Written By Mychelle Munoz
on May 29th, 2012 @ 7:22 pm

I like to put them under my pillow each time I get a new deck and go to sleep thinking about what our relationship will be like. Sometimes I will have a vision about (a) certain card(s). When I do I take the time to work only on that card.

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#5 
Written By Ty
on May 30th, 2012 @ 6:42 am

I unwrap and check out my faves or ‘make or break’ as you put it”: The Fool, The Magician, The Chariot, the Hermit, The Hanged Man, The Three of Swords, The Eight of Swords, The Three of Cups, Two of Wands, The Eight of Wands, and the Three of Pentacles.

Then I put the deck face down on my bed & mix it up thoroughly, getting the cards nice and jumbled, reversed and upright and ready to read. Normaly, I use the deck in my monthly tarot meditations to get the feel before I use t for a reading per se, but sometimes I cannot resist and jump right in and use it for areading. As a matter of policy I’ll read it for myself first before reading for somebody else while I get the ‘vibe’ of the deck.

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#6 
Written By Andrea Buschman
on May 30th, 2012 @ 10:57 am

I recently received the new Steampunk Tarot deck and before I did anything with it, I set them in the sun on a windowsill while I looked through the book that came with them. I shuffled them for a while, looked through a few cards, shuffled them again, then laid them out on a silk scarf that hasn’t been used with any other deck. I thought about sleeping with them under my pillow (I’ve done that with other decks), but jumping in with some readings felt like the right thing to do. The cards are a bit thin and slick but beautiful!

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#7 
Written By Shannon
on May 31st, 2012 @ 6:58 pm

I sort of ‘live’ with the deck, after I’ve gone through it two or three times. It’s like I’m listening to the whispering of the cards.
Next I place the deck on my antique table, and wait until the moon is right, a silent signal, like chimes without a sound.
Then I use the deck. Much like you, by that time I know what the deck is suited for, personal use, journeying, or readings.
I haven’t changed my ways either.

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#8 
Written By Lori
on June 4th, 2012 @ 10:55 am

Some great ideas for working with a new deck.

I also tend to go thru the cards one by one and think about their symbolism and what I know about that cards meaning. Sometimes I have a problem connecting the usual “Meaning” to that version of the card and then I’ll look up the card in the booklet or book that came with the deck to see if they use the same meaning. I tend to be a very visual reader so really go off the clues of the card itself. Some of them really speak to me more than others and sometimes I find that deck useful for spellwork instead of readings. Every day has a particular feel to it that is hard to describe.

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