After Tuesday’s rather intense post, I thought we’d end the week on a lighter note. And what is lighter than Arts and Crafts time in tarotland?

If you are familiar with the tarot forum Aclectic Tarot, you may have heard about cropping cards. People crop cards for a few reasons. One is if the cards are over-sized, they may not feel comfortable to shuffle, particularly for people with small hands. Another is if a person finds a particular border treatment distracting. The border may seem too large or may contain the card name in several languages. I have only cropped one deck so far. My reason was because it was a non-RWS style deck and I wanted to use it without referring to my mental deck. As long as I could see the card names, I would default to my mental deck. So, I cut the names off! The deck is the Universal Fantasy Tarot and is, of course, the one I will use in the example below. I used the cards I pulled for my NaNoWriMo spreads (for ideas for the setting) and ironically enough they are cards that are among the few in this deck that do reflect a RWS influence.

Cropping a deck is a bit of a tedious work and takes time, but it is not hard. I borrowed (from a scrapbooker) a small paper cutter and a corner rounder. The paper cutter insured straight lines. The corner rounder is a little tool like a die that, well, rounds the corners. If you plan to crop many decks you will want to invest in a good quality rounder. After cropping my deck, I gathered it into a pile and used very fine sandpaper to smooth the edges. Then I applied fanning powder to each card.

I really enjoy using the cropped deck, as it really encourages me to use my intuition and imagination. Below are samples of the cards I pulled to describe the setting for my novel in both their original and cropped states. If you decide to crop a deck, you may not want a spare uncropped one, but I did.

Have you ever cropped a deck? If so, do you pictures posted (I would love to see them)? Would you ever? Why or why not?


Written by Barbara Moore
The tarot has been a part of Barbara Moore’s personal and professional lives for over a decade. In college, the tarot intrigued her with its marvelous blending of mythology, psychology, art, and history. Later, she served as the tarot specialist for Llewellyn Publications. Over the years, she has ...