Have cards ever jumped out of the deck while you were shuffling them? It happens to me sometimes, no matter how careful I am. Sometimes it is clearly clumsy shuffling. Sometimes the jumping seems unaccountable. Jumping cards happen. The question is...do they mean anything and if so, how do incorporate that meaning into a reading? There is an old tarot saying: If it falls on the floor, it's at the door. We usually take that to mean, if a card comes out of the deck, it represents something that will happen very soon. I do have a fancy for some of the old, charming tarot practices (such as viewing the 9 of Cups as the Wish Card), and like to bring them into my practice in a modern and useful way. Here are a few methods of dealing with jumping cards that I've tried. As with all things tarot, it is best if you try any method a few times and decide for yourself what resonates and what doesn't.
  1. Pick it up, note what card it is, and put it back. If it comes up in the reading, pay special attention to it.
  2. Pick it up, put it off to the side, but bring it into the reading as a focal point.
  3. Pick it up, put it back in the deck, and ignore that it ever happened.
  4. Pick it up and use it as a significator.
  5. Pick it up and use it in the first position of the spread.
  6. Don't pick it up. Just kidding. This is never recommended!
  7. Thanks to Susa Morgan Black, a Facebook friend, who reminded me of another method. Consider them as a special "outside the box" message and continue on with the reading.
I usually toggle between the first two methods, relying on my intuition to help decide which one to apply in any particular reading.
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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 ...