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Laying of the cards

Thread originally posted on the Aeclectic Tarot Forum on 15 Jun 2002, and now archived in the Forum Library.

LeoLady  15 Jun 2002 
Hi, as a newbie, can someone clarify how you 'deal' the cards? I know about the cutting of the pack 3 times etc....but do you deal the cards face up staight away? or do you deal face down then turn them over one by one? This i assume is quite important as the turn of the cards will signify which way up they're supposed to be! 

Emily  15 Jun 2002 
Hi smuttyangel,

I hold the deck in my right hand and deal with my left, I turn the cards instead of flipping them, to flip them would be to reverse them.
I usually deal them and turn them at the same time although I know some readers will lay the whole spread out face down and don't turn the cards until the spread is ready. Its really up to you how you do it - I don't think it matters - just do what feels right for you :) 

Maan  15 Jun 2002 
I agree with Emily, Smuttyangel ist all up to you ;)

I don't even deal the cards.. i fan them ( learned that word "fan" here on the forums ;) ) and then pick the cards out one by one. I put them face down in the right position and after the whole spread is drown i turn them over.

Keslynn  15 Jun 2002 
I agree with the others about doing what feels right, but it is nice to see the variety of methods others use. Experiment until you find something that works out for you. If someone mentions something interesting, give it a go. As for me, I don't pay very much attention to whether I have the cards in my right or left. I turn the top card "like opening a book" (from Joan Bunning) and then put it down face up. I think I might try laying them all face down now that I've read the other responses. I like seeing the spread unfold as I lay down each card but I also like the idea of revealing it all at once. Keep the impressions fresh and immediate.

:) Kes 

jade  16 Jun 2002 
if you first lay them all down, facedown, and then turn them over all at once.......a boost of intuition hits you and assists you in reading the cards.

but, follow your intuition with it.

in light,

Diana  16 Jun 2002 

Starfish  16 Jun 2002 
I also feel that it's a matter of personal preference. I shuffle my decks sometimes, fan some times (read that some did that here on the forum; decided to try it out and really like - especially for larger sized cards). I turn my cards, laying them face down in a spread to begin with.

I love reading about everyone's preferences :)

:TQC Starfish 

AutumnMoonfire  16 Jun 2002 
I tend to lay my cards face down turning them as I read them. I try not to have reversals but if one comes up reversed I read it that way.

I started with a round deck, I cannot shuffle and I used to put them face down and stir them up. Since I was righting all cards at the time it worked ok. 

mondk  16 Jun 2002 
I never read a book with tarot instructions or anything prior to learning the tarot. Perhaps it would do me a world of good to purchase a "tarot basics" book...but here is what I have done ever since starting and my readings have been accurate over 95% of the time so far, so I think it probably should just be based on your gut intuition. Ah, I digress...forgive me.

Anyway, I have my querent shuffle the deck until they feel it is enough, then they hand the deck back to me and I hold the cards up, then let them fall into piles from my right hand. Sometimes I get as little as a 3 card spread, I've gotten as many as a seven-card spread. Then I turn over all of them in that line and read them, like a sentence. I usually don't read them card by card, but read all the "words"/cards together...since they usually make more sense to me that way.

Does anyone else do it the same way I do or am I doing it so totally wrong?? (LOL)

Blessings to all, Michelle 

Starfish  16 Jun 2002 
Michelle -

Cool - I think your way sounds neat! I'd love to see it done that way. Maybe I'll try it for myself and see how it feels.

:TQC Starfish 

HudsonGray  16 Jun 2002 
I'm one of those that 'flips', it's how I was taught to deal off the top of the deck. I shuffle till it feels right, then take the card with my right hand & flip it so what was the bottom is now the top. If you do that all the time then your deck knows you read that way & accomodates you. Never had any trouble with it either! The person who taught me did it this way also.

Usually I put them face up so they're all out on the table to be seen, not face down. But I tend to close my eyes & say the card positions to myself as I lay them out, so I do see them all at once when I open my eyes. I do the larger layouts with half lidded eyes, not looking at the images but placing the cards in the right place, then open & focus on them. 

Umbrae  17 Jun 2002 
Sometimes I flip (deal), sometimes the sitter chooses. It makes no diffeence. The difference begins with what happens next.

My advice.

Begin with three card spreads. Begin doing 3 card readings (for others). Do them for-ever. Do a lot of them.

Buy a spiral notebook. Use it as a Journal (very important). Write down every reading (both cards and your interpretation).

Only read for yourself no more than once a week.

Three card readings are versatile, and accurate. More cards do not always mean better readings (but they look good on tv).

Read books (but remember they are a reference tool, not a reverence tool) (I recommend “Tarot Reversals” by Mary Greer. 3 card spreads? Page 215.

Read old posts on this site.

also, for spreads: 

Phoenix  17 Jun 2002 
I agree with what Umbrae said!!! 

LeoLady  26 Jun 2002 
Hi there,

I've now got the Mary Hanson-Roberts deck (it's a little pocket version) but need a good book to start with, preferably one with picture dedicated to each card with description of reversed meanings too...any recommendations guys? 

Keslynn  26 Jun 2002 
There is a wide variety of opinions on the topic but there are also a few books that are considered tarot bibles. Check out this thread for more info:

:) Kes 

The Laying of the cards thread was originally posted on 15 Jun 2002 in the Using Tarot Cards board, and is now archived in the Forum Library. Read the threads in Using Tarot Cards, or read more archived threads.

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