Aeclectic Tarot
Dedicated to the diversity and beauty of Tarot since 1996

    · Tarot Decks   · Tarot Meanings   · Tarot Forum   · Home

Tarot Decks Tarot Card Meanings Free Tarot Readings Forum Community What's New
Library Index

*shuffle shuffle*

Thread originally posted on the Aeclectic Tarot Forum on 02 Jul 2002, and now archived in the Forum Library.

napaea  02 Jul 2002 
Saturday I had a professional tarot reading, which was excellent.
As I sat and waited patiently for my reader to start, she began shuffling the cards. Splitting the deck in two, she began shuffling like a vegas dealer at the blackjack table, and it was all i could do to keep my eyeballs in my head!! :eek:

I was told - in no uncertain terms - that you should NEVER shuffle your deck like playing cards. Holding them in your hands and doing the side-by-side shuffle was ok, swirling on the table was ok, laying them all out and picking was ok, but never ''card-style" shuffling.

Why is this? I mean, she did it and my reading was amazingly accurate. So why would someone tell me that shuffling like that does something to the energy? Is this true? Help! 

Phoenix  02 Jul 2002 
I shuffle like this all the time. Different people have different methods. The person who told you this probably thought that this manner of shuffling would damage the cards. 

Diana  02 Jul 2002 

Lee  02 Jul 2002 
I would personally much prefer to shuffle that way (i.e. playing-card-shuffle), but I never do because I'm afraid that over time, the edges will start fraying. Of course, I've never stuck with one deck long enough to have that be a problem. :)

If I were to use the Rider-Waite deck, I wouldn't worry about it, but I wouldn't do it for a deck that might be hard to replace.

-- Lee 

Diana  02 Jul 2002 

zorya  02 Jul 2002 
i had heard that shuffling them that way would scatter the energies. so i never did shuffle like playing cards, even though it is more fun. but, i don't really believe that there is a right or wrong way to shuffle. do whatever works for you. i'm afraid i'm somewhat of a creature of habit, so i still slide them in longways. 

Maan  02 Jul 2002 
it woud not feel right for me to shuffle them like that. And i can't shuffel like that anyway :(

But if i could i would be afraid to "hurt" them

Ectually i don't know anyone who shuffels like that at all. Not even friend whom i play card games with and now nothin about tarot. 

Diana  02 Jul 2002 

zorya  02 Jul 2002 
hey thanks diana!
riffling! that was the word i was looking for! these shuffling threads often confuse me. haha
(you could never waste anyone's time here) 

cricket  02 Jul 2002 
I've always riffle shuffled. Instead of 'scattering' the energy, I've found that it just 'mixes' the energy well. It does damage the edges of the cards eventually (after a couple of years of shuffling literally hundreds of times every day) but is also very comfortable. 

Emily  02 Jul 2002 
I can't riffle a normal deck of cards so I wouldn't stand a chance with a tarot deck lol I have small hands and even with my Rider Waite when I shuffle, card over card, sometimes cards fling themselves from the deck lol Doesn't happen too much with my Spiral but thats a smaller deck. :) 

Starfish  02 Jul 2002 
I shuffle my cards like playing cards too. It's the method that works the best for me and I find it calming to shuffle my decks.

:TWHEE Starfish 

truthsayer  03 Jul 2002 
i riffled shuffled my first deck the hoi polloi that way for 10 years until i got a new deck. by the time i got the new deck the edges were definitely fraying and the cards were getting difficult to shuffle. i rarely riffle any more b/c of this. the only reason i would riffle is if i wasn't satisfied that the cards were thoroughly shuffled. they do seem to mix better that way. i certainly wouldn't do that w/ the collection of costly decks i've accumalated! <<>> ;) 

Faerie Lin  03 Jul 2002 
Wow, I guess this goes to show everyone has there own unique way of interacting with their tarot cards, I shuffle them like playing cards.... I was a blackjack dealer in my previous life. :D


Diana  03 Jul 2002 

Lee  03 Jul 2002 
What I do when I want to ensure the deck is well-shuffled is, I deal out the pack in 7 piles, i.e. one in the first pile, the next in the second pile, etc. Then I gather up the piles and shuffle hand-over-hand.

-- Lee 

Geenius at Wrok  03 Jul 2002 
Originally posted by Diana
Lee, would it matter if a much-loved deck had frayed edges? Do the wrinkles on a dear grandmother's face bother anyone? :)
Ha! Great metaphor, Diana.

Count me as another riffler. I wouldn't trust the mix if I shuffled any other way. Although when Napaea claimed that her reader shuffled "like a Vegas dealer," maybe she was suggesting that she not only riffle-shuffled but bridged the cards (that's when you bend the two stacks into an arch and the cards seem to fly back together into a pileómy sister can do that, but I can't, envy envy). 

Lee  03 Jul 2002 
Originally posted by Geenius at Wrok
maybe she was suggesting that she not only riffle-shuffled but bridged the cards (that's when you bend the two stacks into an arch and the cards seem to fly back together into a pileómy sister can do that, but I can't, envy envy).

I would think it would be *better* if you bridged them, because then, after bending them one way to do the shuffle, you'd be bending them the other way, which might help prevent a permanent bend in the cards.

Or you could just make sure and shuffle them face up instead of face down half the time.

-- Lee 

RedWood  03 Jul 2002 
I riffle the smaller decks like hanson-roberts then bridge them to make sure the dont just keep getting bent one way..the bigger decks i might do piles depending on what i feel like. 

tigerlily  03 Jul 2002 
I'm learning so many new words here ... shuffle, riffle, bridge ... are there more? :D I can riffle/bridge (loooong Rommť sessions with my family ... don't ask), but it never occured to me to do it with Tarot (now this sounds somehow ... dirty ;) ). I don't know, it lacks this certain - meditative atmosphere. But then I'm always worried that the cards aren't thoroughly mixed. Perhaps I hould try out the riffle... 

destinyawaitsme  03 Jul 2002 
I am a riffer! I noticed that it does wear on my cards so I try to switch back to the hand over hand or "78 card pickup" but it just doesn't feel the same. I don't feel as comfortable with my readings. I'm sure it's all psychological. But I think shuffling is clearly up to the reader's discretion. I always kind of liked my decks looking a little worn. People thought that I had been reading a lot longer than I really have. ;) 

Lee  03 Jul 2002 
You know, I think Diana has the key to the universe here -- if we fan the cards and select them at random, rather than deal off the top, then it's not so vital that the deck be thoroughly shuffled. I think I'm going to try that.

-- Lee 

Diana  03 Jul 2002 

Lee  03 Jul 2002 
Well, Diana, you should try Miss Cleo's Four Doors spread (I know its described here somewhere), where you lay out four piles, then keep flipping over the cards to form new rows. That's lots of flipping! Actually it's kind of fun to flip. Don't worry, I'm out of tomaitoes at the moment. :D

-- Lee 

Jimilyn  04 Jul 2002 
I riffle and bridge. I learned to do that from my paternal grandfather when I was a girl. I used to always think it was sooooooo cool and practiced so hard to learn. I just feel more comfortable riffling. I never feel like I get a good enough shuffle when I don't riffle. I don't fan my cards since I do a lot of my readings at my desk...which has a computer and a printer on it.

I don't have a special place set up to do readings. If I did, I might actually try the fanning technique to select cards. But I always worry I'll pick the wrong one. I don't know why I'm worried about picking the wrong cards if I don't worry about shuffling them too much or not enough or cutting the deck in the wrong place. LOL!

Such idiosyncracies...but it keeps life interesting. ;)


Marion  04 Jul 2002 
Originally posted by destinyawaitsme
I am a riffler! I noticed that it does wear on my cards so I try to switch back to the hand over hand or "78 card pickup" but it just doesn't feel the same. I don't feel as comfortable with my readings. I'm sure it's all psychological.

Agree!! And, some decks will just not riffle. My Templar Tarot for example could not be riffled. Cards are large and almost square, plus they seem to be of unusual thickness and texture. And the Osho Zen resists riffling though I can do it. But generally, I agree with destinyawaitsme, they don't feel properly shuffled unless I riffle them. 

tigerlily  04 Jul 2002 
Can you teach me the trick of fanning out the cards properly? I always have chunks of cards that don't fan out or cards that slip out of the fan ... and no, it's too many cards to make up a spread of them ... 

napaea  04 Jul 2002 
i have found that even if all the cards don't lay down evenly or spread all the way out, people will find the cards they want.
i did 2 readings last night, 2 different people and different decks.
both of them dug under several cards to pull out the one that was "calling" to them. one even goes" all right! all right! you're number one" while pulling out the first card. so i don't think you need to worry about how they are fanned out.

but sometimes if i want to see all the cards, i'll make 2 rows of them so i have more room to spread them to look at them.
hope that makes sense. 

wetsheep1  04 Jul 2002 
I'm another riffler/bridger; for me it comes from loooooong years of bloodlust pinochle with my family. The tarot decks I have are indeed larger than regular decks of poker cards, but the more I work with them the less odd it seems.

Nevertheless, I get "popouts" too sometimes -- cards that just jump right out of the deck while I'm shuffling along minding my own business. Since they usually do their thing after I've been shuffling a bit, I usually take the popouts as a cue to quit shuffling, that the deck is ready to tell me its news. I use the card(s) that popped out as significator(s) in the reading, and adjust my spread to accomodate accordingly -- meaning, for example, that if I'd originally intended to use a Celtic Cross spread, I might reconsider and use a time spread or something instead. It just depends on what pops out and my own sensitivity :)

Be well, all! Blessings......

Geenius: You've got Thoth on your blouth.
Sheep: Oh! Spot on -- thank you for noticing. Would you mind trotting it to the cleaners, then?

Wet "You can clean me up but you can't take me out" Sheep ;) 

fairyhedgehog  04 Jul 2002 
I've been using the 'take a large chunk of cards from the bottom of the deck, and add them in smaller chunks to the top of the deck' method, supplemented by the 'divide the deck into two equal chunks and mash them together' technique. (If anyone can supply the jargon, I'd be grateful.)

Then I got the Inner Child cards.

I don't really like them, but I'm determined to give them a chance. I've made them a bag and a spread cloth and .... I've started to riffle*. Cos I can't see any other way to handle these cards, they are HUGE.

So, maybe different decks demand different methods? I'd /love/ to learn the bridge method, but we need video before I could learn that online :)

*riffle = take two equal chunks, hold the corners of each chunk slightly overlapping, and use your thumbs to make them riffle down interleaved at the corners. Yes? 

Diana  04 Jul 2002 

Lee  04 Jul 2002 
Originally posted by fairyhedgehog
*riffle = take two equal chunks, hold the corners of each chunk slightly overlapping, and use your thumbs to make them riffle down interleaved at the corners. Yes?

Yes. :)

Here's how I understand it...

*First* you riffle, as fairyhedgehog describes.

*Then* you bridge. After riffling, the two chunks are on the table, still in two separate chunks but with the corners or tops interleaved. Then you pick up the whole thing in your hands, and bend the whole thing so that you form a bridge with the interleaved part at the top (this is so hard to describe.)

Then you let the cards fall into a pile together in your hands, which if you do it right makes a satisfying snapping noise.

Somebody, *please*, describe this better than I have.

-- Lee 

Marion  04 Jul 2002 
Originally posted by Lee

Somebody, *please*, describe this better than I have.

Not possible... perfect. :) 

Diana  04 Jul 2002 

VGimlet  04 Jul 2002 
As both a riffler and a bridger, I tried to change my ways when I read about all the damage it could do to my cards. :eek:

But, after trying several alternatives (one of which actually tore a bit of the backing off one of my Aquarian Tarot cards) I am back to my old ways, at least with the decks I read with all the time. })

I still might try the 78 card pick-up method with my more fragile or irreplacable decks. 

Major Tom  05 Jul 2002 
Originally posted by Diana
Huh?? :confused:

I seem to be bridging without riffling first.

I'm going paranoid here - I think you guys are doing this all on purpose to confuse me. If you continue, I will have to report you to a moderator. (oops - I am a moderator. Major Tom: I need your help!).

I'm going to bed and will go and riffle-bridge-shuffle in my dreams.


I'm an invenerate riffler and bridger me. At least if the deck isn't too large for me to bridge (like my new favorite Mountain Dream Tarot) in which case I only riffle...

Actually Diana, I don't think it's physically possible to bridge without riffling first. At least if mixing the cards is your purpose. }) 

Diana  05 Jul 2002 

Faerie Lin  05 Jul 2002 
Hmmm, maybe this will help more?

Riffling is when your thumbs are in action, sliding up on the cards' edges/sides for the 2 piles to overlap each other.

And bridging is when you kinda push the two piles together (with an arch) and let the cards fall more into place into one pile.

Geez, I think I confused MYSELF...

wait.. do "I" have it wrong? lol

I'm with Diana, send me a video!! lol


Major Tom  05 Jul 2002 
Originally posted by Diana
Major Tom: I asked for help, and now you're confusing me even more. This is most unfair.

Have a look at this site:

Picture 2 shows riffling. Picture 3 shows bridging. I hope this helps clear things up. :) 

Lee  05 Jul 2002 
Ack! Picture 2 reminds me why I don't riffle. Look at that bend! Actually, since most tarot decks are longer than what that person is shuffling, you wouldn't need to bend the cards to that alarming degree. You can gently bend them, and they'll still interleave as they fall. Then you can do a gentle bend for the bridge. That way, they'll still be a little separate after they fall, and you can then just push the two sections together. This would hopefully preserve your cards a little more.

Great pictures, thanks, Major Tom!

-- Lee 

fairyhedgehog  05 Jul 2002 
Yes, thanks for the pictures Major Tom.

I'm not nearly that rough when I riffle my Inner Child cards - they cost too much ;)

But I shall have a go riffling and bridging with some ordinary playing cards and see how I get on. You never know, I might even get good at shuffling one day :) 

napaea  05 Jul 2002 
major tom! you are the bomb! great pics to help out around here...way to go :)
i can do the riffle and bridge, but i'm still too chicken to do it to my decks!! i just think they'll be mad at me, like i'm forcing them to do yoga poses or something! 

Sam  05 Jul 2002 
Originally posted by Phoenix
I shuffle like this all the time. Different people have different methods. The person who told you this probably thought that this manner of shuffling would damage the cards.

i agree w/ phoenix. i shuffle "card shuffling style" also. 

Sorceress_Jade  06 Jul 2002 
I'm a riffler too. Though sometimes I do the side shuffle thing to see what the deck will throw out at me. Not a swirly mush person. Though I've done the fan thing, I just find it a bit tedious to pick out cards. (it seems to take me a long time to find the right ones)

I will admit that riffling wears on your cards tho. So far I can see the wear mostly on the back images of the cards. And it bends them of course. My over sided Thoth deck is going to look awfully strange soon, I can see the bend lengthwise coming on. 

Ravenswing  06 Jul 2002 
just to confuse matters--

i shuffle for contemplation (or grounding. or just to get in touch. maybe it's a security blanket type of thing :) ). it's a nice gentle mantra-like thing. nice and slow, switching from hand to hand. kind of hard to describe...
left hand shuffles evenly into right hand over a few times, right hand pulls randomly out of left, making two 'stacks' that fall together-- then repeat. i'll do this on and on and ommm....

(a lot of times i'll stop without even turning over a card... just the feel of them, the motion-- almost like staring out into the ocean, then suddenly realizing that it's in front of you)

for reading, i'll shuffle a bit then riffle and bridge. repeat... this gives me a much 'higher' energy (i guess 'dynamic' might be a better word here) flow. and you always know when to stop-- right?? and watch for those flying cards :D

has anybody actually worn cards to the point of needing a new deck?


jade  06 Jul 2002 
i haven't. i've been shuffling my cards like a 'card deck' for years and years and years and they are still looking beautiful :D

in light,
jade :D 

napaea  06 Jul 2002 
wow, jade, i am so glad to hear that! i read a book by a professional reader, and he uses one deck only, and says he has to buy a new deck i think twice a year! sheesh! 

Lee  06 Jul 2002 
Originally posted by stevepolsz
has anybody actually worn cards to the point of needing a new deck?

Perhaps it also has to do with *how much* one riffles and bridges. For example, if one riffles and bridges seven times before laying the cards out (as opposed to doing it hand-over-hand a few times and then riffling/bridging once) then the cards will wear out seven times faster.

-- Lee 

The *shuffle shuffle* thread was originally posted on 02 Jul 2002 in the Using Tarot Cards board, and is now archived in the Forum Library. Read the active threads in Using Tarot Cards, or read more archived threads.


Tarot Forum Categories
· Tarot Decks
· Using Tarot Cards
· Tarot Trading
· Talking Tarot
· Reading Exchange
· Your Readings
· Tarot Games & Fun
· Professional Tarot
· Marseilles
· Rider-Waite-Smith
· Thoth Tarot
· Tarot Study Groups
· Lenormand
· Oracles
· Divination
· Spirituality
· Chat
· New Members
· Advertisements
· Forum Help

Aeclectic Tarot Categories
· Dark & Gothic Decks
· Steampunk Decks
· Goddess Decks
· Angel Decks
· Fairy Decks
· Dragon Decks
· Beginner Decks
· Pagan & Wiccan Decks
· Ancient Egyptian Decks
· Celtic Decks
· Fantasy Decks
· Beginner Books
· Lenormand Decks
· Rider-Waite Decks
· Marseilles Decks
· Thoth Decks
· Oracle Decks
· Doreen Virtue Decks
· Popular Tarot Decks
· Available Decks
· Upcoming Decks
· Solandia's Top Ten
· Top Ten Decks
· List All Decks

Who is behind the Aeclectic Tarot Forum?

My name is Kate Hill (also known as Solandia) and I'm a Tarot reader, deck collector, and lifelong student of the beauty and diversity of Tarot cards.

I created Aeclectic in 1996 to share my passion for Tarot with the world, and started the forum in 2000 so others could share theirs too. Contact me via email or here at the forum.

  Contribute to Aeclectic

· Add your deck
· Write a review
· Join the community

Get new deck updates via email
  Aeclectic Tarot Resources

Copyright © Aeclectic Tarot. All rights reserved.