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Querants and shuffling

Thread originally posted on the Aeclectic Tarot Forum on 29 Aug 2002, and now archived in the Forum Library.

Sulis  29 Aug 2002 
I`m not used to doing readings for other people, well I`ve done some practice ones but that`s about it. My question is: Do you usually get the querant to shuffle the deck themselves before the reading? What happens if they don`t know how to shuffle cards? I know some people who`ve never shuffled cards in their lives.


Crystalmynx xx 

Val  29 Aug 2002 
I have the querent shuffle the deck. This is my presonal preference as there are many readers who will do the shuffing of the deck themselves.

If the querent does not know how to shuffle or has difficulty in shuffling cards that are larger than the standard pack of playing cards or has some kind of problem with their hands (arthritis, for example), they can spread the deck on the reading surface & mix them up, kinda like finger painting (can't think of any other way to desrcibe this!). I think this "mish-mash" way of mixing the cards is just as effective as basic shuffling. 

Laurel  29 Aug 2002 
No, I shuffle my own cards while listening to the querent's question and have a pseudo-scientific reason behind it: there's evidence that people listen better and retain more information when their hands are busy (taking notes, doodling, shuffling cards).

I have the querents cut the deck into three piles and put it back together however they choose in order to for them to feel that they too have something "invested" into the reading.


Sorceress_Jade  29 Aug 2002 
Thanx Laurel, you just gave me an excuse to use for why I twirl my pen endlessly in class. It drives my teacher nuts... but it's better then clicking it right?

Anyway, I like your point of view on the cutting. As mostly a way for them to feel as though they've contributed to their own reading. I can imagine it would do quite a bit for their focus as well.

Personally I'm still dealing with issues on other people touching my cards, particularly when i'm reading, so I don't have the querrent cut or shuffle. I can do readings over distance for people who don't touch them, therefore I can do them in person as welll... Right? 

Rhiannon  29 Aug 2002 
I usually shuffle the cards and then offer the querent the chance to shuffle, cut or whatever they feel is neccessary. Usually they just cut the cards into 2 piles. Then I take the bottom and put it on the top. Very few will actually choose to handle the cards more than that.

Strega, I don't think it's neccessary to have the querent shuffle if it makes you uncomfy. I agree that if you can read long distance without it, then you can read in person without it.

R :) 

marmalade  29 Aug 2002 
if i'm doing a reading for someone else, then i let them shuffle. i've done readings for other people online before (on irc a few years ago!) and how i did those was i'd shuffle and they'd tell me when to stop.

i just feel in person it's better to have the querant shuffle so the cards can feel that person's energy, and give a more accurate reading. although, i can understand not wanting other people to touch your cards (personally i'm scared of people bending them etc), but i think people pass on their energy into the cards, and over time make the cards wiser :) 

Val  29 Aug 2002 
Originally posted by marmalade
..., but i think people pass on their energy into the cards, and over time make the cards wiser :)

Yes, marmalade! I've always felt the same when it came to other folks shuffling my deck. It's as if the more people the deck is 'introduced' to, the more life experience it gained. 

isthmus nekoi  29 Aug 2002 
I'll third that motion! Knowing many different people have shuffled my Rider Waite deck gives me the confidence to read b/c I feel the deck is experienced and confident. Also, it's almost like my RW enjoys being handled by other ppl. Sometimes, when I haven't read w/it for others, I get the impression that it gets antsy :P (Hmm. I wouldn't want anyone touching my Vertigo deck though - the stock is too fragile.)

One last thought: keep a keen eye on querents who've had a pint or two when they shuffle. Even if they seem straight you might want to watch for flying cards just in case! 

Minderwiz  29 Aug 2002 
I have come across querents who feel that they should be involved in shuffling the deck and seem most put out if they are not asked. Others are quite content to allow me to do the shuffling whilst listening to their question.

I think it comes down to which is most comfortable in the reading you are undertaking. If your querent wants to shuffle or you want them to then do it. If you would rather not have them shuffle and they show no desire to shuffle then just deal. If you want to involve them in cutting the deck then do it.

Again it is what is most comfortable and therefore what contributes to a good atmosphere in which you can do your reading.


Sullanciri2002  30 Aug 2002 
in regards to the issue of not wanting others to touch (or mishandle) your cards ... I've always found it best to keep things simple: one or more decks you read with for others, and thus allow them to touch or shuffle - and one deck nobody gets his/her paws on, not ever (usually it's the last deck I bought and am most fond of at the time - it's that deck that I use exclusively to read for myself or to meditate on, and not even the wife is allowed to paw it. She is, however, allowed to paw me all she likes, which compensates well enough - LOL) 

Alissa  30 Aug 2002 
Funny this should come up -- yesterday I was doing a reading for a freind, and I had her shuffle and cut the cards until she felt they were ready to be dealt. The reading was terrible, so bad. I couldn't connct with anything the cards were saying, and nothing made sense to her.

So I picked them back up without even finishing, and shuffled several times then laid out a new and different spread. Several cards came back in the 2nd reading, which I felt affirmed about, but I still had a less than perfect reading.

And I've been wondering if it was bcause the querent shuffled and not me. I dont mind people touching my cards, im ok with that. And I've done different things in the past while reading for others, sometimes they shuffle or cut some or I do, or both. So I guess my point is I'm still feeling this one out with my Cards and figuring it out too. 

The Querants and shuffling thread was originally posted on 29 Aug 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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