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Cutting the deck

Thread originally posted on the Aeclectic Tarot Forum on 17 Sep 2002, and now archived in the Forum Library.

the hermit  17 Sep 2002 
My granddaddy taught me to always cut the cards...

We've talked about shuffling in several threads and a little about cutting but let's talk about who cuts the deck, how and why...

Most of the time I don't let the querent handle my deck much.
I usually only let them cut the cards.

When i'm doing a 3 card spread (the one I use the most) I tell them to cut the cards into 3 piles and then I draw the top card from each pile left to right (my left to right). The reason I do it this way is that's the way my first teacher taught us.

When I'm doing larger spreads I generally let them cut the deck as much as they want then pick up the piles in reverse order and deal the spread. Same as above... that's the way my first teacher did it.

How about y'all?
How do you cut and why? 

Maan  17 Sep 2002 
Well i don't cut at al...just shuffel...let the querent shuffel and than i fan the cards and let the quertent pick a few

I don't know why...i started out with learnig thru books so i guess there is my way coming from. 

Trogon  17 Sep 2002 
Originally posted by the hermit
When i'm doing a 3 card spread (the one I use the most) I tell them to cut the cards into 3 piles and then I draw the top card from each pile left to right (my left to right). The reason I do it this way is that's the way my first teacher taught us.

Hmmm... this is an intersting way to do it Hermit... I may have to try it. As for doing it that way because that's the way your first teacher taught you... I reckon that's a pretty darned good reason. ;)

I don't let them shuffle either - it's usually fairly difficult for some people to shuffle regular playing cards and since many tarot decks are so large, I'm a bit apprehensive about damage to the cards. Personally, I let the querrent cut the deck any way they want and usually as much as they want. After the person has cut the deck, I have them pick up the piles in any order they want and hand the deck to me. Then I deal from the top of the deck. Seems to work pretty good for me. 

catlin  17 Sep 2002 
I usually let my querents cut the deck 2 times after shuffling to get 3 stacks, then I turn the stacks round to have a glance at the bottom cards and then there is a fan spread out to have them choose the cards. 

Diana  17 Sep 2002 

angela  17 Sep 2002 
I guess whether you cut, or fan, and how you do it is a very personal thing. It just seems to happen and then it becomes habbit, which is really part of the ritual.

I personally do let the querant shuffle the deck. I have the notion that when the querant shuffles, they infuse their energy into the cards. When they have finished shuffling I ask them to cut the deck once. I take the half of the deck that they lifted up and look at the bottom card (which I call the 'cut card'). For me, this card almost always summarises perfectly the issue which is most important for the querant. I then deal from the top of the other pile.

Before each reading (or between readings) I have my own little ritual for cleansing off the energy of the previous querant. But, I also believe that each persons energy contains both their pains and their passions and it is this human energy, combined with my own, that gives the deck it's power.


Poetlove  17 Sep 2002 
I was told/taught to allow the person to shuffle the deck until they don't feel the need to do so. I have also used that myself, and I can usually tell by the feel of the cards. They become tight, and don't feel the need to go any more.

I would like to learn more about the way the rest of you shuffle / cut. 

cricket  17 Sep 2002 
I personally let very, very few people touch my cards. Querents do not shuffle or cut about 90% of the time. That's just my 'thing'.

When I cut, I do so in a way that just feels right at the time. Cut once? That's fine. Cut into 7 piles, then pick them up at random? Fine again. The cards 'tell' me what needs to be done. It always works out in any case. 

Kaz  17 Sep 2002 
shuffle, cut in 3 stacks, pile them up again middle right left, flip from the top to deal.


emily2otters  17 Sep 2002 
when shuffling for myself, i always cut the deck just once, in my hands. i let the deck tell me where to make the cut. recently, the deck told me it didn't need to be cut at all. i had to ask it "are you sure?", but it insisted it was thoroughly mixed and the right cards for my reading were sitting at the top waiting for me. i don't expect that'll be happening very often. :)

when i read for others, i tell them "cut the deck if you want", and they usually do, just once. 

zorya  17 Sep 2002 
cut with my left hand, into three piles from right to left, dropping each pile from the bottom. then pick up, with my left hand again, from right to left, so that the rightmost pile is now on top. flip the cards from the top. 

juice  17 Sep 2002 
Since I only rarely read for other people, I don't have style with them yet. For myself sorta cut. I hold the deck in my hands and let it fall open like 2 lines of a v. If it doesn't fall open I then cut it. Either way I then try to feel if wanted me to take the card from the top or bottom of the cut and how many. Then I cut again if I'm trying to use a specific spread and need more cards or ask If I need cut again. I frequently end up with more cards than the spread asked for. 

RedWood  17 Sep 2002 
I shuffle a bit as a warm up..and in my mind i can see where it needs to be I cut put it on bottom and cut again..and again and again..however many times.. 

Kath  17 Sep 2002 
I let my querent shuffle the cards. But I only read for close family and friends and I trust them with my cards :)

I start off by shuffling, to 'warm up' the cards, hand them over to the querent to shuffle. Then I ask them to cut the cards twice (to make 3 piles) with their left hand. Then I put the deck back together and deal the cards. I don't check the bottom, I don't fan the cards.

This was the method that was described in the first tarot book I ever read, and so that's just how I do it now.

After the reading, I give the cards another shuffle to release the energy of the last querent and the reading.


VGimlet  17 Sep 2002 
I use the cut the cards twice method and put them back randomly. I might be satisfied there, or I might shuffle them a few more times and cut again. Depends on my mood, and if I feel the cards are well-shuffled, or not.
I don't mind letting others handle my "normal" decks, but I might hesitate if using one of my more precious decks. 

The Cutting the deck thread was originally posted on 17 Sep 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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