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"choosing" cards

Thread originally posted on the Aeclectic Tarot Forum on 05 Jul 2003, and now archived in the Forum Library.

RainbowFire  05 Jul 2003 
Hi! I've not posted here for ages, but today I decided to try reading the tarot again, as I am now slightly older and wiser (and have more free time)
I'm alright with reading meanings into the cards, it's the actual "picking" cards which I find difficult. I mean... is there some tips you can give me as to how to? I usually shuffle, spread them out, close my eyes and pick - but I was thinking, is there some state of mind I should be in, should I feel "drawn" to certain cards, as otherwise it's just completely random! 

fairyhedgehog  05 Jul 2003 
Hi Rainbowfire,

I think there are a lot of different ways of choosing your cards. I used to shuffle, cut the deck in two or three and put the last pile on top, then use the cards from the top. Now I just shuffle till I've had enough, and use the top cards. Some people like to do like you do and pick the cards that feel right.

I don't think it matter how you do it!
Well, except that you need to feel comfortable with what you do.

I mostly think the cards are random anyway. But if they aren't, then they 'know' how you're going to pick them and arrange themselves accordingly ;)

Well, that's my two cents worth, anyway :) 

Jaykob  05 Jul 2003 
I'm also new to Tarot, but it seems that the only important thing about picking cards is to trust that whatever you did was right.

That's how I feel about it anyway. 

emily2otters  05 Jul 2003 
i use a bunch of different ways to pick cards:

sometimes i spread them out, as you described, then "scan" them with my hand one or two inches above the cards. cards that feel slightly warmer than the others, i pick up and read.

sometimes i shuffle, cut, and deal from the top.

sometimes i use tarot software, which automatically shuffles and deals from the top.

sometimes i sort through the cards face up, one by one, and pull out the cards that "speak" to me.

it all depends on your mood and the purpose of the reading. if you're reading for someone else, you can shuffle and deal for the shy ones, and have the braver ones scan with their hands. :) 

Nevada  05 Jul 2003 
I would say, don't be hesitant, but also do try to center yourself before you pick up the cards. On another thread here someone talked about drinking a cup of green tea before reading. I have since found that's a great way to center myself. Also, reading right after a relaxing bath would catch me in a very centered and calm state of mind. But if you want to read now, not wait for the water to boil or for the tub to fill, then sit for a moment in a comfortable, quiet place and clear your mind of the daily clutter. Direct your mind inward to a place that feels quiet and serene. When you've found that, or at least gotten the day's mental din to lower a few decibals, you're ready to read.

That's my simple advice.

You don't *have* to do the following, but if you want some more detailed suggestions, the following is how I like to do readings recently. Keep in mind everyone develops their own personal style. Reading Tarot for yourself is very personal.

Before I pick up the cards, I decide what I want to ask, or if there's no specific question I have in mind, I at least decide how many cards I want to use and the layout of my reading. I also decide in advance how to lay them down and turn them over.

For instance, recently I will decide that I'm going to take the deck in one hand and place them face down in a certain layout, in a certain order. After they're laid out, I'll turn them over either side to side or by flipping them top to bottom. I want to be consistent with this because I've recently started to read reversals again, which I had ignored for my past few years of reading.

Of course I have my standby readings: One card for the day, or a three-card past-present-future reading. These are great for beginners.

Now I pick up the cards and begin to mix them, keeping my mind quiet and centered on the question or purpose of the reading as I shuffle. When I feel that I've shuffled enough, I cut the deck wherever it *feels* right to do so, and start laying out the cards. In my case I like to use my non-dominant or "receptive" hand to cut them.

This is, as I said above, just my version. You can start out with suggestions such as these, or from a book, but you'll develop your own routine that you feel works for you.

Brightest Blessings! 

Major Tom  06 Jul 2003 
The answer to so many questions regarding tarot is surprisingly: "if it feels good, it's ok." :)

This is one of those questions.

It really doesn't matter how you choose the cards from the myriad different methods you could use as long as you're not choosing them face up. :laugh: 

catboxer  06 Jul 2003 
I like to shuffleshuffleshuffleshuffle. Then I cut the deck into three piles, and hold my hand real close to the top of each pile. Usually, one of the three feels "hotter" than the other two.

Then I just deal off the top of the hot stack. 

Marion  06 Jul 2003 
Hi RainbowFire, One thing I read that really resonates with me is to do 'magic' there is great power in doing things the same way every time. Yes, I guess it is a ritual, but I think folks have long realized the power of ritual. Choosing a method and then doing it that way every time, tells your brain that yes, I am doing a reading now. 

The "choosing" cards thread was originally posted on 05 Jul 2003 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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