The reading proper is over, but the inner work is just beginning. Your goal is to integrate what you have learned into your life in some way. If you don't, your tarot practice will remain a beautiful pastime with no power to help you.
Decide on one or more actions you can take to put your guidance to work. You can reinforce what you're doing now or make some changes, either radical or minor. Specific actions are usually more helpful than vague plans.
If you are keeping a journal, write down what you intend to do. Commit only to what you know you will actually carry out. I know how easy it is to lay out some cards, look at them briefly and then never think about that reading again, especially when your reaction is less than positive!
As the days go by, think about your reading and how it meshes with your life. Ask yourself these questions:
• How meaningful was my story?
• How well did the guidance fit?
• Did I carry out an action, and, if so, what happened?
• Did something unexpected occur?
• Do my Daily Readings add anything?
You may be tempted to do another reading, but it's probably best to wait until there are important changes in your situation. Assume that your first reading covers all you need to know. If you are puzzled about certain elements, mine your first reading for more insights. By going deeper, you will get closer to the heart of the matter.
Using what you have learned in a reading is probably the most important step - and the most difficult. It involves moving beyond playing with the cards. When you actually commit to integrating your tarot insights into your life, you have realized the true and lasting benefit to be gained from the cards.
This is my ideal tarot session, but, to be truthful, I don't always follow it. Sometimes I linger over these steps, sometimes I neglect quite a few of them. I encourage you to adopt whatever procedure suits your interests and needs. If you don't enjoy the cards, they'll just gather dust on the shelf. The details aren't that important; it's the intention that counts!
Card Player's Method
The Card Player's Method is commonly used to shuffle everyday playing cards. Hold about half the cards face down in each hand and intermingle them as they drop to the surface of the table. This technique mixes the cards thoroughly, but it can be awkward because most tarot cards are bigger than normal. This method is also hard on your cards. They tend to form a bend in the middle. The Card Player's Method is effective, but somewhat mechanical in spirit.
Hold about half the deck in each hand, and insert one half in a scattered fashion down through the other half. You can hold the cards on their long or short side. This method is fast, efficient and composed with a lot of hand-to-card contact. Be careful with the edges as they can fray over time.
Cowie Push/Put Method
In Tarot for Successful Living, Norma Cowie describes her push/put shuffling method. Her technique thoroughly mixes the cards with maximum hand contact and little or no damage. Hold the deck face down in your dominant hand. Push some cards from the top with your thumb into the other hand. Then, push again, but this time to the bottom of the new pile. Continue alternating a push to the top, then one to the bottom until all the cards have been transferred. At this point, put the entire deck back into your dominant hand and start over. This method can be difficult at first. You may push too many or drop some, but your technique will improve with practice.
The Scrambling Method is about as basic as you can get. Spread all the cards face down on the floor or table, and start scrambling. This technique creates a good mix with few ill effects on the cards. The main drawback is that you need room. This shuffle also has a rather uncomposed feel which some find undesirable.
To Avoid Reversed Cards:
To Encourage Reversed Cards:
Start with your cards all facing the same direction.
Every time you divide the deck before shuffling, make sure the two piles stay facing the same way.
Every time you divide the deck before shuffling, rotate one of the piles 180 degrees.
The Question Tarot Reading
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