Tarot card readings are wonderfully open-ended: there’s no right or wrong answer when you ask a tarot deck a question. They can help you get clarity on a problem, spur your imagination, or simply offer insight into your subconscious thoughts.
But as with any kind of reading, tarot cards can be tricky to get the hang of at first. Even veteran tarot readers will have days where they feel like they’re not getting anything from their cards—and that’s okay!
With time and practice, you’ll learn how to read tarot cards more effectively. Here are some tips to help you figure out when to stop shuffling those cards and focus on the reading.
How to know when to stop shuffling tarot cards
There is no “hard and fast” rule for how long you should shuffle your tarot cards. You should simple keep shuffling until it feels “right”.
I like to keep shuffling until I’m no longer second guessing myself. For example if I were to stop and I wonder “was that too long?” or “was that enough?” I simply start shuffling again until I feel content.
Here are some other points to think about when shuffling your tarot deck.
Look for symmetry
When you first shuffle the cards, look at the way they fall as they land in your hand. Look for symmetrical patterns in the way they’re stacked. Is every other card a Major Arcana? Is there a pattern to the suit symbols?
Look for these patterns as you first shuffle the cards; they can help you get a feel for the deck. If you see a pattern emerge after the first shuffle, consider shuffling the cards again: sometimes symmetrical patterns like these indicate that you need to shuffle again to clear your head and start fresh.
Check for omens
Keep an eye out for omens as you shuffle. Are there any cards that keep falling to the bottom of the deck? Are there any cards that seem to keep separating themselves from the rest of the deck?
These omens can help you get a feeling for the flow of your reading and let you know if you should shuffle again. If you keep seeing the same card at the bottom of the deck, or a card keeps separating itself from the rest of the deck, these patterns may indicate that you need to shuffle more.
Stop when you’re confused
If you’ve done everything you can to get a feel for the deck and you’re still confused, stop shuffling. Walk away from the cards and come back to them.
Sometimes the answer is just on the tip of your tongue, but you can’t get it out because you’re overthinking things. Give yourself some space and come back later. You may be surprised at how much more clarity you have!
Stop when you’re sure
When you’re positive that you have shuffled enough and you’re ready to move on to the next question, stop. You don’t want to work yourself into a state of perpetual confusion by trying to squeeze every last drop out of a single reading.
Remember: tarot cards aren’t fortune tellers, they’re intuitive advisors. If you keep going on a single reading, you’ll never know when you’ve got all the answers you need.
Remember, it’s normal to feel like you’ve misread the cards from time to time. Shuffling your tarot deck should feel natural and unforced. It happens to even the most experienced tarot readers!
And when it does, take a deep breath, walk away from the cards, and come back to them when you’re feeling fresh.