On Randomness and Tarot

On Randomness and Tarot

Runa's Oracle ♥

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”
Marcel Proust

Beginner books on Tarot are often considered "cookbooks." They are full of recipes on how to work with Tarot, from care of your deck, to shuffling and layouts, all the way down to the dictionary of static interpretations.

These are not bad things, but let the babies drink milk, and let those ready for meat, eat meat.

I am not at all claiming to be a Tarot expert. Far from it. But where I am ready to eat meat is in the area of my own inner wisdom. I tend to leave the accompanying books to the side while I play with my decks, at least at the beginning of any reading.

Basically, what I am saying is that dream dictionaries, symbol dictionaries, and "Tarot cookbooks" are great, but if used for too long or if one becomes too dependent, they become a crutch and we never stand on our own two feet.

So what about randomness and Tarot? How should I shuffle and deal the cards when I do a reading?

Deal from the top. Shuffle 5 times. Split the deck 3 ways. Fan the cards out....

Honestly, I don't think you can do it wrong. And here's why...

  1. All the energies of the Tarot are within you. What that means is that the energy of any card will speak to you at any given moment. It's all about perception and interpretation.
    The images and energies are archetypal but they are also multi-faceted and fluid, just like you.
    Unfortunately, we've been taught to fear certain cards (including reversals) and hope for others based on some orthodox interpretations. Honestly, there is Yin and Yang in all of them.
    That's why, for the most part, I don't even use reversals. I hope that I am smart enough to ask questions like, "What is the energy I have here?", "What is the energy I need here?", "What is the energy I need less of here?"
    Just because you don't use reversed cards doesn't mean you're delusional. It's always a possibility, for me, and for everyone, regardless of the card orientation.
  2. What you are seeking seeks you. "Seek and ye shall find." The quest invokes the object. (References from Rumi, the Bible, and John Michell, respectively)
    In Quantum Wave Theory, it is thought that we communicate with what we see and what we seek as if we were fax machines sending and picking up signals. (See A. Mindell's Dreaming While Awake.)
    I like to think of it as the power of intention (consciousness) has on the cards. In a very real way, my intention draws the right cards to me.
    There is an unpublished study that Adam Michael Curry participated in at the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research (PEAR) Lab, in which a light is made to shine randomly among 4 corners of a room. A plant is placed in one corner, and amazingly the light shines in that corner far more than in the other three. Curry suggests that this is an indication that the plant's "consciousness" affects the light and draws it toward itself in order to have better growing conditions. To see his discussion of this experiment check out the 2020 documentary Close Encounters of the Fifth Kind. There are a lot of fascinating ideas in that documentary, for the open-minded.

If you're curious about what I do when I do a Tarot reading, I typically shuffle a few times, although depending on the size of the cards, I might not do this Vegas style. Sometimes it's just lifting some of the cards and dropping them again to the front and to the back of those still in my hands.

Then I split the deck, and without thinking put the three or four piles back together and then I pick cards straight from the top, one after another.

Even if the deck hadn't been shuffled at all, I believe that my first point would stand and that would be enough for a decent reading. But a good shuffle allows for point two to really blow your mind when you feel as if no other cards could have delivered the message better. Fascinating!

What is your process with Tarot? Let me know what you think about this post in the comments below!

♥ Runa