Reading techniques

Re-shuffle: A technique to deepen your tarot reading

'Reshuffle' is another technique that is not a traditional tarot-reading approach. Who says we have to keep to the rules?

This technique gives you a different perspective on the same situation or expands your reflection on your thoughts and beliefs and any advice the cards may indicate.

Here are the steps:

Step 1: Choose a spread with five or more cards (see below for spreads that would work well) and lay out the cards

Step 2: Read the spread as you usually read a spread and make notes as you go along

Step 3: Gather the cards you have used in this spread AND RESHUFFLE THEM

Step 4: Lay the reshuffled cards in the spread you have used in Step 1

Step 5: Reread the spread. Make notes on which cards you now get and in which positions.

Sample exercise

A sample exercise using the “Centering cross” spread. This spread has six positions, encompassing (1) my centre, (2) my challenge, (3) my potential, (4) my inspiration, (5) where I come from, and (6) where I’m going.

This is what the spread looks like:

6-card spread for Reshuffle

Card 1: This is my centre.

61On my first reading, I get the Knight of Swords as “my centre”.

My centre is about movement and action and going to extremes. This is particularly true of my thoughts, which tend to race and worry and fret.

I also tend to speak without thinking it through. But I always mean well; I like the concept of chivalry, treating others with respect and helping out when I can.

I also tend to use words as weapons when I feel (perhaps self-righteously) I am right. I have *opinions*, what my husband calls my soap box, that I would rush to defend when they're challenged.

The only aspect of this card I feel is NOT me is that I'm not a courageous person; I have too many anxieties and worries, although I have learned to cope with them.

Card 2: This is my challenge

12On my first reading, I get the Hanged Man as my challenge.

My challenge is giving up control as I like to be (or think I am) in control of situations.

My challenge is also that I tend to sacrifice my own needs to meet those of others.

A third challenge is to be quiet and focus on reflection and gaining wisdom. I think these actions are essential, but as the Knight of Swords reminds me, I rush around doing things instead of taking the time to do a tarot spread to reflect on myself and my thoughts.

Card 3: This is my potential.

75On my first reading, I get the Knight of Pentacles as my potential.

My potential is slowing down to smell the roses. Patience is not my strong suit, but I have the potential for it; I just need to stop worrying.

I will be healthier if I exercise more and eat less!

Card 4: This is my inspiration

63On my first reading, I get the King of Swords as my inspiration.

My inspiration is to be like the King of Swords rather than the Knight of Swords: more in control of my thoughts so that they don't race around or turn into worries.

The King has a mental strength that I lack. He debates issues rather than jumping on a soapbox. He urges me to judge fairly rather than being prejudiced.

Card 5: This is where I come from.

48On my first reading, I get the Queen of Cups as “where I come from.”

The Queen is about emotions. I have a solid grounding in being a loving and even self-sacrificing daughter and wife. These aspects do not have to change.

Following the Past-Present line from Queen of Cups to Knight of Swords, I successfully temper emotions with thoughts and principles, but (as the King of Swords suggests) I have work to do.

Also, the Queen of Cups and the King of Swords work well together as opposite aspects to integrate.

Card 6: This is where I’m going.

31On my first reading, I get the Ten of Wands as “where I’m going.”

I've just said it about the previous card: I have work to do!

If I am successful in becoming more like the King of Swords, I will have time to focus on my creative projects; but if I'm not successful, I will continue feeling overworked and overburdened, and slightly out of control of my life.

At this point, I gather the six cards, shuffle them, and lay them out in the same spread I used before.

Card 1: On my second reading of “This is my centre," I again get the Knight of Swords.

Getting this card twice in the same position, I feel it strongly suggests I need to work on where I am and where I would like to be (the King of Swords).

Card 2: On my second reading of “This is my challenge,” I get the Queen of Cups.

The Queen indicates that I need to integrate where I come from (the Queen of Cups in the first reading) and where I am (the Knight of Swords) if I want to get to where I want to be (the King of Swords in the first reading).

Card 3: On my second reading of “This is my potential," I again get the Knight of Pentacles.

Again, this card re-emphasizes what I need to use to integrate my emotions and thinking from the first reading.

Card 4: On my second reading of “This is my inspiration," I get the Ten of Wands.

I need to keep my eye on the ultimate goal, not only balancing my emotions with my intellect but also on the creative projects I am working on. Being too hasty and rushed (the Knight of Swords) takes the energy I need to focus on my creative self.

Card 5: On my second reading of “This is where I come from,” I get the Hanged Man.

Some of the work to be wiser than I am has been done. I know how to suppress selfish thoughts and my wants to focus on other people and their needs. I am sort-of wise already!

Card 6: On my second reading of “This is where I’m going," I get the King of Swords.

This is encouraging! I might follow my inspiration until I am where I want to be.

The spread as a whole

All the court cards (four out of six cards) emphasize that this spread is about aspects of my personality and the things I do and believe. These cards direct me to work on my inner life.

One major arcana card (Hanged Man) focuses my attention on what I need to conquer to be a well-rounded person psychologically.

Other spreads that would also work well for this technique

Some of these spreads explore your inner world and thoughts.

Others are about understanding and solving problems.

These spreads will give you two different ways to view a situation and more than one way to solve the problem.

The popular Celtic Cross spread would be a good choice. So would any of your favourite spreads with five cards or more.

For a reflection on your inner life, other spreads that would work well include:

Spreads that focus on solving a problem would be:

As always, if you need a brief refresher on reading tarot cards, look at my free article, "How to read tarot cards: A quick guide."

You might also consider my tarot-reading course, "Reading the cards for your self."

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