So you just got a new tarot deck. If you're like me, using a tarot deck for the first time is like meeting a new person. Each tarot deck has its own style, preoccupations, concerns, attitudes, and perspectives. That means getting good tarot readings out of them really require us to connect with them, so that we can better understand each other. This blog post is meant to help you do just that. Consider these tips as little ice-breakers that you can do to get yourself acquainted.
1. Flip Through All the Tarot Cards
You'll likely be doing this anyway! As soon as you get the cards, spend some time flipping through them. Not just to see how they all look and feel in your hands, but also so that you can come across any surprises. Try and pay attention to details, and see which ones stand out to you. See if there are any words or symbols on one card that call out to you more than others, or maybe it's an image of something (person, object) that resonates on a personal level.
2. Lay Out the Structure
The next thing I like to do is explore similarities. For me, that usually means laying out the cards in the following categories: Major Arcana, Wands, Cups, Swords, and Pentacles. Inside each category, the cards are all laid out in order. Try and see the visual similarities that tie these categories of cards together. Are there themes? Are there common symbols or colors? What does the progression of the cards tell you? What story emerges?
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3. Compare Elements
The next part delves a little deeper into the structure of the cards. Group together all the aces, the twos, the threes, the fours, the pages, knights, queens and kings, etc. How do they compare and contrast? Try and find one commonality between them, but notice how they all differ. What makes each suit special? It's important to really feel those differences in order for your readings to be insightful and detailed. Be sure to remember what you have learned when practising, so that it becomes second nature when doing readings for others!
4. Interview Your New Tarot Deck
I find this particular activity pretty fun. There are many spreads online that are focused around getting to know your new deck. You can also do this in a more free form manner. To do a tarot deck interview, open up your tarot journal and put out all of your cards in front of you. Grab a pen and start asking questions about them. What do you want to know? Then pull a card for each question. Some of the answers may be surprising! This is also a great way to start working with this new deck.
5. Practice Shuffling and Handling the Tarot Deck
When your tarot deck is new, it can be a bit awkward to handle your cards at first. It takes time to practice shuffling them so that the movement of the cards feels natural in your hands. The best way to do that is by practicing handling and shuffling them. Touch also helps develop a more emotional and personal bond. The idea is that as you use your hands, they begin to understand you better, and become accustomed to you as a person. Shuffling cards should also be done while sitting down, and not standing up or walking around. This allows for more precision in how you handle each card, and gives you more control of where they land when shuffling.
6. Compare Cards with Other Tarot Decks
Finally, if you have multiple tarot decks, another fun activity I like to do is compare the same card across different decks. This allows me to see different illustrations and artwork for each deck in order to expand my understanding with each tarot card. Seeing a range of how artists depict the same concept can give you exposure to new perspectives or things that you haven't thought of before. To do so, I'll shuffle all of my cards together and pick one out of my pile at random. Then I'll place it up against the same card from two of my other decks in order to view how different artists represent that particular card's meaning.
In conclusion, whether you're just beginning your journey into tarot or an expert, there are many ways to get creative with your new set of cards. The aforementioned activities will provide hours of exploration and bond-building time between you and your cards while also sharpening your skills!
So how do you handle a new tarot deck? Is there anything else you do when you first receive them? Or do you just dive right in the deep end and let the cards do the talking? Let us know in the comments below!