The incredible Julia of Spiral Sea Tarot, has come up with a pretty rad weekly blogging exercise to get conversation flowing within the tarot community, and I’m excited to participate! I know for myself it won’t be possible to commit every Thursday, with work commitments and such, but whenever I do post, I’ll flag on Instagram. Cool? Alright, let’s do this! Here are this week’s questions:

1. How do you know when to stop shuffling?

In the beginning of my tarot journey, I was so worried about getting everything “right” and wanted to go about things exactly how they’d been laid out in my research… because a published author surely must know more and be more correct than myself, right? I mean, they know what works for me?! So I pressured myself to knock 3 times to clear the deck before each reading, shuffle a precise number of times, use my left hand to pull cards. I was doing things that felt unnatural to me – especially using my left hand – which is so not skillful, graceful or helpful in any way! As a newbie I didn’t realize that Tarot was more of an art than a rigid, structured system. And eventually with time, I learned it was okay to trust myself and that following my intuition would get me further than any book, ever could. I learned to feel my way through the process, rather than be so logical about it.

My process has evolved greatly, and feels nothing like the “rule-abiding” sterility of the past! Now, I’ll take my sweet time rough shuffling (I guess this is kind of like overhand shuffling – but really packing the cards in there) while I mentally/verbally repeat a set intention to connect with my guides, get centred, and focus on the query. I do this usually 3 times. After that I’ll do a couple rifle shuffles to further focus on the question, which I repeat 3 times or more, depending on how long it takes me to deeply and completely connect to the question/scenario, etc. If reading for another, I really aim to put myself in their shoes. Once I feel heavy-headed, yet focussed and connected, I know I’ve grasped it and cut the deck into 3 piles. I do one more rifle shuffle (sometimes I’ll get an intuitive cue to do a second or third), then finally pull the cards.

For me personally, I’ve found that tarot is all about making that connection first and foremost, which really governs the amount of shuffling. And fancy, casino-style tricks? Not necessary (phew!).

2. Have you ever had a spooky or supernatural experience while working with the cards?

Not usually. Although I do recall one late Winter afternoon as I was preparing for a reading through my process mentioned above, I sat in a darkened room lit only by the fading light coming through the window and a lamp, amongst my candles and crystals. While trying to calm my mind and connect, I began feeling the room grow energetically heavier. More dense. It also appeared to get darker and I could start to feel an energy to my left side. Now, this wasn’t a terrifying vibe (‘cuz Lord, you know I’ve been there!) yet not exactly warming, either. I asked my guides for protection and slowly the heaviness in the room lifted. This was probably 2 years ago? Anyway, nothing of the sort has happened since (yet the “ghost hunter” in me wishes it would!).

3. Is there a card that you still struggle to interpret at times (maybe even dread when it pops up!)?

The Moon? I’m not sure if it’s because it’s a less definitive card for me, finding it slightly vague and unhelpful. To be honest, I don’t really pull this card much, so more experience with it is welcome. Confusion – picking apart illusions – knowing when to trust your gut – I guess my feelings of this card are actually embedded in its interpretation!

Hope you enjoyed this first instalment. How do your experiences differ? Leave me a comment below!

Vanessa Xx


  1. You’ve had more/other terrifying spirit experiences?! I wanna hear about those 😛

    Shuffling is super personal, isn’t it? I’m loving reading about everyone’s little rituals. I like to knock on my decks occasionally, as a means to cleanse, but I don’t know it too often.


  2. I’ve loved reading everyone’s posts, too! So fun. As for knocking, I won’t say that I never do it now, probably when I just don’t have any palo santo around.

    Oh, yes – I’d love to share! One of my favourite things is swapping ghost stories. It was the scariest period of my life, that’s for sure! Maybe I’ll elaborate in a blog post, there’s so much to type!


  3. Haha I’m so dumb I figured it out. Thank you for playing along! Yes, The Moon…That one can be tricky to flex to the situation. If you’re inquiring about certain things no problem but I find for my practical inquiries it can be tough.


  4. I’m with Alaina, would love to hear more about your supernatural experiences! I guess the Moon is also a card that trips me up, although I wrote about the court cards which also trip me up. Great post!


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