Reading Tarot FAQs - Connecting With Your Deck
This post is part of a series of posts where I answer your Tarot questions.
connecting with your deck
One question I often get is “What is the best way to get to know your deck / connect with the energy of a new deck?”. This is a great question and I’m excited to give you some tips to do this. Whether you are just trying to learn about your very first deck, or you have recently purchased a new deck you want to understand better, this post is for you!
1. Cleanse and Charge Your Cards
The first thing I like to do when I get a new deck is to cleanse and charge the deck with a purpose. Just like you would with a new crystal, remove any energy that it picked up from the shop or from the home of the person who gifted it or sold it to you and give your new deck a purpose.
You can start by placing your new deck on a slab of selenite over night or use other cleansing methods like Reiki, sound, moonlight, incense or intentional visualization.
After cleansing a new deck hold it over your heart and say something about receiving the wisdom and the messages they have to offer from your spirit self. Try saying something like this:
I dedicate this deck to be used only for the Highest Good of All and to be a blessing to all who receive their message.
Your dedication should embrace who you are, what you believe and the conviction that you only want to use Tarot for good, so as to do no harm in your witchcraft and divination practices.
It’s important to state your intention as clearly as you can, and again, and even to repeat it several times in a row while holding your deck.
A new deck likely doesn’t need to be charged right away but if you feel like it does here are some ideas for energizing it or restoring its purpose.
Set your deck out overnight at the Full Moon (even if it’s cloudy).
Set your deck in a beam of sunlight, especially on Litha (be careful not to leave it too long or the colors may fade).
Place your deck in front of a speaker while playing meditation music or use a bell, chimes, drums to create vibrations to charge the cards.
Place your deck in contact with crystals like Clear Quartz, Amethyst, Citrine or Selenite.
2. Look at Your Cards
Go through your deck one card at a time and simply gaze at each card for a couple of seconds. I’ll be honest, sometimes I swap these first too steps because when I get a new deck I’m usually too excited to wait for the chance to look at it.
The reason I suggest you do this is because with my very first deck of cards I did not do this. I went about a year and a half and then one day I saw the Seven of Cups and the Six of Swords. I thought, “Who put these in here?” It was very bizarre. I thought I was very connected to my deck and seeing those two cards I had literally never seen before really threw me for a loop.
Maybe go through one time quickly and then go through the deck a second time where you spend a minute or two with each card.
As you gaze at each card, take in the imagery and think: “I wonder what this scene is about? What am I feeling and sensing when I look at this card? What themes am I seeing? What are the symbols? What is the element? What are the colors? Who are the characters?” etc.
3. Group Your Cards
Get to know your deck by pulling out the groupings of cards and focus on the flow of energy, the similarities and differences and how the cards relate to the others in it’s group. Knowing the context of where a card fits in within the bigger grouping gives you more insight into the meaning of an individual cards as well as the other cards it is related to.
Related: Reading Tarot - Where to Start
The first group I would suggest looking at is the 22 Major Arcana cards. Sort them out of your deck and order them in a line from Fool all the way to the World. Follow the story and theme across this line of cards.
Next take out all the numbered Minor Arcana cards. Make a line of Cups from the Ace of Cups through to the Ten of Cups. Then, underneath the Ace of Pentacles through to the Ten of Pentacles in a line. Then, the Wands, and the Swords, until you have a grid.
Again, look for the flow, how does that story go from the Ace to theTen? Can you tell that story in words? Could you write something about it? Compare and contrast the numbers going vertically and how they tell the message of the suit they belong to.
In this way you can see the groups of the suits and the groupings of the numbers in front of you.
Finally, lay the Court Cards out in a similar grid. It’ll be much smaller. Look at the similarities and differences for the Pages, Knights, Queens, and Kings as well as the flow of energy through the suits there as well.
Related: Reading Tarot - Telling the Story
The purpose of these exercises is to start to get your brain organized around how these cards work in connection with each other. Physically manipulating them and imagining or inventing a story as you go is a lot more effective than reading a book about it. Seeing them laid out in front of you, next to each other, helps you come to some conclusions for yourself about how the cards tie in with the ones on either side of it.
4. Use Your Cards
Probably the most effective way to familiarize yourself with a new Tarot deck is by using them. It’s one thing to theoretically understand the structure of the deck and the keywords associated with each card, but intuitively interpreting their meaning in the context of a question is the best way to understand how it speaks to you.
You might use the new deck in a daily card drawing, or use it in Tarot spreads and readings.
If you have some particularly patient friends you could try reading for them with the new deck. Make sure they understand that you will probably need to stop and think frequently, or even look things up in a book.
You could join a learning group on Facebook (like the Mumbles & Things Community Facebook Group) and offer free readings in exchange for feedback about your interpretation of the cards.
But start using the cards because that’s truly the best way for you to grow the most familiar with the deck.
5. Interview Your Cards
There are also certain spreads you can do to interview your deck. These help you figure out what kind of readings your deck can be most helpful with, and sometimes even whether they prefer to be used in the day or at night, if they like to be used in readings for others and things like that.
You can try doing a google image search for interview tarot deck spread and see what calls to you. Or download my free tarot spread below.
Click the button below to have this printable PDF sent straight to your inbox. From there you can download it and print it off to help you practice.
Whatever you do, take action right now to familiarize yourself with your Tarot deck.
And if you have a deck that you are comfortable with, that’s great! I do this every so often with my cards that I’ve had for years. When I put them out in the groupings, I see all sorts of little details I never noticed before. We’re always learning, just like with people, you can never really know everything about the Tarot.
ENROLL IN THE COURSE
The Reading Tarot eCourse includes:
Lifetime access to over 3 hours of video lectures (and transcripts)
Detailed answers to 20 frequently asked questions surrounding tarot
Process for creating your own custom Tarot spreads
Explanation for how to weave a story in your Tarot reading analysis
Downloadable and printable PDF reference guides and worksheets
Forum for discussion and sharing experiences with other students