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Barleywine  Barleywine is offline
Elder Jabberwock
Join Date: 10 Jun 2011
Location: Where the wild things are
Posts: 9,055

I take an opposite approach. I always thoroughly randomize my decks before reading in a professional setting, and since there often isn't time between readings to do that with a single deck, I take a few randomized decks with me to a reading session. I randomize both for sequence and for orientation. The main problem with ordering the cards in advance according to rank, suit and number is that my sitters seldom shuffle long enough and well enough to achieve a distribution that accurately zeros in on their subconscious awareness of the situation, so the cards "clump" in series that I find difficult to take seriously. My preferred method for drawing cards can be vulnerable to this, so I use Grizabella's "deal randomly into several piles" technique to separate any existing clumps before a reading.

But when you think about it, the sitter's goal in shuffling is actually to align the cards subconsciously in the proper order for the reading, so I prefer them to start with a "random scatter" that then coalesces into a meaningful narrative pattern as the sitter shuffles. This approaches the objective from the other end of the spectrum, drawing sympathetic cards together out of a featureless "cloud" rather than trying to create intelligible distinctions within a pre-established set. One way to dodge the clumping phenomenon would be to draw the cards randomly from a fan, but I find that cumbersome and counter-intuitive to the purpose of the client's shuffle. Thorough riffle-shuffling is another way, but most sitters either don't do it or aren't very proficient at it. Like many things about tarot, this is an area that only personal experience will tell you what works best in your own practice.
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