9 Ways to Connect and Bond with Your Tarot Cards – TarotLuv
Most tarot readers and hobbyists own more than one tarot deck. most of us can attest that each deck has a different way of conveying messages. each card game seems to have its own personality!
but have you ever picked a deck with a theme or aesthetic you really love, but can’t make a connection to the cards when you try to read them?
something just doesn’t add up.
Instead of stopping reading with your new tarot cards, try some linking and connecting exercises.
Linking with your tarot deck is a great practice you can use, along with cleaning your cards, to tune in to the vibe of your new or old deck for more powerful and accurate readings.
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1. examine each card
When I get a new deck, the first thing I do is check each card. I not only look at the images of the cards, but I also check for missing and damaged cards (you’d be surprised how often that happens).
When you’re taking your first lap to get acquainted with your new tarot deck, here are a few things to consider:
look for recurring motifs in the deck:
Are there recurring characters?
Do the suits have a color theme?
Were the names of the suits changed? How does that change or color the traditional meaning of the cards for you?
Are the court cards renamed? Does that give them new personality traits?
Visually, do the suits follow elemental dignities (ie coins like land, cups like water)? do they vary from what you’re used to?
Are there repeated symbols? what do they mean to the creator of the deck? what do they mean to you?
What are your favorite cards from the deck? which ones do you hate? why?
How are the cards different from the rider-waite-smith system or another tarot system you are already familiar with?
for all of these design elements: do they add new meaning to the cards? sometimes not. but often these artistic differences will influence your interpretation of the cards.
2. visually meditating with the tarot
Visual meditations are great for both learning tarot and connecting to your deck.
choose a card and consider the following:
if there are characters on the card, imagine yourself talking to them.
how would they answer: who are you? What are you doing? how did you get here?
notice any responses, feelings, or images that come up.
imagine yourself on the scene
How would it feel to be in the scene depicted on the card? How is the atmosphere?
What if you were the character in the scene?
Once at a tarot workshop I attended, the teacher had people ask a tarot question, draw a card, and then act out the scene on the card (including calling out extras in the crowd). for example, for the star card, the participant would kneel down and imitate collecting and pouring water.
The question would be asked again, and the person enacting the scene would reflect on whether playing the card gave them any new ideas. spoiler alert, he totally did it!
When you’re stuck on the meaning of a card, try to imagine yourself acting out the scene on the card; see what new ideas you get.
3. sleep with them near you
This is one of my favorite suggestions that is more on the woo-woo side.
Keep your deck next to your bed on your nightstand or even under your pillow (yes, that’s real tarot folklore)!
I love the idea that the proximity of the deck to your bed allows the messages and archetypes to show up in the dream images.
The idea is that you tune into the deck on a deeply subconscious level. I keep a couple of my favorite tarot decks near my bed for daily draws and journaling.
practically speaking: if your deck is right next to you, you’re more likely to use it!
here is my recommendation: flip through the cards before you go to bed. you can look at some cards in the deck before sleeping or choose a card that you hope to understand better.
Instead, you could draw a tarot card before bed to reflect on your day or draw a card for the next day. record any information you receive in a journal.
4. the interview spread
Put your tarot deck on the bench, job interview style!
You’ve probably heard of the classic extended interview. the oldest internet source i found for this spread is from starraven on the old aeclectic forum. ever since, it’s become a popular way to connect with a new deck right out of the box.
Just like in an interview, you get an idea of what this new deck has to offer. there are other variations of this approach, but I love starraven’s original and direct questions:
- tell me about yourself. what is your most important characteristic?
- what are your strengths as a deck?
- what are your limits as a mallet ?
- what do you bring to the table? what are you here to teach me?
- how can I learn better? and collaborate with you?
- what is the potential outcome of our working relationship?
5. consult the little white book
if you want to conquer the learning of tarot, you have to get rid of your dependence on the little white book (lwb for short) full of meanings, sometimes confusing and contradictory.
That said, the book that comes with your deck may be full of interesting ideas from the deck’s creators about dark imagery and symbolism on the cards.
Not all accompanying books are the same. the little drop down lwb’s you get on mass market decks tend to be the worst. sometimes the publisher recycles them from deck to deck, and they don’t always match the artist’s vision of the card’s meaning.
On the other hand, most standalone decks tend to have excellent companion books with tons of helpful information on the personal symbolism of the deck.
Most of the time, you don’t need the book to read these standalone decks. but I love hearing the ideas of artists and designers.
plus the books that come with it: keep an eye out for workbooks specific to that deck. Facebook groups are a great way to find help studying specific decks.
6. clean them
some readers consider clearing their new cards as part of connection practice. I previously wrote a great article on how to clean your cards. try some of the techniques and see if it helps you better connect with your cards.
for revised old cards:
7. sort and reorder
Reconnect with an old deck sorting and reordering: This is one of my favorite methods of reacquainting myself with already shuffled decks that I haven’t used in a while.
When I want to pick an old deck that I haven’t used in a while, I rearrange it from major arcana to minor arcana and then shuffle them. this process provides an excellent refresher on the images and quirks of a forgotten deck.
while shuffling, try to connect with your own deck. some readers will touch their cards to “wake them up” and clean them up.
connect with the feel of the cards in your hands as you shuffle. set the intention that your cards reveal the message you need to receive.
8. start using your deck!
start reading with them. use them for daily draws, ask questions or get inspired by some tarot spreads. Once you’re comfortable with your new deck, try reading for friends, family, and clients. you might be surprised that a deck you’ve been less than enthusiastic about can give you some great ideas in action.
if you still don’t feel comfortable reading for others with your new deck, consider keeping the cards with you during the day; try them when you need a quick answer.
Speaking of daily practices, consider creating a tarot journal. It doesn’t have to be fancy, a spiral notebook works. there are many tarot scholars who use instagram as a diary to reflect and better understand the cards. whatever it is, choose a medium you enjoy!
for drawing journaling cards, typical prompts include:
perceptions, feelings or impressions
interpretation and meaning
If you draw a letter in the morning, consider jotting down more ideas on the letter later in the evening.