Top right photo courtesy of Cpl. Matthew Brown
Because so much of what I’m going to be covering in Symbolomancy is actually card-based (Cartomancy), I want to say a few words about shuffling the cards.
The first thing I want to say is whatever way you want to shuffle the cards is the right way. Some people do the cut-and-shuffle method (see lower-right picture above), others find that method ‘too Yang’ and prefer the hand-over-hand method(see the left-hand picture above). Some people like to incorporate the traditional tactic of cutting the deck into three piles in their shuffling, others don’t bother. What you’re looking for in your shuffling is as good a random mix of cards as you can.
My latest favorite method is the chaos method, where you smear the cards around, face-down on the table with both hands (see upper-right picture above). Scientists who study chaos have found that even chaos has an eerie order to it, so I figure the cards will find their right place this way. After gathering the cards back together in a neat deck, I like to cut the cards in three piles to the left with my left hand, then pick up the piles, starting with the center one. I first saw this recommendation of cutting the cards into three piles to the left with the left hand in a Tarot book by Eden Grey. It took reading Angeles Arrien’s book Signs of Life years later for me to come up with an explanation as to why this is a good idea, not some meaningless ritual.
Arrien points out in her book that in folklore stories, whenever the protagonist was presented with a choice from among three things lined up in a row before them, the correct answer was most-often the item in the middle. Cutting the cards in three piles give you access to those cards in the middle. Most people are right-handed, so the left hand, being the less-dominant hand, is associated with the sub-conscious mind. I suppose it would be the reverse for people who are left-handed, so I have lefties cut the cards in three piles, with their right hand, to the right. I want to make sure the subconscious mind/the Gods/the Ancestors/the Helpful Spirits are coming through.
So long as you are sincere and focused on an honest answer, and have set a clear intention about who you want to guide you in this reading, They will make sure every card lands where it should. Even if Their answer is baffling at first glance.