How to Break In Your Deck

The Basics

How to Break In Your Deck


There’s only one way to break in any new deck — and that’s by spending time with it! It’s worth it to take a day or two in the beginning to really get to know the cards on an intuitive level before diving deeper into the guidebook or others’ interpretations. Give yourself time to get acquainted with the imagery, how the cards resonate with you, and what they evoke and provoke in you.

Here’s how to get started:

  1. Break the deck into three pieces and re-stack them into one. Hold on to the intention of getting to know your new cards as you repeat the process as many times as feels right.
  2. Spread out all the cards face-up on a clear space. This gives you a sense of the deck as a whole, and enables you to begin to see what cards stand out to you. Make a mess and go wild.
  3. Make piles of cards you love and ones you don’t understand. Favorites. Ones that freak you out. From a logistical standpoint, this step also breaks up the cards and helps the deck become more integrated. Organize them into little stacks in any way you see fit. 
  4. Go through your piles and reflect on the imagery. Use a journal to write some reflections down. What does the card make you think? What about it do you like? What don’t you understand? Does it remind you of someone? Then look to the guidebook for insight.
  5. Add each card back to a single pile, and repeat the process as necessary. 

We can’t invite a meaningful dialogue with a new deck without getting involved and invested in the process. Develop a good rapport with the cards. Journey beyond mere surface interpretation to allow deeper insight to unravel. Find the reservoirs of intuition that will give sustenance to your readings for years to come.