Many traditions are lingering when it comes to shuffling and pulling tarot cards. It can be tricky to know what to do. No one wants to come off like a newbie.
41% stated they used both hands when pulling cards. As a general rule, the left hand was traditionally used for pulling tarot cards. Nowadays only 17% are using the left hand. The tradition stems from the idea that the left hand was connected to intuition and magic.
Traditionally tarot readers used the left hand for pulling cards. The left hand is connected to the brain’s artistic, intuitive, and creative side. Nowadays, traditions have loosened up. I asked fellow peers what hand they used and why.
WHAT HAND TO PULL TAROT CARDS WITH
Traditionally, tarot readers have used the left hand to pull cards. The left side is connected to artistry, creativity, and intuition. Historically, before we knew the mechanics of the brain functions, the left hand was attached to magic and sinister things. The left hand was the hand of the “devil.”
Not everyone knew about this rule when asking around in forums.” Some found it silly, and some fascinating.
I don’t follow this rule. I pull and shuffle with my right hand. Much is up to yourself and your belief system in modern-day tarot. With that said, I think it is important though to know the traditions. We lose much knowledge if we step away from history and traditional rituals.
17% PULL TAROT CARDS WITH THE LEFT HAND
As much is subjective when it comes to tarot, I decided to create a poll. The poll was created in the Tarot Professionals Facebook group, and I let it run for 24 hours. In total, 101 tarot readers entered their answers.
41% of the tarot readers stated they used both hands to pull the cards. Most tarot readers seem to use both hands when pulling tarot cards. When researching this article, I also noticed that many didn’t know about this rule at all.
34% used the right hand to pull their cards. And in third place, at 17%, were the ones using the left hand.
Some answered they didn’t care or think about this at all. Some that they changed according to mood and vibes.
A common consensus was that it was up to the individual to decide how. This shows that traditions in this regard are not followed. Tarot is very personal, and everyone has their ritual and way.
In the picture below, you find a screenshot of the poll.
|Don’t care about this||9||9%|
I think it is interesting to see that most used both hands. This might be due to using different shuffling techiques.
RITUALS AND DIVINATION
As many use tarot as a tool for self-discovery and not divination, rules of this kind makes little sense to follow. As you don’t add any supernatural element to the mix, there is no need to adapt to rules like this. You are working with yourself and your conscious, sub-, and un-conscious mind instead of external energies.
However, one thing to remember is that even if you don’t practice divination, you often create personal rituals. These rituals often include how you shuffle, pull the cards, and structure spreads.
The hand you are using is not of importance, though. It’s the intention and the ritual itself.
THE HISTORICAL SYMBOLISM OF THE LEFT HAND
Traditionally left hand was the go-to hand for pulling tarot cards, but in modern practice, this seems to be a rule of the past. The poll shows that the most common way to draw cards is with both hands.
To understand where the tradition of using the left hand stems from, we look at history. Maybe we can find clues in the symbolism of the left hand.
In history, the left hand has been seen as sinister and connected with the Devil. In the Middle Ages, left-handed people were in danger of being accused of witchcraft. (Time, How Lefties First Gained Acceptance).
The word “sinister” comes from the Latin word for “to the left.” Today sinister represents something evil. As most people are right-handed, the lefties were strange. In the Bible, God was to save all the people to his right on Judgement day (Merriam Webster, The Left Hand of (Supposed) Darkness)
The Devil himself was considered a southpaw, and he and other evil spirits were always conjured up by left-handed gestures.Time
As intuition was seen as something magical and sinful, you should only listen to the word of God and the State; it’s easy to see how this symbolism carried on to the occult.
As the Spiritualist movement practiced tarot, the symbolism might be carried over to their teachings.
The idea lingered in history, into modern times. Not long ago, people were forced to learn how to write with the right hand, even if they were a leftie.
My dad, for example. He was born in the mid-1940s in Finland. The teachers forced him to write with his right hand, even if it wasn’t his dominant one. In the 20th century, psychiatrists thought left-handed people were an abnormality and thought it needed correction. Today we know that there isn’t anything sinister, evil, or abnormal with having a dominant left hand.
According to Time, things started to change after the world war. The economy needed a boost, and it was a gap in the market for tools for lefties. The stigma slowly disappeared (Time, How Lefties First Gained Acceptance).
WANT TO LEARN MORE?
Are tarot cards supernatural?
Historically the left hand represented the Devil. It has been connected to the knowledge of brain function in modern times. The left hand is controlled by the side of the brain that holds intuition, creativity, and artistry.
As tarot was a part of the spiritualist movement, it’s easy to understand how the left hand’s tradition emerged. The left side was for magic and intuition. The Order of the Golden Dawn also connected the left hand with intuition and accurate readings.
In modern tarot practice, this tradition is not widespread. Readers mostly use both hands or the right one. The left one is in third place.
So, as always, you do you. Go with your gut feeling and vibe. Not using your left hand will not impact your reading if you don’t think it will. Enjoy reading the tarot with whatever hand you like. Nothing is more right than another.
THE DEFINITIONS IN THIS ARTICLE ARE BASED ON THE RIDER WAITE DECK AND SYSTEM.
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