You shuffle your beloved tarot deck and do a random count o the cards. To your horror, you realize a card is missing. Your heart stops for a second or two. Will you still be able to use it, and should you get a replacement card? What are the best practices in this tricky situation?
As a general rule, you can still use a Tarot deck even if a card is missing. A quick solution is to use the cover card included in most decks as a replacement. Sometimes cards go missing for a reason and act like a message. You can also contact the seller or manufacturer and ask for a replacement.
We bond with our Tarot decks on a profoundly personal level; it can feel a bit traumatic to realize a card is missing. But don’t fear; there are solutions to the situation. In this article, we will go in-depth on how to resolve the problem. Breathe, you got this!
WHAT TO DO IF YOU LOSE A CARD IN YOUR DECK
I know how stressful it is to realize a card has gone missing. But before doing anything drastic, breathe, and make sure you are missing it. Count the cards one more time. Sometimes cards tend to stick together. My beloved Everyday Tarot Mini deck plays this trick on me from time to time. I guess it is because of the beautiful rim.
WHAT TO DO IF A TAROT CARD GOES MISSING
- Do a recount
- Check if two cards have stuck together
- Check the area where you usually do readings
- Contact the manufacturer or distributor for a replacement
- Ask the shop where you bought the deck if they have replacements
- Buy a replacement card from Etsy, eBay, or alike
- Check swap forums online
- Use the cover card as a replacement
- Ask the pendulum for directions on where to find the card
- Use it even if a card is missing – everything happens for a reason
- Check your other deck boxes; the card might be displaced
- Buy a new deck
- Combine tarot decks
If the card still is missing, be sure to check all the places where you usually do your readings. Sometimes when you shuffle the cards to “happily,” one might take off under the sofa or table.
If the card is nowhere to be found, there are several options you can take. Go with your heart to see which option suits you best.
The easiest way is to get a new deck. Keep the old deck as replacement cards, artwork, or spellwork. If you are very attached to your deck, there are other options. So relax.
According to peers, they have had success contacting the manufacturer for a replacement. US Games seem to be replacing cards if you contact them. You can also check in swap groups online. There are Etsy and eBay shops selling replacement cards as well. There are many options available.
If you are crafty, you can print the card and glue it to card stock or the cover card.
Make sure you have not placed the card in the wrong box. This happened to me earlier this week. The High Priestess was missing from my Tarot Vintage deck; I found it in my Original Rider Waite deck box.
If you are a crafty person, you can print the card and glue it to card stock or the cover card.Sandra Törnroth
One of my favorite solutions is to ask my pendulum for advice. I have found many things this way, not only missing cards. Go into every room of your home and ask the pendulum, “Is the card in the room.” If you get a “no” answer, you proceed to the next room.
You will find a very helpful article by Claudette Beaulieu on using the pendulum to find lost objects here (friendlyspecter.com)
When you get a “yes,” you start asking more specific questions like “Is it under the rug,” “Is it to the left,” “Is it to the right,” and so on. Many times the pendulum found my lost items.
Remember, you can always use the deck even if it’s incomplete. Everything happens for a reason. What might the deck try to say to you? Maybe you will find the card when it is time for you to do so.
There are no rights or wrongs when it comes to the Tarot.
If your card is nowhere to be found, you can combine tarot decks. Sometimes I love combining two tarot decks to get more in-depth readings. Even if you lost a card, you might gain even deeper insights!
You can read more about how to use combined tarot decks in my article below.
Related article: Tarot readings with more than one deck: tips and ticks
HOW TO KNOW IF YOU ARE MISSING A TAROT CARD
How do you know you are missing a tarot card? And how to know which one it is if you do? Start by counting the cards. Make sure no cards are stuck together. Some decks are more prone to this than others. Use some baby talc to resolve the problem if they are sticky from wear.
HOW TO FIND OUT WHICH TAROT CARD IS MISSING
- Divide the deck into Major and Minor Arcana.
- Count the number of cards in each.
- Major Arcana should have 22 cards.
- Minor Arcana should have 56 cards.
- Identify if the missing cards are from the Major Arcana or Minor Arcana.
- Major Arcana: Arrange the cards in numerical order 0-21.
- Identify which cards is missing.
- Minor Arcana: Arrange the cards in the suits.
- Count each suit.
- The suits should have 14 cards each.
- Identify which suit the missing card belong to.
- Arrange the suit in numerical order.
- Identify the missing card.
The best way to determine which card is missing is to arrange the cards in Major Arcana and Minor Arcana. There should be 22 Major Arcana cards and 56 Minor Arcana cards using the Rider Waite deck. The suits should have 14 cards each.
- Major Arcana – 22 cards in total
- Minor Arcana – 56 cards in total
- The four suits – 14 cards each
- Complete deck – 78 cards
Start by identifying if the missing card is included in the Major or Minor Arcana. If the lost card is included in the Major Arcana, arrange them according to the sequence 0-21. You will notice which card is missing.
If you need help identifying the Major and Minor Arcana, I have written an article about it.
Divide the deck into four suits if the missing card is included in the Minor Arcana. Count each suit. There should be 14 cards in each. When you identify which suit the lost card belongs to (the one with 13 cards), arrange the suit from 1 to King to find out which is missing.
CAN YOU USE A TAROT DECK WITH MISSING CARDS?
You can use a Tarot deck that is not complete. There are no rules when it comes to the Tarot. If you feel fine reading with the deck as is, go ahead. If you want to replace the missing cards, that is alright too.
As the “magic” lies inside the reader and not in the deck itself, it will not be “broken” or “faulty.” The deck is just a pile of cardstock with images on them. You and your intuition bring the “magic” into the game.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN WHEN A TAROT CARD GOES MISSING?
Some readers say a missing card might be a message in itself. Identify which card is missing (use the abovementioned method) and make your conclusions.
By identifying the card, you might get essential insights. According to some readers, this might be a way for Spirit to communicate important messages.
As always, you do you. You know in your heart how Spirit communicates with you. But I think this is an interesting take on missing cards.
When the situation is resolved, the card reappears, and the energies are balanced. You might find it under the sofa, hidden in the tarot bag… or elsewhere. You get my point.
In most cases, prevention is key. Always store your tarot deck in the box it came with, using a tarot cloth or tarot box. In this way, you lessen the risk of a card going astray.
If you want to learn more about tarot cloths, I invite you to explore my article below.
Related article: What A Tarot Card Cloth Is And How To Use It
If you are more interested in using a tarot box, you find helpful information here.
It is heartbreaking when you notice a card is missing. But there are solutions to the problem. There’s no need for panic or distress.
One easy way to tackle the issue is to use the cover card as a replacement. The card’s ” power ” lies inside you and not in the card itself – so don’t worry. Your deck is not ruined.
You can ask if the seller of the deck, or the manufacturer, might sell or give you a replacement card. According to peers, US Games often help out in situations like this. I bet more manufacturers do.
The best thing is, though, you can use the deck as is. It is all up to you how you feel about it. Maybe there’s a reason the card went missing? Meditate on the lost card and see what messages come through. Maybe your Spirit guides have something on their heart?
If you want to learn more about spirit guides, you find helpful information in the article below.
Related article: Tarot And Spirit Guides: A Guide For Beginners
THE DEFINITIONS IN THIS ARTICLE ARE BASED ON THE RIDER WAITE DECK AND SYSTEM.