A while back I was thinking about doing tarot readings on Instagram. I did one test run to see how it would look. I was just going through the motions, not actually reading. I shuffled and pulled three cards. During the shuffle I had a jumper—a card that pops out of the deck during a shuffle. I typically take note of the jumper in case it turns up later.

My jumper card was Key 11, Justice. I showed it to the camera out of habit and continued with the shuffle and spread. Justice turns up as the first card in the spread. This isn’t unusual when reading tarot… that’s why I take note of incidents like this. It’s how Justice got at the top of the deck I’m wondering about. As many times as I play this video and follow that card, it doesn’t seem possible for it to show up on top.

What do you think? Am I missing something?

By Angela Yuriko Smith

Angela Yuriko Smith is a third-generation Ryukyuan-American, award-winning poet, author, and publisher with 20+ years in newspapers. Publisher of Space & Time magazine (est. 1966), two-time Bram Stoker Awards® Winner, and HWA Mentor of the Year, she shares Authortunities, a free weekly calendar of author opportunities at authortunities.substack.com.

  1. I can see it. When you put Justice back into the deck and resume shuffling, it goes towards the bottom half of the deck on either the first or second shuffle. Basically, the way you shuffle, you’re just taking segments of cards and moving them from the top, and then layering them one on top of the other. So, the first group of cards you take from the top, the card that is at the bottom of that segment of cards winds up at the very bottom of the deck. I’m thinking, just by chance, that first group of cards, that bottom card, was the card that was directly above Justice when you had reinserted it.

    That means that the second group of cards that you shuffle downward, the top card in that group is going to be Justice. That group goes just above the first of cards.

    So after those first two groups, the justice card is at the top of the bottom half of cards. You do a total of six groups of cards with the last two being pretty thin, so justice was probably right around the middle of the deck at that point, but a bit below the exact middle. Then you cut the deck in half, the top half on the left in the bottom half on the right. So again, just by chance, it would seem that you cut the deck just above the Justice card. It does appear that the half that is on the left is a bit bigger than the half that is on the right on that last cut, so you cut the deck a bit below the middle point, which is where I can definitely see Justice being.

    Then you put the bottom half on top, returning Justice to the top. So, it’s unlikely, it would require two random thoughts resulting in you cutting it just above the Justice card, but I think it makes physical sense in this video

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