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Jumper Cards — Why do tarot cards fly out when shuffling?

Posted by Esra Dagtekin on


This happens to us all at some point. You’re focused on your reading, shuffling your deck for a card that feels right. Perhaps your mind wanders off for just a second, or you’re so focused your hands are doing their habitual routine automatically. Then it happens. A tarot card flies out. Maybe two, maybe three fly out of a deck while shuffling. Sometimes, my cards even flip on top of my deck, revealing themselves! Is this poor shuffling, or the most divine message? This blog post talks about cards that fly out, also known as jumper cards.

When do I know jumper cards mean nothing?

Sometimes a card flying out while shuffling is just that. One definitive way to know is you instantly dismiss it or get annoyed. Most likely you haven’t even grounded yet, haven’t even focused on a question, or are rushing, so the card simply projects your current state of mind. It doesn’t feel different.

Other times, cards that fly out of a new deck with which you do not yet have an established relationship are likely unreliable. Neither of you knows how to communicate with each other yet, you’re learning, and learning includes mistakes. Another thing to consider is, do cards fly out as you shuffle too often without a question or context? Are you new to tarot and this keeps happening from day one? Do you drop the entire deck regularly? Chances are you have small hands or the deck is too clumsy, so you need to change the way you shuffle the cards and consider getting pocket-sized or mini tarot.

If you’ve eliminated the above reasons and know that your flying cards are coincidental but a part of the reading, let’s look below.

Jumper cards that jumped out of a tarot deck while shuffling

So ... why do tarot cards fly out when shuffling?

When doing reading for another person, you’re channelling their guide, their energy. Jumper cards when reading for others can be the purest form of messages that are like ‘outside the box’ thinking prompts, because it can be hard for us to empathise with someone who made different choices than we would have, or we might not interpret the typical cards in a relevant way. If a card flies out when shuffling, don’t ignore it. Most likely it’s a card that will guide you to a clearer understanding of a person’s situation, so that your own impressions don’t guide the cards.

When reading for yourself, you might want to clarify with Guidance or your higher self whether this is a message they want you to receive, maybe with a pendulum, coin, or a yes or no question. As time goes on you’ll be much more intuitive about interpreting jumper cards and getting a feeling for what kind it is, accidental or dedicated. When it’s a deck with which you have an established connection with, cards flying out can happen more regularly. Look at these cards and decide, is it relevant or not. This might seem too selective, but you’re building a habit, so that your deck knows that you do pay attention to cards that fly out and take it as another way of communicating with you.

However, if the cards seem unhelpful, like giving you a 9 of Swords while you’re already anxious, most likely you’re unfocused and are projecting too much of your own ideas into the reading. Remember that your designated guide or whichever your source of divination wants to help you and leave you feeling better or with a plan by the end of your reading. If your tarot cards only show you what you already know or what you’ve been thinking before the reading, you’re not divination but projecting your own wishes or fears.

A person doing a tarot reading

What does it mean when I drop my deck?

When you drop the entire deck of tarot cards, consider what the situation was. Perhaps you asked the wrong question and the deck is asking you to reinterpret the last cards or spreads. In most cases, the deck doesn’t want to cooperate, so try changing the question or draw to ask what you should be asking.

Can I influence jumper cards?

Absolutely! As mentioned above, when you’re unfocused or ungrounded, cards fly out to reflect your state of mind. But when you know you’re grounded, fully in the process and have learned to pay attention to cards that fly out, these can be an amazing source of enlightenment or clarification. You can sharpen this form of communication with practice, by teaching your guide that you pay attention to cards that fly out when you shuffle.

Do a daily draw, but not by actually drawing. Connect with your source of wisdom and ask if there is anything you need to know for today or if there’s any advice to be heard. Keep shuffling for a while, until a card flies out. If no tarot cards fly out for a while, there is no message to be received today. Keep doing this daily for some time. Then, just go back to reading your cards normally as you do. Now, however, you have taught your cards and guidance that jumper cards are also an acceptable way to communicate with you.

Post Scriptum

There is no one answer. Some people decide that they won’t pay attention to jumper cards, and so the cards that fly out don’t usually contain any messages in them, because their source or deck knows they won’t bother. Other times, it might just feel like your subconscious is screaming for your attention. Try things differently, and choose what feels right. It's all part of developing your very own tarot dictionary and reading style. Stick to whatever feels like it has improved clarity or how you feel after a reading, you’ll do everything right.

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