Woo-woo Wednesday

My tarot cards are too big to shuffle! What can I do???

LOL yep you read that right. I have small hands. My palms are only 3 inches wide and I have short fingers too. So standard-ish size tarot cards of 3 x 4 inches are just too damn big to get to grips with.

And no, I can’t even shuffle them end-over-end. I can’t hold the whole deck and keep control of it. So what’s a girl to do?

I came up with two solutions: the first being, find a knock-off deck on the Internet, which is likely to be a Chinese reprint in a smaller format. Not ideal, and the details and colours are often muted, but workable in a pinch. But they’re not always available in the decks I want.

My preferred option though, is simple: buy the full-size deck, supporting the author and the artist, and create a mock-up in a manageable size. There are plenty of blank cards on Amazon in packs of 100, so that covers the 78 you need for a standard tarot deck.

I had some metallic markers so decided on the colours in advance, and wrote them out one by one. A different colour for each suit: 

Blue for Cups / water 

Red for Wands / fire 

Silver for Swords / air 

Green for Pentacles / earth 

Gold for the Major Arcana.

Of course you can change the colours to whatever you like, and use felt-tips rather than metallic markers, but I liked them shiny 🙂

Not only are they a great size for my little hands, but they’re imbued with my energy because it took time and planning to write them out. It’s also really easy to attune to them when they’re uncluttered by pictures. I also wrote the numbers out as words rather than using numerals (Seven, rather than 7).

So, how do I use them? Well that’s lovely and easy. I shuffle the mocked-up deck and lay them out face-down in whatever spread I’m using, and when I turn them over I pull the real cards from the original deck to overlay the little ones.

Of course, the full size deck has to be in order so I can find the cards quickly, but then it’s all down to the imagery and intuitive impressions that I get from the cards themselves. And most full-size decks have a book with them in case you get stuck.

The backs of mine are plain, so there’s no giving away which one’s which.

My first mock-up worked out too thick to shuffle easily, so I found a second batch which were thinner and they’re pretty much perfect. OK there are a few ink smudges because I was impatient to give them a go, but again it adds something of me to them.

So if you have a deck that’s too large to shuffle, why not give it a try? For the sake of a few quid / dollars / euros you can have a deck small enough to go in your pocket or your bag, you can get used to handling them easily and, if you’re out and about, you can always use the internet to look up meanings if you don’t have the big cards with you. I quite like Biddy Tarot’s meanings, they seem to sit well with me. Or have a digital tarot book on your electronic device of choice.

Have fun with it! In the meantime, here are a few of my home made cards:


  1. What an inventive and practical idea! The fact they have something of you in them because you crafted them is very powerful. I will definitely give this a go, thanks!

    1. You can also personalise them however you want – little puffs of wind for air, flames for fire etc. if you’re artistic – or try a kawaii style of drawing if not!

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