TAROT JUMPER CARDS AND HOW TO READ THEM
A “jumper” is Tarot slang for a card that flies out of the deck during the shuffling process. Newer readers who might still be a bit awkward with handling the cards tend to get jumpers on a regular basis, but seasoned readers get them too. Even if you’re as proficient handling the cards as a professional Las Vegas dealer, the more readings you do, the more shuffling you’ll do…and Jumpers Happen.
Because of this, there’s always been somewhat of a debate in the Tarot community: Do these cards have any significance? Should you read jumpers? If so, how do you read them?
There’s not any one answer that’s correct. Mostly it’s a matter of taste, but it also depends on whom you learned from. Some readers simply ignore these volunteer cards, putting them back in the deck or off to the side, while others place significance on them and include them in the reading.
There are several ways to deal with jumpers, and you should experiment with all of them to see what you prefer. You might wind up using only one method, or switch off between a few them according to what feels right.
Remember- the first rule of Tarot: there really aren’t any set rules.
Here are some ideas for dealing with jumper cards:
- See If The Jumper Reappears
Once a card flies out, take note of it and return the jumper back into the deck, continuing to shuffle. If the card shows up in the reading, look at it’s position as you normally would, as well as discerning what it’s trying to tell you. Though this might seem like a random event, since the card has shown up twice, there could be a potentially strong message.
- Use The Jumper As The Significator
Many readers put the jumper to work right away, using it as the significator card. Simply place the card down in the first position to represent the person you’re doing the reading for, either the querent or yourself.
- Read The Jumper A Push Card
Place the jumper off to the side to use as a push card. A push card, though not technically part of the reading, informs it. Push cards address the overall (or underlying) feeling of the reading. One or more push cards are often employed by readers to add extra “flavor” and insight to the reading itself. Jumpers can really shed some light on the subject at hand as well as add clarification to the reading as a whole.
- A Message From Beyond
Many intuitive readers believe that a jumper has to work harder to “escape” from the deck, and therefore is a manifestation of spirit. Examine the way jumper flew from the deck: did it seem like a random event, or did the card seem to yelling notice me? Was the card accidentally left on the table as you or your client cut the deck? Or did it make a “grand entrance” as you shuffled?
If appeared as though the card that jumped was an anomalous, purposeful event meant to grab your attention, then spirit might be telling you that the card contains an important message or addresses something profound that’s brewing in the seeker’s unconscious mind.
- Rephrase The Question
Sometimes a jumper appears to be completely inadvertent, it doesn’t seem to have anything to do with the question that’s being asked. When this happens, many readers see it as a sign that the question needs to be re-phrased. It could also be interpreted to mean that the querent is in denial about an important factor in their current situation. For example, a Major Arcana jumper could be seen as a larger scale event that’s being ignored by the seeker, or that this key event or situation needs to be addressed.
And then, again, you could just go ahead and ignore the lil’ bugger…the choice is yours!
This is an excerpt from the forthcoming book “Walking The Tarot Path” by Pleasant Gehman and Crystal Ravenwolf
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