Shuffling Cards

I love the sound of cards being shuffled. I adore the flutter, flutter, flutter of each card intermingling with other cards. My parents played Cribbage with our neighbors on warm summer nights while sitting on the patio next to the pool. They played Pinochle around the dining table with neighbors whom I cannot quite remember as well as I do the cards. I played Hearts as a young teen with my brother and his friends, I played Kings on the Corner with my sister, I watched my grandparents play Gin Rummy, and I was great at solitaire when I just wanted to feel the weight of the deck in my hands, hear the slap of the cards in the shuffle, and see the unique faces of the Kings and Queens. I have laughed until my sides hurt playing Pitch with my dearest friends – the Mags as we tried to keep track of who got High, Low, Jack, Off-Jack, and Game.

I think my love of math and numbers and patterns and cycles, and symbols are all attributed to these early years with cards. Remembering Mom teaching me how to count in Cribbage makes me smile – 15-2 - 15-4, a pair is 6, double run is 8, nibs are an extra point . . . I embraced the math and adored moving the pegs on the wooden board. At 4-years old I knew that 7+8 = 15 but so did 9+6 and of course 5+K, Q, J, or 10. I’ve tried playing Cribbage online, but it is not the same. Mom didn’t let me win but always encouraged ways to have fun while elevating my skills.

These same cards used for Cribbage and Solitaire were also used for our intuitive development. Mom, Dad, or Jody would sit across from me at the kitchen table and hold up a card so only they could see it. I would say “black” or “red” and they put it face down in one of two piles. After the entire deck was played through in this manner, the piles would be counted as to how many were correctly identified as black or red. Then more math to figure out what percentage was attributed to guessing or intuition. We would do this for weeks at a time, and I was able to recognize that when the “sender” was looking at a red card, my nose tingled slightly and when looking at a black card I felt a sensation of a velvety ball slide across my stomach. I noticed the subtle differences when I “felt” red with my mom or “red” with my sister.

We then played with Zenner cards and that felt incredibly special as no one else in my neighborhood had a deck of Zenner cards. My sister was incredible at this, and I loved sending the images to her. We learned we could also do this alone by imagining picking up the card, looking at it, and seeing a star, a wave, or a square. This became another version of Solitaire for us.

I think this is also when some of my competitive energies came to the front. I loved to keep charts on how accurate I was on Saturday, on Monday, on Thursday and then how much I had improved since the previous three Saturdays. I found I did better after a nice lunch or later in the evening than I did first thing in the morning. My sister did great regardless of the time of day.

And of course, the Tarot, Oracle, and Totem Animal cards became a tried-and-true opportunity to shuffle a deck, feel the weight, hear the flutter, read the symbols, “listen” to the tingles of messages my body gave, and feel the emotions related to the images and scenarios forming in my thoughts as the relationship of these beautiful cards began to connect and tell a story. These became an enjoyable tool, a trusted friend, and a wonderful way to attune myself with how I receive messages and sense what the next card has in store.

What role have cards played in your life?

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