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What does it mean when tarot cards fly out?

tarot jumper card
Short Answer:

UP TO YOU
A card that falls out of the tarot deck during shuffling is called a "jumper card". How you read that card is up to you, but typically the card is treated as important to your reading in some way.

When tarot cards jump out of the deck during shuffling or reading they’re called “jumper cards”.  These fallen cards are usually not ignored.

What should you do with tarot “jumper cards”?

How should jumper cards be included in your tarot reading? Here are a couple of approaches to making these misbehaving cards make sense:

  • The most common approach is to read the jumper card as a separate, but important “message” from the cards.  Treat the card as if the deck is trying to tell you something, or convey a “side note” to you.  In other words: The jumper card does not get added to your tarot spread, but does have some importance to you on some level.
  • Another way of using cards that fall out of the deck is to use them in the next available spread position. If you haven’t started your tarot reading yet, this would be the first position. If you’re only planning on reading one card, then this is your card. The deck decided for you.
  • The final option for addressing a jumper card is to ignore it and re-shuffle.

The next question is: Do you put the card back in the deck? Or do you let it “sit out” for the rest of the reading. This too is up to you.

Many readers will choose the first approach above and then give that card even more importance if it later appears again in the same tarot spread. That’s usually a sign that the cards are really trying to tell you something.

If multiple cards fly out at the same time while you’re shuffling, it can be fun to make an entire spread out of the cards that fell out.  Or it might mean you’re just a butterfingers, in which case maybe an online tarot reading would be less messy?

Generally speaking, jumper cards are read in the upright tarot position as it can be hard to figure out whether or not they’re upright or reversed, depending on how they land.

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