Can You Use a Tarot Deck With Missing Cards?

Can you use a tarot deck with missing cards

There are many theories and questions regarding the Tarot deck and how variances may affect the outcome of a reading. A common concern is using a deck that may be missing a card or two and how that may or may not alter the outcome. Can you use a tarot deck with missing cards?

The simple answer to this is yes; it is possible. But not ideal. Much has to do with the feeling of the reading as a whole and the energy from the other cards. You will be able to complete the reading, and it should not invalidate it. However, you may also have a sense that something is missing.

You never want to feel like something was off during a reading, whether you are the reader or the receiver. So having a better understanding of what missing cards may mean will help rectify some of those confused feelings.

Before I go on, a simple solution is to buy a new deck. There are some classic decks like Rider Waite-Smith, and other decks that can have a completely different feel and beauty, like Mystic Monday’s deck, Thoth Tarot deck, or the Light Seer’s Tarot deck, to name a few.

But, before you go and purchase a new deck, let’s explore what your subconscious could be suggesting to you.

Table of Contents

Using a Deck With a Missing Card

There is a sense of uneasiness and lacking when there is a card missing from a deck. There are a plethora of reasons why it might be missing and how it may affect the outcome. But equally as important is how it affects the feeling of reading.

Whether the reader simply misplaced the card and didn’t realize it, or a new deck that hasn’t been used was put together by the manufacturer incorrectly; a missing card or two can happen.

When most people think of Tarot readings, they think of psychics sitting behind a curtain in a tent filled with tapestries and incense.

They think that these cards are going to tell them when they’ll meet their significant other or if they’re going to get that promotion at work next week. But that’s not really what it’s about.

Tarot cards have a rich history that goes back centuries. These cards and the readers of the cards are meant to help you see things or understand things in a different way. You want to connect with your higher self and look within.

So, when a deck has a card missing, it can feel like you are missing something from the reading and the experience itself. This isn’t a magic 8-ball that had one side of the cube rubbed away. It doesn’t mean the reading will be wrong or unable to happen. It means that there are other factors at play.

Here’s an article that relates to doing a reading with missing cards… How to do a reading without Tarot cards.

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What The Missing Card Means

If you’re doing a reading and you feel like something is missing or wrong, you’re probably right. Your deck is your deck. It is special and specific to you and the energy you put into it.

So if you can actually feel something is amiss, think about what that might be and how it might affect the reading. Let’s say the card missing is the Queen of Swords. This card gives us the gift of flexibility to take in knowledge from outside sources and judgment in our daily decisions.

You have two ways of looking at what this means:

The Reading The Reader
Within the reading, maybe the absence of the Queen of Swords means that they are missing that foresight and much-needed guidance for proper judgment in their lives.

The Queen of Swords missing could very well be a part of their reading. It could mean they are looking for help from others while keeping their objectives and goals intact.
Did you misplace the card? Were you traveling recently and left a card behind? Think about where you last were when you had this card and what was going on in your life.

This could easily be factored into the reading itself, and give meaning to why the card was lost in the first place. Maybe it was you who is seeking what the Queen of Swords has in store.

Either way of looking at it will still help to give you insight and understanding. The main goal is to accept what that missing card is trying to tell you. If you don’t notice a different energy or feel that something was missing during the reading, it was most likely a card that wasn’t needed.

The other cards may have been more important to this reading and played off of each other’s energy to still deliver an accurate reading.

But if you did feel like something was wrong, even if you didn’t notice it was missing until afterward, it could mean something was missing.

It will be up to you to determine if you felt the reading could have been compromised, or maybe it was alluding to a specific instance in your own life when the card was lost.

Active Decks

Tarot decks can be pesky things that seem to almost play tricks on you at times. There are plenty of readers who take excellent care of their decks but still will come across a deck occasionally that they cannot seem to hold onto.

There may be deeper reasons behind this, or it may be a simple coincidence or mishap. There is a special relationship between the reader and the deck. So when you get a new deck, it is important to connect with it and make sure your energies and aligned and that you have a solid handle on it.

1. Get To Know Your Deck

You are about to use this deck to find out things about yourself and others. Why not use it to find out about the deck itself? Ask it questions to better understand the type of deck it is and see what it reveals to you. All decks have a unique personality.

2. Spend Time With Your Deck

You want to be in sync with your cards, so keep them close by. They will attune and align with your energy, and you with theirs. Practice with them regularly, hold them during meditations, or keep them under your pillow at night.

3. Show Appreciation

Slow down with the questions and show appreciation back to the deck. Hold it and tell it something about the value it brings and how or why you are appreciative of it.

I wrote an article that discusses 15 ways to bond with your Tarot deck, you can read that here.

These will help you establish a connection and hopefully alleviate some concerns over decks that get mischievous and go missing.

Finding a Missing Tarot Card

Another interesting facet of missing a card from a deck, is of course, where did that card end up? Who has it now? What are they doing with it?

Some people may just look over it or pass it by. But if you notice one and you want to hold onto it or learn more about it, here are some ideas.

Make Sure You Understand It

Learn what the card is, what it means, and the origin of that card. Do research on the type of card and the history of what it has meant throughout the ages.

Find A Connection With The Card

Once you understand the meaning behind it and the possible things it might mean, figure out what it actually means to you in your life. The same ideologies apply as if you went in for a reading, you need to go into it open and willing to accept what it has to say to you.

Consider Where the Card Is and Its Journey

This can be a really cool moment for you and an experience to relate what that card means to you and where the rest of that deck might be.

Similar to how the reader or the person receiving the reading may be feeling a sense of loss in this card, you’re feeling a sense of gain. It’s interesting to consider the journey the card has taken.

Focus on Yourself and Your Cards

If you lose a card, it is not the end of the world. You will want to make sure to get replacements, but in the interim, it’s time to look within yourself and the rest of your deck to determine if you feel comfortable doing a reading without it.

It can make for a harder reading, but it can be done. So make sure to have a spare deck and connect with each to help reduce the mischievous ones that may escape you.

I try to approach every situation with the following thoughts: “What advantage has this situation brought to me?”

If I consider my missing Tarot card from this perspective, then many new and interesting thoughts come to my mind. The world is always working out for us. Your Tarot deck can provide insights that you might never think possible.

And, last but not least, it might be an opportunity for you to connect with a new Tarot deck. There are many different and beautiful Tarot decks as well as Oracle decks:

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