This may seem like a strange subject to post about since everyone knows how to shuffle a deck of cards, right? Chances are, this is true, but what do your cards look like after a period of time?
If you've ever been to a Renaissance Fair and stopped in to see a Card Reader (and there are many at a Fair like this), the cards you see are usually quite tattered. It is nearly impossible to see what the picture on any particular card is as they are worn, cracked, even torn. This COULD be from use, but it could also be for SHOW. After all, who wants to go see a Card Reader who is using a brand new deck of Tarot cards? This Card Reader would have to be a novice (wouldn't they?), which means you might not get your money's worth. Well... personally, I like to see what is on the cards that come up for me because, even after a reading, I like to examine the cards I remember (in my mind) because sometimes another interpretation makes sense over what the Card Reader gave me.
So, let's talk about the Shuffle. There are two kinds of Card Readers. One prefers never to have another person touch their cards, so they will ask their client to tell them their question and shuffle while having the client concentrate. The other prefers to have the client shuffle the cards because they may feel that the energy exchange between the client's question and the cards is stronger this way. I am of the second mind. I enjoy having my clients be a part of the whole reading, including the Shuffle.
There are soooo many different decks of Tarot cards out there and most of them don't require any kind of special instruction for Shuffling. The Wee Folk Toracles cards are a bit different. In a reading, whether using the cards as an Oracle deck or a Tarot deck, both sides of the cards are used. The Wee Folk photo on the one side of the cards can give a great deal of insight into a client's question and the other side of each card holds a written message from that particular card's Wee Folk. If you aren't careful with your Wee Folk Toracles deck, you may get to the point where you are unable to read the message on the one side of the card and you might find it difficult to see the Wee Folk on the other side. What kind of reading could you give then? Of course, you might know the cards well enough by this time so as not to need to actually read the messages, but what if your memory suddenly goes on sabbatical - even for a moment?
There are two main ways that a deck of cards can be shuffled. One is called "The Bridge" and it is this manner of shuffling that tends to create creases, bends and tears in any deck of cards if shuffled this way often. Try to remember back to when you worked and worked at learning how to shuffle a deck of cards this way because it was so cool! For the Wee Folk Toracles deck, I feel this is the most damaging way to shuffle.
The other way I call the "Side Shuffle". This way slides the cards gently against one another with no bending, creasing or tearing. It is also the form of shuffling that limits the amount of skin oil from the fingers (including whatever oil residue is left from their lunch) which will slowly become embedded into the cards as the coating on any deck eventually fades away. After awhile, as the coating wears away, the cards get sticky. This "Side Shuffle" is the least damaging to the Wee Folk Toracles deck.
If you allow your clients to shuffle, you will have to tell them that you need them to "Side Shuffle". You may find that most clients are proficient with "The Bridge" (remember all that practice), but many have a lot of difficulty with the "Side Shuffle". If this is the case and it looks like you'll spend more time picking the cards up from the table or floor, you might help your client out by gently taking the cards from them and side shuffling while they concentrate on their question. Other clients will have no problem and will easily Side Shuffle without spilling.
You can, of course, allow your clients to shuffle your Wee Folk Toracles deck whatever way you choose, but this is my recommendation to make sure that your cards last a long time for you.