There is a conversation going on in the tarot blogosphere regarding cards that jump or pop out while you’re shuffling. It was started by Barbara Moore on her Llewellyn blog. Another blogger, Barbara Graver, also weighs in on the topic. Catherine, at Tarot Elements, posted a reading in which she addresses a jumper card.
Barbara M. gives a wonderful overview of the different ways of approaching those readings and I don’t have anything to add. Barbara G. mentions that “[j]umpers may mean that you are headed in the wrong direction or asking an incorrect question.” Catherine seamlessly integrated the card into the rest of the reading, illustrating the way that that a jumper can be used to add depth and meaning to a reading.
Of course, many opinions and techniques can make life difficult for someone learning to read. Which is the right way? There isn’t one. Try one method out and see what works for you. As time goes on you may naturally gravitate to a different technique. Follow your intuition to determine how your deck is speaking to you.
I would caution a reader from ignoring the jumper entirely though. One of the features of tarot is that we initiate the divination. It is not a dream the arises within us or a sign given to us by Spirit. The tarot is a way of connecting with mystery that begins at our request. One of the few exceptions is, arguably, jumpers. Generally a jumper only happens when we’re shuffling, so technically we’ve started that conversation with mystery already. Still, a jumper is a message that defies the structure of a spread and may defy the question entirely. Tarot unfiltered! It’s worth considering.