I may do this two or three times until I have a firm sensation of the energy flowing. Mostly I do this at As U Wish a New Ages shop where I am fairly often called upon to read for friends. I also read sometimes at the coffee shop up the street, where a doing a formal quarters call one would make a spectacle of ones self. I find sitting quietly with my eyes closed, and doing the call quietly as I shift my attention from point to point, works just as well.
The first thing I do is clear my space. Clear the work table where I read. Then I prep my Alter. Fresh candles and incense are placed on the alter. I touch the water in the little reflecting bowl at "Innana's" feet. If it does not feel just right I replace it with fresh. I check any decks I might be using, and right any reversed cards. I close but do not lock the door. My wife's dog "Socrates" very often decides to visit when I am calling on the Lady.
Now I close my eyes facing the alter and silently voice the quarters call in my head. Slowly and respectfully calling to each Quarter, I use a slightly modified version of the Quarters Call found in Starhawk's Spiral Dance Page 55. Then I take up my Pendulum and call on Innana.
I begin by gently whispering ...
Holy Mother Innana
Now I ask the mother if she is present. A firm sway of the Pendulum towards her image on the alter indicates a yes. I ask her if she will honor the readings ... and again Yes.
I now use a Pie graph, nothing fancy to allow her to indicate Deck and sometimes spread. Especially where the decks are concerned this has had amazing results. Given the opportunity the Lady selects very specific art, to communicate her message to the Q. As you have seen in some of the readings we have considered. I began by just laying out 3 decks and letting her indicate which with the pendulum and I do recommend the system to more advanced readers.
We are nearly ready to read. I hold my hands over the cards and do the invocation again, with the small change ....
Holy Mother Innana
If the Reading is for myself. Then
I shuffle up the cards. I have a very set pattern, I believe that things like this give the Left brain something to occupy itself with, allowing the Right brain to connect with the Magickal So I nearly always shuffle the cards in this order
I shuffle the cards 7 times, in hand over hand manner. <br>
Holy Mother Innana
I cut the cards one final time, again eyes shut, placing the bottom stack over on top. I layout the spread and begin the interp of what she has given me.
The final cut makes it possible to use this system with any deck whether or not that deck has clearly upright Rx card backs. Such as the Thoth or Sacred Circle. It is impossible to bias the reading, because you just dont know what card that final cut is going to bring to the top. I find the sensation of energy flowing into/through the cards is often stronger than before we shuffled the deck. I don't know why, but I suspect it is because, energetically the pattern of the spread is already present in the deck now, and her design is nearly complete awaiting only the final cut.
I hope this all has not seemed painfully redundant to you. It is part of Magick that many rituals contain acts or phrases that are repeated many times. This both gives the left brain something to do, and cues the right brain that you wish to enter into a sacred space. I do recommend that you fashion your own little rituals for reading. I believe you will find it strengthens you as a reader. Its a way of dialing up your guide. BB's old and sometimes its better to dial up the long way than just hit the speed dial. In this case, you may well find it improves the quality of your connection. :)
Ama tu ANKI, BB.