Whether you have just purchased a new tarot cards deck or you have been gifted one, cleansing it is the best way to improve your readings’ accuracy and feel more connected to your cards. While the meaning and rituals surrounding tarots and readings might differ, you should not overlook the benefits cleansing your cards can bring.
You can cleanse your tarot cards by knocking or blowing on them, preparing a sun or moon bath, using incense, or ringing a bell or singing bowl over them. Reiki, crystals, and salt burials can also be efficient cleansing methods. Cleansing rituals might differ depending on circumstances.
Learning how to read tarot cards and understanding the meaning of each is crucial, but without proper cleansing, it can be hard for the readings to be as accurate as you want them to be. Find out all about cleansing your tarot cards below.
Cleansing vs. Clearing vs. Recharging Your Tarot Cards
Not two tarot card readings are exactly the same – and not two cleansing methods can be. Reading tarots is an extremely personal experience, and the connection you build with your card is just as exclusive.
Depending on your culture or belief system, you might find that the rituals surrounding tarot card reading differ slightly from others. While there is nothing wrong with this detail, it is recommendable to find a cleansing system that truly works for you.
So, before starting, it is worth learning more about preparing your cards for an accurate reading and the difference between cleansing, clearing, and recharging your cards. Other names for this process include “blessing,” “preparing,” and “consecrating” the cards.
Clearing a Deck
Clearing a tarot card deck is a preliminary step you can take to neutralize them. You should consider this as the tarot version of rebooting a computer. If you have just gotten given a deck and can’t wait to try it out, clearing it will take you limited time but can already help you tune in with your cards.
However, if you are looking to get more accurate and in-depth readings, you might need to take more time and actually cleanse the cards.
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Cleansing a Deck
While the difference between cleansing and clearing your card is not so significant, cleansing indicates a deeper kind of cleaning and neutralizing. Aside from wiping and removing all heavy, obsessing, negative, and distracting energy from the cards, this step allows you to proceed to actively “charge” or “bless” the cards.
While clearing and cleansing are terms sometimes used interchangeably, you should proceed to at least one of the preparatory methods below before starting your readings.
Recharging a Deck
Once your cards are clear and cleansed, you might decide to proceed with the third preparatory step. This phase, known as “recharging your cards,” is an excellent way to replenish your cards with positive energy.
Indeed, tarot cards can get tired, especially after a few readings, or if they are charged with negative energy. So, whether you feel like your readings have started to become inaccurate, or you have done too many of them without a break, recharging them can be an excellent way to continue your practice.
Below, you can find some of the simplest, easiest ways to perform a complete cleansing ritual.
Shuffle and Sort Your Cards
Shuffling, handling, and sorting your card can be an excellent way to cleanse your cards – and the tarot reader can perform it at any time, even in-between readings.
Since you won’t need any special equipment or tools, you can try this method when you need a quick but efficient cleansing ritual. This works well also upon meeting a new deck or if you wish to reacquaint with an old one.
How to Shuffle and Sort Your Cards
- Sort and reorder your cards, start with the Major Arcana, then each suit of the Minor Arcana.
- As you reorder your cards, think about the meaning and message they carry.
- Once the cards are in order, start shuffling them. By doing so, you will transfer some of your energy onto the deck, revitalizing your cards.
Different ways to handle your cards include:
- Shuffling seven times
- Making a messy pile out of the cards and randomly selecting them to recompose the deck
- Using another shuffling technique that feels more comfortable to you
Leverage Meditation or Visualization
Another cleansing method you might implement if you don’t have any tools aside from the deck itself is meditation. This practice and visualization are extremely personal, and there is no right or wrong way to do it.
How to Use Meditation and Visualization to Cleanse your Deck
Meditation can take the simple form of a brief prayer. Alternatively, through visualization, you can imagine any negative energy leaving the cards, which will erase anything that is currently affecting the deck and help you reestablish the connection you had with the cards.
Repeating a relevant mantra in your head or, if you prefer, out loud can also help you transfer your energy onto the deck. If you are looking for inspiration, something along the lines of “this is my deck, and I need to clear it from past energies and connect it to my own” will work.
However, as mentioned, meditation is an extremely personal practice. So, don’t be afraid to try different tarot cleansing methods and test which one works best for you.
Give Your Deck a Moon Bath
The effects that the moon phases might have on our behavior and mental wellbeing is a topic that has been studied for centuries. And, between the 1980s and today, over 40 studies have been completed and published about the several connections between the lunar cycle and humans’ behavioral and psychological changes.
Just like the moon influences us, our cards are too – and, in particular, the energy we transfer to our deck. If you have been practicing tarot reading for a while, you will also know that each of the Major Arcana cards is connected to a particular phase of the moon.
Once you understand the deep connection that runs between the cards and the lunar cycle, you will also start to see why a Moon Bath for your cards can be an excellent way to cleanse them.
How to Give Your Deck a Moon Bath
Giving your deck a Moon bath only means to expose it to the light of a full moon, overnight or for a few hours. Everything you will need to do to give your tarot cards a Moon Bath is placing them by your window on a full moon night. Alternatively, if the weather allows it, you might decide to place them outside.
You can find out more about this ritual in the video below:
A Moon Bath is a powerful ritual that can also be performed to recharge your cards with positive energy. For this, wrap the cards in a cloth bag and place them under your pillow for at least three nights, starting from the night of the full moon.
But, this might not necessarily be the quickest way to cleanse your cards. So, if you need to clear negative energy before readings, this method might not be readily available – especially if you are still a few days away from the full moon!
If in a Rush, Try a Sun Bath Instead
Sometimes you might be looking for a compromise between the intensity of a Moon Bath and the quick-fix shuffling might offer. Or, you might need a more powerful cleanse than just sorting your cards, but the Full Moon is still days away.
In those cases, a Sun Bath can offer you powerful benefits without having to wait for the right night.
However, you should keep in mind that caring for your cards is always extremely important. If you live in a humid environment or in an area where the sunlight can get to direct, you should avoid opting for a Sun Bath. Indeed, exposure to direct sunlight can damage your cards, warp them, or bend them.
How to Give Your Deck a Sun Bath
Giving your cards a Sun Bath is an easy way to cleanse them and recharge them with radiant energy. Everything you will need to do is expose them to sunlight. You can do so by leaving them on your windowsill or in a place in your home where sunlight is plenty.
Try a Salt Burial
Salt can be used as a purifying element, and this method is preferred by some readers and tarot practitioners when they need a deeper cleansing for their decks.
While the power of this method is undeniable, you should not overlook the downsides of it. Practically speaking, the salt can damage the cards, especially if you follow the precise instructions for this method, which involve keeping the cards immersed in salt for up to a few days at a time.
So, if you wish to try this method, you should take two important precautions:
- Wrap the cards in a plastic bag
- Make sure the container you pick is airtight to prevent humidity or moisture from getting in the bag.
How to Perform a Salt Burial
Once you have taken the necessary precautions, pick a large container for your cards to fit in. Then, fill half of the container with salt, place the deck in, and fill the other half, ensuring that the cards are completely immersed in salt. Let the cards rest for a few days before using them again for your readings.
If you are looking for a not-so-messy alternative, you might decide to place your deck on top of a Himalayan salt slab. These are readily available, and you won’t risk damaging your cards.
Use a Smudge Stick or Incense
Unlike the methods seen above, this ritual is more suitable if you decide to use tools in the process. Some cleansing herbs you might decide to use in this ritual include Palo Santo, rosemary, dried sage, or any herb that is locally sourced or fit with your preferences.
Alternatively, you can find purposely-made smudge sticks or incense that can be purchased at your local occult supply store or online.
How to Use a Smudge Stick
Once you have picked your preferred herb or smudge stick, everything you will need to do is burn it. Then, with care, pass each card through the smoke several times. As you are already performing this ritual, you might also decide to purify any crystal or other tools you have.
Alternatively, you can position the deck’s cards on a table in a fan-like position and fan the smoke over them. Through this method, you can both cleanse and charge your deck.
After you finish smudging, make sure that you dispose of the sage or other herbs correctly.
Ring a Bell or Singing Bowl Over Your Cards
Both bells and singing bowls produce a vibration that carries on through the air. This changes the energy of the cards, purifying them, and recharging them. This is a relatively easy way to ensure that your cards are cleansed before getting started with your readings.
How to Cleanse Your Cards With a Bell or Singing Bowl
Using a bell is easy; you just need to ring it while holding it above your deck. If you prefer to use a singing bowl, you will need to place the cards inside the basin and then ring the bell. The vibration will purify the cards and recharge them with healing energy.
Learn Some Reiki
Reiki is a Japanese discipline that revolves around the principle of a “life force energy” that flows through us and can be influenced by situations and environments. Learning Reiki allows you to bring this technique into your life, and not just to use it for your cards!
Indeed, this technique can be extremely helpful if you are looking for a way to manage your stress level better. This is a safe, natural, and extremely simple way to enhance your spiritual healing and advance in the path of self-improvement. Try it on your cards to reestablish the right energy!
Use the Power of Crystals
Crystals and Tarot go hand in hand. Using crystals to purify and cleanse your deck is an easy ritual anybody can perform, but it can also help you take care of your cards when they are not in use. Essentially, this is a fundamental aspect of a correct maintenance routine you should implement for your deck.
How to Use Crystals for Your Tarot Cards
Using crystals to cleanse your deck is a straightforward process: you will only need to place the crystal on top of your deck when you are not using it – that’s it!
However, picking the right crystal for your needs can be a little more challenging. Indeed, having a basic understanding of the most common types of crystals’ powers and characteristics is crucial.
If you are looking for guidance to pick a crystal, here are some of the common crystals for clearing your deck:
- Clear Quartz: cleanses the deck while enhancing the cards’ energy
- Selenite: cleanses the deck and help you connect with spirit guides
- Amethyst: cleanses the deck and improves intuition, empathy, and psychic senses
- Black tourmaline: this is a grounding stone that can purify the deck and absorb negative energy.
Try Knocking or Blowing on Your Cards for a Quick Cleanse
Sometimes, you just need a quick cleansing ritual to perform in between readings or after an exceptionally intense reading. If you don’t have time to immerse your cards in salt, burn a smudge stick, or wait for the next full moon to come around, you can try to blow or knock on the cards.
Both methods are quick and straightforward, and you can benefit from a newly energized deck in a matter of seconds. Of course, this ritual works best when coupled with a thorough cleansing process, which should be performed regularly.
How to Blow or Knock on Your Cards
- Shuffle the deck until you are satisfied, then blow on top of it. This will remove the negative energy in the deck and freshen it up.
- Knock on the top of your deck three times to cleanse the deck and wake up the cards before a reading.
Try Elemental Clearing For Deeper Cleanse
The elemental clearing ritual is an alternative way to cleanse your cards. During this method, you won’t just use one of the cleansing rituals seen above. Rather, you will use a different technique for each element used in the tarot practice.
Some of these include:
- Earth clearing – Salt Burial or crystals
- Water clearing – Moon Bath or sprinkling the cards with water
- Fire clearing – Light a candle and pass the cards through the smoke
- Air clearing – Smudge sticks or burning herbs
This method provides one of the deepest cleansing rituals you could perform to get your cards ready. And, if done well, it can also help you recharge your cards.
Why Cleansing Your Deck?
As we have seen, cleansing your deck is the way to ensure that your readings are accurate and the cards don’t hold too much negative energy. However, the meaning of this ritual is much deeper than that. And understanding why you should complete a cleansing process before getting started with your readings is crucial to obtain the results you want.
Below is what makes this ritual so important.
Create a Deeper Connection With the Cards
Arguably the most important reason for cleansing your cards is to create a deeper connection with them and feel more in tune with your deck.
This is particularly important if your deck has been stored away for a while, and you have just decided to do a reading. Indeed, don’t forget that the more you are in tune with your cards, the more your readings will be accurate – especially as you pass on your energy to them!
In some situations, cleansing and recharging your cards is particularly important. Indeed, as inanimate objects, they can absorb the energy of anything around them. If they have been touched, they have fallen, or they have been closed in a drawer for too long, they might have lost that unique connection with your own energy.
Get It Ready for Your Readings
You can obtain a tarot cards deck in two ways:
- You have purchased a new or used deck
- You have been gifted one
Without addressing whether you should have bought one rather than waiting to get one as a present, it is crucial to get the deck ready for your readings.
Indeed, if the deck belonged to someone else, it is still likely to have that person’s energy on it. This can be extremely disruptive for your readings, especially as you cannot be sure regarding the type of energy that person infused in the deck – which could also be negative or obsessive!
Naturally, it is good practice to cleanse the deck before gifting it. But, to prevent disruptions and inaccurate or tiring readings, you should always proceed to cleans it again – just to be sure!
In another scenario, you would have bought a new deck. In this case, proceeding with a cleansing ritual is essential to break it in and make it yours. This also gives you the chance to recharge it or infuse it with your own energy.
Reset It After a Draining Tarot Reading
The energy around them can influence both inanimate and animate objects. Additionally, the manual and kinetic nature of a tarot reading can influence the card’s energy.
Both the physical and spiritual factors of this practice will play an essential role in the cards’ ability to offer you an accurate reading. If you have been performing several readings, you have not taken a break in a while, or you have just finished a particularly draining reading, you might decide to cleanse your cards.
This is excellent to get rid of all negative feelings, replenish the energy lost, and infuse the cards with positive vibes. Then, you are ready to get started again!
Eliminate Negative or Obsessive Energy
If you read tarot cards for clients, it is possible that, from time to time, you get a client that brings on negative energy. Or, if you just practice tarots to get valuable insights about your own life, sometimes you might do a reading while being in a not-so-happy moment of your life. In both situations, the reader’s mood and energy and anybody around might transfer to the cards.
In this case, performing a thorough cleansing ritual might be the only way for you to ensure that cards are reset and neutralized. In turn, your deck will be ready for another reading – without being influenced by the outstanding energy in it.
To Reset Your Deck After Someone Else Touched It
Just like your own energy influences your cards’ reading and accuracy, the energy of others who might have touched your cards can also have an effect. Not all readers are as strict regarding who touches their cards.
Indeed, in some cases, are the readers themselves who pass the cards to the client. This strategy is ideal if you ask your client to shuffle and handle the cards and transfer some of their own energy (positive or negative) to the deck.
However, some other readers prefer the client to just interview the deck without passing on the cards. Oppositely to the other methods, this method is ideal if you are looking to preserve the deck’s energy.
Independently on your preferences, you might decide you perform a cleansing ritual to get rid of any negative energy that might be lingering on the deck.
Reset Your Cards After a Confusing Reading
If your readings seem to be always negative, inaccurate, confusing, or just “stuck,” it is possible that your tarot cards need cleansing. This tends to happen after several readings, especially if you have not taken a break since the start.
In this case, opting for a quick cleansing ritual is the best option to replenish the energy lost and ensure the cards are ready to offer an accurate reading.
Clean Your Cards After an Accident
If your cards have been exposed to dangers, involved in an accident, or just fallen on the floor, you might decide to perform a cleansing ritual to re-establish the positive flow of energy they had before such an accident.
The Ritual of Cleansing Your Cards
Cleansing your cards is something that should be done when you feel it is right to do so. However, generally, you should perform a cleansing, clearing, and charging ritual as soon as you get your new deck. This is to get the cards ready for the first time.
You might then decide to repeat such a ritual when you wish to re-establish your connection with the card and tune your energy with the deck’s energy.
However, the way you prefer to perform this ritual – and how often – is completely up to you. Indeed, many readers would cleanse their deck when they need to reconnect or when they feel like the cards’ energy has changed, and the readings are no longer accurate.
Sometimes, you can decide to perform a quick cleaning procedure in-between readings. This might not be a long-term solution, but it can help you carry on with your readings, knowing that the cards’ energy level is fairly balanced.
In all this, don’t forget that caring and maintaining for your cards is just as important as regularly cleansing them. You can find more info about caring for your tarot cards in the video below:
Building a relationship with your tarot cards is something that takes time and effort. However, you should never underestimate the importance that dedicating time to reacquaint yourself with the deck or cleansing it after an intense reading can bring. Indeed, the cards’ energy can influence the accuracy and mood of each reading.
To neutralize, cleanse, and recharge your cards, try blowing or knocking on the deck. Alternatively, you might opt for a salt burial, Moon Bath, or Sun Bath. Other methods include using a smudge stick, incense, or crystals.