Tips for why and how to cleanse tarot cards.
While shuffling the tarot deck is a way to cleanse and clear the energy of the cards, there are times when you might want to do something more specific and ritualized. Maybe you’re just starting to learn tarot and cleansing your deck seems like a good place to begin.
There are many reasons why you may want to cleanse your tarot deck, including:
- Starting out with a new deck
- Doing readings for others
- You feel like you need a refresh
- Your card readings feel “off” or a little disconnected
- You haven’t used your deck for a while
- Others have handled your deck
- You feel like you’ve be using your deck A LOT – especially for emotionally heavy readings
Why should you cleanse or clear your tarot deck?
Cleansing your tarot deck can keep the energy between you and your deck flowing. Think of it like a little spiritual hygiene to keep the connection clear and well tuned. It’s not something you need to do, but if you’re feeling any of the above, explore a few different ways of clearing your deck energetically (see below) and note which ones feel like they work the best for you.
How often should you cleanse your tarot deck?
There are no hard and fast rules here, which is another way of saying USE YOUR INTUITION. If you don’t feel like your deck needs it, don’t worry about it. Or if you want to cleanse them once a week or once a month, great. You can even put your favorite crystal on the deck each night, if that feels right to you.
If you’re regularly placing crystals on your deck and putting your deck on an altar when you’re not using it, you may not feel the need to cleanse it often as this small ritual can be enough to keep your deck feeling good to you.
Just like there are many reasons you might want to cleanse your cards, there are plenty of ways to do it.
Different ways to cleanse your tarot deck
Use sacred smoke. Light a smoke cleansing wand made of dried rosemary, lavender, cedar, sage, or palo santo until it’s smoking. With the burning herbs in one hand and deck in the other, hold the smoke a safe distance below the deck, so the smoke wafts upward onto the cards. Turn the deck so that all sides get engulfed by the smoke. Then set your deck down and safely stop the smoke.
Place a selenite stone (or black tourmaline or clear quartz) on the deck. I like to let it sit like this overnight, but an hour would work, too.
Put them out on under a New Moon. The New Moon is blank slate energy, you can cleanse the deck under the new moon by placing it on a window sill on a new moon night. You can also set a fresh intention for your deck at this time.
Stick the cards in a bowl of salt. Salt is a powerful and grounding cleanser. This is my favorite option for a serious cleanse. Let it sit 1-8 hours in dry place (watch out for humidity with this one!)
Chaotic shuffle. Lay the cards out on the floor and mix them up like you’re a kid playing in mud. The randomness and freedom of this method is a great reset.
The sort and shuffle. Lay out the deck starting with the Major Arcana numbers 0-22 in lines of 7 cards across (see photo above). Then lay out the cards Ace through King for each suit in this order: Wands, Cups, Swords, Pentacles. View the deck in this form, then mix it all up (like the chaotic!) and shuffle well.
How to cleanse tarot cards
There’s no right or wrong way to cleanse your deck. Experiment and find what works for you. Some methods of cleansing might work better for different situations. If you want to learn more about reading tarot intuitively, sign up for the waitlist for my course, Tarot Foundations.
You can also book a tarot reading or tarot tutoring session with me.