Cleansing The Cards
It’s natural for tarot cards to accumulate & harbor energy, since that is the primary force they operate through; it can “clog” or “restrain” them, making them rather unproductive, though it doesn’t damage them. They simply need to rest and be refreshed every now & then, just like the reader does.
I suggest trying all of them out & sticking to the ones that work for you.
Simply shuffle the deck with the intention of cleansing it, in whatever way that’s most comfortable for you & for as long as you feel you need to.
Sort the cards – arrange them in order of the 22 Major Arcana and 4 suits of the 56 Minor Arcana. Allow the deck to “rest” in proper sequence for a while. You could also simply sort the cards so that all are upright & none reversed.
Tap the deck against something, or tap it with your hands / another object.
(This method is better for projective/masculine decks.) Place the deck in sunlight and leave it there until you feel that all the unwanted energy has been burned, faded, blinded, or driven out.
(This method is better for receptive/feminine decks.) Place the deck in moonlight and leave it there until you feel that all the unwanted energy has been drained, coaxed, flushed, or guided out.
Place the deck in a sealed, air-tight plastic bag and bury it in organic salt. Let the salt soak up the excess energy for a few days, or until you feel it’s done.
Place a crystal that corresponds to your intention upon the deck, or somewhere near it. You could also form a crystal grid around it.
Pass the deck through the smoke of incense or burning plants that correspond to your intention (most people would use dried sage or rosemary).
Swing a pendulum of your choice clockwise in circular motions above or on the surface around the deck with your intention in mind until you feel that all the unwanted energy has been drawn out & expelled.
Play any instrument with your intention in mind, or place the deck near a speaker and play music that corresponds to your intention.
*You can also cleanse each card individually rather than the whole deck at once, if you prefer. It takes longer but it’s more thorough & “intimate”
After cleansing your deck, store it in a special box/bag/cloth and/or with a quartz crystal to protect and generally upkeep its clean state.
Simple tip: cleanse your deck every time you use it. This is the easiest way to maintain a healthy deck, & the ritual of it can improve your general relationship with the cards as well as your connection with them in the moment.
Other good opportunities to cleanse your deck:
- It’s brand-new / inherited / borrowed / secondhand
- Another person has come into contact with it (especially if it was without your permission – the deck will let you know if it’s been meddled with)
- It has come into direct contact with a surface or object you didn’t want it to (this mainly applies to the tarot readers who take extra precautions to preserve the energetic integrity of their deck – such as only laying the cards on a designated cloth/mat/board, not allowing others to touch them, etc)
- It has come into direct contact with another deck
- It hasn’t been used for a long period of time
- It’s been accidentally scattered/messed up/physically damaged
- Many different readings have been performed with it
- An extensive/intense reading has been performed with it
Symptoms of a deck that needs to be cleansed:
- An irregularly large amount of cards drawn in a reading are reversed
- An irregularly large amount of cards are falling or popping out of the deck while you shuffle & handle it in general / the deck won’t stay together
- The readings are becoming unclear, or you’re having an unnecessarily difficult time interpreting & discerning their meaning; you’re getting mixed messages, the cards aren’t cohesive, and so on. If you feel like you’re not gaining anything out of the readings you do with a deck, you need to cleanse it.
- You get the sense that you need to cleanse the deck. This could manifest in many different ways; perhaps you feel bored of the deck or distant from it, or perhaps its “personality” changes, or perhaps you simply feel off about it. Common “off” feelings are slowness or lethargy, disengagement, bitterness, exhaustion, a sense of a contrary or combative disposition, misplaced irony, dullness or hollowness, strain, stress, aggravation, confusion, or alienation, and may come from either you or the deck itself when you interact with it.
- You can’t bring yourself to focus on the readings you do with it; neither you nor the deck can maintain your concentration / awareness / full presence.
- You consistently lose and misplace the deck or you can’t find it when you want to use it – or other people have moved it, even just once. If you don’t give it a spot and it tends to wander around your house, that may translate into your cards. Cleanse them and pick a permanent/regular place to keep them.
- The deck loses its “magic” and begins to feel like plain paper to you
- Using the deck consistently drains, frustrates, upsets, or annoys you / using it no longer brings you whatever beneficial quality it usually does.