How To Cleanse Tarot Cards

If you are a new tarot reader or dabbling into the experience and learning about what you can about it before taking that plunge to get a deck, you likely have heard other readers talk about cleansing their tarot cards.

You may be wondering why it is necessary to cleanse tarot cards considering they are only 78 pieces of beautiful cardboard. Still, if you are truly getting into the craft, you will see that these cards have a more profound meaning than only 78 pieces of lovely cardboard!

Tarot is a sacred tool not only for divination but for helping to spur creativity, and it is a great self-help tool when it comes to cleansing these cards; it is essential to do that. 

Why Should You Cleanse Tarot Cards?

You know that everything is energy, and everything you touch means passing your energy onto it. And when you are using a sacred tool such as tarot, you want to ensure that your frequency is high because you will get a clear reading whether you are reading for a client, a friend, or yourself. Conversely, stagnant or polluted energy will taint the cards and have a negative effect on the reading.

Therefore, practicing proper hygiene is essential, and you want to practice the best spiritual hygiene you can, which is why cleansing your cards is vital.

What Happens If You Don’t Cleanse Them?

You wouldn’t want to wear the same shirt each day that is full of sweat, dead skin cells, and crumbs of food that you have eaten even if you don’t see them, right? Because that is one example of poor physical hygiene; if you don’t cleanse your cards at all, then that is poor spiritual hygiene.

Think about how wearing the same shirt all of the time will cause you to be smelly. Okay, if you don’t cleanse your cards, it may not physically smell bad, but you may feel the stagnant energy and end up pulling up either reading with adverse outcomes or readings that don’t make sense. Now you know why you need to cleanse your tarot cards. 

Cleansing your cards is the same as doing laundry consistently or showering regularly. You cannot imagine not doing those things. As a tarot reader, you will also not be able to visualize not cleansing your cards because when you do take your practice seriously, it will be an automatic thing for you to do. Now, you may wonder how often you should cleanse your cards or when you should do it. Let’s go over that. 

When Should You Cleanse Tarot Cards?

You may not want to hear this, but there is no right or wrong time or frequency to cleanse your cards. In other words, you need to use your intuition when cleaning your cards happens to be suitable. If you almost get stagnant or unhealthy energy around your cards and don’t remember when the last time you cleaned them is a sign right there that your cards need cleansing. If you don’t use a deck of cards too often and each time you use them, you feel the energy around them is fresh, which is a sign that they don’t need cleansing. 

How often and when to cleanse them is up to you. However, as contradictory as this may sound, there are times when it is necessary you need to cleanse the cards. For example, when starting a new deck, you need to cleanse it because you need to know what energies surround it. 

For example, if you buy a brand new tarot deck from Amazon, you need to know what energies surround the manufacturer’s printer. If there were negativity around the printer, that would rub off onto your new deck. Therefore, you need to cleanse the new deck right when you get it or before you begin using it. 

It is also a good idea to cleanse your cards if others have handled your deck or if you have done plenty of emotional readings for friends or clients. Even if you have been doing a lot of positive readings, your cards need a cleanse. Using your cards is an excellent reason to keep cleansing your cards.

However, the frequency of how often to cleanse your cards is entirely up to you. Now you may want to know how you can cleanse your cards. Do you wash them in the literal sense? Well, if the cards are laminated, you can do that, or you could ruin them.

Let’s go over how you can cleanse your cards, as there are various methods. 

What Are Different Ways To Cleanse Tarot Cards?

There are various ways you can cleanse your tarot cards. And you will want to choose the way you resonate with the most. One tarot reader may cleanse their cards in a different way than you may choose to do it. Now, let’s go over the other methods that you can use to cleanse your cards:

Use a crystal to cleanse by placing it on the deck: A standard method for you to cleanse your deck is by placing a crystal to help protect your deck as it absorbs its energies, such as clear quartz, selenite, or black tourmaline. You can place the cleansing and protective crystal on the deck overnight to absorb the negativity and stagnant energies from the deck. However, if you want to do a light cleanse where you want to cleanse due to reading for a few clients in one day, you can place the crystal on the deck for an hour. 

Cleanse with smoke: You want to cleanse your deck with sacred smoke from sage, lavender, palo santo, cedar, or dried rosemary. As you burn the herbs in one hand, you will put the deck near the smoke with the other hand as the smoke will surround the cards and remove the negativity or stagnant energy. You will want to allow all corners and sides of the deck of cards to be in contact with the smoke, so you are effectively cleansing it. 

Put the cards in a bowl of sea salt: You know that salt is known to be very cleansing, and if you put sea salt or Kosher salt in a bowl and allow the cards to absorb the energies by placing them in there, this is a powerful way to purify your cards. Of course, you will want to ensure that humidity levels are manageable when cleansing them through this method. 

Put the cards on the window sill in the sunlight: You can always put the cards on your window sill during the day to cleanse them with sunlight. You don’t want to keep your cards exposed to the sunlight for too long, or it can warp them. However, sunlight is a great way to wash away stagnant and negative energies. You can keep them for a few hours in the day, and you want to keep them there for at most five hours as the sun can damage the art if kept too long. 

Place the cards on the window sill overnight so they can absorb the moonlight: If you don’t want to place your cards on the window sill during the day for the concern that the sunlight could warp the cards, then you can always put the cards overnight so it can soak up the moonlight. You don’t have to wait until there is a Full Moon to cleanse your cards. However, there must be some moonlight, as you would not achieve anything with a New Moon. Placing the cards during a lunar eclipse is not a good idea, as the eclipse can interfere with the cleansing process. 

You can shuffle the cards chaotically: Why not put them on the floor laid out and mix them up chaotically? That is another way you can kick the stagnant or negative energies out of the cards. If you are reading for clients, it may be a quick way to kick it out.  

Those are the main ways to cleanse cards, and the way you cleanse them is up to you as long as you do it! Do what feels right. So let’s go over the dos and don’ts of cleansing. 

The Dos And Don’ts For Cleansing Tarot Cards

There is no right or wrong way to cleanse your tarot cards when it comes to how you cleanse them. However, you want to be responsible with what you do with the cards. For instance, as mentioned, if you choose to put your cards on the window sill, so it soaks up the sunlight, you don’t want to place them for more than five hours, or else they will warp and ruin the cards, and at the very least it could ruin the artwork. 

You will only want to use the salt cleansing method if there is a lot of humidity, or else the salt will stick to the cards and ruin them. If the humidity is high, choose alternative methods to cleanse your cards. 

And if you are thinking of washing your cards in the literal sense, you will regret it because, unless they are laminated, you will ruin your cards. Therefore, when thinking of “cleansing the cards,” don’t take that literally by washing them with soap and water. If you don’t wash your cards or keep them in the sunlight for too long, you can cleanse them in any way you choose. 

However, it is essential to cleanse your cards in the ways mentioned because you want to avoid doing readings with old energies tainting them. It does not matter if the cards directly came from the manufacturer, were gifted to you, or were touched or used for a while. They need cleansing.

Here are some helpful resources on crystals and tarot cards:

1. Crystals For the Urban Chick: A Beginner’s Guide to Using Crystals for Healing, Cleansing, and Protection, by Nia Nyree Brown.

2. Crystal Gridwork: The Power of Crystals and Sacred Geometry to Heal, Protect and Inspire, by Kiera Fogg.

3. The Mexican Witch Lifestyle: Brujeria Spells, Tarot, and Crystal Magic, by Valeria Ruelas.

4. Guided Tarot: A Beginner’s Guide to Card Meanings, Spreads, and Intuitive Exercises for Seamless Readings, by Stefani Caponi.

5. Tarot for Beginners: A Guide to Psychic Tarot Reading, Real Tarot Card Meanings, and Simple Tarot Spreads (Divination for Beginners Series), by Lisa Chamberlain. 

If you’re new to tarot, check out our beginner’s guide, and also our history of tarot guide. Enjoy!