When to Cleanse Your Tarot Deck? A COMPLETE Tarot Guide

  • By: Reece
  • Date: 20 February 2023
  • Time to read: 4 min.

When you receive a deck of tarot cards, a lot of people believe they have to cleanse them before they start working with them.

The thing is, the term “cleanse” means different things to different people, so it can be a bit confusing learning how to do this – or if it’s even necessary in the first place.

The first thing you should probably learn is the difference between cleansing tarot cards and clearing them, and that can be explained this way:
● Clearing your cards means intentionally neutralizing them. You can think of this like
the rebooting of your computer or resetting it back to the factory settings.
● Cleansing your cards means neutralizing them and removing any energies that are
distracting, heavy, or most importantly, negative.
Some people also “charge” the cards, which means putting back the positive energy. It can
be thought of like a priest who “blesses” certain items. When should you cleanse your cards?
At various times, including:
● When you get a new deck
● When you haven’t used your deck in a while
● When someone has touched your deck
● After you do an especially intense reading
● At certain important dates (e.g., full moon, the first day of the season, equinoxes, and
so on)

How to Cleanse your deck

When to cleanse your tarot deck. A complete Guide

If you’re curious about how to cleanse your deck, below are six suggestions.

Blowing and Knocking

This is perhaps the simplest and fastest way to cleanse your tarot cards. It consists of two very easy steps. First, take the cards in one hand and spread them out like you’re going to fan yourself with them. Then, gently blow on all of the cards, or at least as many of them as possible.

It doesn’t have to be a forceful blow. Just use one breath and blow on all of the cards in your hand.

After you’re done, stack the cards neatly in a pile on a hard surface. Then, take a knuckle or a finger and knock on top of the deck. Again, it doesn’t have to be a hard knock. Just knock on the deck gently and voila – your tarot deck is cleansed!

Use Crystals

Crystals have very powerful healing properties, and if you lay your deck either on top of or in between a few crystals, the crystals will draw out all of the negative energies so that your tarot deck can be cleansed and recharged. It’s also a fun way to cleanse for people who love to work with crystals.

Just what type of crystal should you use? The most popular crystal is a clear quartz, which you can even lay on top of your deck when you’re not using it so that it is continuously cleansed.

Other crystals that work great to cleanse a deck of tarot cards include selenite, amethyst, and even your birthstone.

A Salt Burial

This method takes a little longer than a lot of other methods because it is not instantaneous. In fact, it takes several days for the cleansing to take place, but it does cleanse them!

The first thing you’ll want to do is wrap the deck as tight as possible in plastic wrap. Make sure no air can get in and that it’s very tight. Next, get an airtight container and put the deck in there.

Then, cover the entire deck with salt. When you pour the salt in there, make sure the deck is completely covered. In other words, you shouldn’t even be able to see the cards once you finish pouring the salt in there.

Put the lid on the container and leave the cards in there for a few days. How many days, exactly? There is no set number, but you should keep the cards in there for at least two to three days, maybe even more.

Prayer and Meditation

It doesn’t matter what religion you are because this method works for all religions. As long as you believe in what you’re doing, the cleansing process will work. Simply hold the deck of cards in both hands and visualize white light all around it. Say a prayer or incantation, and/or meditate over the cards for a while. Visualize the negative energies being drawn from the cards, and concentrate on that for a while before starting to use them for a reading.

Moon Bath

This method should be used only when there is a full moon. On the night of a full moon, simply place the cards in your window to let the moon shine on them. If the weather permits, you can even place the deck outside right underneath the moonlight. If you have a personal Moon Phase, you can place them in the moonlight during that phase, which means you’ll develop a very strong connection with the cards.

If you want to charge the cards, just wrap the deck in a cloth bag made just for tarot cards and sleep with it under your pillow for three full nights, starting with a night when there’s a full moon.

Smudge Stick or Incense

If you’ve ever smudged a home or an object, you’ll know how to do the same for a deck of tarot cards. Simply light a smudge stick or some incense and pass the deck through the smoke to cleanse it and remove all past energies. You can use a locally sourced herb, dried sage, or Palo Santo. Smudging the deck not only cleanses it but charges it as well, so the herbs or incense serve a dual purpose.


If you’re wondering, can I do a reading for someone with cards that haven’t been cleansed, the answer is “yes,” you can. But keep in mind that the cards will be exposed to all sorts of energies, and the more you use them, the more those energies can build up. This is why cleansing your tarot cards is always a good thing.

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