How to Cleanse Tarot Cards: 8 Ways to Clear Your Deck

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Reading tarot isn’t just about shuffling and drawing your cards.

The relationship you have with your tarot deck plays a part in your ability to connect to and read your cards intuitively.

Cleansing and clearing your tarot cards is an important part of this relationship and will make the world of difference when it comes to reading accurate and insightful tarot spreads.

This post will tell you how to cleanse tarot cards in a variety of ways so that you can choose the method that resonates most with you! 

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Why do you need to cleanse tarot cards?

Cleansing your tarot cards helps to remove old and stagnant energies that might otherwise get in the way of your readings.

Think about it, if we’re using our tarot cards often then we’re putting all kinds of energies into them that can get in the way of that intuitive connection.

I like to call this “confusing the deck”.

Cleansing and clearing the cards is like starting on a blank slate and heading into a reading with fresh energy.

You don’t necessarily have to cleanse tarot cards every single time you use them, though you can if this feels right.

But as a general rule of thumb you want to cleanse your deck:

  • If it’s a new deck that you haven’t used yet
  • If you feel it is stagnant and your readings don’t resonate
  • If you’ve let somebody else handle your deck
how to cleanse tarot cards

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How to cleanse tarot cards in 8 different ways

Here’s how to cleanse your tarot cards in a variety of methods!

1. Incense/smudging your tarot cards

Smudging involves waving smoke around yourself, the room or an item in order to clear old or negative energies.

You can use this same method to cleanse your tarot cards.

Most people like to use sage or palo santo for this purpose, though you can also use incense for the same effect! 

2. Clearing tarot cards under the full moon

The full moon is a potent time to release old energy within ourselves and any items in our possession. 

Many people, including myself, like to cleanse crystals under the full moon, and you can also do the same with your tarot deck.

On the evening of a full moon, spread your deck on a window that will have access to moonlight. 

Let your cards soak up the clearing energy from the moon before collecting your deck in the morning.

As a side note, it is best not to leave your tarot cards outside since they may get damaged by the weather!

3. Cleansing tarot cards with crystals

Crystals are a powerful tool to cleanse your deck when it’s not in use.

One method is to keep your tarot deck in a tarot bag, along with some powerful cleansing crystals such as clear quartz.

Alternatively, you can leave your deck on a shelf or alter with a singular crystal placed on top.

This will ensure that each time you come to use your deck it has been cleared of any unnecessary or unhelpful energy!

woman holding crystals

4. Cleansing your deck with reiki

Reiki is a powerful energy healing modality that can clear negative energy and boost positive energy.

If you’re reiki attuned, you can use this energy to “purify” your tarot cards and ensure that they are fit for purpose!

5. Knocking on tarot cards

This is a method that I use before every reading, but admittedly it can feel a bit silly when you’re first venturing into learning tarot.

The method is simple - close your eyes and focus on the energy of the deck before knocking on it three times, like you would a door.

This is said to “wake the deck up”, and honestly, who knows if this method actually works or not.

But for me it’s become a symbolic ritual that helps me feel more connected to the cards and therefore improves my readings!

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6. Meditation and visualization

Another ritual that is a great way to cleanse your tarot cards is simply to meditate with them. 

Our minds are incredibly powerful, and so when you use visualization to imagine a cleansing or purging of your tarot cards it can hugely shift your connection to them.

This is a step that I tend to combine with the knocking method, and I like to keep my question or intention in mind while doing so to sort of “charge” the deck with this focus.

7. Reorder and shuffle the deck

When your readings are feeling a bit stagnant, a great method is to reorder and shuffle the deck.

This can act as a reset and allow you to start afresh without any baggage from previous readings.

To do this, stack the cards in order. I like to order each of the minor arcana first followed by the major arcana.


Once in order, you can then reshuffle the cards to proceed with a new reading!

shuffling tarot cards

8. Simple blessing for tarot cards

Another handy tip for how to cleanse tarot cards is to offer a blessing or a prayer. 

It is particularly beneficial to bless a deck that is new to you, but you can bless your deck at any point that you feel is necessary.

Set up your space in a way that is sacred to you and read a blessing that resonates with you.

Here is a simple blessing for tarot cards that you may wish to offer:

“Blessed Ones in whom I live, move, and have my being. From you all things emerge and unto You they do return. I ask this day for these cards to be blessed with clarity, love, and wisdom.
I ask for Clarity so that what I see and what I show to others is clear, makes sense, is transparent, accessible, and easy to understand. I ask for Clarity so that these cards work as the mirrors that they truly are – reflecting back to myself and to others the deepest truths which are already and always known by Soul.
I ask for Love so that all messages, all words, all visions received are brought forth in ways that are kind, compassionate, fierce, yet also gentle. I ask for Love so that these cards work as the wellspring that they truly are, delivering the healing waters that restore and bless into our lives even and most especially when the truths we need to hear are harsh and jagged.
I ask for Wisdom so that whatever is given by the cards and taken up by myself or by others is taken up with clarity and love intact and is put to use, practical and direct use, in the ways that are best. I ask for Wisdom so that these cards throw down true and their messages contain accurate descriptions of what is and what is to come but also and more essentially, what is always.
May it be so, amen.”
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I hope that this post offers you some helpful options for how to cleanse your tarot cards in a way that resonates with you.

If you try any of these methods, feel free to let me know!

And don’t forget to pin this post!

how to cleanse tarot cards

About Esther

Esther is the founder of Through the Phases.  Her mission is to guide others to grow to their full potential and create their dream life using spiritual and personal growth practices. Read more about her story here!

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