How to Cleanse Tarot Cards

how to cleanse tarot cards

Whether you’re an expert tarot reader or just starting out, you need to cleanse tarot cards regularly. Doing so purifies the energy of the cards and will help you give clearer, more accurate readings.

Your cards can hold your energy. Cleansing them can dispel residual energy so the deck is ready to receive the intention of whoever you’re reading for. 

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When to Cleanse Your Deck

Ideally, you should cleanse your tarot deck every time before you use it. If that’s not possible, you should cleanse it in the following situations:

When it is new

You should definitely cleanse your deck when you first get it. The tarot cards have been traveling a lot and have passed through many hands to get to you. Cleansing your new deck is also a great way to familiarize yourself with the tarot cards. Once you have cleansed it, place it under your pillow for the first three nights so you can develop a closer bond with them.

When someone else uses it

When someone else uses your deck, they can transfer negative energy onto your cards. You should also cleanse the space where you do readings as well. This will help neutralize the energy.

When you’re stressed

It’s never a great time to do a reading when you’re under any kind of high stress. This is because you will have a hard time reading the cards accurately. If you do a tarot reading for yourself or someone else and the energy is heavy, you should cleanse your tarot deck after and before using it again.

When you travel with it

If you travel with your deck, your cards may pick up surrounding energies. Cleanse them to be on the safe side.

When your intuition says to

You will become more in tune with your tarot deck the longer you have your cards and the more you use them. When you sense they need a cleanse, act on that impulse. You may also shuffle and pull a card and sense that the deck needs a cleanse.  

How to Cleanse Tarot Cards

There are several ways you can cleanse your tarot cards.


Certain crystals such as selenite or clear quartz can be great for cleansing tarot decks. Lay your crystal on top of your deck to charge it. If you have a large, flat crystal, you may want to place your deck on top it. 


Take your cards outside and fan them in the sun. It is recommended that you don’t leave them outside in direct sunlight as this can cause fading and will damage your deck. Instead, wave them around in the sunlight to purify them from negative energy.


Place your tarot deck under direct moonlight to cleanse their energy. For optimal cleaning, put them out under a full moon and lay a crystal on top.


Smoke is an excellent tool for cleansing your tarot deck. Wave some incense such as copal over it or use sage or palo santo to lightly cleanse your tarot deck. For best results, cleanse the space where you read as well.


Knocking your deck before you shuffle is a simple, fast way to cleanse your deck by literally knocking old energy out of it.


Bells, singing bowls, and frequency music is a great way to purify your tarot deck.


Salt is one of the oldest purifying techniques. Sprinkle some sea salt on your deck to help cleanse it of all energies or place your deck in a bowl of sea salt overnight.

Before Your Tarot Reading

Once you have cleaned your deck, you should place it in a calm, secure environment. Light a candle and set an intention for your reading. You may want to put some soothing music on in the background. Begin shuffling your cards with a clear intention in mind. You may want to voice this intention, such as, “I’m doing a relationship reading and I’m looking for clarification. What do I need to know right now?” Focus clearly on the question as you shuffle.

To remove stagnant energy from your deck and get clearer, more accurate readings, be sure to cleanse your deck between readings and cleanse the space you read regularly. We suggest using a combination of cleansing techniques for optimal results.

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