Cleansing your cards
There’s a tradition in the tarot community of cleansing and clearing new, and old, tarot cards, this applies to oracle cards too. Lets start off with the difference between tarot and oracle cards!
Tarot cards are a fairly structured set of cards . There are different schools of tarot and variations from deck to deck, any tarot deck you pick up will have the Major Arcana covering what we call ‘The Fool's Journey,’ — in other words, major archetypes or lessons we encounter in life — and the Minor Arcana, which covers the more day-to-day experiences. There’s usally 78 cards in a deck
Oracle decks are more free wheeling but typically don't follow that setup. The amount of cards in any deck can vary in number as well as theme. Overall, the big difference is in the number of cards and whether it's split between majors and minors. Oracle decks are much more unique and personalized, and they can often better represent you than the tarot can. The difference between oracle and tarot cards may seem subtle, but using them together can really improve your readings and deepen your intuition. But no matter what you use how you use them it’s good energetic hygiene to clear, cleanse and activate your cards.
Here’s the good news: it’s easy and optional for whatever deck you have
Many readers don’t cleanse their decks –which is totally fine and many people don’t cleanse their cards at all! So don’t feel stressed - it’s whatever you feel guided to do.
Personally I feel sometimes my cards get energetic gunk stuck on them, when I have been doing reading for others. So I like to do a cleanse inbetween each reading, but as I said it’s up to what resonates with you.
- So, why would you want to cleanse or bless your cards?
- Pre loved cards – Who knows who owned the deck? They may of been negative, anxious, or maybe an obsessive energy was surrounding their usage- we just don’t know . So it’s better to reset, start from scratch and freshen them up! plus get them attuned to you as the new user.
- Some practitioners prefer that no one touch’s their cards! If you feel that your cards read differently after someone touches them, then don’t let people touch them. Otherwise, it’s a personal preference –not a hard-fast rule. Do practice good energetic hygiene or etiquette and ask first before touching someone else’s cards.
- Reading too often on a subject can cause the readings to become confused. A bit like asking your pendulum a lot of crazy questions- they just won’t play ball. If this is the case, the common practice is to let the deck “rest” or restart by cleansing it.
- You feel the need to reconnect with a deck or revisiting an older deck – If your cards were stored away for a while, cleansing or clearing them is a great way to reconnect.
- If your readings are consistently negative or confusing – Maybe there’s weird energetic funk attached to your cards that’s messing up the reading. Reading on a negative situation may produce negative card outcomes. But sometimes you do get a funky, unexplainably negative vibe that needs clearing.
So what’s the best ways to clear- cleanse and refresh them energetically ?
My Top 10 Tips
Clear quartz – Cleanses the deck. It also amplifies the energy of the cards.
Selenite – Cleansing and connecting with spirit guides.
Black tourmaline – Grounding. Absorbs negative energy.
Kyanite - I actually keep a piece permanently with my cards. It’s so high vibrational that it never needs cleaning whilst it’s cleansing/guarding your cards. It also repels negative energy!
You can place crystals under, between, or on top of your cards. A special bag with crystal chips can also house your cards.
Want to crystal grid your cards to amplify the connection ? Simply choose corresponding stones to your intention ie - citrine, pyrite and Amazonite when asking the deck for clarity on business or career success.
Crystals to amplify spiritual connection, enhance psychic senses and intuition.
Lodolite/garden Quartz/shamanic quartz
Place your decks on a window sill, where the light of a full moon will bathe them in its light. If you’d like to layer the energy of the full moon up another notch, use the corresponding zodiac sign of that full moon to charge up your deck with an intention. Because when the moon changes phases, it also moves through the twelve positions of the zodiac wheel.
Pranic Energy - sun bath
Like a moon bath, you can leave your cards out on a sunny day, or in a spot where they will receive sunlight.
I wouldn’t recommend this if you live in a humid environment – unless warped or bent cards don’t bother you.This is a fabulous way to charge your cards with positive, radiant energy of the sun.
what’s your favourite? Smudge bundles -Palo Santo- incense sticks - essential oil diffusing - spritzing with gem elixirs? There are so many options. Just be careful not to soak or burn your cards ! Choose an incense that has blessing or cleansing properties associated with it.
Some readers cleanse each card in their deck one at a time. But if you want to have one go at it with the whole deck, do that. It’s also a good idea to cleanse yourself or your reading space to clear out any energy around you. Smudging yourself before and after readings (especially when reading for someone else) is a common practice with many readers.
Rather than wrapping your cards and burying them in salt ( which is messy and there’s a chance you could damage your cards if not done properly) try placing them on a slab on Himalayan salt or near your salt lamp. Here the positive ions from the minerals in the salt can help cleanse and purify negative energy
This could be a Singing bowl, bells or perhaps downloading specific frequencies from Spotify.
For those of you not familiar - this is an energy healing system that uses energy channeled through the hands. If your not a reiki practitioner don’t worry, try meditating with an intention while holding the cards in your hands.
This is one of my favourite ways to clear a deck. It’s as easy assigner knocks the deck there times like your knocking on a door or gather the deck and tap the sides on a table to physically clear the energy.
A fabulous way to get reacquainted to a deck that’s been in storage a while or a great way to “meet” a new deck.
Simply reorder a shuffled deck back to its original order With the tarot place the Major Arcana first, followed by the Minor Arcana. The oracle cards are usually numbered so place them back into their sequence
Blowing on the cards
This can be done by fanning out the deck and blowing on it. Using breath for cleansing is an intriguing method- A little like blowing on the dice or cards in a gambling situation , this it works for a lot of people!
Visualization and meditation
Simply imagine a ball of light cleansing the cards or wind blowing away the residual energy. This can be done while shuffling or by just holding the deck in your hands.
You can recite prayers or perhaps use a mantra or affirmation to cleanse and charge the cards. When developing a meditation or prayer for your cards, ask yourself what you want your deck to help you with. Some examples include: guidance from spirit or your higher self, to serve your clients, help with healing or shadow work, etc.
For me, clearing and cleansing my decks are like hitting the reset button to ensure a purer energetic reading. It also refreshes my memory and reconnects me to cards I haven’t used in a while.
All of the methods above can be mixed and matched. Try one out and see if it works for your readings.
Hopefully, you’ve found a cleansing method that resonates with you. If not, don’t worry! There are many amazing, talented readers who don’t use any of these cleansing methods.