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Spiritual Cleansing of the Tarot: Tips and Tricks for You

Spiritual Cleansing of the Tarot: Tips and Tricks for You 


Have you noticed that something feels "off" or not quite right with your tarot cards lately, and have you wondered how to fix it? Maybe a recent reading has failed to bring clarity, or maybe you just feel "stuck" when it comes to divining what the cards are trying to communicate.

If this sounds familiar, spiritually cleansing your cards might be just the thing you need to get out of a rut. A thorough cleansing of the tarot deck can work wonders in breaking free of any unforeseen energy blocks that could be hindering your tarot experience.

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To keep your tarot deck in good condition, it may be useful to mark your calendar and set up a schedule to regularly cleanse the deck. Personally, I find that cleansing my tarot cards on a weekly or monthly basis ensures that any negativity is kept at bay. Above all, clarity in readings, no matter what the outcome, is important to maintain. Cleansing your deck can help with that.

To help you through the process, I've put together some steps that can help you in this rewarding and important ritual. Hopefully you will find that these methods get you back on track.

What You Will Need to Cleanse Your Tarot Cards

To begin, be sure to gather everything you need for the method of card cleansing you choose. You may use multiple methods of cleansing, especially if something negative has directly touched your cards. A client with extremely negative energy may have handled them, for example, or you may have just acquired a secondhand deck. Either of these situations often necessitate an in-depth cleansing process to make sure that you and only you are channeling the energies in your next reading.

Other occasions for a good card cleansing might involve several unclear or negative readings within a short period, or dropping and scattering your cards unexpectedly. Sometimes energies become entangled and discordant when cards are mixed up without intention and mindfulness.

These situations may call for several methods of cleansing to fully calm and sort these energies. Once cleared of all negative potentials, you will hopefully find yourself fully reconnecting with your tarot deck. 

Some supplies and/or conditions needed for cleansing your deck include:

  • A clear night with a full moon
  • A moderately deep, airtight container, filled halfway full of salt
  • Fresh air, preferably right after a rain storm, though any fresh air will do
  • Sage smudgestick and match
  • Quartz crystal or other stone or crystal with cleansing properties
  • Pendulum
  • Your own hands and mindful silence

Tarot cards and other accessories

If you cannot or do not have access to some of these supplies, like sage or crystals, substitutes can be used. For example, regular incense can be used in lieu of sage, and a special stone or rock retrieved from the earth can be used instead of quartz crystal.

Likewise, if your problem is mostly negative readings, you can also use sunlight instead of moonlight to clear your cards. Sunlight is no more or less powerful than moonlight when it comes to cleansing divining objects, but it could work to clear the deck in a different way than moonlight.

Sometimes, negative energy is not necessarily the main problem when trying to figure out why tarot readings go awry and the cards seem distant and unclear. Often the spiritual side that guides a solid tarot reading can become confused or muddy. A cleansing of the tarot deck can be used to impose some order back onto these frantic and sometimes chaotic energies.

I know that I often experience a great sense of relief after I have performed a good clearing of the cards. Never underestimate the power of cleansing your life and cards from the spiritual drama that might surround you.

Step by Step Instructions

The instructions for each method should be followed as closely as possible, but alternatives for supplies or methods are noted where applicable.

Salt Immersion

man keeping salt  in his hand
  • Grab your tarot card deck and shuffle your cleansing intentions into it.
  • Get an airtight container with a lid. Glass is preferable but plastic will suffice if nothing else is available. Wooden containers are also acceptable.
  •  Take off the lid and fill the container halfway with salt. Any salt will do, but sea salt or other natural salt is preferable. Be sure to have enough salt to completely cover the card deck.
  • Bury your deck in the salt. Make sure the deck is completely immersed into the salt and there are no edges peeking out.
  • Let your cards sit in the salt overnight. You can also put the container in a window to allow moonlight to assist the salt in its healing energy.

  • Note: Table salt is acceptable, but natural salts, such as sea salt or Himalayan salts might be more effective since they bring some natural elements into the cleansing process. Likewise, your deck will still be cleared with a container that is constructed from manmade materials like plastic or cardboard, but glass, stone, or wooden containers may be more conducive to clearing negative energies.

    Moonlight or Sunlight Bath

    full moon over the mountains
    • Shuffle the tarot cards and put positive intentions into them.
    • Place the deck, uncovered, in a window sill or other area where they will have full exposure to moonlight.
    • A clear night and a full moon are optimal conditions for a moon bath. Your deck can also benefit from being exposed to a waxing moon. Try to avoid waning moon cycles, as they might further muddle any already-confused energies. 

    Note: If a moon bath is not preferable to you, or if a full or waxing moon is weeks away, try a sunlight bath. The sunlight bath can clear out negative energy. The method for exposing your cards to a sun bath is the same as a moonlight bath. Leave your deck in a window for at least six hours to receive the maximum amount of sunlight available. Light baths of either moon or sun light may be repeated as needed.


    • Lay your tarot cards in a single pile on a flat surface, such as a table.
    • Take your pendulum and wave it in a clockwise motion above the deck.
    • Stop moving the pendulum but keep holding it above the deck. Allow the pendulum to continue moving on it own. Remain in this position few minutes to allow any negative or confused energies to lift out of the cards.
    • Allow the deck to sit for a while undisturbed, optimally overnight.

    Note: Don't have a pendulum?  Check out this quartz one, it's really beautiful. Or you can try making one yourself using cord or twine. For the actual pendant piece, try using natural materials like rocks or pointed stones. You can also use a favorite necklace with a stone pendant as a substitute in a pinch.

    Crystal Clearing

    Cleansing quartz crystal in golden white light
    • Shuffle and cut your tarot cards, then lay them on a table in a single pile.
    • Take a quartz crystal and lay it on top of the deck.
    • Leave the crystal to sit overnight, if possible, or for several hours to fully cleanse the deck.

    Note: If you do not have a quartz crystal handy, (though you can easily purchase one on this link), I find that a rock or stone with special meaning also does the trick. A small stone dug from the earth has major grounding properties and might be just as effective as a quartz crystal. Another method of continuous cleansing is to place a quartz crystal inside the same box or pouch where your deck is normally kept. Keeping a crystal or cleansing stone near your cards when not in use might help in maintaining the spiritual purity of your deck.

    Sage Stick

    sage stick, aromatic oils
  • Two methods of card-clearing can be used with a sage stick. One way is to lay your cards in a pile on a table. The other method, which may be appropriate for more thorough cleansing in cases of heavy negative energies, involves laying your tarot cards out one by one, face up. This method may require extra room to spread out. Try using a blanket on the floor or a bed if you choose this method.
  • Take your sage smudge stick and light it.
  • Move the smudge stick in a clockwise fashion. You may say a prayer or chant of intention as you do this, for example, "I cleanse these cards of negativity." Make sure the smoke touches the cards on all sides.
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    Note: Internet is your best friend if you need a sage stick (or even a whole set with a bowl and everything else), but if a sage smudge stick is not available to you, try using your favorite incense stick. The idea of this method is to cleanse by smoke, which is an ancient way of clearing negative spirits and forces from an area. When the smoke clears, all bad or heavy energies usually are removed. Sage is preferred due to its natural healing properties, but as incense is usually rolled in natural spices and materials it can achieve similar effects to sage.

    Airing Out

    opened window to the sea
    • For this method, collect your tarot deck in a neat pile.
    • Place the pile near an open window. You may also find placing the cards on a flat surface outside works well, too. Be sure to not get your cards wet or damaged in any way.
    • Though this method is ideal after a fresh rain or thunderstorm, airing out the cards can be adapted for all weather. 

    Note: If it is a particularly windy day, secure your cards in a tied scarf or a box with holes in it. As long as outside air can still touch the cards, your deck could benefit from the cleansing properties of the outdoor air. Always place your cards in a area where they will remain safe and undisturbed by animals, weather, or other unforeseen forces.


    • Meditation is the easiest and simplest method of cleansing the cards, and can be done any time for any reason. First, take your cards and either set them in front of you in a pile or face-up.
    • Place both hands over your cards, fingers folded together. You might find it more comfortable to rest your elbows on the table with your fingers laced together over the cards.
    • Sit quietly for several minutes, meditating on positive energies. Visualize that good energy traveling into the cards.
    • Visualize your cards doing good work, giving positive readings and clear answers. You may find it helpful to speak out loud and vocalize these intentions. Meditation with vocal and visual cues can intensify the effect you wish to have on your cards.

    Note: This meditation not only clears the spiritual elements that hang over the deck, but it can also increase your connection with your cards. Meditation can be especially effective when acquiring a new deck, since acquainting yourself with your cards is a special and unique experience that every tarot reader should enjoy.


    A good and thorough cleansing of the tarot deck can improve your enjoyment of regular tarot readings for yourself and for clients. It's so important to keep your connection to your cards strong. I know for myself that clearing bad energies that inevitably come and go is a priority for any devoted tarot reader.

    Did you enjoy this overview? If you did, please share this article with others. Let us know in the comments what you think, and what your favorite method of clearing your tarot cards of negative or confused energy is.

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