I remember when I got my first Tarot deck. I ripped the box open and excitedly started practicing, not at all realizing that my deck needed a serious clearing first.
Who knows exactly how each deck was made and what energy it was made with? These reasons alone are enough to initially clear the deck, but I even neglected to clear it as I was practicing more and more and giving readings.
Without a proper clearing or cleansing, the energy of each reading stays in the deck. To be exact, any energy that the deck picks up at any time leaves an imprint until it’s cleared.
A friend gets upset with me while we’re practicing with the deck? That energy stays with the deck. Someone gets a love reading and feels hopeful for the future with their partner? That hope and those feelings of renewed love will leave an imprint that might show up during the next reading. When you forget to clear your deck, it’s much easier to give an inaccurate reading.
In order to give precise readings (even for yourself while practicing!), you need to either clear or cleanse the deck. Typically, a clearing is quicker and more simple; it will clean out the energies from the last few readings. A cleansing is more in-depth, and will scrub away any larger energetic attachments that the deck may be holding onto.
A cleansing is only necessary once in a great while or after an especially deep reading. If you feel like a cleansing should be done, then follow your instincts, otherwise clearings are most likely sufficient for now.
I put these clearing and cleansing methods in order of strength. If you feel that your cards need a typical clearing between readings, start with the first few methods – they’re the easiest and least time consuming. If your cards are holding a lot of energy and need a heavy duty cleansing, try a method further down the list.
At any point in time, you’ll be able to feel which method you want to select. Always choose the one that stands out to you: if it feels right, it is!
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The most basic way to clear the deck is to shuffle it. You can rearrange it however you life, but make sure to do so until the energy feels clear.
You’ll know when that happens: it feels like a weight lifts and the cards are suddenly fresh and new. This is the method I use most often between readings because it’s quick, simple, and it works!
This method is great for daily use and to simply clear the cards in between readings, but once in a while you’ll want to do a deeper cleansing. For this, you’ll need to invoke the elements.
Ordering the Deck
This is another simple clearing that’s perfect for after you’ve finished working and want to put the cards away. You don’t want to leave the old energy attached to them, so it can help to go through the deck and order it by number and suit from beginning to end. This resets the cards and puts them back in their proper places so that they’ll be fresh the next time you want to use them.
If you don’t have time for this, shuffling to clear the deck works as well. Use whichever method feels right to you.
Another simple method is meditation. I usually meditate on my deck if I don’t feel that shuffling has completely done the job but want to keep working. After shuffling, hold the deck between your hands and picture your hands sending white, cleansing light into the deck.
Five minutes of this should be sufficient, but you’ll feel a weight lift when the deck is energetically clear.
Sunlight & Moonlight
If you’re looking for powerful cleansers, sunlight and moonlight are the way to go! You need a good amount of time to let either sunlight or moonlight cleanse your deck (at least a few hours) but it’s a relatively strong cleansing, so I only do this once a month or so.
I’ll typically put my deck outside my window but inside my screen so that none of the cards fly away in the wind. It’s usually pretty easy to find a spot where sunlight or moonlight will directly touch my cards for a few hours. I tend to leave my deck out all day/night even if the sunlight or moonlight won’t be precisely facing it the whole time; I think indirect rays work well too.
You probably won’t want to do this cleansing in between every reading or practice session, but it is great to do once a month, once a quarter, or whenever you feel that your cards need a strong cleansing.
A quicker but similarly strong cleanser is incense. You can light a stick of incense and either cleanse around the edges of the deck as a whole, or you can cleanse each card (which is obviously much more time consuming). Usually, cleansing around the edges of the deck does the trick. I only cleanse each card if I’m clearing a powerful reading or feel strongly compelled to do so.
Make sure to choose a type of incense that will aid you in your next few readings. I typically pick incense that has to do with psychism or spirituality (such as lavender) versus incense that correlates with money or love, but this is a personal preference.
Salt is one of the best cleansing agents there is. Fill a bowl or bucket with salt (coarse, natural sea salt is best; black salt and Himalayan salt work well too) and bury your Tarot cards in the bowl.
You’ll want to let it sit for at least 8 hours. This is a great cleanser because salt purifies your cards on all levels (physically, emotionally, and energetically) so you’re basically starting over with a brand new deck.
Keep in mind that, depending on the kind of cards you have and the kind of salt you use, the salt can ruin the cards. You probably won’t need to use this method unless you sense some serious energy attached to the cards that’s impacting your readings.
The strongest and most powerful cleanser is burying your cards in dirt outside. This is best done at night (ideally when the moon is out). They should be left buried for 7 days, and dug up at the same time as they were buried.
The earth is a wonderful cleansing agent, and it will not only purify your deck (to the extreme) but will also impart earthly qualities into the deck to keep it more stable and well-balanced going forward. I’ve only used this method a few times, but I always find that my deck has really beautiful energy after.
Like I said before, you probably won’t need to use this method unless you’re really having trouble clearing your deck.
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