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How to Cleanse and Store Tarot Cards

Updated on November 26, 2009

Some people prefer leaving their tarot cards to collect metaphysical dust, but I'm of the opinion that you ought to be cleansing them between clients. Reason being, energy is tangible, whether most people recognize the feeling or not, and energy is also highly transferable -- particularly with the empathic sort (like me). If you pick up on other peoples energy easily this could interfere with a reading, given that you might actually be reading the energy of someone no longer present. Therefore, I say cleanse the cards just in case, whether you think you're susceptible to such occurrences or not. The following tips will help you develop a method for cleansing your tarot cards, as well as provide several methods by which to store them. Note that there is no right or wrong way to do anything of this, these are only suggestions; do what feels right to you.


  • Smudging: The best way to clean a deck of tarot cards, IMO, is by smudging them with sage. It's an easy enough process; just get you a smudge stick and go to it. Some people will smudge the entire deck as a uniform object, whereas more retentive people will actually smudge every card. Either way is fine, but the latter would be rather time consuming.

  • Palm Chakra Cleansing: Wash your hands in a bowl of purified sea-salt water. (Do not wash the cards themselves!) Mentally charge your palm chakras and hold the deck firmly between them. Visualize your hands sucking all the lingering energy (negative or otherwise) out of the tarot cards and into your hands. Then set the deck down, visualize your chakras purifying and then releasing that converted energy, and wash your hands in the sea-salt water one more time.

  • Charge a Scarf: You can create a specially charged scarf (or other type of cloth) for the sole purpose of wiping your cards down between clients or readings in general. There are many methods of doing this and you should choose whichever most appeals to you. Again, I'd go with smudging as a means of charging, but you can also use crystals, gemstones or other rituals to charge your scarf. Once prepared you can wipe the cards down with the cloth. Obviously, you can also store the cards in it as well.

Storing Your Tarot Cards:

There is no right or wrong way to store your tarot cards. I've heard people say you have to store them in a silk scarf and this is absolute rubbish! Personally, I can't stand the feel of silk and would never want to store my tarot deck in something like that. If you like the idea, go for it; but you certainly don't need to do this. Store them however you like.

  • In the box they came in -- I'm putting this one first to emphasize what I just said; there's no wrong way to store them. Years and years ago I had a special wooden box for mine, but these days I just keep them in the box they came in. There is nothing mystical about where you store your cards, the skill comes from the reader, not the storage space.

  • In a special box -- You will find gorgeous tarot card boxes at new age shops that could serve as a tarot card box. Many of them are even made to fit the dimensions and if these types of boxes appeal to you, by all means, go get you one.

  • In a special bag -- You'll find some gorgeous handmade tarot card bags out there that perfectly suit a a tarot deck. Not at all necessary, but very lovely, indeed.
  • Wrapped in a silk scarf -- If you really need to do this, knock yourself out. I tend to view people who do this as being a player of sort, but I reckon there have got to be some legit readers out there who wrap their tarot cards in a scarf (I've just never met one).


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