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Tarot card care and storage

Updated on October 20, 2011

Myths and common practices

Tarots cards come in many, many shapes, forms and types. Just as there are types of cards, there are also storage boxes, bags and ways in which to store and care for them. This hub will deal with some of the myths and give you a few suggestions on the care and storage of your cards. I shall go over some of the methods I've heard of and then tell you what I do most of the time as well.

People seem to have many stories about tarot cards. Some say that you cannot buy your cards but that they must be given to you by someone else. Others say that you must store them in an oak box or wrap them in silk. I remember one friend telling me very strongly that I should never let anyone touch my cards, ever. I can only tell you that I have always bought my cards online and that I don't always store them in silk, though I do have a favourite patterned silk scarf that belonged to my mother which I use to keep my favourite deck. This by the way always provides me with wonderfully detailed readings. Some of my other decks just live in the box in which I got them. It really hasn't affected the way in which I've been able to use them or perform a reading. Ultimately, I just think that your relationship with your cards is a very personal one and that you should determine what works best for you.

Others touching your cards

There are two schools of thought on this subject. Some people, like my friend, feel very strongly that no one else should touch their cards. This is because everyone has energy and they don't want other people's energy to influence their cards. On the other hand, some, and I fall into this camp, feel that the querent must touch the cards, normally by shuffling them or cutting the pack, for me to get a more accurate reading. If you do allow others to touch the cards, you might, however, like to cleanse your cards before the next time you use them. This will allow the energy to dissipate and, especially if it has been a difficult reading, neutralise before your next reading. With cleansing, as with all things, it is entirely up to you how often you perform this task. You can do it after each and every reading [I do] or you could do it if you've had a particularly traumatic or troublesome reading. Sometimes, people just cleanse their cards if they are doing frequent readings to avoid a build up of energy.

Ways of cleansing

One of the simplest and easiest methods of cleansing your deck, and this is what I normally do, is to put your cards back in order. If you have had, in the shuffling, the cards turn upside down, I would straightened them so that they all aligned in the same direction.

Another method of cleansing is to pass the cards through the smoke of burning sage. This is supposed to be especially effective but I must admit that I have never done it myself. Sometimes, however, I do pass my cards through the incense smoke as a way of cleansing my cards.

You can also cleanse your cards by storing them with a stone or crystal that has cleansing properties such as rose quartz. If you want your cards to have intuitive readings, you could store it with amethyst because it is said to open your spiritual or psychic powers.

Another method of cleansing that I have used after buying a new deck before I use it for the first time is to let the cards sit in the light of the full moon. I place them on a window ledge that catches the moonlight and allow it to infuse the cards with its glow all night long.

Storing your tarot cards

Some people will swear that silk cloth and oak have protective properties which are very beneficial and so they place their cards wrapped in silk in an oak box. Others, however, store their cards in the box or pouch in which it was sold, adding only gems, crystals and/or herbs into the box or pouch to impart qualities they seek as a reader. I do believe that you must store your cards in some sort of box or pouch because it will ensure that you don't lose any cards along the way. They also prevent damage being done if you tend to transport your cards [as I do] around with you.

I must say that to me the storage and care of cards is entirely personal. It is a combination of personal beliefs and practical considerations. You can try different methods and see which works best for you. I do find that different decks sometimes call for different methods and choices. I strongly feel that your cards will speak to you. If you pay attention to them, they will tell you what they need. Thus, don't be afraid to change your routine, to experiment with different cleansing and storage methods. As with all things, it is the intention behind your actions that count. Also, if you do make or use a pouch or box, the more you personalise it, the stronger the vibrations it will impart. If it is only the cutting and pasting of images or symbols to your box, or embroidering some runes to your pouch the simple act will make the pouch or box that much more your own.

I really hope this hub is of some use to you. Please let me know how and what you tend to do for your card care. I'm always open to learning new ways of taking care of my tarot cards.


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      Tess 3 years ago

      Hello Home Witch!

      Thanks for your suggestions regarding various methods for cleansing one's cards. I'm always looking for more ways to cleanse my gemstones (which I sort-of use to cleanse my cards),& this article has a lot if varying & interesting ideas for that!

      Like you, I feel that everyone's unique experience of their deck(s) may be the best determinant as to how they choose to handle & store them. Personally, I get really weird about keeping the cards in anything other than their original boxes, mostly because I'm going to be keeping the boxes anyway, so I don't see much point to having loads of empty containers & a bunch of loose decks floating around in unlabeled silk wrappings (I'm not someone who could easily recall by sight which scarf contained which deck). So they remain in their boxes, on a Tarot-items-only shelf; the exception to that rule is that I keep a few gemstones carefully placed near decks that I feel need infusing or cleansing, and a bowl of tiny, clear crystals in which I place any particularly "charged" or out-of-balance cards!