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The Care and Handling of the Tarot

Updated on November 20, 2009

The Care and Handling of the Tarot

While many believe that the Tarot should be wrapped in a black cloth and cleansed with sea salt or another symbolic “clean” substance, i.e. holy water, oil, sunlight, the light of the full moon, I find that “bonding” with your cards is most effective in ensuring your working well with your deck.

By bonding I mean that you should connect with your cards spiritually, on an individual basis. So if holy water is symbolic to you of purity, by all means, use this to clear any negative vibrations from your cards, or if sea salt symbolizes cleansing, use it, but choose something that to you symbolizes purity. Your deck, especially your first deck, is a spiritual tool. Treat it as such.

The cards should be treated with respect, many wrap their cards in a black cloth, black being a neutral color that does not absorb but reflects negativity. Other cartomancers prefer to wrap their cards in white, universally recognized as the color of purity. Still others use small pouches or scarves, anything you are comfortable with will do, but be sure that you handle the cards and store them in a manner which reflects respect for their status as a spiritual tool, likened to a set of rosary beads or a crucifix.

By treating the cards with respect you will begin to recognize the spirituality within the images. The cards have absolutely no power as inanimate objects; however, if you form a physical and psychological bond with them you will empower them when you commence reading for yourself or for others.

How to Use This Text

While utilizing this text to learn to read the tarot, keep in mind that your interpretation of the cards will be as individual as a thumbprint, many will totally bypass this introductory chapter and will have jumped right into throwing the cards and looking up the meanings, that is fine, however, if you truly wish to connect with and be adept at interpreting the Tarot, I strongly suggest that you go through the cards one by one.

If you have purchased the Workbook Companion to Uncloaking the Tarot, comprehensive instructions are found there. If you are working with the textbook alone I suggest you use the Rider-Waite or the Universal Waite Tarot Deck, produced by U.S. Games Systems, Inc. to get the most from this text.

Begin with the card entitled The Fool. Examine the picture and use your existing knowledge of psychology, symbolism, astrology and your intuition, (your general impressions), to interpret what the card is trying to communicate to you. Make notes of your impressions if you are not using the workbook. Continue through the deck card by card, referring to the text and comparing your impressions to the interpretations provided herein. You will be pleasantly surprised at how close your interpretations of the cards are to the descriptions given here if you relax and take your time while studying the deck card by card.

Welcome to Uncloaking the Tarot!


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

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