How to Clear and Cleanse Your Tarot Deck

Have you ever wondered whether you should clear and cleanse your Tarot deck? Imagine you’ve just bought a new Tarot deck, or you’ve had a particularly challenging reading. It’s not a bad idea to clear and cleanse your Tarot deck and charge your Tarot cards with loads of good, pure energy!

Tarot is all about energy, so if you want to get the best results from your Tarot readings, it’s essential that you’re working with crystal clear energy. That all starts by cleansing your Tarot deck and infusing it with all your good vibes!

So, let’s talk about when to cleanse your deck and how to do it.


You’ll need to cleanse your Tarot deck the first time you buy it, especially if it’s a pre-owned deck.

Remember, decks carry energy so you want to make sure that your deck carries your energy, rather than someone else’s. So make sure you give it a good energy cleanse before you start using the cards.

After you’ve cleansed your new deck, you will probably find that you need to cleanse it again as you continue to read with it. There are no strict rules about when to clear and cleanse your deck – you’ve simply got to trust your intuition about what your deck needs. Sometimes a quick shuffle is enough to clear out any stuck energy. Other times, a full moon bath is called for.

Generally, you’ll know when you need to cleanse your Tarot cards – you will get that niggling feeling that something isn’t quite right with the connection between you and your cards.

Here are some examples of when you may want to cleanse your Tarot deck:

  • You or your Tarot cards have been exposed to a lot of negative energy (for example, a particularly negative client or a challenging situation in your own personal life).
  • Your Tarot readings are confusing and unclear, and you are often drawing a blank with the cards.
  • Other people have touched your cards without your permission.
  • Your cards have fallen on the floor or had some other sort of accident.
  • You haven’t used your Tarot cards for quite some time and you want to reconnect with your cards.
  • You’ve had a major personal transformation and want to refresh your deck with your new energy.
  • It’s a full moon and you want to make the most of its powerful energy.
  • It just feels like now is the right time for a cleanse.


There are lots of different ways to clear negative energy and cleanse your Tarot deck.

The important thing is to choose the technique(s) that feel right to you and to the situation (e.g. you might use one technique in between each reading and another technique to cleanse on an annual basis).

Here are some ideas for clearing and cleansing a Tarot deck:

Sorting and Shuffling

Firstly, sort your cards in order, starting with the Major Arcana, then into each of the suits of the Minor Arcana. While you’re doing this, look briefly at each card and remember the special message it has to offer you in your readings.

You can also use this time to check that you have every card in your deck (a few years back, I found that I had been missing the Ace of Swords for quite some time without even realizing it!).

Once your cards are sorted and in order, start shuffling and reinvigorating your cards with your energy. You might like to shuffle seven times, put your cards in a big messy pile and randomly select cards, or simply use a shuffling technique that is comfortable to you.

Knocking or Tapping the Deck

A quick way to release any stuck energy in between readings is to knock or tap the deck 3 times while also visualizing that stuck energy being released. It’s particularly helpful if you’ve had a reading that was quite intense or the energy afterward felt unresolved.


Hold your cards in both hands, close your eyes and relax. Allow your mind to be free of any thought and just ‘be’ with your cards. You may then like to visualize the Universal energy being drawn through you and to your cards, surrounding your cards in a protective white light. Those with an understanding of Reiki may like to use this mode of energy healing to cleanse their cards by channeling their healing Reiki energy through the cards. This is personally my favorite as it is easy to do in between readings and it helps me focus and concentrate on my next client.

Moon Bath

The full moon is an excellent source of energy for your cards. On a full moon, you can simply place your cards in a window or even outside to bathe in the moonlight. Alternatively, many people use this time to conduct a special ritual or to cite different incantations for cleansing their Tarot cards.

Smudge Stick

Burn some dried sage or rosemary (or use a store-bought smudge stick) and simply pass the cards through the smoke several times. You can also cleanse any crystals that you use during the process.

Salt Burial

Salt can be used to draw out negative energy from your cards, just like you would use salt to draw out the moisture from a food item in cooking. First, wrap your Tarot in a plastic bag as tightly as you can. Then take an airtight container that is larger than your Tarot deck, place your wrapped cards inside, and completely surround your cards with salt on all sides, above and below. It is imperative that this is an airtight container as salt not only gathers the energies from a Tarot deck well, it also gathers any moisture that might be in the air, potentially damaging your cards. Keep your cards buried in the salt for at least a few days or a week before taking them out and disposing of the salt.

Fresh Air

Just after a rain shower or even in the warmth of the sun, place your cards outside to take in the fresh air and draw in the cleansing rays. Of course, keep in mind the practicalities. Be careful not to place them in a windy position or somewhere where you may end up doing more damage!

Elemental Clearing

Elemental clearing brings your awareness to using different techniques that are aligned with each of the four elements used in Tarot. For example,  use the Salt burial for Earth clearing; for Water clearing, use the Moon Bath or sprinkle a little water on your cards; with Fire clearing, pass your cards over a candle; Use a smudge stick for Air clearing. You may like to go through each of the four elements for a more comprehensive cleansing.


Now that you’ve cleansed your Tarot deck, here are a couple of ideas on how to store your cards:

  • Store your cards with a quartz crystal which is a wonderful absorber of energies. If you want to keep your crystal ‘clean’ too, then use any of the cleansing techniques above.
  • Place your Tarot cards at a specially made altar in between readings.
  • Use baby wipes to keep your cards clean and to remove any stickiness between cards.
  • Keep your Tarot cards wrapped in a special cloth or stored in a special Tarot box. Different colors have different energy so choose a color that infuses the energy you most want for your Tarot cards:
  • Black – shadows and the unknown
  • Blue – spirituality, and peace
  • Brown – earth and groundedness
  • Green – nature, and fertility
  • Pink – love, and beauty
  • Purple – higher knowledge
  • Red – energy, and vitality
  • White – purity
  • Yellow – joy and happiness

So there you have it! You have lots of different ways you can easily clear and cleanse your Tarot cards to create crystal clear Tarot readings!

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