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How To Cleanse and Prepare A Tarot Card Deck for First Use


So, you've either just brought home a set of Tarot Cards from the store, or maybe the mailman's just dropped off  the set that you ordered online - they look great and ready to use don't they?

But wait - sitting there fresh in the box they look good, but in and of themselves there's nothing magical about them. They need to be able to receive your energy so that you make them yours - ready to be used for Tarot Divination. So you need to cleanse, or clear and prepare your cards so you can impart your energy into them

There are some people who don't bother with this important step - they just grab the cards out of the box and try to use them as is

You want to do the best you can and be a serious reader of the Tarot Card Deck, so why wouldn't you take this little extra time to spiritually cleanse the Tarot Cards and put your own spiritual imprint onto them?

Just to make it clear - what you'll be doing is banishing any blocking or bad energy that might affect the Tarot Cards during a reading, and asking for assistance from good positive energy in ensuring that your divination will be clear, clean, and as accurate as possible

While you're in a cleansing frame of mind, think about the room or area that you're going to use when you sit down with your subject to start your divination of The Tarot Card Deck. The whole purpose of cleansing and clearing is to make sure that your Tarot Cards and work space are spiritually clean and free of any negative debris - a spiritual breath of fresh air to ensure that your readings are the best that you can give

Just like other forms of divination, Tarot Cards need an exchange of energy in order to make a reading work for you and this energy can build up and leave a spiritual residue after a reading has ended - so this spiritual debris needs to be cleared to reduce the possibility of inaccurate or false readings in the future

If you as the reader let your clients touch your cards then they will pick up energy from that person and it will stay with the cards and influence the next reading that you make - so clear that deck and your workplace before you welcome your next client - you'll both benefit from the breath of fresh air, and you will give the best reading that you can give

So, to make things as perfect as possible for you to give your best service to your clients you should clear the reading space, table and any objects that you use in the course of your divination. It needn't take long, and it shows that you're a serious practitioner of your craft

It doesn't matter how you clear the cards, all that counts is that you're calling good energy to assist you in removing any negative or blocking energy that could get in the way of a reading of great clarity. Clean energy leads to positivity and this is what you want when you're doing a reading

In case you're wondering how to ask for this positive help and good energy - it's just the doing of any little ritual that you believe will give you, your cards and your work space a little positive energy charge before you start your divination

These ritual preparations don't have to be religious, they just have to be whatever you believe will result in good and positive energy flowing for you. Just pick what you think will work for you - and then believe in it

Here's a few ways that people cleanse and prepare a tarot card deck:

1. Invocations, Vigils and Prayers

2. Singing, Chanting or Music

3. Ritual Silence

4. Creating an alter with small statues, flowers, pictures, a glass  of water, material

5. Using A Power Name

6. Incense, Smoke and Smudging (including some people burn ritual objects)

7. Special Gestures and Offerings

8. Lighting candles or burning a fire

9. Fasting or Feasting on special foods or drinking a specific herb or tea

10. Using power objects such as crystals, ritual amulets or beads

11. Burying /retrieving the tarot card deck

12. Using cord to Tie/Untie the cards

13. Washing of the hands

14. Breathing techniques

15. Shuffling the cards a certain number of times

There's plenty of ideas on how to cleanse and prepare your new tarot card deck in that list, but If none of those click with you  - just remember that the ritual only has to be something simple that you believe in -  and it will work for you .

Here's a simple little invocation that you can use to clear and cleanse your tarot deck or work space - if using it to clear your working area just change the word Deck to Space

I consecrate this Deck to bring Light where there is Darkness

I consecrate this Deck for guidance and wisdom for myself and others for the higher good for all concerned

I consecrate this Deck to enlighten myself and  those concerned

May all who use and touch this Deck know the  love of Spirit and be drawn into the light of  the Spirit

I dedicate this Deck to serve others with spiritual growth, for wisdom, knowledge and to bring peace to all those who seek its wisdom

I dedicate this Deck to the development of my intuition that I may be the source of guidance to others

Remember, this is a non religious invocation reaching out to universal good energy, so don't be afraid of changing or adding words to make it fit your feelings and energy that you're using

When you consecrate something ( person, place or object) you make it holy to yourself, and charge it with pure good light energy, and so remove all the negative energy that has built up

Your reason for doing clearing and cleansing is very important, because you want to have a clear head  and a heart free of any negative intent . Sincerity is the first element that goes into being pure of heart and mind, so you should thank all those energies that are helping you in the cleansing

When we give sincere thanks we bring thanks into our lives and this brings blessings

A couple of methods that people use during the invocation of the  good energy of the universe to help cleanse the tarot deck or the work area is to either shuffle the cards as they speak the words, or to put the cards in numerical order before they start the invocation

This is a personal thing, so you may decide that you prefer to place your hands on the deck as you speak, or to hold the cards up to your heart - they can be blessed in many ways

Any prayer that holds a meaning for you is fine, a mantra will even work if your intention is clear and positive, and remember that the main intention is to invoke a higher good to empower your tarot deck or space

Just a quick mention here of a few other cleansing methods: you can use burning incense or smudging to clear the air and cards - just pass the cards through the smoke. You can sprinkle the cards with lavender oil or salt, rap them sharply on the table, or as some even do, fling them across the room to rid them of negativity

Some use elements of Reiki or very involved rituals to keep the cards clean, placing a crystal on the deck to keep it charged and cleared when not in use. What works for you and your beliefs is what you should go for

Most of the decks have such beautiful artwork that you'll probably want to keep them looking good by either wrapping them in silk cloth, or storing them in a special cloth bag or wooden box when they're not being used

The cleansing methods listed earlier on this page are all very easy to do, and they will have the required result, but for some readers only one of the elemental methods is good enough

This means using one of the four elements of Earth, Fire, Water and Air to cleanse the tarot deck. These methods are a little more complicated than the ways mentioned earlier, so to keep it easy I'm presenting them in list pattern

Earth Element Cleansing

1. Wrap the deck in silk cloth or bag and leave buried in earth, sand or salt for 24 hours

2. Place a cloth on a table top and fan the deck out before sprinkling with sand or salt either with or without a powder of crushed herbs such as Yerba Buena (mint) Abre Camino (road opener) and Basil (albacca). Leave the dusting over the cards for a couple of minutes, then discard the mixture

3. Simply rub the deck with sand or salt for a few minutes

4. Put the deck under your pillow or mattress and sleep on it over night

Water Element Cleansing

1. Sprinkle the cards lightly with water and quickly wipe off

2. Mix a teaspoon of salt into a cup of water, sprinkle over the cards then quickly wipe off

3. If you can source it, sprinkle the cards with consecrated or holy water before wiping them dry

4. Make a fresh herbal infusion or tea and follow the same sprinkle and wipe routine

5. Find a safe , protected spot for the deck and leave it out exposed to the moonlight

Fire Element Cleansing

1. Pass the cards quickly through the flame of a white candle

2. Place a lighted candle on a table and then spread and leave  the cards in front of it for 5 minutes

3. Place a perfumed oil burner or burning incense stick on the table and leave the cards there for 5 minutes

4. Find a sunny but protected spot and leave the cards out for half a day ( don't leave them in direct hot sunlight as the cards could damage)

Air Element Cleansing

1. Pass the deck five to seven times over incense

2. Smudge the deck using sage or other herbs

3. Hold the deck up to your face and breathe slowly three times

4. Place the deck near playing music for one hour


Any of the above are fine, but here's a consecration ritual that uses the whole package: On your table, place burning incense at the east direction, a lit white candle at the south, a glass of water in the west and dish of salt in the north.

Put the deck in the middle and a pinch of salt in to the water, pick up the cards and say as you sprinkle with the salt water that you purify these cards with water and earth. Then take the cards and pass through the incense as you say that you purify them with air and fire

Leave the cards in the middle of the table until the incense and candle go out, now put them in the cloth bag or wooden box that you use for storage



Now you're ready to follow our short and sweet beginners guide for reading tarot cards complete with a very easy to follow example of the basic three card spread

If you'd like to take a look at another site that has some great resources and free information for you then visit

! Absolutely Free Readings at Lotus Tarot !

Answers for life, 24/7 Lotus Tarot's positive and insightful free tarot readings help bring greater clarity and better understanding to events in your life. Site also provides a learn tarot course, tarot card meanings and discussion forum




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