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7 Ways to Clean a Tarot Deck

Jane holds a deck of cards.

Of course, there are many more than 7 ways to clean a tarot deck. Here’s a quick list to help you get started. Try them all and see which ones you like best. The most important element is that you have the intention to clean and then do some act that furthers your intention. Here’s 7 different type of acts to use with your intention.

  1. You can leave a tool sitting in the light of the sun or moon for a day or night. Through the window of your house or car is fine. Just let them sit as time as well as the light is doing the work.
  1. You can wrap the tool up with crystals to ground out other energy. Make sure you’ve cleaned the crystals regularly, especially after heavy use.
  1. You can trace banishing symbols over the deck with a crystal, wand or your hand. Most often I use the sign of the cross or an earth banishing pentacle.
  1. You can sprinkle it with sea salt. Then brush the salt away and dispose of the salt down the drain or in a garbage bag that will leave your property soon.
  1. You can burn incense and wave the cards of your deck through the smoke. The most popular smoke is from sage, sweet grass or a combination of herbs including both of those as well as juniper and basil. For those of us who have to manage asthmatic symptoms and professional sprinkler systems, there are many other methods.
  1. You can use sound to clean yourself and your deck. A Tibetian gong bought through National Geographic Magazine sits on my home reading table. I use the vibration I can feel and hear when I strike the gong to shift the energy in the room before a reading. In a similar way, I will spread out the cards and strike the gong or ring a bell so that the vibrations I hear as sound can touch all of the cards of the deck. When I feel off, I move the gong around my body and allow the sound to provide a tune up for my energy.
  1. You can use your voice. Say “I clean these cards.” Invoke a higher power and say, “I banish unwanted energy in the name of love.” What higher power? Any that you value be it God or Love or Archangel Michael. The power of our voice combined with divine belief is the reason hymns work so well. Use it to clean your tarot deck by singing over them. Wade in the Water or I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair both work well for different people.

One of the ways to create endless variety is to combine the different ways of cleaning. My favorite thing to do is to use my voice with a gesture. My particular combination is called the Qabalistic Cross. I make the sign of the cross over the cards while I chant the words “For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.” 

The Qabalistic Cross is the first step in a bigger cleansing or banishing ritual. If you want to know more about it, you can get detailed instructions on the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram. There’s detailed instructions on the LBRP here.