So you just got your new deck of tarot cards. They are still in the box. There is a process called clearing the deck that tarot readers do before they start to use the cards. This is done to clear any negative energy from the deck as well as to start to impart your own energy on the new deck. There is no one way to clear a tarot deck.
When you get a new deck of tarot cards it is recommended that they are spiritually prepared and cleansed so you can conduct readings more effectively. You can clear a tarot deck several ways. Clearing is a way to spiritually clean and prepare the cards for use. Many readers also cleanse their spiritual space and objects in the room they conduct readings in very much in the same manner. You can also clear the reading space, table and objects you use to read with to remove any negativity as well. The idea is you want to work with a card deck and space that is clean spiritually so that the readings aren't clouded with negative debris from other things. Spiritual cleanliness is next to whatever idea of godliness one has. When you clear your tarot cards you remove any traces of negative or blocking energy so you can use them to the best of your abilities with clean and positive energy.
Many people do spiritual preparations like clearing the space and cards of negativity before they begin to read a client in addition to their initial clearing. They also may do little cleanings after readings as well to make sure if there was any negativity from the reading that it is removed . Some people clear their cards after every reading some don't. They may do it periodically like on a specific day at a specific time. It doesn't matter which way you decide to clean them after the initial clearing. Go with how you feel and what gives you
the best energy. Also by keeping cards and space spiritually cleansed it helps eliminate false and inaccurate readings. You won't have left over energy from the previous readings this way. The tarot cards are a form of divination. All forms of divination require energy. When you clean your cards and space you are ridding them of the energetic “residue” that accumulates from reading others or using the cards all the time. This is even more important if you are the type of reader who allows others to handle your cards. Reading different people constantly; and things like giving a reading that had bad or negative energy attached to it would be an adequate reason to make sure your cards are cleared. The cards accumulate energy which is the reason for spiritual cleaning. Clearing the cards and the area is like breathing clean air on them.
Some people can read without doing anything to a deck, but most people want to put their own energy into the deck instead of just taking them out of the box and beginning. When you clear a deck you are also charging it with your energy as you begin to use it, by removing any other influences on the cards. Clearing the deck also blesses the deck with your spiritual energy. Before I actually give you some simple techniques here is a list of all the main ways one can cleanse a tarot deck and the space you use to read with:
1. Prayers, Invocations, Vigils
2. Singing, Chanting or Music
3. Ritual Silence
4. Creating an alter, placing statues, flowers, pictures, a glass of water, material
5. Using A Power Name
6. Incense, Smoke and Smudging (including some people burn objects)
7. Special Gestures and Offerings, moving within or outside a circle, exchanging gifts,( some people may symbolically know something down or break something)
8. Lighting candles or burning a fire
9. Fasting or Feasting on special foods such as eating a special thing or drinking a specific herb or tea
10. Using power objects such as crystals or putting on any ritual amulets or talisman or religious or spiritual jewelry such as beads
11. Burying or Unburying
12. Tying or Untying
13. Washing your hands
14. Breathing techniques
Most people begin a clearing of the cards and the space they are going to use by invoking good energy to assist them. They ask the good energy to clear the tarot deck and space; and also ask the good energy to give the deck and space a positive charge. The good energy can take the form of what you perceive as good energy; be it a spirit guide, a departed ancestor, white light, whatever does it for you. Some people ask for Gods light and intervention; based on what God means to them. The point is they use whatever they feel is a good and positive force for them to clear any negative or blocks from the cards and space. Many readers also consecrate of dedicate their cards to the use of good when they clear their space and tarot deck as well.
Here is a simple invocation to clear the “ deck” or space to start. When using it for your space you substitute the word space for deck. It takes the form of a consecration of the deck in the name of good energy.
“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 drawn into the light of 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 so that I may be a source of guidance to others”
You may add any words you wish or change any of them to fit the energy you are using as well as your feelings. This is a non denominational invocation for universal good energy. It is a form of consecration to make the deck of pure good light energy. When we consecrate something we make it holy to ourselves be it a person, place or thing. By doing this we are removing all the negative energy things accumulate. Your intention is very important for doing clearing and cleansing. You want to have a clear head and heart free from any negative intent and thought when you do this. Sincerity is the first element that goes into being of pure heart and mind. You may also want to thank all those energies that are assisting in the cleansing also. When we give thanks we bring thanks in our lives which brings blessings.
There are two main ways people proceed while invoking the good energy of the universe to their decks and spaces is by either shuffling the cards while they say the invocation or putting the cards in numerological order before they say the invocation. You can do what you prefer. You may decide to do neither and just place your hands on the cards or put the deck of cards up to your heart. Tarot cards can be blessed in many ways. You don't have to use the invocation I wrote above that's just an idea. Any prayer that has meaning to you is fine. A mantra even works if your intention is clear and positive. The main point is to put your cards in touch with a higher good with which it is empowered with.
You can then go on to use incense, smudging whatever you want to do to clear the air and the cards. You can pass the cards through the smoke. Some readers use oil like lavender and drop a few drops on the cards. Some may sprinkle the cards with salt. They may rap them hard against the table. Some even fling them across the room to rid them of negativity. Whatever works for you and your beliefs.
When this is done It can be wrapped in a silk cloth or put in a bag just for the cards. I keep mine in a wooden box from my mother. Some people sleep with them under their pillows.
People do things from Reiki to keeping the cards clean; to very involved rituals. Some put a crystal on the deck to keep it charged and cleared when they are not in use. These are just a few basic ideas on how to clear your tarot card deck. There are however also very involved rituals tarot card readers use but I did not include them in this article.
Some tarot card readers choose to do elemental clearing. This means using an element or elements to clear their cards with. In this case they work with one of the four elements to clear their deck. The elements they use are Earth, Fire, Water and Air. Here are some basics if you choose to clear your cards by the elemental method.
Earth Element Clearing
These are some methods you can use to clear your cards with things considered of the earth element.
1. You can actually bury your deck in the silk or bag in dirt, sand or salt for 24 hours.
2. You can spread the deck in a fan shape on a table with a cloth under it and sprinkle sand and or salt on them for one to two minutes. Discard the sand and salt afterwards. You can also make a powder by crushing dry herbs and then adding the salt and/or sand if you wish. You can also just use the herbs. Some suggested herbs are Basil, Lavender, Rosemary, Sage and Thyme. You can use herbs based on ones cultural affinity too. I like the herbs Yerba Buena (Mint) and Abre Camino (road opener) with Basil (Albacca)
3. Rub your deck with either sand or salt for a few minutes
4. Sleeping on the deck either under your pillow or mattress over night.
Water Element Clearing
1. Sprinkle the cards lightly with water and then wipe them off.
2. Mix the water with salt and then sprinkle and wipe( you can use a teaspoon of salt to a cup of water)
3. You can use a consecrated water like holy water to sprinkle and wipe the cards with
4. You can use herbal teas or infusions to sprinkle the cards with and then wipe( you can use the same herbs as the earth element either fresh or dry and boil)
5. Expose the cards to moonlight, make sure they are in a safe protected spot for half the night
Cleansing With The Fire Element
1. Pass the cards through a flame of a candle.(white candle) Don't burn yourself
2. Put the cards on a table with a lighted candle in front of them for about 5 minutes
3. You can place the deck near an oil burner with some sort of blessing oil of your choice, incense or the smudge stick for about 5 minutes
4. Leave the cards in the sun for about half a day
Cleansing With The Air Element
1. Passing the deck 5 to 7 times over burning incense
2. Smudge your deck with sage or herbs
3. Breathe deeply on the deck three times...slowly and deeply
4. Place the deck near playing music for one hour
There are those people who use the elements with elemental symbols based on their belief systems. I choose to remain non denominational for the purposes of this book.
There is a little “elemental ritual” you can do that is non denominational that you may use when consecrating you cards. You light a charcoal or incense and place it in the east direction of your table. You put a lit white candle in the south direction. You then put a glass of water in the West direction and a dish of salt in the North. Place the deck in the middle. Put a pinch of the salt in the water then pick up the cards fan them out and place back saying as you sprinkle the salt water that you are purifying these cards with water and earth. Then take the cards and pass them through the incense and say you are purifying them with air and fire. You can leave the cards in the center until the incense and the candle go out and then put them in the cloth, bag or wooden box you have to keep them in.
These are all just a few ideas you can do to cleanse and clear your deck. There are many ways to do so. One final way to clear a deck after a very negative reading or encountering negative energy would be to put it in a leak proof container and bury them for a few days. In this way the earth absorbs the negativity. Otherwise, when you use your cards after the initial cleansing; while shuffling them before you use them daily envision that the shuffle is cleansing them with water to remove the debris from earlier use. You can occasionally fan them out for this purpose also. Cleanse and clear your cards as often as you feel you need to.
Readers will smudge their cards and reading areas between readings and keep crystals on top of their decks when not in use all in an effort to keep the cards and space spiritually clear. Some tarot readers like to reorganize the deck literally by placing the cards in a particular direction and order between readings. Others may clap their hands and or use a noise such as a bell, a gong or chimes to break stagnant energy surrounding them and their cards. There are those readers who may use visualization and imagine white light as in reiki around their cards to clear them of negativity. Some cross their wrists over the deck and quickly uncross them to break any dark energy on the cards before they begin to do a reading. They also may use the knuckle of their non dominant hand and hit the cards hard imagining a white light emanating from that hand through the cards to cleanse them. The reader then picks them up puts them to their heart and imagines gold light embracing the cards. They will either pray or say a mantra to rededicate good energy to their cards. The point is there are countless ways to clear and charge the cards. The main thing is to find what feels right for you and use what works for you.