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10 Great Ideas for Cleansing and Storage of Tarot

There are many great Tarotists that have their own cleansing and storage of Tarot deck theories and thereby I strongly urge you to formulate your own too. Use this article as a guideline to find what works for you. As your cards hold certain energy, it will be up to you to keep rejuvenating them and to rid them of unnecessary energy from time to time. Also, due to usage or storage, they may need physical cleansing. Here are several means you can use to safely keep your cards bright, energized and shiny.

10 Great Ideas For Cleansing and Storage of Tarot Decks

Cleansing your cards is a ritual that you could use when receiving your cards or when you have used them very often on various querents, or when you have not used them often as perhaps they have been in storage for a while.

Why is Cleansing and Storage of Tarot your deck important?

Cleansing and Storage of Tarot Decks

When receiving a new pack, you are receiving a deck that has been in a factory, and they have most likely been produced and packaged mechanically. This is a great time to cleanse them and fill them with your loving energy.

When you have used your deck on several querents, it is a great idea to cleanse the cards, almost as you would cleanse your home after hosting a dinner party.

Another great time to cleanse your deck is when they have been in storage for a while. I have several decks of which I only regularly use three. So for me, I need to cleanse those which I don’t use rather often.

When to cleanse?

Many believe you can only cleanse your divination tools on a full moon, however, I disagree. I do believe that the universe has a cleansing energy irrespective of the cycle of the moon and what I find even more fascinating is that the various cycles of the moon bring out various energies within each person. Thereby cleanse your decks when you feel inspired to do so. There is a reason you are feeling this way and the universal energies will reciprocate accordingly.


1. Clearing

Before doing any reading, I like to first lay all my cards out on a flat surface and them “wash them”. Remove your deck from its box, place them all face down on a flat surface for cleansing, preferably a ‘cleansing board’ or ‘cleansing towel’. Personally, I use a painting I created for this purpose. Although many find their own meaning in the painting, it has significance and meaning that I am confident only I truly understand.

With the cards all facing down, just move them around and around as though they were in a washtub, keep moving them and shuffling them about until you feel them ‘washed’. You can place them together and begin your reading. Bear in mind that the cards will now have reversed cards.

2 Crystals

Crystals carry within them the elemental energy of Earth, they contain an abundance of cleansing and healing powers, which they share with all they come into contact with. Each crystal has its own unique ability and characteristic.

3 La Luna

The moon carries the elemental energy of Water, she affects the tides as she affects your physical body, and thereby La Lunar is a wonderful cleansing source for your cards and other divination tools you may choose to cleanse.

  • One can simply leave them on the window sill whereby the moon will cleanse them as she passes over during the course of the night. Catch all bowls are perfect for this purpose.e
    Order yours today - Cleansing and Storage of Tarot
    Order yours today – Cleansing and Storage of Tarot
  • Alternatively, what I find works beautifully, is to hold a little ritual, whereby I light my incense and candles, and then remove all the cards from their boxes, shuffle them and then resort them into their individual suits and majors.

4 Fanning Powder

Fanning powder is the magician’s powder of choice. Simply powder your cards when they feel ‘sticky’ during shuffling. This will allow them to shuffle better as the cards won’t stick together, it also allows for beautiful fanning purposes.

The zinc stearate in fanning powder repels moisture and thereby removes any moisture from your cards, making them less ‘sticky’.

It is not a great idea to use talcum powder of ‘baby powder’ for this purpose as these powders absorb moisture and thereby make your cards even more sticky.

5 Smudging

I believe that I only learned the true purpose of smudging having lived with the spectacular descendants of Bessie, who live in the tiny coastal village of Nkanya, Transkei, South Africa.

Women are to cover their heads with white cloths while attending meetings - Cleansing and Storage of Tarot
My interpreter whilst attending meetings.

Smudging, as one would guess, is the elemental energy of fire. Although, it deserves a lot of air to work in a healthy manner. Without your deep meditation, the fire could well get out of hand. So be physically and mentally aware.

The Transkei offers miles of untouched natural landscapes - Cleansing and Storage of Tarot
My shadow and I collecting herbs in Transkei, SA.

Smudging is a multi-functional cleansing ritual used to either cleanse away negative energy by raising and eradicating the negative energy in the smoke as it rises.

By smudging you are also lifting prayers, incantations and meditations to the spirit realm and thereby invoking ancestral, spiritual and our Creator’s intervention.

The most common smudge sticks can be created by tying sage and wildflowers together into a wrist-sized ‘stick’ and about 30 cm long. This is then burned and one walks through the place in need of cleansing whilst in prayer or casting an incantation.

However, for the purpose of cleansing your tarot deck, I would recommend lighting your candle and then simply light your smudge stick while visualizing any negative being absorbed into the smoke. At the same time, remember to funnel your universal energy.

You can visualize the smoke as a stairway for universal energy to channel into your stick, pass through you toward your deck and then watch the negative energy be carried away by the smoke being elevated.

Incense sticks come in a range of scents and sizes and make wonderful smudging sticks. The advantage of incense sticks is that they are widely available. However, if you can make your own smudging stick, I would recommend rather using it when there is a serious issue in need of intervention.

6 Spills and stickiness

There are tons of books written about how to clear up this mess, use wet wipes, use PC-friendly cloths, use whatever you can and hope your cards aren’t ruined.

But here goes, the best cleanser is respect. In the same way, you wouldn’t be eating if someone important was in your company, so too you shouldn’t be eating, drinking and especially not spilling when you are working with your cards. Because it’s not only the cards you are working with, is it? I cannot begin to emphasize enough, the more respect you show toward your cards, the more respectful your connection. Your respect will be found in your readings, trust me on this 🙂

Let’s now assume that some freak accident does occur, (forbid!) and there is spillage then drying them off as soon as the spillage transpires is essential. Wipe each one individually with a toweling cloth and make sure you dry each properly. Once you have achieved this and you have prevented any permanent damage, you can use fanning powder to ensure there is no stickiness.

Generally, wash your hands or use a hand sanitizer before working with your cards. This way your cards smell fresh too.

7 Visualize

I cannot begin to express just how creative our thoughts are. We often tend to underestimate the power we wield about, especially when we worrying about something!

However, never too late to rejuvenate our energy, right?! Visualization is incredibly empowering because as we know our thoughts become things and here’s but one way to use this power of creativity.

Learning from Sangomas in the Transkei - Cleansing and Storage of Tarot
Intervals spent alone on the beaches of the Transkei, while learning from the Sangomas

When we are visualizing, we are using the elemental energy of Spirit. As above, so below. Visualizing is an act of calling upon the earth or the heavens to funnel that energy toward our plight.

After a day’s work with your cards, your querents or the tasks at hand, it is always a great to meditate with your deck and visualize funneling the universal energy toward yourself, breathe it in, allow it to flow through your veins, passing out your fingertips, into your deck and back through your body.

You can use Universal energy for cleansing and funnel the earth’s energy when you feel in need of grounding.


Personally, I adore all the original boxes and will strive to keep them intact. However, for added protection, I do believe in creating safe havens for my decks.

Draw-string bags are a great means to store your tarot decks but do not offer much protection against physical damage, however, they do fit snugly into book-boxes and be decorated according to your desires and wishes.

8 Leather

For traveling purposes, I create little leather pouches for my decks. The leather is about 3 mm thick, so it ensures a safe journey. They fit into my handbag quite snug as the pouch is not much bigger than the deck itself. You can see by the image used, this pouch is well-traveled 🙂

Order yours today - Cleansing and Storage of Tarot
Leather traveling pouch

9 Wood

Small wooden tarot boxes made to order - Cleansing and Storage of Tarot
Small Wooden Tarot Box

Keeping your cards and divination tools in a wooden box has been the preferred means of storage through time. Not only does wood physically protect your cards, but also keep them from elemental harm.

Personalized Book Boxes made to order - Cleansing and Storage of Tarot
Wooden Book Boxes with leather inlays ~ Order yours today!

create wonderfully personalized all wood “Book Boxes” for my decks with leather inlays. These can stand on your bookshelf keeping your decks private and safe. 

Personalized scrolled book boxes made to order - Cleansing and Storage of Tarot
Earth, Air, Fire, Water Book Box ambigram scrolled into cover.

I trust that you find this Cleansing and Storage of Tarot decks article informative and that these ideas will help and inspire you. If you have any thoughts you would like to share, please do leave a comment or feel free to contact me. I would love to hear from you.

Blessed Be,

Contact Sancheo

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