Morgan, our intrepid wrangler for this hop has tasked us with this subject.
So your mission this Tarot Blog Hop is to discuss how you show respect to the Tarot (remember it is called the “Tarot Blog Hop”) and things that you have learned not to do. It can range from smudging the deck periodically to elaborate rituals like the Golden Dawn uses, from not using the cards until the dinner table is clean to well, whatever it is that you do.
For me, this topic brought up a lot of things. My first was that Tarot is a tool. How do I show respect for a tool? Then I realized that tools deserve respect. If you don’t wipe your saw blade clean, it will dull. If you just toss a hammer down, it may rust or be kicked aside. If you don’t actively work to engage your brain, your wits grow dull. If you don’t feed your Muse, your creativity gets sluggish. So, absolutely, Tarot deserves respect. Like Aretha says, “show a little R.E.S.P.E.C.T.”
As far as cleansing a deck, I do have some things I like to do. Now, I don’t buy into the idea that a used deck must be cleansed. That, to me, is a tiny bit paranoid. It also means I’m always thinking that the world can’t be trusted. It’s not in my nature to live that way. Gives me a headache just thinking about it. In fact, I have a whole list of things I think are myths about Tarot.
I do think you need to periodically clean your decks. Not cleanse, but clean. There is a difference between cleaning and cleansing. Cleaning is exactly that. Making a dirty deck less dirty. One Tarot professional (I can’t remember whom) mentioned that they like to clean dirty decks with wax paper. I have had some success doing that. Since these are of paper, I’m not inclined to use anything moist on my cards.
When a deck has been taken out of commission because of a mishap (can you say “no one is ever allowed to have a drink at my table again” lesson learned?), I will put that deck into my “giveaway” stash. I have some decks that are incomplete, had Diet Coke spilled on them (that one’s on me), wine, jam…yeah…ruined because one or more cards have been rendered not usable. I put the remaining cards in a zip lock baggie. Then when I send out things (decks or books or Patreon gifts), I can pull cards at random to share. It brings me joy to be able to do this mini-reading for folks.
But cleansing is a whole ‘nother matter. That takes on a spiritual aspect. Cleansing is about clearing the deck of negative energies. It is about putting things back in sync with my energy and the Gods. There are a few ways I do that. One is time-consuming involving crystals, moon phases, herbs, chants and more. And it is intensely personal.
A way that I can share is ordering. This is something so easy to do that I wonder why it’s not more popular. Just putting the cards back in order clears energy for me. Ace through King, Fool through World–when my cards are in their right spots, I just feel calmer. I often reorder my deck before sitting down to do a session where I know the energy will be heavier. If I’m going out to do a reading gig, all the decks I take are in order first. Generally speaking, I take a minimum of three decks and no more than five. This is something I can do in between clients or on my break. I’m hardcore about my breaks because pee must happen, right?
So for me, cleaning and/or cleansing my deck is one way of showing respect. I also have a habit of choosing the bag to match the deck. I love Baba Studios’ bags. I watch for sales. Right now I actually have unopened bags waiting to be paired with their deck. I will move decks in and out of bags as well. I am a bit like the Ottoman sultans who had their favorites moved to special rooms. HA! Just call me Suleimarwen Sultan.
I’ve actually got some of my decks for sale. You can learn more about that here. I’m keeping this list updated so you won’t be tempted by decks already gone. I hope you will also choose joy by joining me as a member of the Joy Seekers Tribe.