Often I am asked how to cleanse the cards. I make a difference between cleaning and cleansing. For me, cleaning is the physical removal of dirt. Cleansing is the non-physical removal of energetic detritus. I use detritus instead of dirt because of the meaning.
- loose material (as rock fragments or organic particles) that results directly from disintegration
- a: a product of disintegration, destruction, or wearing away : debris b: miscellaneous remnants
From Merriam-Webster Online
So if you consider the reading of Tarot as an exchange of energy on some level, naturally parts will become loose, right? For me, this can be dealt with on a fairly simple level. I reorder the cards. Now that seems rather easy, doesn’t it? You would be right. It’s dirt (you will pardon that pun) simple.
There are other more complex things you can do if you feel a need. One is to make a simple powder incense for cleansing. My teacher, Lady Lhianna Sidhe, once told me that she thought of myrrh and frankincense as the Bon Ami of psychic cleansing. It made me giggle then but I’ve never forgotten it. So here is a very simple incense based on that combination.
Card Cleansing Incense
- 1 part myrrh
- 1 part frankincense
- 1 part cedar
- 1 part sage
Grind all ingredients together while focusing on the cleansing power of each. Take some time to look up information on all four and really put some effort into the grinding. Focus is the key.
When you have ground them all into a fine powder (this will take elbow grease!), you can light a small charcoal (I get mine at the local Catholic stores).
Sprinkle some powder onto the charcoal tablet, but do know that it may not burn like store-bought because you don’t have the requisite “make it burn” powder. Don’t worry about that.
As the smoke billows up, fan your cards out. Wave them through the smoke. Know in your heart that the smoke is lifting the energy away to leave clean, fresh cards behind. It sounds hokey, but it’s all about faith and belief.
Some quick ways I clean my cards are to hold them up and blow through them. This is to literally blow out the negativity of another person or my own negativity. I often smack the deck very sharply on the table. Again, for me, this is dislodging energy I don’t want.
Other ways of cleaning the card include:
- Leave the cards out for the three days of the full moon. This is to let the psychic energy of the moon infuse your cards with lunar energy.
- Place a small quartz crystal in your tarot bag. This is to let the crystal pull out negative energy.
- Put the cards aside for a full lunar cycle. This is to let the energy dissipate gently.
- Wrap your cards in silk and bury them for three days (usually the three days of the full moon.
Please note that when I cleanse my cards I am doing it for myself. If it is something I feel necessary, I do it.
The physical cleaning of cards is something I’ve never attempted but need to. My current favorite reading deck is getting icky sticky yucky to the touch feeling. Yuck! If anyone has any tips on that, I’d love to hear them!