how to cleanse your tarot or oracle decks

10 Magickal Ways to Cleanse Your Tarot & Oracle Cards

Last Updated: July 28, 2022

There is nothing more exciting than opening a new tarot, angel, or oracle deck. Looking through the cards and familiarising yourself with their meanings, qualities, and images. Then the question falls … do I need to cleanse my new deck before use? On top of this do I need to cleanse my deck after each use? 

Although highly debatable, any form of divination tool will carry over the energy it has come in contact with (or been used for). Tarot, oracle, or angel cards are no different. When in your care, after time the cards will collectively carry the energy of every reading you do up until you cleanse your deck. 

Looking at this, upon delivery of your wonderful new cards, we can only imagine how many people and their energies they have come in contact with! From the factory or home where they were made to the delivery into your hands at your door – and all in between! So I would highly recommend cleansing your deck, be it used or new.

So let’s look at the top ten ways you can cleanse your deck, as well as some do’s and don’ts to protect your cards.

Table of Content

1 - The Power of Sound

You can easily cleanse your deck with the power of sound! Wonderful ways to do this are using singing bowls, playing music, singing and talking to your cards, or using bells. The bell is a wonderful way to go if you aren’t sure what music to play or haven’t got a singing bowl to hand. They are cheap to pick up and can be found in most charity and thrift stores as well as online. Simply ring your bell over and around your tarot or oracle deck and let the high vibrations do the work.

2 - The Salt Method

This method has been used by witches  for generations. You can purchase salt almost anywhere so it’s perfect if you don’t quite know where to turn as you no doubt will have some in your cupboard already. Start by wrapping your deck in either grease-proof parchment, plastic wrap, or placing it into a material bag to help protect it from the salt, then place the cards within the salt and cover for 24 hours to cleanse any negative or excessive energies off of your deck. 

3 - The Moon energy

When the Moon is full in the sky the time is wonderful for new starts, banishing, and setting goals. This in turn is a fantastic opportunity to cleanse your tarot or oracle deck! Place your cards under the Full Moon and allow the cleansing powers of the lunar rays to cleanse and neutralize any energy your deck holds, collecting them in the morning after. This doesn’t only just cleanse your cards but charges them too! All set to go and ready for your next reading.

4 - The Sun energy

The Sun also charges your cards as they cleanse. On a nice warm sunny day place your cards out in the Sun and allow them to soak in the warm and soothing solar power. This can help with neutralizing any negativity or stagnant energy they contain. When the sun starts to dip, your cards are ready to be used again. Be wary of keeping the cards in the Sun too long, as you don’t want to damage the artwork.

5 - Smoke Cleansing

A very popular method for cleansing in general and wonderful for your deck! You can use a variety of items to smoke cleanse with. From incense to cleansing bundles and all in between! You can even make your own cleansing bundles by growing or buying your own fresh herbs. Simply tie your herbs together and let them hang to dry naturally or place them on a very low heat in the oven until dried out. 

One of my favorites is rosemary and the scent is amazing! All that is left to do is to light the wood, incense, or bundle on fire, and blow out the flame and pass your cards through the smoke as any energy is drawn away and your cards are neutralized. Please be careful with any open flames, and dispose of them responsibly.

6 - Crystal Energy

Crystal energy is a wonderful way to cleanse your cards. Not only that but it can also help protect; Placing selenite or satin spar on top of your deck will keep your deck cleansed and charged ready to use! You can also place your cards inside a crystal grid. Place the cards down and pop some selenite on top, then surround your deck with smaller pieces of clear quartz to boost!

You may also use an outer ring of crystals such as amethyst to boost intuition and protection, and rose quartz to infuse with loving and warm energy, all while cleansing!

tarot decks with crystals around

7 - The Power of Wind

To use the wind to cleanse your cards hold them in your hands as the wind passes them. Visualize the wind sweeping all the energy that’s built up being removed and away into the universe. You can do this outside or even by opening a window, just be careful. The wind will leave your tarot or oracle cards neutralised and ready for use!

8 - The Visualisation Method

Visualisation is such a wonderful tool and can be overlooked at times. Simply hold the cards in your hands and visualise within your mind’s eye any stagnant or unwanted energies leaving the deck. As you do this, make sure to ground yourself. Picture roots coming from your feet into the earth and a bubble of light growing from within and surrounding you. Once done you will feel a lift in the air and the cards will be cleansed.

9 - The Knock Knock Method

This is bar far the most used method I have seen in over 20 years of my practice, and it’s so simple. While holding your deck knock on the cards a few times – three is normally what has been used and I will say my go-to for cleansing! Knocking on the deck not only knocks off old energy but pops some new life into the deck too as it wakes it up.

10 - The Magick 10 Shuffle

Before you read again, next time shuffle your tarot or oracle cards at least ten times without any falling out to really shuffle up the energies. This helps shake off any stagnation, wakes the deck up, and gives a fresh and clean reading.

shuffling tarot cards

Things you shouldn't do when cleansing your cards

So now we have looked at the ways to cleanse your cards, let’s look at a few short don’t 

1 - Do not use water

Seems simple enough – however, I have seen this done before! Only for the cards to go soggy and become unusable.

2 - Do not use cleaning sprays or wipes

Although not as drastic as water I’ve seen cleaning wipes and sprays used on decks. Over time this will remove any protective layer on the cards, dull the images and ruffle up the edges and your cards won’t appreciate it.

3 - Do not use use candles or flames

Passing your cards over a candle may seem like a wonderful way to charge them and at first, you may not see any damage but getting too close to the flame is not only a fire hazard in itself but the heat from the flame over time will cause damage in the long run, not to mention any potential wax spills.

After all of this is said, and there are so many ways to cleanse your cards, it’s best to find a way that you yourself feel comfortable with and hopefully, this article will help you on your way.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to cleanse my cards?

The quickest way to cleanse for reading is the Knock Knock method, but as tarot is a personal practice then it is for me to tell you it’s your personal preference. Try them all between readings and see what feels the most natural to you and your process.

How often should I cleanse my cards?

Typically after every reading for other people, but for yourself, I would recommend cleansing when the messages start to feel unclear and the deck feels harder to interpret. I personally store my tarot decks in my Divination Pouch with a stick of selenite.

Can I cleanse a second-hand Tarot deck?

Absolutely you can! You can even think of it as “correcting the energy” of the deck, as sometimes we are drawn to an item that we don’t want to completely wash away. We just want to ensure that the messages are clear, that they aren’t to cause harm, and that they bring about an easier reading experience. Here as writers at Backyard Banshee, we do not believe you have to be gifted a brand new deck, or any of the other common superstitions. We feel it’s great if you can pick up a second-hand deck, as it helps the environment and can absolutely help the previous owner.


Written by Eve

A spiritual individual with a love for the universe… I enjoy life as it comes, with a passion for reading, gaming, and crafting!

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