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Do I Need To Cleanse My Tarot Cards? (Full Guide)

Cleansing tarot cards is a practice rooted in the belief that these tools absorb and hold energy.

Given their use in reflecting personal experiences, emotions, and spiritual guidance, it’s thought that over time, tarot decks can accumulate a range of energies, and could potentially interfere with clear readings.

This guide explores the importance of cleansing your tarot cards, offering a detailed overview of why, when, and how to perform this cleansing for maintaining the purity and effectiveness of your readings.

Lets talk about:
πŸŒ• Do You Need to Cleanse Tarot Cards
πŸŒ” 3 Reasons Why It’s Important To Cleanse Tarot Cards
πŸŒ“ What Happens If I Don’t Cleanse My Tarot Cards?
πŸŒ’ When to Cleanse Your Tarot Cards
πŸŒ‘ How to Cleanse Your Tarot Cards

Do You Need to Cleanse Tarot Cards

Simply put, yes.

In most cases you should cleanse your tarot cards every now and then, or after any heavy reading. How often you cleanse your cards is ultimately down to you, but if you are a regular practitioner it should be at least 3-6 times per year.

However, there are no strict rules about the frequency of cleansing.

3 Reasons Why It’s Important To Cleanse Tarot Cards

There are three main reasons as to why regular practitioners should cleanse their tarot cards. Let’s run through them below.

β™₯ Energy Clearing

Tarot cards are believed to act as sponges, soaking up vibrational energies from their surroundings, the people they come into contact with, and the questions or issues addressed during readings. Cleansing is seen as a way to reset these energies, ensuring that the cards remain a clear and neutral conduit for divination.

β™₯ Personal Connection

Regularly cleansing your tarot deck also helps in maintaining and strengthening your personal connection to the cards. It’s a ritual that can affirm your intention and dedication to the tarot practice, enhancing your intuitive relationship with the deck.

β™₯ Clarity and Accuracy

A cleansed deck is thought to provide more accurate and insightful readings. Clearing away any residual energies allows for a fresh start with each new reading, minimizing the influence of past readings or external factors on the cards’ messages.

What Happens If I Don’t Cleanse My Tarot Cards?

Choosing not to cleanse your tarot cards is a personal decision and, for some, may not noticeably affect their readings.

However, according to many practitioners, neglecting to cleanse a tarot deck can have several implications:

Accumulation of Residual Energies:

Over time, your tarot cards may accumulate energies from people, environments, and the emotions or questions addressed in readings. This build-up can create a sort of ‘static’ that might cloud the clarity and accuracy of your readings, making it harder to interpret the cards’ messages with neutrality.

Diminished Personal Connection:

Regularly cleansing your tarot deck is not just about energy; it’s also about intention and relationship-building with your deck. Without cleansing, you might find that your intuitive connection to the cards weakens, as the ritual of cleansing also serves to align your energy with the deck, enhancing the flow of insight during readings.

Potential Influence on Readings:

If a deck is heavy with lingering energies, it may begin to reflect those energies back in subsequent readings, regardless of the question or person being read. This could result in readings that feel off-base, repetitive, or influenced by past issues that have already been addressed, rather than providing fresh insights or guidance.

Stagnation in Energy:

Just as spaces in your home can feel stagnant without regular cleaning, a tarot deck can feel energetically stagnant if not cleansed. This stagnation might manifest as a lack of enthusiasm for readings, difficulty in connecting with the cards, or a sense that the deck is no longer ‘speaking’ to you as clearly or as vibrantly as it once did.

Psychological Impact:

Beyond the spiritual and energetic considerations, the act of not cleansing your cards may also have a psychological impact on how you view and interact with your deck. The ritual of cleansing can imbue your practice with a sense of sacredness and respect for the tarot as a tool. Without this ritual, the practice may begin to feel mundane or neglected, potentially impacting your mindset during readings.

When to Cleanse Your Tarot Cards

I mentioned just now about the frequency of cleansing your deck, but let’s get into some greater detail below.

After Purchasing a New Deck

It’s recommended to cleanse tarot cards right after you purchase or receive them. This initial cleansing helps to remove any energies the cards may have picked up during manufacturing, handling, or transit, setting a clean slate for your work with them.

Following Intense or Negative Readings

If a reading was particularly emotionally charged or delved into challenging issues, cleansing the deck afterward can help dispel any lingering negativity and restore balance to the cards.

When the Readings Become Unclear or Confused

If your readings start to feel consistently off, unclear, or muddled, it might be a sign that your deck needs cleansing. This can help recalibrate the energy and restore clarity to your readings.

Regular Maintenance

Even without a specific reason, it’s a good practice to cleanse your tarot deck regularly. You might choose to do this at set intervals, such as at the new moon, or incorporate cleansing into your personal rituals or spiritual practices.

How to Cleanse Your Tarot Cards

I have an awesome guide on using Incense to cleanse your tarot deck, which I highly recommend checking out. It’s my favorite way to cleanse my cards!

Smoke Cleansing

Passing your cards through the smoke of burning sage, palo santo, or other herbs is a traditional method for clearing energies. This practice is rooted in various cultural traditions and is believed to purify and bless the tarot deck.


Leaving your cards to bathe in the light of the full moon is another popular cleansing method. Moonlight is thought to recharge the cards and wash away any lingering energies.


Placing a cleansing crystal, such as clear quartz or selenite, on or with your deck can help neutralize and clear energies. Some practitioners also like to store their decks with these crystals for ongoing cleansing.

Visualization and Intent

Using visualization or setting a clear intention is a powerful way to cleanse your tarot cards. This can involve holding the deck and envisioning it being filled with light or mentally directing cleansing energy through the cards.

Sound Cleansing

Using sound vibrations from bells, singing bowls, or even clapping around the deck can be an effective way to break up and clear out stagnant energies.

I also found this resource on WikiHow which is also worth checking out if you’re interested!

Last Thoughts

Cleansing your tarot cards is a practice that serves multiple purposes, from clearing energies to deepening your connection with your deck.

While not everyone may feel the need to cleanse their cards regularly, incorporating some form of cleansing ritual can enhance your tarot reading practice, ensuring that your deck remains a clear and potent tool for divination.

Whether you choose smoke, moonlight, crystals, intent, or sound, the key is to find a method that resonates with you and your tarot practice.