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Incense Tarot Cleansing: 5 Best Incenses & FAQ Guide

Tarot cards, like many objects used in spiritual practices, are believed by many practitioners to be capable of absorbing and retaining energy.

This can include energy from the people who handle them, the environments in which they are used, or from the readings themselves. Over time, if these energies are not cleared, they may influence or cloud future readings.

Cleansing is the practice of clearing away these energies, and there are various methods to do this. Incense cleansing is one such method and is especially favored by those who also appreciate the calming and focusing effect that the aroma of incense can bring to the cleansing ritual.

What we’ll cover today!

🌑 Why use incense for cleansing?
🌒 The basics of incense cleansing
🌓 5 Beautiful incenses for cleansing
🌔 What’s the right incense for you
🌕 Something to know first
🌖 The step-by-step process
🌗 The impact of incense cleansing
🌘 Alternatives to incense
🌚 Last thoughts

Why Cleanse Your Tarot Cards With Incense?

Using incense for cleansing tarot cards has its unique benefits that make the process profoundly sensory, meditative, and symbolic.

The aromatic aspect of incense cleansing connects with our sense of smell, one of our most powerful senses tied to memory and emotion. As the scent fills the room, it not only purifies the tarot cards but also creates an ambiance of tranquility and focus.

This sensory experience can deepen one’s connection with the tarot cards, enhancing the spiritual and intuitive aspects of tarot reading.

Additionally, the smoke from incense adds a visible element to the cleansing process, which can be helpful for those who connect with visual cues. Watching the smoke rise and envelop your tarot cards, you can envision it physically gathering up and carrying away any negative or stagnant energies.

This act can lead to a deeper level of meditation and help users to better concentrate their intentions. The burning of incense, representing transformation, further imbues the ritual with a powerful symbolism that resonates with many practitioners.

In these ways, the use of incense for cleansing tarot cards can enhance not only the efficacy of the cards themselves but also the personal experience and satisfaction of the user.

Full Guide: Do I Really Need to Cleanse My Tarot Cards?

♡ Related: 22 Incense Tarot Card Combinations to Try

The Basics of Cleansing With Incense

The concept behind incense cleansing is that the smoke from the incense carries away negative or unwanted energies, leaving the cards refreshed and energetically neutral. Incense cleansing is a method that’s also commonly used in many spiritual traditions for purifying spaces and objects.

To cleanse your tarot cards with incense:

  1. Choose your incense: Different types of incense have different properties according to various traditions, so you may wish to choose an incense that aligns with your specific intentions for the cleansing. Some commonly used incenses for cleansing include sage, which is believed to have powerful purifying properties, and palo santo, which is said to clear negative energy and bring in positive vibrations.
  2. Light your incense: Allow it to get a good smoke going.
  3. Pass your cards through the smoke: Hold your tarot deck in your hand and pass it through the incense smoke. Some people prefer to do this with each card individually, while others pass the entire deck through at once.
  4. Visualize the smoke carrying away unwanted energies: As you pass the cards through the smoke, visualize it absorbing and carrying away any negative or unwanted energies. You may also wish to set a specific intention or say a prayer or affirmation as you do this.
  5. Give your deck time to rest: After cleansing, give your deck some time to rest and recharge. Some people like to place their deck in a special box or wrap it in a silk cloth to rest.

It’s important to note that the effectiveness of incense cleansing largely depends on the intentions and beliefs of the individual.

If you approach the practice with a skeptical mindset, it’s unlikely to have much effect.

However, if you believe in its efficacy and approach it with sincere intention, many practitioners find it to be a powerful tool for keeping their tarot cards energetically clean and clear.

5 Beautiful Incenses For Cleansing

Different incenses are said to have different properties and can awaken various emotions, thought processes and beliefs based on their unique smells.

Let’s run through five of the best and most common incenses used to cleanse tarot cards.

1. Sage:

Sage, especially white sage, is one of the most widely recognized plants used for cleansing in various spiritual practices. Its smoke is thought to have the power to absorb and neutralize negative energy, clearing it away and making room for positivity. In addition to its cleansing abilities, sage is also associated with wisdom, longevity, and protection, further enhancing the cleansing ritual.

2. Frankincense:

Frankincense is a traditional incense used for millennia in spiritual and religious rituals, especially within Christianity. Known as the “King of Oils,” it is often used to raise spiritual vibrations, enhance meditation, and encourage peace. It’s believed to be powerful in dispelling negative energies and connecting to higher spiritual realms, making it an excellent choice for cleansing tarot cards.

3. Palo Santo:

Palo Santo, or “Holy Wood,” hails from South America and has been used by indigenous cultures for centuries for its cleansing and healing properties. The wood is thought to bring in good fortune, creativity, and love, as well as eliminate negativity. The uplifting scent of Palo Santo is also often used to enhance meditation and concentration, perfect for focusing your intention during the cleansing process.

4. Lavender:

Lavender is well-known for its soothing and calming properties, but it’s also a powerful tool in spiritual practices. Its sweet, floral scent is believed to promote tranquility, encourage emotional balance, and ward off negative energy. Using lavender incense for cleansing not only purifies your tarot deck but also sets a calming, peaceful ambiance for readings.

5. Sandalwood:

Sandalwood incense has a warm, woodsy scent and is commonly used in meditation, healing, and protection rituals. In Buddhism, sandalwood is considered one of the three integral incenses in successfully navigating the path to enlightenment. It’s thought to clear away negativity and stimulate a higher state of consciousness, aligning perfectly with the purpose of cleansing tarot cards.

Choosing The Right Incense For You

Choosing the right incense for cleansing your tarot deck is a deeply personal decision and can depend on various factors. It could be determined by the specific qualities of each incense and how they align with your intentions.

For example, if you feel a need for stronger protection or grounding, Sandalwood might be an ideal choice. If you’re looking for something to clear away negativity and instill calm, then Lavender or Palo Santo would be fitting.

You may also choose based on the scent that resonates with you the most, as the aroma plays a significant role in setting the atmosphere for your reading and cleansing ritual.

Ultimately, it’s essential to listen to your intuition. Experiment with different types, and notice how each one makes you feel.

The incense that brings you the most peace and feels most aligned with your personal energy will be the best for you.

What You MUST Know Before Cleansing

Before you begin cleansing your tarot deck with incense, it is important to remember that the purpose is to clear away unwanted energies.

Therefore, ensure your space is calm, quiet, and conducive to introspection and tranquility.

Also, use a feather or your hand to waft the smoke, never blow on it, as your breath may infuse the deck with your own energy.

How To Cleanse Tarot Cards With Incense: Step By Step

I get many questions about how we cleanse our tarot cards at home, this is the exact method we use!

  1. Create a calm environment: The first step in any spiritual practice is setting up a serene space that promotes positive energy. Choose a quiet, comfortable location where you won’t be interrupted. Light candles if you like, play soft music, or do anything else that helps to create a calming ambiance.
  2. Set your intention: Before you begin, take a moment to clear your mind and focus on your purpose for the cleansing. This could be as simple as saying to yourself, “I cleanse these cards of any previous energy so they may provide clear and true guidance.”
  3. Select your incense: Based on your preference and your intentions, choose the type of incense you wish to use for the cleansing. It could be sage for powerful purification, sandalwood for grounding and protection, or any other incense you feel drawn to.
  4. Light the incense: Once you’ve chosen your incense, light it and allow it to start smoking. Place the incense in a secure holder to ensure safety.
  5. Pass the cards through the smoke: Hold your tarot deck in one hand. With your other hand, guide the smoke to envelop your deck. Some practitioners prefer to pass each card individually through the smoke to ensure each card gets thoroughly cleansed.
  6. Visualize the negative energy clearing: As you’re cleansing your cards with the incense smoke, imagine the smoke absorbing any negative energies or past readings, leaving the cards clear and ready for your next reading.
  7. Allow the cards to rest: After the cleansing process, allow the cards to rest and soak in the purified energy. You may wish to place them in a sacred space, wrap them in a special cloth, or store them in a special box.
  8. Extinguish the incense: Always remember to safely extinguish the incense once you’ve finished cleansing.

Remember, the power of this ritual comes from your intention. When done regularly and with a focused mind, incense cleansing can help to keep your tarot cards energetically clear and positively charged.

Impact of Incense Cleansing

Using incense to cleanse your tarot deck can have a positive impact on your readings. Cleansing removes any previous energies that may be clinging to your cards, making them a clearer conduit for the messages you are seeking. It’s like resetting your deck to its neutral state, making it ready to receive and provide fresh, unbiased guidance.

Alternatives To Incense

Yes, there are several alternatives to incense cleansing for those who are sensitive to smoke, prefer a different method, or simply want to vary their practices.

Here are a few:

  1. Moonlight: Many tarot practitioners believe that the energy of the moon can help to cleanse and recharge their cards. To cleanse your deck this way, leave it in a safe place where it will be exposed to the moonlight overnight, preferably during a full moon for the strongest energy.
  2. Sunlight: Similar to moonlight, sunlight is also believed to have cleansing properties. However, take care not to leave your cards in direct sunlight for too long, as this can cause them to fade.
  3. Crystal Cleansing: Some crystals, such as clear quartz or selenite, are believed to have the ability to absorb and clear away negative energies. To cleanse your cards with a crystal, place the crystal on top of the deck, or leave the deck in a bag or box with the crystal for a few hours or overnight.
  4. Sound Cleansing: Sound frequencies can also be used to clear away negative energies. This can be done using singing bowls, bells, or tuning forks. Play the instrument near your deck with the intention of clearing away any negativity.
  5. Visualization: Another smoke-free method is to use your own energy and visualization. Hold your deck in your hands and visualize a bright light surrounding the cards, absorbing any negative energy and replacing it with positive, radiant energy.
  6. Earth Burial: For a more intense cleanse, consider an earth burial. This involves wrapping your deck in a natural cloth and burying it in the earth for a full day and night cycle. The earth is believed to absorb and neutralize any negative energies.

Remember, each of these methods depends on your personal preference and beliefs. Choose the one that resonates with you the most, and always set your intention for a successful cleanse.

Last thoughts

The cleansing of tarot cards is an important aspect of the tarot reading process, enabling you to clear away any negative or lingering energies and reset your deck for future readings. Using incense for this purpose brings in a sensory element to the process and is steeped in rich tradition and symbolism. However, it’s essential to approach it with respect, attentiveness, and a clear intention to harness its full benefits.

While sage, frankincense, palo santo, lavender, and sandalwood are among the most popular choices, the selection of incense should align with your personal preferences and cleansing goals. It’s about fostering a connection with your tarot deck and creating an environment conducive to intuition and wisdom.

If incense cleansing isn’t suitable for you, there are various alternatives like moonlight, sunlight, crystals, sound, visualization, or earth burial, each offering a unique approach to purifying your tarot cards.

In the end, the most effective method of cleansing your tarot cards will be the one that resonates with you the most, aligning with your personal beliefs and comfort.