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What To Do If You Lose a Tarot Card: (Next Step)

In the journey of tarot reading, every card holds significant meaning, and the loss of even a single card from a deck can feel like a disruption in the harmonious balance of your divination tool.

However, such occurrences, while inconvenient, can also be opportunities for reflection, adaptation, and even growth in your tarot practice.

Here’s a thoughtful approach to dealing with the loss of a tarot card.

Lets talk about:
πŸŒ• Understanding The Impact of The Missing Card
πŸŒ” Next Best Steps After Losing a Tarot Card
πŸŒ“ Replacing the Lost Card
πŸŒ’ Which Card Is Lost? (A Few Examples Explained)
πŸŒ‘ Energetic Considerations and Deck Cleansing
🌘 Personal Beliefs and Flexibility in Practice
πŸŒ— Alternative Uses for an Incomplete Deck

Understanding the Impact of the Missing Card

When you discover a card is missing from your deck, it’s natural to feel a sense of loss or imbalance.

The first step is to reflect on the symbolism of the missing card. What does its absence mean to you personally and in the context of your readings?

Sometimes, the nature of the card lost can offer subconscious insights or reflect metaphorically on your current life situation. However, it’s also important to remember that the essence of tarot lies in interpretation and intuition.

A missing card does not render the entire deck useless; in many cases, the deck can still function effectively for readings, with the understanding that the energies of the missing card are being manifested in other ways.

Next Best Steps After Losing a Tarot Card

If you find yourself in the situation where a tarot card is lost, here are clear and practical steps to consider:

  1. Search Thoroughly: First and foremost, conduct a thorough search. Check places where you usually keep your deck, any recent locations where you’ve done readings, and areas where the card might have accidentally fallen or been misplaced.
  2. Reflect on the Lost Card’s Significance: Take a moment to contemplate the lost card. What does this card represent in tarot? How does its meaning resonate with your current life circumstances? This reflection can provide insight into whether the loss holds any symbolic significance for you.
  3. Decide on Replacement or Continuation: Determine whether to replace the lost card or continue using the incomplete deck. If you choose to replace the card, contact the deck’s publisher or consider printing a replacement. If continuing with the deck as is, acknowledge the absence of the card as a part of your ongoing tarot journey.
  4. Cleansing and Rebalancing the Deck: Whether you replace the card or not, cleanse and rebalance your deck. This can be done through smudging, placing the deck in moonlight, or other cleansing rituals you prefer. This step is crucial for resetting the deck’s energy.
  5. Adapt Your Readings: Adjust your reading practices to accommodate the missing card. If you continue with the incomplete deck, be open to the idea that the energies of the missing card might manifest in other ways or through other cards.
  6. Consider a New Deck: Sometimes, losing a card can be an opportunity for change. Contemplate if this is the right time to connect with a new deck, which can bring fresh perspectives and energies to your readings.
  7. Use the Incomplete Deck Creatively: If you choose not to replace the card, consider using the incomplete deck for other purposes. It can still serve as an effective tool for meditation, education, or creative inspiration.

By following these steps, you can navigate the loss of a tarot card thoughtfully and continue your practice in a way that feels right for you. Whether it leads to reflection, adaptation, or renewal, the loss of a card can be a meaningful part of your tarot journey.

Replacing the Lost Card

If you decide to replace the missing card, there are several avenues you can explore:

  1. Publisher Replacement: This is a bit of a long shot, but i know a few people who have successfully done this. Reach out to the publisher of your deck. Some publishers offer replacement cards for their decks, which can be an easy solution to restore your deck’s completeness.
  2. DIY Replacement: If a replacement from the publisher is not an option, consider creating your own. You can print a version of the missing card, ensuring it matches the size, color, and texture of your existing deck as closely as possible.
  3. New Deck Purchase: Sometimes, the loss of a card can be an impetus to connect with a new deck. Different decks offer diverse perspectives and energies, and exploring a new deck can be a refreshing change in your tarot journey.

Which Card Is Lost? (A Few Examples Explained)

Whether the specific card lost from a tarot deck matters largely depends on your personal perspective and the way you interpret signs and symbols in your practice.

For some, the particular card that goes missing can carry significant symbolic weight, offering insights or reflections on current life situations.

Here are a few random examples of how losing different cards might be interpreted:

The Fool:

Losing The Fool could symbolize a hesitation or fear of beginning a new journey or adventure. It might reflect a period where taking risks or embracing new opportunities feels daunting or where the innocence and optimism typically embodied by The Fool are missing in your life.

The Lovers:

If The Lovers card is lost, it might indicate confusion or uncertainty in matters of relationship and choice. It could reflect a time where you’re facing difficulty in making decisions about a relationship or struggling to find harmony in your personal connections.

The Tower:

The absence of The Tower might suggest that you are currently avoiding a necessary upheaval or transformation. It could be a period where the destruction and chaos typically represented by The Tower are looming but not being addressed.

Ten of Swords:

Losing the Ten of Swords might symbolize an unwillingness to confront betrayal, loss, or a painful ending. It could be indicative of a situation where you’re avoiding the acceptance of a difficult truth or not acknowledging the end of a challenging phase.

Ace of Pentacles:

If the Ace of Pentacles goes missing, it might reflect a missed opportunity or a delay in the fruition of a new business venture, financial undertaking, or other material endeavors.

Three of Cups:

The loss of the Three of Cups could indicate a period of social disconnection or a feeling of isolation from your community. It might suggest a time where the joy, celebration, and camaraderie usually represented by this card are absent.

Of course we haven’t covered all cards here, these are just a few random examples.

It’s important to remember that these interpretations are not fixed and can vary greatly depending on individual beliefs and the context of one’s tarot practice. For some readers, the loss of any card might simply represent a physical misplacement with no deeper symbolic meaning.

Energetic Considerations and Deck Cleansing

Regardless of whether you replace the card or not, it’s a good practice to perform a cleansing ritual on your deck.

This can help reset the deck’s energy and can be done through various methods such as smudging with sage, placing the deck in moonlight, or using crystals.

Trust your intuition on how to proceed; some readers might feel comfortable continuing to use the deck, while others might view the loss as a sign to start anew.

Personal Beliefs and Flexibility in Practice

How you handle the loss of a tarot card should ultimately align with your personal beliefs and practices.

For some, it may be a mere inconvenience, while for others, it might carry deeper spiritual or symbolic significance. This event can be an opportunity to demonstrate adaptation and flexibility in your practice.

The key is to maintain a connection with your deck and allow it to continue serving as a tool for insight and guidance, even if it’s in a slightly altered form.

Alternative Uses for an Incomplete Deck

Consider repurposing the incomplete deck for other meaningful uses. It can still serve as an educational tool for learning the meanings of the tarot or as a source of inspiration for creative projects.

Some practitioners use individual cards for meditation or as part of a personal altar, finding that even without the full set, the cards retain their symbolic power and significance.


The loss of a tarot card doesn’t spell the end of your deck’s usefulness. Whether you choose to replace the card, continue using the deck, or transition to a new one, what matters most is your relationship with the tool and how it aids in your practice.

Tarot reading is as much about the reader’s connection and interpretation of the cards as it is about the cards themselves.

Embracing this event as part of your tarot journey can open up new avenues for learning, growth, and spiritual exploration.