How to Clear Your Tarot or Oracle Deck
by Janet Boyer
When you do frequent Tarot or oracle card readings, I find it's often a good idea to cleanse your cards. This process is known as "clearing the deck".
Any form of divination involves energy, and using cards is no different. Energetic "gunk", if you will, accumulates on the cards. This can be a result of allowing people to handle your deck, doing multiple readings in a row, having a negative state of mind when performing a reading (something that is not recommended!), or experiencing negative feeback from a the seeker (the person receiving the reading).
You may find that the cards become sticky, or that shuffling becomes difficult. Sometimes, you may just feel a flat feeling after awhile...like your deck needs a breath of fresh air. This is a good indicator that a deck cleanse is in order.
Some individuals clear the deck after each and every reading. Others do it only periodically as a part of deck maitenance. Whenever you choose to clear your deck, here are some ways to do so:
Smudging is when you burn certain herbs to create a "smoke bath" to cleanse the energy around a person, room, or object. There are a variety of herbs you can use for smudging such as sweetgrass or cedar, but the most common herb used for cleansing is Sage. Using a smudge stick, braid, or bundle of herbs, waft the smoke around your deck or the place you conduct your readings.
After a reading, place a crystal of your choice on top of the deck in between readings. If you keep your deck in a silk cloth, bag, or box, you can store a crystal with your deck. I've been using this method recently, especially since I've been doing a lot of phone readings. I find that I'm most drawn to using rough clear quartz and rough amethyst.
Re-ordering The Cards
Some readers choose to re-order the deck after every reading. That is, putting all the cards upright and in order. For traditional Tarot, that would be putting the Majors and Minors in order. For an oracle deck, it would depend on how it was ordered (by number, suit, subject, etc.)
Make Some Noise
Clapping your hands or jangling some bells above your deck is a good way to displace stagnant energy and introduce some chi (life force energy).
Incense, candles, and essential oils can be used to clear your deck. Just pass your deck through the smoke or aroma, or have the cards laying out while you use aromatherapy.
Visualizing your deck surrounded by white light is another effective way to cleanse cards. You may also visualize white light emanating from your hands, and pass your hands over the cards.
Cross your wrists over your deck, forming an X. Quickly uncross your wrists, as if breaking loose, to dispel negative or stagnant energy.
Use Another Deck
Sometimes, inbuing a reading with fresh energy is a simple as using a different deck.
Whether you read for yourself, clients, or friends and family, clearing the deck is a great way to dispel negative, stagnant energy. This ritual creates a sacred space around your divination deck--inviting peaceful energy and promoting psychic clarity.
Remember - - - 'STRESSED' spelt backwards! is 'DESSERTS'