How to Cleanse a Tarot Deck — Salt and Smoke || Witchy How-To

Tarot decks, like any other tool in our witchcraft arsenal, can hold residual energy from the environment, our use of the cards, and our emotions. This energy can affect how the cards work for us, so they need to be cleansed regularly. Today, I’m going to share two methods with you that I use to cleanse my decks. There is a video tutorial included at the bottom of this page.

Cleanse by Salt

For this method, you will need only two things: salt and your tarot cards. Salt is used within witchcraft and many occult practices because of its crystalline nature. It absorbs and keeps away negative energies, leaving your cards clear and fresh for the next use. I use coarse sea salt for this method, just out of preference. I fan the cards a bit to loosen them and make sure they aren’t sticking together. I do this both ways, just out of personal preference.

Then I take them and spread them out on my altar. This method could also work if you place your cards in a container of salt and keep them there, only bringing them out when you need to. Now, I sprinkle some salt over the cards. Only as much as I feel necessary. There isn’t a measurement to this method, only what I can feel energetically. From here, my cards will sit in the salt for an entire day. Then I will clean them up, sweep the salt into my hands, and cast it into the wind.

Cleanse by Smoke

For this method, again, you will only need a few things: your tarot cards, incense, and a way to light the incense. I also set up my altar for smoke cleansing a little different. If something doesn’t feel right after I’ve lit my candle and incense, I move things around to suit me. Since I call upon my guides and my Goddess when I read tarot, I let that energy guide me as I arrange my tools. It is different every time.

Smoke cleansing is another popular cleansing method that is used for tarot cards, crystals, homes, and people. The most common method of smoke cleansing is using sage, but today I will be using Dragon’s Blood incense. Dragon’s Blood incense is protective in nature while the smoke will clear the residual energy left in the cards.

I fan out the cards like I did before. Since I am limited on space, I take a section of cards and move them through the smoke and around the incense. I repeat this process, making sure that each card has a chance to be passed through the smoke.

Please be careful when you’re doing this. I bumped my incense stick with a fan of cards and could have damaged them. But accidents happen.

I don’t have a specific amount of time I fan the cards through the smoke. I just go with what I feel is necessary. You can then take it a step further. This deck is one that is special to me as it was a gift. I have a beautiful box that was gifted to me a few years ago. This deck, once cleansed, is placed in the box with a smear of incense ash over the top card.

I then take the incense stick and cleanse the entire area, box and all, before closing the box. This deck will stay put away in this box for at least an entire day. However, this is a deck that I use almost every day, so it won’t stay put for long.



I make every attempt to be inclusive and accessible to everyone. If you would prefer to download a PDF copy of this transcript, click here.


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