The tarot cards and burning herbs
Magic, Ritual, Tarot

Clearing and Charging Your Tarot Deck

Sometimes our sacred tools come in contact with energies we don’t want clinging them. Perhaps your tarot cards were handled by a nosy relative or friend. Maybe you have done a lot of reading for others recently or too many heavy readings for yourself. Sometimes we simply start to feel disconnected from our tarot readings.  There are many ways to help clear these energies from your deck. Here are four rituals that use the power of the moon, earth, crystals, and smoke. Try any or all of them — just do what feels right and listen to your intuition. You can customize any of these practices or just get inspired to create a whole new ritual for charging and clearing your deck.

Moon: Work with the Cycles of Magic 

The moon is a powerful presence in our lives whether we realize it it not. If you have a womb the moon controls your moontime (period) and your internal cycles. Before modern ways of living disrupted our bodies’ natural cycles women menstruated on the new moon and ovulated on the full moon. We are so in tune with her energies. We ebb and flow to her rhythms and our cycles reflect hers.

Charge and clear tarot cards under the moon.

The moon pulls the tides and the waters of the earth as well as our body tides. When she aligns with the astrological energies it affects us with the energies of the zodiac. New moons are all about setting intentions, planting dream seeds, intuition, exploring the subconscious, our shadow sides and going within. Full moons are a time to celebrate, a time of illumination and of manifestation. You can work with the phases of the moon to charge your deck. Check out our article Tarot Spreads for the New and Full Moon 

Moon Rituals and Incantations

On a full moon place your deck on the window sill where it will be hit with the moon glow and her energy. You can do this as you draw down the moon, or speak affirmations over your cards. “May the moon cleanse my deck of energies that do not serve and illuminate what needs to be seen.” Leave it in the moonlit for one night, from full moon to new moon or even for an entire moon cycle, from full moon to full moon.

Earth: Gaia’s Grounding Energy

Placing your deck on the earth is a great way to charge it with mama gaia’s grounding energy. You can chose a spot that is sacred and rejuvenating for you. Be it your backyard, forest, river bank, oceanside or mountain. Charge and clear your tarot deck with Earth

Charge Your Tarot Cards with Earth Magic

On your walk out to your sacred place intentionally place your feet on the earth and breath up her energy, feel it moving through your body up through your legs and through the chakras (check out my post on Tarot and Self Care if you need a refresher on the chakras). Once at your crown breath the energy out slowly, imagining any negative energy, tensions and dullness leaving your body. Once you reach your spot place your deck directly on the earth, on a boulder or a tree stump. You can choose to place river stones, feathers, flowers, water drops or anything else you see around you that speaks to you in a circle around your deck or on top of the cards. Then sit or lay on the earth. You may choose to speak gratitude for the earth or sing a Medicine song. when you feel done take a few deep breaths and thank the earth. Gather your cards and return home.

Crystals: Magical Treasures of the Earth

Crystal, gem and stone healing reaches back far through history. Many shamanic cultures around the world carried and worked with theses treasures of the earth.

Charge and clear your tarot deck with crystals

Clear Negative Energy with Crystal Magic

To start, center yourself with a few grounding breaths. Selenite or quartz are great crystals to clear away stagnant or negative energy. Hold the stone in your hands and imagine a sense of peace and light filling you. Gather crystals and gems that you feel embody the energies you want to bring in. Great stones for protection are black tourmaline, obsidian and onyx. You can also use a stone from any place you hold sacred. A stone from your favorite swimming hole, the ocean, mountain or forest. Place them on top of or around your deck. Leave for at least a day.

Smudging and Recaning: Smoke Magic

You may be familiar with the act of smudging. It has become a trend in the metaphysical or new age circles. This is a practice of burning dried herbs around a home, person, or ritual objects to clear energies with the sacred smoke. The herbs often used are sage, cedar, mugwort and many more. This can also be done with incense or wood such as palo santo. This practice is seen around the world but the term smudging is an appropriated word specific to the indigenous peoples of the Americas. I prefer to use the term recels (pronounced ray- kels) because it is an old English word for incense.

Charge and clear your tarot deck with smudging

Recaning (reek-en-ing) comes from the old Celtic term “saining” – to bring a clearing effect on the mind. You can use this method as an effective practice for clearing your Tarot cards.

Smoke Rituals for Cleansing Your Tarot Cards

Gather your herb of choice (mine is often mugwort because she aids intuition, dreams, is connected to the moon and psychic abilities) whether you are buying your herbs in a local shop, online or harvesting in the wild be sure it is done sustainably and with gratitude. (Sage bundles are very trendy and found everywhere now a days but be aware that this plant is threatened in the wild due to over harvest ) You can burn your plant loose or in a bundle. You may want to start by covering yourself in the smoke and emptying your mind. Hold your cards over the burning recels until it has been covered in the smoke.

Using these clearing and charging techniques can help you to stay connected and inspired by your deck. They have been beautiful and attainable small rituals for me and I wish you well in working with them.



  • Tiana

    Tiana writes about a wide range of esoteric practices, including earth-based spirituality, ritual and tarot.

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