Caring for and Connecting with Your Tarot Deck

My table
Tarot in use (Photo credit: Pahz)

You’ve purchased your new tarot deck, you’ve taken it out of the wrapping – what next?

You need to care for your cards, they’re precious and one of the first things you can do is cleanse them. This is especially important as your cards will have been handled by many people during their production .

You’ll find there are many different ways to do this, so here are one or two to get you started. Of course, everyone has their own ideas, these are by means the definitive methods but will give you some ideas to get started:

  • You can leave your new deck on a window sill for 24 hours – this will allow your cards to be charged by both sun and moon light. Make sure the sill isn’t damp
  • You can smudge each card in your deck, preferably with a white sage stick.
  • You can place crystals on top of the deck – clear quartz or rose quartz are good, gentle crystals for this, but you may be drawn to other stones which you’d prefer to use.

What about caring for my deck after it’s been in use?

Periodically, you’ll need to cleanse your cards. You’ll know when it’s time; the cards will “feel” different and your readings may become less clear. When this happens, simply repeat one of the cleansing rituals above.

Once your deck is in use, you can put the cards in order, perhaps once a month, which also cleanse them and renews their energy. Also, if you’ve had a negative reading,it pays to cleanse your deck immediately.

Shuffling your deck allows the energies to flow and helps clear out any unwanted energy. The simple act of shuffling can be therapeutic and helps you connect with your deck. Keep shuffling until it feels “right”. This is hard to explain but once you get to know your cards, you’ll know when this is!

You can also perform Reiki on your deck, so if you have formal training in this healing art, try this on your cards.

Storing Your Tarot Cards

How you store your deck is down to personal choice. You might want to keep your cards in a beautiful wooden box, such as the one in the photos, which I’ve had for years. Some people advise wrapping your cards in silk as well, but this is down to you.

You might prefer a special drawstring bag. These will protect your cards and are easily portable. You can obtain simple bags from most New Age shops but if you want something special for a particular precious deck, then a beautiful hand-made bag such as the ones in the photo below will give pleasure as well as protection for your cards. You may want to keep a crystal in the box/bag, such as a gentle quartz. I also keep a handful of dried rosebuds in my wooden box – I love the subtle scent these give off.

With any new deck, I like to keep it close and take it with me whenever possible; my cards sit safely in their bag, hidden away inside my handbag when I have to work or socialize,allowing my personal energies to connect with the cards, whatever I’m doing. I like the thought that they’re there …..

Connecting with your Tarot Deck

There are literally hundreds of different tarot decks and finding the perfect one for yourself may take time. You may be drawn to a particular theme, such as fantasy, Victoriana or fairies and will be able to find a suitable deck to match.

You may purchase a deck or decks in the belief that they are just what you’ve been looking for, only to work with them for a little while and realize that you’re not able to connect with them in the way you’d like. This is perfectly natural and it just means that you’ll have to continue your search for your ultimate deck!

Over the years, I’ve had many different decks, hoping that I’d finally be able to connect completely but was always left disappointed until finally finding the deck I’d been searching for! This deck, the Legacy of the Divine Tarot clicked with me immediately and my ongoing journey with these beautiful cards is a gift.

So, how CAN you connect with your cards? One of the ways is to sleep with your deck under your pillow! It’s said that doing this will help imbue the cards with your personal energy. I’ve always done this for a few days with any new decks and the cards always feel more personal.

Make sure you handle your cards regularly, even if you’re not doing readings. Just remove them from their bag or box and shuffle them for a few minutes. this re-energizes the deck. Look at the images again and re-familiarize yourself with the nuances of each card.

Treat your Deck with respect…

Your cards are precious… every tarot reader has their own rituals for caring for their deck. There’s no one definite way to do this, it’s a personal process and one which should be both relaxing and a pleasure.

Do what feels right… your cards are your companions and guides, so make sure you take care of them.

Every deck has its own personality. You were drawn to your deck in some way and if you take care of it and use it regularly, you’ll discover this personality.

Is silk essential for storing your deck?

Many people believe that tarot cards should always be wrapped in pure silk when not in use as this helps keep the energies fresh. However, there’s no hard and fast rule on this; once again, it’s down to personal choice.

One thing you will probably want to do, though, is use some kind of cloth for laying your cards on whilst doing a reading. A cloth will protect your cards and make things look aesthetically pleasing.

Is it ok to let others handle my cards?

Again, there are different schools of thought on this. Some people won’t allow anyone to touch their tarot decks under any circumstances. Others will allow the shuffling and choosing of cards during a reading, making sure they cleanse the cards immediately after.

If someone I know has a genuine interest in my deck and wants a closer look, I’m more than happy to let them handle my cards, provided they show respect and care. After all, how is anyone to learn more about tarot unless someone’s prepared to help them?

About the Author

Julie Atkins. Find out more about the intriguing world of tarot at You’ll find more information and advice on working with tarot cards.