How to Cleanse Tarot Cards with Incense: A Step-by-Step Guide

Cleansing tarot cards is an essential practice for those who regularly use these powerful tools for divination, guidance, and self-discovery. Over time, tarot decks can accumulate lingering energies, which could potentially affect the accuracy and clarity of future readings.

One popular and effective method for purifying tarot cards is through the use of incense, which has long been utilized in various spiritual traditions for its powerful cleansing properties.

In this article, we’ll explore the process of cleansing tarot cards with incense, shedding light on the importance and benefits of this practice.

We’ll discuss appropriate incense types, such as White Sage, Frankincense, and Palo Santo, and offer guidance on how to incorporate this simple ritual into your regular tarot practice.

Our aim is to help you maintain the energetic integrity of your deck and enhance the quality of your readings by releasing any lingering energies.

How to Cleanse Tarot Cards with Incense

By incorporating incense in your tarot cleansing routine, you are connecting with ancient wisdom and traditions that value the purifying potential of sacred smoke.

This method encourages clear communication with your inner wisdom and intuition, allowing for deeper insights and a more attuned guidance from your tarot cards.

So, let’s delve into the world of incense and tarot and learn how to create a harmonious and energetically balanced environment for your readings.

Why Cleanse Tarot Cards

When we work with tarot cards, they can absorb and accumulate various energies, both positive and negative, from our surroundings and from the people we read for.

These residual energies have the potential to cloud the clarity of our readings and may even transfer negative energy onto us or the querent.

As tarot card readers, it’s essential that we maintain the purity and integrity of our tarot cards to provide accurate, insightful readings, free from any external influences.

Cleansing tarot cards is a simple yet crucial process, and one of the most popular methods is by using incense.

Incense has been used in many religious and spiritual traditions for centuries as a means of purifying spaces and objects. The smoke released from burning incense carries away any unwanted energies, effectively restoring your tarot cards to their original state.

There are several reasons why we should cleanse our tarot cards with incense:

  1. Improve clarity of readings: Cleansing tarot cards with incense helps to remove any lingering energies that could confuse or muddle the messages and guidance we receive during a reading.
  2. Maintain a positive atmosphere: By clearing negative energy from our tarot cards, we create a more open and positive environment for ourselves and the querent, fostering a sense of trust and receptivity during the reading.
  3. Preserve the integrity of the cards: Regularly cleansing our tarot cards ensures that the divine messages they carry remain untainted by external influences, allowing the cards to truly serve as clear conduits between us and the higher realms.
  4. Prevent energetic cross-contamination: When we perform readings for others, it’s important to cleanse the cards afterward to prevent the unintentional transfer of residual energies from one querent to another.

Using incense to cleanse your tarot cards is an effective and time-honored practice, and including it in your spiritual routine will not only enhance the quality of your readings but also deepen your connection to the tarot and the wisdom it holds.

Types of Cleansing Methods

When it comes to cleansing Tarot cards, there are various methods available to suit individual preferences. Each technique can be effective in keeping your cards energetically clear and pure. Let’s explore some of these cleansing methods.

Smudging is a popular way to cleanse Tarot cards. It involves using incense or dried herbs like sage, palo santo, or lavender. We simply allow the smoke to engulf the deck, effectively neutralizing any negative or stagnant energies.

Moonlight can also be utilized for cleansing and recharging Tarot cards. By placing the deck under the light of a full moon, we can infuse the cards with lunar energy and renew their potency.

Salt is considered a powerful cleanser and protective agent. We can either bury the Tarot deck in a bowl of salt or surround it with a circle of salt overnight. This method is believed to absorb and remove any negative energies or impressions.

Essential oils such as frankincense or sandalwood can be used to anoint the cards. We gently rub a few drops of the oil onto each card, imbuing it with the purifying properties of the chosen oil.

Singing or playing healing instruments (such as a crystal bowl) is another way to cleanse the cards. The vibration from these musical instruments is said to clear the deck of energetic buildup and restore balance.

Water is an effective cleansing agent, but we should ensure only to use it sparingly to avoid damaging the cards. We can lightly anoint the deck with blessed or moon-charged water. Alternatively, placing a glass of water near the cards overnight is a safer way to draw away any lingering negativity.

Sun baths provide a natural method for recharging our Tarot cards. By leaving the deck to bask in the sunlight for a brief period, we can boost its energy levels and enhance its vibrancy.

Each of these methods offers unique benefits and can be tailored according to individual preferences. Experimenting with different techniques allows us to find the optimal approach that works best for our Tarot decks.

Using Incense for Cleansing Tarot Cards

Choosing the Right Incense

When cleansing tarot cards with incense, it’s essential to select the right type for your ritual. Some popular incense choices for purification include:

  • White sage: A sacred herb with strong cleansing properties in many indigenous American traditions.
  • Palo santo: A mystical wood that originates from South America, known for its purifying effects.
  • Sweetgrass: An aromatic grass often used in Native American smudging rituals.
  • Frankincense: A resin commonly used in religious ceremonies for centuries, offering protective and purifying properties.
  • Myrrh: Another traditional resin often used in spiritual practices, often associated with purification and protection.
  • Cedar: A powerful cleanser with grounding, protective, and purifying properties.
  • Rosemary: A versatile herb known for its cleansing and protective energy.

In addition to these, you can also use essential oils or cleansing sprays in combination with burning incense.

Creating a Sacred Space

Before beginning the cleansing ritual, it’s crucial to create a sacred space that allows for proper energy flow and spiritual connection. Here are some steps for preparing your ritual space:

  1. Clean the area: Ensure the physical space is clean and free of clutter to invite positive energy.
  2. Set your intention: State your purpose for the ritual, focusing on clearing any negative energies from the tarot cards.
  3. Arrange crystals: Place protective and purifying crystals around the space, such as black tourmaline, selenite, or amethyst.
  4. Light a candle: Choose a white or purple candle (representative of spiritual cleansing) and light it to signify the beginning of the ritual.

The Cleansing Ritual

Once your space is set, you can begin the actual process of cleansing your tarot cards with incense. Follow these steps for an effective cleansing ritual:

  1. Light the incense: Whether using a stick, cone, or loose incense, ignite it and let it produce a fragrant smoke. Ensure proper ventilation in the room.
  2. Hold the tarot deck: Grasp your tarot cards firmly in your hands, focusing on your intention of cleansing and purifying them.
  3. Pass the cards through the smoke: Slowly move the deck through the incense smoke, allowing the sacred scent to envelope and cleanse each card.
  4. Encircle the deck: Use a counterclockwise motion to surround your tarot cards with protective and purifying energy as you move them through the smoke.
  5. Repeat a prayer or affirmation: As you perform the ritual, recite a prayer or affirmation that resonates with your intention, reinforcing the clearing process and strengthening your spiritual connection.
  6. Thank the energies: When you feel the tarot cards are adequately cleansed, gently thank the energies that aided in the process, acknowledging their guidance and support.

By following these steps and incorporating the sacred elements of incense, you’ll ensure a powerful and effective cleansing ritual for your tarot cards.

Cleansing with Smoke

Cleansing tarot cards with incense is an effective way to remove any negative energy or lingering emotions from previous readings. Through the use of smoke, we purify the cards and create a clean slate for new insights and messages.

To begin, choose an incense based on your personal preference or the energy you want to infuse in your cards.

For instance, lavender incense is good for clear communication, as it is ruled by Mercury, whereas mugwort is believed to have both cleansing and intuitive properties.

Next, prepare the space where you will be conducting the cleansing. Ensure it is clean, quiet, and free from distractions.

This will allow the incense to fully permeate and cleanse the tarot cards without interruptions. Light the incense and let it produce a good amount of smoke.

Now that the incense is emitting smoke, carefully fan the cards through the smoke, allowing each card to be enveloped and cleansed.

Alternatively, you could also spread the cards out and move the incense around them, ensuring the smoke reaches every card. Be cautious and gentle with the cards, as this process is meant to purify them for their next tarot readings.

After all the cards have been exposed to the incense smoke, let them rest in the cleansed space for a while. This allows them to absorb and retain the positive energy from the incense.

Once they have rested, shuffle the cards to finalize the cleansing process.

In summary, cleansing tarot cards with incense involves the following steps:

  • Choose a suitable incense
  • Prepare the space for cleansing
  • Carefully fan or spread the cards through the smoke
  • Allow the cards to rest in the cleansed space
  • Shuffle the cards to complete the process

By regularly cleansing your tarot cards with incense smoke, you ensure they are energized and purified for each reading, providing a clean slate for fresh insights and messages.

Pairing Incense with Other Cleansing Methods

In addition to using incense for cleansing tarot cards, we can also incorporate other methods to enhance the overall cleansing process. There are various ways to cleanse tarot cards, and combining them will provide a more effective and powerful clearing of any unwanted energies.

One method we can utilize is cleansing with the moon. Placing tarot cards under the full moon’s light can remove any lingering negative energy, as the moon has a strong purifying effect.

Make sure to give the cards a sun bath in the morning, as exposure to sunlight can help clear away remaining energies. Remember not to leave the cards in direct sunlight for too long, as it can cause fading and damage.

Another method for cleansing tarot cards is by using selenite. We can lay the cards on a selenite slab or place them between two selenite pieces, which helps clear, charge, and align the energy within the cards.

Selenite is an ideal crystal for purification and spiritual connection.

If you’re interested in incorporating a more physical method, you can utilize a salt burial. Burying your cards in a bowl of salt overnight can absorb any negative energy that may have collected on the cards. After the process, dust off the salt gently with a soft cloth.

We can also cleanse our tarot cards using fresh air.

Open a window or take your cards outside and fan them out, allowing the breeze to cleanse them and remove any stagnant energy. While doing this, envision the wind carrying away any negativity.

For those who practice Reiki or other energy healing methods, consider infusing your tarot cards with Reiki energy. This will help cleanse and charge the cards, filling them with positive energy and intention.

Lastly, using essential oil diffusers is another cleansing option. While diffusing your favorite oil blend, pass the cards through the mist to cleanse and energize them.

Note that the cards should not come into direct contact with the oil, as it can damage them.

By incorporating these various cleansing methods with incense, we create a powerful and effective way to cleanse tarot cards, ensuring they are clear, charged, and ready for use.

Charging and Intention Setting

Before we start, let’s ensure that we have a proper atmosphere for the ritual. Find a quiet space with soft lighting where we can focus and feel at peace. Taking a few moments for meditation will help us connect with our intuition.

Once we feel centered, let’s begin by choosing incense that resonates with us, such as White Sage, Frankincense, or Palo Santo.

Light the incense and allow the smoke to surround our Tarot cards while visualizing a white light engulfing the deck, infusing it with positive energy.

While the incense smoke engulfs our deck, take a deep breath and set our intention for the cleansing. Hold this intention in mind as we carefully shuffle the cards.

Shuffling not only mixes the cards, but it also strengthens our connection with the deck and realigns its energy according to our intention. Knock on the deck three times, symbolizing the expulsion of any lingering negativity.

During this process, keep in mind our spiritual path and the future insights we wish to receive. It is important to maintain a clear sense of our intention and visualize it manifesting in the cards. This process charges our deck with our personal energy, ensuring that our readings are tailored to our specific needs.

In conclusion, confidently and consciously setting our intention during the cleansing process is a crucial aspect of charging our Tarot deck.

By combining our intuition, meditation, visualization, and intention, we create a sacred experience, enhancing our Tarot readings and deepening our spiritual connection with the cards.

Remember, continuously sending positive energy and maintaining a strong intention will ensure our Tarot deck remains a powerful and insightful tool in our spiritual journey.

Caring for Tarot Cards and Maintaining Their Energy

Cleansing and maintaining the energy of our tarot deck is essential for accurate and profound readings. When we consistently care for our deck, we ensure that its energy remains clear and positive, allowing us to receive guidance from the Major Arcana and other cards without interference.

One effective way to cleanse a tarot deck is by using incense.

We can select incense with cleansing properties, such as sage or palo santo, or choose one that aligns with our spiritual or religious beliefs. To cleanse the deck with incense, we’ll first need to light the incense and allow it to smolder, producing cleansing smoke.

Then, we’ll pass each card through the smoke with a focused intention to purify its energy. Visualizing the cards’ energies being purified can also enhance the cleansing process.

Another important step in maintaining our tarot deck’s energy is to consecrate it.

Consecration is a powerful practice that imbues the deck with positive vibrations, aligning it with our intentions for love, guidance, and higher wisdom.

To consecrate the deck, we can hold it in our hands and say a prayer or intention over it. This can be a personal prayer, a traditional religious invocation, or a simple affirmation of our dedication to using the deck for the highest good.

Additionally, keeping the energy of our tarot cards vibrant requires regular use and a respectful attitude towards them. As we grow more experienced in using the tarot for guidance, our connection with the deck will deepen, and its energy will become more attuned with ours.

Regularly shuffling and studying the cards, as well as treating them with reverence, shows respect for the wisdom they embody and helps to maintain their positive vibrations.

In conclusion, caring for our tarot cards and maintaining their energy is a vital practice that ensures accurate readings and deepens our connection with the deck.

Through the use of incense, consecration, and respectful handling, we can enhance the vibrational quality of our tarot cards and continue to receive valuable guidance from them.

Alternative Cleansing Tools

In addition to incense, there are various other tools and methods we can use to cleanse our tarot cards and keep their energy clear and balanced. Here, we will discuss some of the most popular alternatives.

Crystals such as clear quartz are known for their ability to absorb and transmute negative energies. By placing our tarot cards near or on top of a crystal, we can effectively cleanse them.

Salt is another powerful cleansing agent that can be used to form a protective barrier around the cards. Placing the deck in a bowl of salt or laying the cards on a bed of salt can help remove negativity and debris.

Harnessing the power of the moon is another well-known method.

A moon bath allows the moon’s energy to cleanse and recharge our cards by placing them under the full moon’s light. This can be done on a windowsill or directly outside to fully absorb the lunar energy.

We can also utilize various herbs for their cleansing properties, such as sweetgrass, lavender, and loose incense. Burning them and allowing the smoke to envelop the cards can clear away any unwanted energy. Another smoke-cleansing alternative is to use a smudge stick made from dried herbs.

Singing and chanting prayers or affirmations, while holding the deck, create a positive and protective energy around the cards.

Likewise, playing cleansing music or using a singing bowl produces sound vibrations that can drive away negativity and unwanted energies.

Cleansing sprays made with essential oils, such as lavender, can be an effective option for those who prefer to avoid smoke.

Gently spraying the mist around your deck can help dissipate any lingering negativity.

Throughout the cleansing process, we can call upon our spirit guides, seeking their assistance in purifying and protecting our tarot cards.

We can create a designated sacred space, such as an altar, to perform cleansing rituals and reset the deck’s energy regularly.

Finally, we recommend that you pay attention to your intuition when selecting a cleansing method. The most important aspect of any purification ritual is the intention with which it is performed.

By combining the tool of your choice with a strong, confident energy, we can ensure our tarot cards remain vibrant and clear.


With a passion for spirituality, self discovery, and understanding this life, Neod spends his time musing about what is, what could be and what might come about. After writing for 20 years he's still growing, learning, exploring and sharing with love, joy and compassion.

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