If you are reading this I’m assuming that you have your deck of cards and are quite rightly wondering how to look after them properly. This is a question I’m routinely asked so I’ve pulled together the most frequently asked questions below:
Do I need to cleanse my cards?
Firstly, I’m going to stick my neck out here to advise they don’t need cleansing when you first unwrap them. This is simply because they are untouched, unless they are of course hand-made! However, once you have they have been used you can either waft the gorgeous cleansing scent of an incense stick over the cards, whilst you hold them or place them on a surface (they won’t mind) or you can keep a cleansing crystal with them at all times. This is my preferred method, I have an amethyst tumblestone and a Quartz point in my card pouch.
What do I keep them in? Shall I leave them in the box?
Every Tarot deck needs to be wrapped in silk or kept in a pouch to retain your energy, and keep them safe from children’s mitts, animals paws, or Goodness forbid another human without permission! Inside the pouch, you can keep its charging/protection crystal too. There are also boxes available which some professionals use. To be honest, you can go ‘all out’ here and buy an expensive item to keep them in or you can wrap them in a simple satin/silk cloth. As a guide, I keep all mine in their original box if I’m not using them (this is very rare for me!) and every deck I use are kept in a velvet plain pouch with an amethyst tumblestone crystal. I don’t cleanse them with incense because it’s usually wafting around me somewhere prior to readings anyway.
What type of pouch/bag/box should I put them in?
As previously mentioned above, the choice is entirely yours to make. When I bought my first ever deck I rushed out to buy crystals, a black satin wrap and a wooden box. I loved them but after a while, I noticed that I stopped putting them back in the box because it was a faff to keep opening it. Plus, in those early days, I would carry my cards with me everywhere in my handbag for practice readings. I’m not quite sure that pouches were as widely available 30 years ago but these days, the sky is the limit. There are pouches with the images of your preferred deck, satin sewn pouches with crystals attached, I’ve seen some truly gorgeous ones, but I stick with the plain. I have five decks I use and each has a different colour but I still forget which deck is in which pouch. So, as you can see the variety is endless. The rule of thumb is that you respect them and keep them energetically protected when not in use, how you do that is entirely up to you. P.S Not to hard-sell you but I give away a little something with each pack of cards that may (cough) or may not (cough) be a black velvet pouch. Does the job perfectly!
Can the person I’m reading for shuffle my cards?
A resounding yes! Quite a few professional Tarot readers pass the cards to the client for shuffling, but it’s quite an art to hold 78 cards in your hand and shuffle them without practice. Lots of cards all over floor for the uninitiated. I prefer to shuffle and let them choose their cards from the pack. More on this in the section HOW TO READ THE CARDS.
How long can I use the same cards?
Okay, so this is quite controversial and subjective. Many Tarot Professionals use new packs as they start to look a tad shabby. Not me though, I have a deck of Rider-Waite (Waite-Smith) that are over thirty years old and I still use to this day. These guys have been with me through thick and thin and it’s not uncommon for us to get attached like this. I have my first ever deck of cards, the Arthurian Tarot, which I used for a couple of years and then retired to my bedside cabinet. It’s fair to say that I don’t think I know one single Tarot Reader who discards them, preferring to retire them in their pouch in a cupboard. There are plenty of Readers who only work with a nice clean deck. It’s an entirely personal choice for you.
Do I need a Tarot Cloth to do my readings on?
I’ve read on a sofa seat, kitchen table, coffee table, breakfast bar, reading table, at a client’s table and on my purple velvet, silver-edged embossed border tarot cloth, (it’s gorgeous and I must say it feels special when I use it). I sell them HERE in the store but they do sell out quickly because they are just so ‘ooh, gotta have it!’ But, as mentioned it is not necessary to have one.