Looking After Your Tarot Cards
There are many schools of thought on this subject, and like most things within the Tarot, there is no right or wrong way to do something, just what feels right for you.
The customs about acquiring and keeping your Tarot cards are numerous and to a greater extent, really are a very personal thing. For instance, one superstition is that your first deck should be a gift from someone; my first deck was a present from a boyfriend way back in the 1970’s.
When a new deck is obtained, it is worth spending time getting to know the cards and their meanings, of course, but also to imbue your energy into them. Familiarise yourself with the deck by shuffling them every day and carry them around with you if possible. You can even sleep with them by your bed. It is best (at this stage) not to let anyone else touch the cards until you are ready to do readings. Remember they are your cards and are special to you.
Traditionally, cards are kept wrapped in black or purple silk in a wooden box to preserve them from hostile vibrations. I keep the decks I use most for readings wrapped in purple silk and then placed into velvet bags. This is a much easier way to transport them (especially as I often take 2 or 3 decks to any psychic fairs I’m working at) as a velvet bag is much lighter than a wooden box! My old original Rider Waite Smith deck still lives in a beautiful wooden box, though.
I also keep several crystals with my cards: clear quartz, rose quartz, citrine, and amethyst; large raw chunks which I place around the deck when not in use. This is personal to me, of course, but you might want to keep a small tumbled crystal or two in your bag or box with the cards. I also place my crystals around the deck in between readings at psychic fairs.
Another superstition is about letting the person you are reading for touch the cards or not. Again, this would be a very personal choice and basically there are three options you might like to consider.
1) To not let the Querent (person you are reading for) touch the cards at all, with you shuffling and laying the cards.
2) To just let the Querent place their hands (or just their left hand) on the deck, then you shuffle and lay the cards.
3) To let the Querent shuffle the cards before you lay the cards.
I personally use the last option with my face-to-face readings, but if I am doing an absent reading, I shuffle and then let my pendulum choose the cards. (In view of the current advice about cleansing our hands, I am now asking that all face-to-face clients use some hand sanitiser first before touching the cards, and I also cleanse mine, of course. At the end of the day, I now also wipe each card over; a bit time consuming, but worth it.)
After a reading I always ‘cleanse’ my cards of any negativity. At psychic fairs where you don’t always get much time between readings, I shuffle the cards quickly, ‘knock’ the pile of cards with my fingers and then pick them up and ‘blow’ the energies away. This can be done very quickly!
At the end of the day when I get home, I cleanse the cards properly by passing them through sage smoke. I then put all the Majors together and all four suits together, wrap them in the silk and put them back in their bag. I then place them in the middle of a circle made by my four large crystal chunks to rest and recharge till they are next needed.
Over the years, you will of course develop your own rituals for looking after your cards, and it really is a personal thing and whatever feels and works best for you.