by John Gilbert, Ph.D.

There are several ways of clearing your tarot decks from all negative energy. These same techniques can be used for removing negative energy from crystals, amulets, talisman, bracelets, broaches, necklaces, magical tools, ceremonial weapons and other personal or spiritual articles. The instructions given will usually work with one application of the technique.


Elemental clearing or cleansing is accomplished using symbols chosen to represent the Elements of Earth, Water, Fire and Air. The usual symbols are given in this paper but readers are encouraged to use any similar materials in their own clearing rituals. Clearing with Spirit is called Consecration and will be covered later in this paper. Clearing with Elemental Weapons is also a form of Consecration.

As a rule, you'll find it easier to clear and cleanse your deck of unwanted negative energies by fanning the deck when using Water, Fire and Air Elemental Cleansing techniques. If extreme cleansing is needed, the cards can be cleared one-at-a-time. As a rule only one form of Elemental Clearing is used. However, readers are encouraged to be creative and use as many Elements as desired.

When the allotted period of time expires, check your tarot deck to see if it still exudes any negative energy. If in does, or if in doubt about the outcome, repeat the process as many times as required to clear the deck of all negative energy. When you're done with the cleansing, dispose of the materials used for the cleansing.

Earth Elemental Clearing

  1. Bury your protected deck in sand, salt or dirt for twenty-four hours.

  2. Fan your deck on a tablecloth and sprinkle it with salt and/or sand for one to two minutes.

  3. Fan your deck as above but instead of salt and/or sand, use any combination of any of the following herbs: Basil, Lavender, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme, the crushed dried leaves of any plant or tree, or the crushed dried flowers of any plant.

  4. Rub your deck for a minute or two with any of these materials.

  5. Place your deck under your pillow or mattress and sleep on it overnight.

Water Elemental Clearing

  1. Sprinkle your cards lightly with water. Wipe immediately.

  2. Sprinkle your cards with salt water (1 Tablespoon salt to 1 C water). Wipe immediately.

  3. Sprinkle your cards with consecrated water. Wipe immediately.

  4. Sprinkle your cards with any herbal tea or plant infusion. Wipe immediately.

  5. Expose your deck to moonlight in a protected area for half the night.

Fire Elemental Clearing

  1. Pass your deck quickly through a candle flame. Don't burn yourself.

  2. Place your deck on a table with a candle holder and lighted candle on it for five minutes.

  3. Place your deck on a table with a candle and aromatic oil diffuser for five minutes.

  4. Expose your deck to sunlight in a protected area for half a day.

Air Elemental Clearing

  1. Pass your deck five to seven times over burning incense.

  2. Smudge your deck with Sage or any similar smudge.

  3. Take a deep breath and breathe deeply and slowly into your deck three times.

  4. Place your deck on a cassette or video player playing good music for one hour.


Consecration is an intention to make a person, place or thing holy. By making it holy all negativity is completely and instantly removed from the person, place or thing. Intention is the most important ingredient in any consecration. If you intend to bless, clear, cleanse and consecrate a person, place or thing, and your intention is sincere, then the consecration occurs just as you intend it.

Consecration is usually done in a reverent manner, preceded by prayers of invocation, thanksgiving and petition. Invocation is a prayer asking Deity, by whatever name you wish to use, to assist in the intended ceremony. Thanksgiving is a prayer thanking Deity for one's life, blessings, gifts, health, family, friends and happiness. Petition is a prayer asking for something. Be careful, prayers of petition are not begging for fame and fortune. They're prayers asking for forgiveness, assistance, knowledge and blessing.

To consecrate a tarot deck, first decide what purpose the deck is to serve. Divination, meditation, visualization, and spiritual advancement are typical purposes for a tarot deck. Prepare yourself and your spiritual altar for the ceremony. Invoke the Deity of your choice and inform this Deity of your intention in regards to the tarot deck. Ask Deity to assist you in performing the ceremony and accomplishing your intention.

The next step is to recite whatever prayers of petition and thanksgiving you want to use. Following these prayers is the consecration ceremony. This can be as simple as: In the name of (name of Deity) I hereby bless, clear, cleanse, charge and consecrate you to be (blank) for the purpose of (blank). Fill in the blanks according to you intention and purpose for this deck.


Elemental Weapons are special implements consecrated to be the representative for a particular Element. There are some usual correspondences, but readers are encouraged to make and consecrate their own Elemental Weapons of their choice. The usual correspondences are:

  1. Air - Sword or Dagger

  2. Water - Cup or Chalice

  3. Fire - Wand or Spear

  4. Earth - Pentagram

Cleansing with an Elemental Weapon is usually done in a formal ritual but this is not required. Any formal ritual may be used including Wiccan, Christian, Buddhist, Golden Dawn, Masonic or Rosicrucian ritual. Any informal ritual may also be used. The form used is entirely up to the reader and may include Invocation of Deity, Prayer of Thanksgiving, Prayers of Cleansing and Consecration, and closing prayers. The ritual may include representatives of any of the Elements such as Salt or Sand, Incense, Candles, and a Chalice filled with water, wine or juice. During the ceremony the deck is normally touched by one or more of the Elemental Weapons accompanied with words of blessing, clearing, cleansing, charging and consecration.


Using a Sharp Blow

By holding the tarot deck firmly in your hand and striking down sharply on a table or other solid object, you can cleanse a deck quickly and efficiently. One theory is the negative energy keeps going out of the deck when the forward motion of the deck stops suddenly. Another theory is the cleansing is done by our intention and the energy we put into manifesting our intention. Either theory works for me because this is an efficient and effective method of cleansing a tarot deck.

By placing the deck to be cleansed on a large rock or other very stable object and striking it with a sharp blow from wooden paddle or similar object, the deck will also be cleansed. The same theories apply to this method as well. Your intention is far more important than the amount of force you use in delivering the sharp blow. When using this method some tarot readers use the flat of their own hand to deliver the sharp blow. When using this method, don't use too much force as you could hurt yourself.

Using a Spiritual Space

Placing your deck on your spiritual altar for a day or two can achieve the same purpose. This may sound strange, but readers who use this approach say it helps to inform your altar of the purpose for placing the deck there. By simply saying: I'm placing this tarot deck in this holy space for the purpose of removing all negativity from it, the process seems to work better.

My personal feeling about this is that holy space is closely aligned with Deity. Whatever you say to Deity or this holy space will be heard by the Elementals, Nature Spirits and Angels assigned to that space. Since these beings all want to serve humanity, it's just natural for them to clear and cleanse any object you place on your altar. By stating your purpose in doing so you remove all ambiguity and give the Elementals, nature Spirits and angels some guidance according to your desires. Ask and it shall be given unto you.

If you regularly clear and cleanse yourself from all negativity or place a sphere of protection around yourself, you're a walking spiritual space yourself. You can keep your tarot deck in your aura for a period of time in order to cleanse and clear it of all negativity. You can accomplish the same goal by placing a personal amulet on top of the deck. A personal amulet is a pocket object or totem you carry with yourself for some purpose such as protection.

You can create a spiritual space anywhere you want by consecrating that space. You could use a drawer, a table or furniture top, a room or a space outside in the yard or garden. Consecrate this space and place your deck there for a day. Again, it helps to let this space know the purpose of leaving the deck there. I also like to announce for how long the deck or object will remain in this place. Usually it's one day but, if the object is really negatively charged, I'll leave it there for a week or even longer.

Using a Spiritual Object

You can rest your deck on a table or in a drawer with any spiritual object of your choice. If you don't already have a few spiritual objects on your altar, you can consecrate one and use it with your tarot deck. Telling your spiritual object the purpose for leaving it with your tarot deck really seems to speed up the process.

I usually have one or more amulets of protection, love and peace available for this purpose. I also use spiritual objects from my spiritual altar from time to time. It doesn't matter what the object is. What matters is the purpose for which that object was consecrated. For example, an abundance wand may not be the best object to use for removing negative energies. Objects used for blessing, protection, clearing, cleansing and consecration generally work the best in my opinion.


As with most things spiritual, your intention is the most important part of the ritual or ceremony. Be very clear about your intention in regards to any objects you wish to clear and cleanse. Voice these intentions out loud so all your spirit guides, angels, nature spirits and elementals know your intentions regarding the object to be cleared. Expect good things to happen and they will.

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