How to Prepare Tarot Cards before Reading

a person’s outstretched hand holding a crystal while an assortment of tarot cards and crystals lie on the surface below it

How to Prepare Tarot Cards before Reading

Part of tarot reading for beginners means learning about the preparation involved in any tarot card reading, and you might be familiar with some of it. Getting to know your cards, preparing questions for your reading, finding the focus you need to really center yourself, etc. But did you know that the cards need preparing as well?

That’s right. It might be a little strange or spooky to think of at first, but as any tarot reading guide will tell you, a lot of tarot comes down to seeing the cards as a mirror. The only way for them to function effectively as conduits of wisdom is if they’re susceptible to the cosmic energies surrounding them.

Connection is a two-way street. If you have a strong relationship with your tarot deck, that means the deck carries a lot of your energy—residual and present—and the layers of interactions you’ve had in the past. This can be a good thing, because it can help your readings be personalized to your history and emotional needs. But sometimes, this lingering energy can muddle or hold back your future readings.

Think of it this way. Sometimes you need to put yesterday aside to truly start over. And just as you need to meditate, take deep breaths, go outside and just reset from time to time to function optimally, so do your cards. You’d be surprised to learn that some of the cleansing tips we’ll give you to prepare and recharge your cards here could very well apply to a human being. That’s the beauty of tarot!

The following tips equally apply to a new deck of tarot cards, which may have absorbed a lot of energy from handling in the production and distribution process.


Overhead image of a person’s arms as they shuffle a tarot card deck. Metallic ornaments and decoration are visible on the black table below

As with any card game and tarot originated as a card game in 15th century Italy, shuffling is the first step to an unrigged card game. It resets the button by renewing the order of cards to impartial chaos. This works wonders for cleansing and preparing your tarot cards before reading, and can literally shake off the energy of all prior readings.

Getting Some Sun

Yes, just like you, tarot cards can really use the radiant healing potential of the sun to signify new beginnings and life itself. This is a reminder and instigator of movement, and as such, it can work as a wonderful antidote to feelings of stagnancy in your tarot readings.


Yes, these gems (literally) carry over their various properties when it comes to treating cards as well. You can just place it on top of your deck for it to start working. Citrine for positivity, rose quartz for love and warmth, and selenite as a cleansing shield all work to re-energize your deck and ground its energy in compassion and positivity.


The ultimate cleanser. Did you know you can use salt to cleanse crystals too? By just putting them in a bowl of sea salt. Which, incidentally, is also something you can do to your deck to reset its energy.

Learn about Tarot Deck Maintenance with the Best Tarot Learning Books

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