ver since launching my first ever e-course, 20 Question Tarot, I have had several students write to me asking really excellent basic tarot questions. As a response I have created “All in the Cards”, a Canto series aimed at answering those questions and sharing my love of all things tarot.
For those of you enrolled in 20 Question Tarot, I hope these posts deepen your already profound understanding and if you have questions feel free to send them my way! For those of you who would like to learn more about the course, head over here.
Today’s question is: How do you bless a tarot deck?
Before I answer this I’d like to dispel a common myth about decks. There is a pervasive belief that in order for the tarot to “work” for you, you need to be gifted with your first deck. This is not true.
Being gifted with a deck is lovely, but if you would like to explore the tarot you can do it whether you have been given a deck or find one for yourself that you really like. Tarot “works” for you, or rather, with you, when you have a real relationship to the cards.
There is another myth to take care of as well – in order for your blessing to be effective the deck has to be brand new and/or new to you. In other words, if you have a deck you have been working with for years and now want to bless it, it is too late. Nonsense. We can bless our sacred tools at any time and over and over again as we need to.
Now, onto what to do once you have your deck in hand! I am going to describe what I would do with a new deck for simplicity sake, those of you with decks that are good companions – altar as you see fit.
The first thing I like to do is cleanse my tarot deck. Some people see this act as removing negative vibes but I don’t personally ascribe to that view. Rather, I see it as an act of welcoming the deck home and also consecrating it as a talisman for my use. Interestingly, I have been gifted decks or received decks for promotional purposes that I cleansed and it became very clear that the deck was not mine but belonged to someone else. Usually the deck’s proper owner has shown up pretty swiftly once I cleansed the deck.
My favorite way to cleanse most paper items is with sacred smoke. I’ll leave you to choose what incense you would like to burn but obviously you want something that has a clean, clear, scent. Cedar, Juniper, Bay, and White Sage all bring this to mind for me.
Light the incense and allow it to begin smoking then pass the cards through the smoke three times. As you do this simply tune your attention to welcoming the cards and the relationship you are going to form with them, into your home.
Once you have done this I recommend that you Cultivate Calmness, and then Ground, Center, and Anchor.
Now that a firm connection has been established between deepest Earth and highest Heaven allow yourself to sit or stand with the cards in your hand. Ask the deck of cards the following questions:
- What is your name?
- What do I need to know in order to best take care of you?
- What blessing do you have for me?
- What blessing will you help me bring to others?
- Is there anything else I need to know at this time?
Now you might think it is a strange thing to be talking to a deck of paper cards, but you are hoping to get some serious insight from that same deck of cards so striking up a conversation with them first should not really be that odd.
Write down the answers you receive and journal on them a bit if that makes sense.
Once you have answered all five questions you are ready to finally bless the deck. Now, there are many ways to bless anything but here is a blessing that I have worked with over my cards with great success:
Blessed Ones in whom I live, move, and have my being. From you all things emerge and unto You they do return. I ask this day for these cards to be blessed with clarity, love, and wisdom.
I ask for Clarity so that what I see and what I show to others is clear, makes sense, is transparent, accessible, and easy to understand. I ask for Clarity so that these cards work as the mirrors that they truly are – reflecting back to myself and to others the deepest truths which are already and always known by Soul.
I ask for Love so that all messages, all words, all visions received are brought forth in ways that are kind, compassionate, fierce, yet also gentle. I ask for Love so that these cards work as the wellspring that they truly are, delivering the healing waters that restore and bless into our lives even and most especially when the truths we need to hear are harsh and jagged.
I ask for Wisdom so that whatever is given by the cards and taken up by myself or by others is taken up with clarity and love intact and is put to use, practical and direct use, in the ways that are best. I ask for Wisdom so that these cards throw down true and their messages contain accurate descriptions of what is and what is to come but also and more essentially, what is always.
May it be so, amen.
Feel free to use this blessing and share it with others but also feel free to write your own blessing and discover your own blessing ways.
Once you have blessed the cards it is a good idea to place them in a box or bag that will be their permanent home. You can sprinkle herbs of your choice in the box or bag to further bless your deck. Personally I use wild crafted sage, lavender, and artemesia for this.
Enjoy your new deck and happy readings!