Sometimes you’ll see these master readers shuffle through a deck of Tarot cards like it’s nothing. Then they reveal cards like their hands were built for it. Talented as they are, you can also look like a pro as long as you practice and take care of your cards properly.
If you have sticky cards that clump together, you are not doing your reading any favors. Then again, it could be revealing something about yourself. Tarot cards sticking together? Here’s what to do:
Your cards are sticking together either because they haven’t been cleared or because they haven’t been cleaned, so to stop them from sticking together, first clear the energy that is causing the sticking then physically clean your deck using fanning powder.
Sounds simple right? Not exactly. Clearing your Tarot deck can be tricky, and the way to read clumpy cards is an art in-in of itself. Read below to find out exactly how you can clear your Tarot and clean individual cards.
I also wrote a post about cleansing Tarot cards between readings. (I’ve referenced this post at the bottom in the “Related Articles Section” so that it’s easier to jump over there after this one.
Table of Contents
Why Are My Tarot Cards Sticking Together?
There are a number of reasons why your Tarot cards may be clumping together instead of revealing singularly as is meant to be read. Really, it boils down to clarity and cleanliness.
You can improve the cleanliness of your Tarot deck by storing it properly, read this article about proper storage of Tarot cards.
Tarot is all about the balance of energy in life. What a reading reveals is not fortune, despite what popular culture may propagate, but rather the external and internal energy that surrounds your relationships, objects, and the people around you.
These are messages that only you can understand with a firm foundation in the very core of your instinct and intuition.
Your Tarot cards may be sticking together for two reasons:
- The energy needs to be cleared and cleansed
- The cards themselves need to be cleaned
Doing so once you get a fresh deck and once or twice a month, depending on how often you do readings, will keep your deck from getting clumpy.
How to Clear and Cleanse Your Tarot Cards
Clear, cleans, clean… Don’t get it confused OK? Clearing and cleansing have to do with the energy around the cards and your relationship to them, while cleaning refers to physically cleaning them.
Before we get to cleaning your cards, it’s important that you understand the inner workings behind tarot. Everything is communicating a message, and depending on how well you are honed in with your inner and outer world, the better you will understand these messages.
For instance, if certain cards come out reversed, you shouldn’t read them upright, but try to understand what the reversal could be telling you?
Are there certain cards that are always grouped together for you or suits that never come out together. Maybe you get the Sun card on each first turn but only in the morning and never at night.
These signs, symbols, and messages are all telling you something about your world, and the balance of energy within it.
If your Tarot cards are coming out stuck together that should tell you something as well.
- Usually, when Tarot cards don’t come out individually, you may need to cleanse your deck of its energy and bring new light into the matter, drawing from the energy sources that inhabit our world.
- Perhaps you got a new deck, and you need to clear it of its past and make it wholly your own. This is good practice in general with a new set of Tarot cards since you won’t likely get an accurate read, and mixed messages are never good, especially if you are a novice.
- There can also be “stuck” energy in between reads so you may want to get rid of those as well.
Below we have comprised various ways to cleanse and clear your deck of any unresolved energy using five elements of association:
Let’s get into what you can do to stop your cards from sticking together.
Light Some Incense: Fire
This is the most popular cleansing methods and for good reason.
Lighting incense, in general, is a great method to calm the senses and relieve stress. It is, therefore, an effective means towards clarity of mind and of your read. Fire is the only element that can transform something into something else which makes it a powerful tool.
There are a number of aromas, but you have to find the one that works best for your particular situation, so start testing! The good news is that this process is extremely enjoyable and calming.
A great practice is to burn some sage or lavender before a read and run your Tarot cards over the smoke as you ask that the smoke clear and cleans your deck, purging it of any non-essential energy that may place uncertainty on your reading.
I personally prefer using a Diffuser with essential oils rather than incense. I recommend the Urpower 300ml Essential Oil Diffuser, check the current price here. When I last checked, this one included 6 different essential oils including lavender. The price was reasonable and had 7 different LED color options.
A Moon Bath: Water
The opposite of fire is the element of water. If fire is represented through the sun, then water is portrayed through the moon. A great way to cleans your Tarot deck is to draw from the energy of the Moon and bathe your cards.
This method is the simplest way to clean your Tarot of unwanted energy. Simply place your deck on your window still overnight and allow the moon to shine through effectively working its magic.
It helps to have a full moon but not necessary.
The feminine nature of the moon will apply a rejuvenating euro to your Tarot cards, something that isn’t necessarily possible with incense.
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A great practice is to burn sage or lavender in the morning then leave the deck overnight on your window sill, allowing the moon to calm the energy around the cards.
Make sure you don’t leave your deck outside, you want it to be under direct moonlight but not in contact with the outer world otherwise it may attract subjective energy from other sources that will distract your message.
I’ve had friends who will pour salt around the deck when they leave it out for an overnight moon bath or some crystals, but I haven’t done that.
Meditation and Visualization: The Spirit
The main force behind a Tarot read is your own intuition, which can be refined and put on the right track using the pure energy and white light from the sky and heavens above. Pulling light from above is a way to purify your Tarot cards and clear any uncertainty that may be causing your deck to stick together.
An effective way to stay grounded and gain pure energy is to visualize and meditate.
Meditation may not come naturally to many of you, nor should it! This isn’t something you are going to be good at overnight and it’s not an easy technique especially for beginners. It requires a certain degree of commitment and unity with your spirit, hence the third associated element.
A great way to start is to:
- Sit with your back straight in a comfortable position.
- Close your eyes and clear your mind (easier said than done). I find that if I simply focus on my breathing and allow all other thoughts to come and go, my mind begins to clear naturally.
- With your Tarot deck in your hands, lift them upwards.
- You should reflect a sense of unity with your cards and imagine you are connected with them, forcing it to be your own and not some lurking force.
- Begin to visualize the uncertain energy drawing out of each individual card.
- If you think certain aspects of your life have been showing up odd in your readings focus on those and visualize clarity.
- You should picture a cloud over your deck and imagine it slowly draining away as light reveals itself.
- Don’t allow negative thoughts to consume your mind. This should be relaxing! As thoughts come, recognize them then let them go.
- Acknowledge yourself for having the thought, then refocus on your breathing. It gets easier the more you do it.
Practice meditation often and visualize the process of cleansing more and more. I really enjoy guided meditations, there are many different meditations available. This one is free and I like listening to it one a week or so.
Once you become very good at this, you can even begin to openly visualize certain things in your life getting better. You may look directly at your deck and command uncertain energy to leave as you fill it with your own essence and inner world.
It’s important to clear your deck after each reading. A great method is to visualize a bright heavenly light coming down from the sky and shining right through your deck, clearing and lurking energy that may be sticking the cards together.
Shuffle Often and Strike: Air
Tarot cards are just that… cards! Well, obviously they are so much more, but physically they need to be shuffled. This isn’t the same wild shuffle you do when playing UNO with your cousin, niece, or nephew. S
Shuffling Tarot cards implies a degree of focused intent that consciously mixes the element of air to pull out lurking energy from past reads out between the cards.
This is a simple technique but it is consequential.
Be systematic with your shuffling and reorder your deck thoughtfully, immersing your mind fully into the equation. This process also requires your focused attention as you should visualize energy drawing out from under and in between the cards.
A few notes on shuffling:
- Before you shuffle, you can place your deck back in its packaging to give that new feel as you take them out.
- You can place your cards in their original order, signifying a new start, before you start shuffling.
- Try different techniques: you can reorder them in your hands or mix them on a table for greater surface area.
- Play around with your Tarot cards until you feel that the energy has been released and you are ready to fill it with your current self and allow a message to reveal itself.
Shuffling a tarot deck can prove to be highly effective as readings will be more accurate. Don’t forget to strike your deck or tap on it.
Before or after you have shuffled, you can tap the deck three times to push air further into the cards and release any energy that may be causing the cards to be clumpy.
Crystal Draining: Earth
Crystals are gifted to us from the Earth herself. She has blessed these magnificent stones with wonderful power that contain within them more than meets the eye.
Crystals are beautiful no doubt but they serve an important function in the energy of our collective lives. These stones ground and radiate the energy and forces around them. They take what is bad and refine it, releasing a purity into the very earth from which they are.
Among all the listed techniques for clearing your Tarot deck, effectively stopping cards from sticking to one another, using a crystal drain is perhaps the most accessible.
You can keep crystals around you all throughout the day, picking them up and holding them against your head, heart, and skin. Most expert Tarot readers are no strangers to filling their homes, offices, and cars with various types of crystals and earthly stones.
These gems help calm the nerves and add clarity when needed. It is no surprise then that you can and should use them to drain out lurking energy that’s causing your cards to stick together.
Once you remove your cards from their packaging, you can place a crystal on top of your deck and leave it unattended for some time. In fact, you should forget about the deck and let the crystal do its magic.
With visualization, you want to be very present and focused, but like all things that require balance, in this instance, you want to forget about your Tarot cards and allow the crystal to draw out any non-essential energy from the deck.
This process is great for a new deck, but it is also perfect for long-time Tarot cards that can begin to stick together. Energy can flow into your deck from unknown sources so a crystal is like a protective shield against anything that can disturb your read.
Quartz crystals, smoky quartz, amethysts, and hematites are always great options but like incense, you can experiment until you find the formula that works best for you.
You can order various crystals, quartz and amethysts on at reasonable prices, check here. I found a nice set on Amazon that included 7 tumbled stones a pendulum and reference guide all inside a nice box. It could even be a great gift.
Final Thoughts on Purification: Fire, Water, Spirit, Air, Earth
Using the above methods together is always a great plus as it allows for multiple associated elements to come into play together.
- You can place a crystal on your deck and leave it under a Full Moon – Earth and Water
- Burn incense and shuffle your deck over the smoke – Fire and Air
- Visualize unwanted energy leaving your deck as you reorder your cards – Spirit and Air
Like the read itself, there is no right or wrong; there are only messages. How you chose to interpret these symbols is up to you and only you. You are the master of your own intuition, and the more you practice with tarot, the better you will get at understanding the inner workings of the external and internal energies that surround your life.
Similarly, there are various ways to cleanse and clear a deck purifying it of any lurking or uncertain energy effectively stopping the cards from sticking.
Cleaning Your Tarot Cards
Ok, this is the part where it gets a little technical. You should only try and clean your deck after the above methods and techniques have become redundant or ineffective.
Tarot cards illuminate a deeper world one that transcends the physical, a world of energy, something only the trained eye, mind, and heart can understand.
Then again, tarot cards are also very much physical cards. Unfortunately, the nature of tarot is such that it requires the cards to be cleaned every now and then.
Sometimes, cards can be coated with filmy residue or a glossy coated finish that creates static and binds individual tarot cards together. This can also occur from over-used and worn-out cards. In fact, sticky cards are something that magicians deal with all the time, which is why they recommend fanning powder.
Fanning powder was created by magicians allowing them to quickly sift through and shuffle cards.
This powder will also save your cards from wear and tear so it’s a great investment. You can use baby powder or some sort of baking soda, but you may end up damaging your cards, so stick to something that has worked time and time again.
To use fanning powder:
- Place your deck, or the specific cards you want to treat, in a tray.
- Sprinkle a very small amount of fanning powder on the cards (for a full deck you can use around 1/8 of a teaspoon), if you’re only doing a few cards place even less powder. Don’t go overboard!
- Use your fingers to gently mix the cards with the powder. You should have gloves on while you do this, but if you feel it will interfere with the energy drain, then bare hands are fine.
- Be very careful and make sure you get all the sides, especially the edges, which are often neglected.
- Don’t breathe in any powder or let it get away because it coats fast and is rather filmy. Don’t use the powder near children, in fact, as you clean your deck, do so away from others not to allow their energy to impact the cleaning process. This is a great time to visualize energy leaving the tarot deck.
- If you think you need to add more powder, you can do so. Otherwise, gently shuffle your deck and wipe off any remaining powder that is visible and white.
You also want to make sure you don’t spill anything on your deck or eat while you are reading. Always approach your Tarot cards with clean hands and an open mind.
Sticky Tarot cards can be a real pain, especially if they occur during a read which can just mess up the messages and make you doubt your own instinct.
So remember to cleanse, clear, and clean your deck, and you will never have cards that stick together during a Tarot reading.
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The diffuser holds more water than other diffusers and lasts longer. It also has a timer so that I doesn’t run dry. The Diffuser adds a nice gentle scent to my home.
I’ll fill the diffuser with lavender or peppermint. With the thunder in the background and the smell of peppermint, it’s like being whisked away to a faraway place!