Cleansing & Consecrating a Tarot Deck: What I Do To Prep My Decks

Common questions in many tarot groups are “what do I need to do to start working with my deck?” and “do I need to cleanse my deck?” and variations of these two.

There is no right or wrong way to go about working with any deck after you get it. It is all preference.

But I thought of these questions as well. I watched several YouTube videos where different cardslingers talked about what they do with a new/new to them deck. From this I came up with my own ritual.

What I do first thing…

Actually, I go through the deck to make sure all the cards are there!!! That would suck to get a deck where you are missing a card.

I will do that rather quickly.

But I think this step is important…look at each card. You don’t have to spend ten minutes looking at each card, unless you really want to. But look at each one. You might see similarities in other decks. You might pick up on some interesting symbolism. You might be able to tell that a deck is very much a RWS clone.

What is important as you do this is that you are TOUCHING each card. You are bonding your energies to the cards.


 I smudge my decks.

I smudge whatever will hold the deck. I will smudge whatever will be stored with the deck (the book, extra cards, etc). Then I smudge the deck.

For this, I will usually have a candle burning on my altar to help with the energies in that space. I typically use stick incense. I don’t have to hold it while smudging. Then I smudge each and every card.

Why? To clear any negative energies that might be holding on to that deck. I don’t believe it gives the deck a clean slate. I believe it allows in basic energy (or personality, if you want to call it that) of the deck to be expressed.

Consecration with the Elements

One YouTuber talked about bringing in all the elements to her decks. Until that time, I just smudged the decks. Then I tried my own ritual. I really enjoy it.

What I use are the following:

  • Candles for fire (I like tealights)
  • Incense for air
  • Shells or small fountain for water
  • Polished Obsidian or Crystals for earth

Yes, I use to have a small fountain on my altar to symbolize water. It has died. That made me sad.

I place the smudged deck(s) on my altar. I place polished obsidian on each deck and around the deck(s).  I place a shell on each deck. I place my two tealight candles outside the obsidian “ring”. If I need to light more incense, then I will. Usually I just use the incense that I used for smudging.

I place my hands over the deck(s).

Using whatever words come to me, I will “pull in” each element. I ask that that element imbue the deck with its energy (fire for passion, expression; air for communication; water for intuition and emotion; and earth to connect to this plain). I then ask Spirit to communicate with the deck(s) and trace a pentagram over the deck(s).

Then I let them sit on my altar until the incense and candles have burned out.

Some clarification/substitutions: By “pull in” I mean I will cup my hand around the incense smoke or near the candle flame and “pull” that energy to the cards. I will do the same when I have a fountain (*sob*). As for the shells and crystals, I touch them as I say the words.

As for the elements, anything that symbolizes the elements will work. Feathers for air, cup of water, salt. Essentially, you do you! Whatever floats your boats!

Sealing the Consecration

After all this, I will place the deck(s) under the new or full moon. And no! It will be a cold day in HELL before I place my decks outside! They go in a windowsill.

I do ask the moon to consecrate the decks.

After all this, I will interview my deck and work with it. I will give a deck an energy boost, every so often, during a new or full moon.


Some might wonder why I don’t use sage or Palo Santo to smudge. I do with items that I can easily hold. Smudging 78 cards is a pain in the ass (and my back). I would rather have something that will continue burning during the whole thing and is in a holder.

Are you wondering about used decks?

Again, I check to make sure all the cards are there with a count. I then re-order the deck. What does that mean? I put the deck back in order: major arcane, wands, swords, cups, pentacles. (I like the suits in that order).

Then I treat it like I would a new deck. I feel the extra step of putting the deck in order helps with clearing the deck of other energies and bond the deck to me through my touch.

Remember, there is no right or wrong way to begin working with a deck. Do what feels right. Try different things. This is what I do and it works for me.


Much love and blessings!


Follow me on instagram (@starlightsgifts) and see my responses to the 31 Days of Tarot 2019 challenge


Burn Out, Epiphanies, and a Shift in Energy: A Quick Check-In

I see why some people don’t keep New Year’s resolutions. I was on this high from the holidays. I also did all my goals and mapped them out. I was ready to take on the New Year.

Then, like a sugar rush, I crashed.

Was I too stringent with my focus and my goals? Is procrastination rearing its ugly head?

Maybe…But, this time, I’m not just chucking it all in. I am revaluating what I’m doing and how I approach it.

I did have a burn out. And that was followed by an epiphany.

  • I was trying to block out time each day for each task. That is not working for me.
  • I am trying to push through learning the Thoth system. I’m putting that on the back burner for now.
  • I’m trying to blog weekly on topics I want to do, but I’m not 100% comfortable writing on them at this time. I will save those for later.

Each week, I am seeing what is working for me. I am seeing what gives me the energy to push forward. It is a process.

Then something happened!

While thinking about what wasn’t working, I took the time to work in my art journal. By just doing that simple project, I felt my energy shift. A great deal of motivation took hold.

It is surprising how doing something so simple can have such an effect. The feeling of “I just can’t get it done” is waning. I feel more energized.

Sometimes just taking that time to do something that brings you joy is better than all the sage, sandalwood, or frankincense you can possibly burn!

So what am I going to do now?

The full moon is less than a week away. I have two new decks, The Starman Tarot and The Modern Spellcaster’s Tarot. I am going to get those prepared to work with. More about that later.

Sort of a boring post. But maybe if anyone needs some way to get motivated, think of something you really love that you haven’t done in a while…and then do it!

Not sure if I ever shared how I get my decks ready for use, so I think I will be writing that up next.


Much love and blessings!


On my instagram (@starlightsgifts) I am doing Ethony’s 31 Days of Tarot 2019. Go check it out!

Year Ahead Tarot Spread: Why I didn’t do one for years & Why I’m doing one this year

It has been about three years since doing a Year Ahead Spread. And, quite frankly, I had no intention of doing one this year.

Back in December of 2015, I did my spread. Now, if you don’t know what a Year Ahead Spread, there are several if you do a Google search. They vary slightly. I chose 13 cards, one card for each of the month, starting with January, and a final card for the energy of the entire year.

I don’t flip the cards over all at once. I flip them one at a time. So I did the spread for the year 2016, flipping the cards over one month at a time. Then I got to the year card. It was the Tower. WTF?!?!?

At the time, I really didn’t need a Tower year. I had been through quite a bit and needed some peace. I was upset (I know I shouldn’t have been). At that point, I was done with these spreads.


  • I let the cards get to me. At the time, I saw some cards as being positive and some as negative.
  • I would also forget to look each month at what the next card was. Out of sight, out of mind. But if a card was going to upset, why look? Right?

The truth was that 2016 was a Tower year. 2017 felt like a Tower year. And, as for 2018, well…not a great year.

So should one do a Year Ahead Spread?

It is a preference. I had thought about just choosing a card at the beginning of each month. I could get repeating cards in this case. That is no so with a Year Ahead Spread. But I did the spread anyway. And, with where I am at now, it does give me a lot of insight into the coming year.

So how am I countering my “whys” for not doing the spread?

  • I realize now that there are no positive or negative cards. All the cards guide and help with lessons that must be learned. I could have used that Tower card, in conjunction with the monthly cards, to help me get through a really tough year.
  • I know that I will forget to look at my cards. Therefore, I will have them displayed. They will be out where I will see them multiple times a day. This will help keep me mindful of their guidance.

So what do I mean by this? Imagine that your monthly card is the 4 of Swords. It is about taking some time to rest. This card can remind you to not push so hard. If you feel like you might be reaching your limit, it is telling you to stop and take it easy.

Maybe you would do that anyway (then this card might now come up for someone like that). I would be the one that would push myself too far and burn out. Sometimes, I burn out so bad that I may just quit altogether (I can see myself getting this card at times).

The cards that come up are the cards that represent the energies that one really needs to embrace during a given time. It is all synchronicity!

Using Your Personal Card(s) for the Year with the Spread

 Now, I have already figured out what my personal cards are for the year. These are the ones based on my birthday and the year 2019.

Last year was the Hanged Man and Empress. This year will be Death and the Emperor. This shift will be felt around my birthday in May.

In a previous post, I did mention that I could feel the energy of the Hanged Man this last year. And what is interesting, my first four cards for 2019 reflect releasing and going about things in a relaxed manner. Then May hits…5 of Wands! That Emperor is starting to rear his head! June is the Queen of Swords! Damn!!!

So one might think, “you are letting the cards dictate your life.” I choose each day to be mindful of their messages or not. I choose to accept their guidance or not. Remember, I got the Tower for 2016. I forgot that I had drawn that card until the end of 2018. It was there to guide me. I chose to forget about that draw. I might have been better prepared for that year, if I hadn’t done that.

Do what feels right. If you go to the cards for guidance, listen. And have a wonderful 2019!


Much love and blessings!

Catch me on Instagram: @starlightsgifts

I’m following Ethony’s 31 Days of Tarot 2019 there 🙂

And the deck featured is the Tarot of a Moon Garden.


Dealing with Grief & Loss: Messages from the 3 of Swords

On December 28th, my aunt, one of my dad’s older sisters, passed away in her sleep. She had suffered from COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) and osteoporosis. She had had several falls that resulted in a broken pelvis and cracked vertebrae. We knew that she didn’t have much time left. The night before my dad received a call from another of his sisters. She told him how bad it was and that she would be coming soon, from out of state, for a final visit. A few hours later, their sister was gone.

Many of her friends and family celebrated her life that day. Many were still trying to wrap their heads around that fact that she was gone. It shows how each person grieves differently and in their own time.

This isn’t going to be about the stages of grief. This is about how one of the most feared cards in the Tarot deck relates to grief, loss, and sorrow and how we are to face that.

No one likes to see the 3 of Swords in a reading. It is usually always of three swords piercing a heart. Like the Tower and the 10 of Swords, the 3 of Swords is about feelings and situations that will make us uncomfortable. No one likes to lose someone that they love and admire. No one likes to feel the sorrow and pain. No one likes to grieve. But these are parts of life that the living must face.

The 3 of Swords tells us a couple of things about grief, loss, and sorrow. The first is that, no matter how hard we try to prevent those swords from piercing our heart, they will do so. It is inevitable. It tells us to let the process unfold, experience the feelings.

An example of this was one of my cousins. When her mother, my mother’s sister, passed away from a suicide, she was surprised about how well she was taking it. One of the bride’s maids from her wedding had passed away in an accident a few months before. She felt that this had prepared her for loss.

I reminded my cousin that she had never known life without her mother. I told her that it will hit her.

When we put up a barrier preventing the three swords from piercing our heart, we make matters worse. They are going to pierce it. And it usually hurts worse than it would have.

I do get it. The mind tries to protect us. While we may be a bit irrational when we are emotional, it will be alright.

The 3 of Swords can tell you to not let your mind push the grief aside.

By the way, months after her mother’s death, my cousin (all 5’3”, 100+ lbs of her) almost kicked out the windshield of her car. The swords finally pierced her heart.

The second thing the 3 of Swords tells us that we cannot wallow in our grief. The swords cannot stay, plunged in our heart, forever. One cannot go through life with that constant pain. The mind, our rational self, sometimes cannot ever seem to get pass the loss.

I think of Queen Victoria of England as an example. She did expect the family to spend a year in mourning after losing her consort, Prince Albert. But did she spend just that year or did she spend the rest of her very long life mourning the loss of her husband?

Is it a fear that we will forget those that we love if we stop grieving their passing? Is it that we cannot go on without them? Or is it that we get stuck in one of the stages of grief and do not move on? I really don’t know. But I know that the 3 of Swords tells me that the grief and loss must be felt and experienced. It is the only way to move on, and we all must move on. The swords must be removed from our heart.


My heart does hurt. I cannot imagine visiting my aunt’s daughters for a family gathering and her not being there. It is hard to imagine never hearing her laugh again. When the time is right, the swords will be removed from my heart. They will leave a scar, as they always do, as a reminder of the love I have for those who I have lost in my life.

Much love and blessings to you all.

(Note: while I used examples of losing loved ones, the 3 of Swords deals with all grief and loss. It can be anything from the death of a loved one, losing mobility due to illness/accident, finding out you cannot conceive. Anything that has such a profound impact on our lives that we must grieve our loss)

*Decks: Healing Light Tarot, The Wild Unknown Tarot, Deviant Moon Tarot, Tarot Illuminati

Quick Check-In: Out with the Old, In with the New

I am so grateful that 2018 is coming to a close. I am really looking forward to a fresh start in 2019.

The holidays are always a rollercoaster of emotions for me. I would be full of holiday cheer, and within about an hour of shopping…GONE! I feel like people get overly sensitive about it “being Christian” and all that. For me, Christmas is about being with family while enjoying good food and good conversation.

I did very little that was spiritual/tarot/witchcraft related. I did do some spells (I did a post on that). I really wasn’t in the frame of mind to be fully there for any of that. My focus was on my niece and nephew having a great holiday, getting everything ready for guests, and thinking about what I want to accomplish in 2019.

I’m ready to leave behind all the drama and depression of the last couple of years. I’m ready to focus on myself and what matters to me. It is time to get back on my feet and find joy in each day.

So what did I do with my spare time this December? Binge watching planner videos! That is some crazy shit! I did learn that drama and trolling hits all communities. Why can’t people just be civil? I don’t know.

I saw what “no white space planning” was…it is just scrapbooking in an expensive planner. That is way too busy for me. I wouldn’t be able to keep track of the daily tasks that I need to complete. But I got some ideas of how I wish to stick with and complete the goals that I set for myself.

And I did watch some more witchy planning videos. I have been horrible at keeping a Book of Shadows. I have gotten a bit of inspiration from these. I have to say, “it is time.” I really should have a Book of Shadows.

This was short. My goal for my blog in 2019 is to complete 52 posts. I will have another post in a few days on grief.

Much love and many blessing for all in 2019



Let It Go: Releasing Spells

Out with the old, in with the new!

With the new calendar year fast approaching, many of us are thinking about letting go of the old and embracing the new adventures that await us.

I recently did a few posts on goals and manifesting those goals. But it is also good for us to let go of past pains and anything that is no longer beneficial to our personal growth. This doesn’t have to be done at a specific time of year. It can be done whenever you are ready to let that shit go!

Now, this isn’t about “forgive and forget.” I don’t believe in that.


For me, forgiveness isn’t about giving someone, anyone including myself, a pass. Forgiveness is about letting go of what happened and freeing up that energy for something more productive. It is about not letting the past rule your life. I believe that this form of forgiveness is what allows a victim to become a survivor.

And that is also why I don’t believe in “forget.” If you “forget” the past, you cannot learn and grow from it. The “forgive” allows you not to be held hostage by the past.

The hardest form of forgiveness is self-forgiveness. That is guilt that makes that so difficult. But one needs to remember, you cannot change the past. Learn from your mistakes, grow, and move on. It is something that takes practice and sometimes a lifetime to accomplish.

If forgiveness or self-forgiveness is difficult, then journal about it what it is you are trying to forgive. Journal about it prior to doing any releasing work, and journal about it afterwards, if necessary. Anything you need to do to get you to that place of healing. It is vital.

Also, in order to do releasing work, or any spell work, it is important to really visualize what you hope to accomplish. Visualization is key.


Methods for Releasing

The methods here utilize at least one of the elements of nature. I posted before about sacred spaces. Sacred space can be created through the use of the elements. Nature, itself, is able to maintain its own sacredness. When we create a sacred space, we are releasing the energies that do not fit in that space.

Releasing work allows you to create sacredness within yourself.

Using fire for releasing

This is likely the method most people think about when doing any releasing. It is simple.

Write what it is you wish to let go of on a piece of paper or a leaf. Bay leaves are good for this as they are used in healing and banishing works. Simply burn the paper or leaf in fire pit outside or in a cauldron/fire resistant container. Visualize the release as it burns.

Gather the ash and discard it. It can be buried or scattered into the wind.

Using water for releasing

 This is similar to the first method. Instead of burning the paper or leaf, you go to a flowing body of water (a lake or pond could work if necessary). Throw the paper or leaf into the water. Visualize whatever it is, floating away with the paper or leaf.

Using earth for releasing

Same deal, write it down and bury it, giving it to the Earth. I would personally bury it in a cemetery. That which I am releasing is gone or “dead”.

Using air for releasing

Again, releasing takes visualization. Just speak what you which to release. Give it to the wind. Or cup your hands together, speak it into your cupped hands, and throw it into the wind.


Yes, a spell doesn’t have to be super complicated to work.


But what if you are trying to let go of something very painful, something you are having great difficulty with?

Not long ago, I did this very ritual. I remembered how it helped me when my paternal grandmother passed away and when my aunt passed away.

I had a lot of hurt feelings dealing with my mother. She was an alcoholic. She told her children that she did love vodka more than us. That is painful, very painful. It ate away at me for years.

A few years after losing my mother, I lost my maternal grandmother. I had a lot of guilt around this one. I was distant during the last year of her life.

This involves a small piece of amethyst. Amethyst is good for taking in negative energies.

Essentially, you put all the feelings and negative energies of what you wish to release into that amethyst. You can either sit and meditate with the amethyst or carry it with you for a time. When you are ready, go to a body of water or a large field. Do a finally visualization with the amethyst, then throw the amethyst as far as you can. As you release the amethyst, you are releasing whatever it was with it.

If you lose the amethyst before that final step, guess what? It has been released! Amethyst will leave you when it has done what it is meant to do. That has happened to me.


Hopefully this will give you some ideas to aid you in whatever releasing work you wish to do. It has helped me tremendously in past, hope it can do the same for you.


Much love and blessings!

Catch me on instagram: @starlightsgifts

Tarot Pet Peeves

*Note: this might seem a little all-over-the-place, it is just my emotions getting the best of me.


We all have our different opinions. That is great. But with any subject, there comes a point were there are somewhat heated discussions on topics within that subject.

Tarot is no different.

I have, over time, developed some “pet peeves” concerning tarot. And these have developed out of reading many threads in different Facebook groups. These are the threads where I think, “really?” or “good god!” or I just roll my eyes.

Now, I know that this might anger some people. I get it. Some pet peeves I am leaving out. I think they are maybe a little sensitive. Actually, the ones I have included will likely piss some people off.

So, bring on the rant!!!


“You really should start with a RWS deck.”

Really?!?!? Again with the RWS?

When I first started learning tarot, I did pick a deck that wasn’t easy (Tarot of the Witches). The images are very different from the RWS and RWS clones. It is also a pip deck. I got frustrated quickly. Well, years later, I figured that maybe I should have started with RWS.

By the time I got a RWS, I had already collected several tarot decks and had seen many others.

If I had been completely new to tarot and knew nothing of other decks AND had gotten the RWS…well…I would have chucked tarot!


It is ugly. The art is not her best. Her other art is far better. The colors of almost every variation are hideous! Some are far worse than others. Just god-awful!!! The clones are far better than the original!

I’m not saying I have issue with the system…I don’t. It is just an ugly deck to look at!

And I get why many recommend the RWS. That is because almost every book is based on this deck. Most online resources are based on the RWS system.

I just saw a thread earlier about this…again someone said that “you should start with the RWS to get a good foundation”.

Bullshit! Get a clone that isn’t so damn ugly!

I totally feel for beginners who get this advice…


 Don’t learn from books, read intuitively

Sometimes, I don’t see how some beginners stick with tarot. Now this doesn’t bother me as much as some other topics. But symbolism is so subjective. For a beginner, what do you trust?

This can be a confidence destroyer. It was for me for a brief time. I combine both. I know the card meanings well enough, but I do use my intuition for what the card means in that situation. And sometimes, it has little to do with the “accepted” meaning.

As for symbolism being subjective, it is. Not all cultures view black as a sign of mourning. Animal symbolism differs greatly depending on culture. I was looking up owl symbolism once. European cultures viewed owls differently than Native American. Who is right? Both are…because it is subjective!

Reading intuitively is important. But so are books. Be open to learn from both.


Nice Washed Decks

I heard this term from a woman on YouTube. She did a video, and I also watched a video response from another on YouTube.

This sort of goes with the whole, “start with the RWS” deck thing. Some people have this feeling that you can only get a meaningful reading from decks with certain symbolism…blah, blah, blah.


Some people hate decks that seem too “huggy.” For them, the Ten of Swords needs to have a bloody, impaled body on it.

A darker deck doesn’t give you deeper readings than a lighter deck. A traditional deck doesn’t give you more meaningful readings than a non-traditional deck. A deeply esoteric deck isn’t necessarily going to open up the universe to you.

If that were true, then why does anyone still read with a Marseille deck?

Truth is that some of the symbolism in some decks, even RWS decks, can be harsh. And sometimes, people don’t want to see that shit! It doesn’t make them weak or whatever…it makes them human.

I can handle some harsh imagery. But like right now, in December, I don’t want to see it. I always have a lot of anxiety going into the holidays. I am mean and temperamental. I will avoid horror films (my favorite genre). My anxiety just won’t put up with it.

I won’t touch a deck that isn’t lighthearted right now. No Deviant Moon during December!

It was the reason I bought the Halloween Tarot back at the end of September. I was in a very unhappy place then. And that silly little deck just put a smile on my face. I needed something cute and adorable.

And no one is a lesser tarot reader if they use decks that are cute and adorable.


And now for the big one…the pet peeve that pisses me off the most…the one were I cannot comment about it on threads or I will get kicked out of Facebook groups…


“It isn’t really a tarot deck, but more of an oracle deck!”

This first thing I always want to say about this is “who died and made you the Mother Fucking God of Tarot?!?!?”

Then I start to seethe with anger!!!

Why does this bother me? My feeling: who are we to say that?

The Marseille system of tarot had been around for a few centuries before a man by the name of Arthur E. Waite created his version of a tarot deck.

Today, we are very accepting of Waite’s system of tarot. But what about then?

Did he get the same flack?

  • “It isn’t really a tarot deck, the pips are illustrated.”
  • “The meanings are not quite the same.”
  • “The Fool is all wrong!”
  • “The suit is coins not pentacles”

What about Crowley, whose Thoth deck was published almost 30 years after Waite’s tarot deck?

Like everything, tarot evolves!

That is what happened when Waite and Crowley published their tarot decks. Tarot, as everyone knew it, evolved.

Why can’t it continue to evolve? It has. It will.

Don’t be a purist! Embrace the energies of The Hanged Man, when it comes to tarot. Be open to all of it.


I’m ending my rant. I have gotten it all off my chest!

I feel that tarot is too beautiful and too amazing to be limited in any respect. It is why I try so hard to be as encouraging as possible. I’m not perfect. Afterall, I quite literally hate the most popular tarot deck ever 😉

Much love and blessings!

Catch me on instagram @starlightsgifts