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Cleansing is important in that it helps you and your cards to focus on reading at a particular time, without being burdened by past readings or any other concerns. It also keeps the bond between yourself and your cards strong. Cleansing is necessary because when you perform a reading, the cards become saturated with the energy of the particular people and reading involved. This needs to be cleansed away in order to optimize future readings. You can cleanse your cards just before or after a reading, or both. Even if you don't read very often, cleansing regularly is a good idea in order to maintain your connection to your cards.
You can cleanse your cards in a variety of ways; this is a matter of personal choice. Some prefer visualization, meditation, or affirmations, while others like a physical cleansing ritual such as incense or candles. You can use any combination of elements for cleansing your cards. Here are two rituals you can use for a starting point:
1. Take your deck of cards in your hands and sit comfortably within your ritual space. Close your eyes and take a deep breath. Imagine a clean, white light entering you and absorbing any impurities in your body. Exhale the impurities away. Inhale again and open your eyes. Look at your cards and exhale clean, white energy onto them. Imagine the energy removing any impurities from your cards. Blow on your cards and imagine the impurity dissipating. Repeat this as many times as you feel necessary.
2. For this ritual, light two white candles and an incense stick of your choice. Arrange these on your altar together with your card deck. Visualize the light from the candles merging with the smoke from your incense. This forms a ball of white light over your altar. Pick up the cards and hold them over the altar. Imagine the white light surrounding your cards and then absorbing into them. Do this as many times as necessary, until you feel that your cards are cleansed.