A deck of Tarot isn’t like any other deck of cards. It’s not a toy like it used to be in 16th and 17th century Renaissance Europe, and it needs maintenance and special care so as not to deteriorate and lose its “knack.” Here’s how to upkeep your deck of Tarot.
Your Tarot cards require attention. Just leaving them in their cardboard box isn’t the best of choices. Here are a few tips for making your tarot cards last longer and look better.
If at all possible, get a leather case for your cards, one that will not allow the cards to jostle around and will hold them closely. If this is impossible, then opt instead for a cloth pouch. The point of having a good case is to protect the edges of the cards. Leaving them in their cardboard box will dull the edges and leave them rounded or bent. A snug leather case will prevent the cards from knocking into the box, and a cloth pouch has no hard things to knock into.
Your cards likely have a coat of gloss on them. This is partially to make the cards look good, and partially to protect their ink from being damaged. If your cards start to get grubby from touching them, you can take a q-tip or cotton puff and a small amount of rubbing alcohol and spot-clean the cards. Make sure not to get any alcohol on the edges of the cards because it will seep under the gloss and mess up the ink.
Whenever you want to put your cards on a surface, always use a cloth. Bring along a handkerchief or scrap of wool or some other fabric that you can use to spread on the table and put your cards on top of. This prevents your cards from getting sullied by any debris, dirt, or moisture that is on the table. Your cards will last longer this way.
While some people swear by the riffle shuffle, others will only shuffle by spreading the cards out on the table and randomly running their hands over them, mixing them randomly together and then gathering them all up at the end. This is a good way to make sure your cards do not get bent or warped, and will also ensure a proper ratio of reversed and upright cards.
Washing Your Hands
This should go without saying, but wash your hands and dry them well before you touch your cards. If you have food or oil on your hands, that will damage the cards, and it will be your fault. Just wash your hands, it’s super easy. The same thing goes for letting other people touch your cards – if you absolutely must let them touch the cards, then maybe have them wash and dry their hands first.