All tarot readers will eventually experience sticky tarot cards. In some cases, your deck is literally sticky from the oils on your hands and the cards get stuck to one another. In other cases, it can feel like cards are sticking to you and following you around in all your readings.
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What you do about it is completely up to you. Your daily tarot practice is your own, and how you approach problems that arise with your deck is up to you.
But, with that said, here’s some more information to help you decide how you handle sticky tarot cards.
Tarot Card Maintenance 101
There’s a lot of information out there about how to protect your tarot cards and what you should do when you aren’t using them.
You’re welcome to follow traditional tarot lore if it suits you. But you definitely don’t have to. As with all things, do what makes sense to you. It’s your tarot deck, and you get to decide how you keep it.
So, while it’s traditionally stated that the best cloth for tarot cards is silk, that doesn’t have to be what you use to wrap your deck when it’s not in use. In fact, I keep my cards in a leather tobacco pouch.
Why wrap tarot cards in silk? Well, it’s a tradition that comes from Christianity, actually. (Tarot and Christianity are really linked in a way that makes a lot of folks super uncomfortable, but we’ll talk more on that at a later date.)
Holy objects and relics were often wrapped in silk cloth to signify their preciousness. Keeping a tarot deck in silk cloth became a way to show that it was loved. Also, the cloth doubled as a mat for readings.
Silk is also believed to be a good way to cleanse your deck. If that feels good to your tarot practice, then add a silk cloth to your tarot reading essentials. But if there’s another way that appeals to you more, then please, by all means, follow your heart.
Literally Sticky Tarot Cards
Now, no matter how you store your cards, if you use them, they’re going to get sticky. The oils on your hands can make the cards in your deck stick together. Sure, you can wash your hands before you use your deck, but if you do multiple readings in a day, or keep your deck nearby to pull a card whenever you feel like it, it’s going to get sticky.
Knowing how to wrap tarot cards won’t fix this. But there are a couple of things that will.
When you notice your deck getting sticky, toss the cards into a ziplock bag with a little fanning powder. Fanning powder is commonly used by magicians to help them break in their decks for card tricks. Using fanning powder for tarot cards is a great way to break in your deck and prevent it from getting sticky.
You can also use baby powder if you have that around, but it can be grainy on your deck, and it does have a smell.
Fanning powder won’t make the cards easier to handle or soften them. The number one means for how to soften tarot cards is simply by shuffling, which is easier to do after you use some fanning powder.
Sticky Tarot Cards That Follow You Around
Occasionally, you find a card that seems to follow you around. You might do a few readings for others and one for yourself, and it seems like one card keeps showing up in all those readings.
This can mean something, and it cannot mean something. It’s up to you.
(I know this is incredibly frustrating, but check out this post on how does tarot work for more insight into why it’s different for every reader.)
You can believe this is a coincidence. You can believe this is significant.
I do think it’s worth noting if a card seems to be following you around. You can think about where it appeared in various readings and determine if there’s a larger message there.
Of course, you could also completely ignore it if that feels right.
And if you feel like the cards keep showing up because of how you shuffle or how you store the cards, you can always do something about that.
Deciding how to organize tarot cards is up to you. I don’t keep mine in order, and generally put them away in whatever order they ended up in from the last shuffle. But, if you think it would be good for you to put them in order, do it.
Should tarot cards be kept in order? Not unless you want to do it. And of course, it could be a great practice for learning more about the cards.
Ultimately, it won’t affect your experience with sticky tarot cards.
Level Up Your Tarot Maintenance Game
At the end of the day, tarot cards are mass-produced pieces of card stock. Even so, you probably feel a connection to your deck and enjoy using it. So anything you can do to preserve the life of the cards is good.
With that in mind, you should also consider what feels right to you. If you like the idea of it, store your cards with crystals. Cleanse your deck with incense. Let it sit under the moonlight to recharge.
What you choose to do with your deck is up to you. And for the record, any “shoulds” you encounter online regarding tarot should be taken with a grain of salt. (Or ignored outright.)
The real tarot leveling up comes from doing what you believe to be the right thing for you. When you stop feeling bound and beholden to random advice, your practice becomes your own and you can get more from it.
Of course, keep reading and learning more about the cards. But don’t let bad, dogmatic noise taint your intuition.
Do Your Tarot Cards Stick?
Has your deck ever stuck together? Do you feel like you’re being followed by tarot cards? Do you keep your cards wrapped in silk?