How to create a sacred space for Tarot readings

small brown shelf with herb bundle, shell, laughing Budha statue, rainbow card and colorful crystals and stones

A sacred space is as important as a deck of Tarot cards, because it clears the mind, restores energy and regains balance.

The sacred space represents the external and internal environments that keep us centered, focused, calm and ready to activate our intuition. The process of creating a sacred space is an act of self-care in itself, because it kicks you into gear about what you need and what you want. 

Here’s a look at how I created my own sacred space with a few tips to get you started.

What is a sacred space?

Small desk with a mid modern century swivel chair and shelves
I love this mid-modern century swivel armchair and the small desk fits perfectly next to the bed.

There are four types of sacred spaces — the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual, according to Biddy Tarot, which offers a great explanation for how these different sacred spaces work together to support the free flow of energy. 

The sacred physical space represents the place where you will read your Tarot cards for yourself and/or others. Privacy is key. Imagine trying to read Tarot cards with kids playing or your phone ringing off the hook? Surround yourself with items that bring you peace, joy and unconditional love. This is your special place to relax and connect with yourself.

The sacred mental space is all about clearing the clutter of your mind — work deadlines, kids’ homework or a spat with your friend. Before I begin a Tarot reading, I put on relaxing music (the yoga channel on Amazon Music is a particular favorite). I light a Reiki charged pillar candle. Then, I close my eyes, take in a deep belly breath — until the air reaches the bottom of my lungs. I hold this breath and slowly breathe out until I force out every last bit of air. Sometimes, I use guided meditations or I envision a white light surrounding me, cleansing and charging my energy.

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The sacred emotional space comes into play during meditation. It means leaving behind negative feelings that weigh you down. When you control your emotions, you make room for new insight, inspiration and even opportunities from the universe, which leads me to …

The sacred spiritual space is often overlooked. I don’t think anyone survived the past few years without moments of stress, sadness, worry and anger. This friction blocks the flow of energy. Who hasn’t from time to time doubted the support of the universe? Before I read Tarot or whenever I need to lift myself up, I say a little prayer, asking my spirit guides, angels and ancestors to protect and to guide me. 

Set your intention

The power of a sacred space is in your intention. What do you want to accomplish?  What needs do you have?  Will others be allowed in your sacred space or is your sacred space just for you? When will you use your sacred space? How will you use your sacred space?

Jodie Gale’s blog offers great questions to consider when creating your sacred space.

Some Tarot readers create altars with items that hold special meaning — such as crystals, herb bundles, statues, flowers and artwork. There aren’t any “wrong” items to use, because a sacred space depends on what you want. The items are only as important as how safe you feel. 

For me, I need a space where I can be alone without interruptions, so I can read Tarot for myself and for others through video conferencing. I want to feel empowered, courageous, calm and engaged. How do you want to feel?

Gather some inspiration

It took me a few failed attempts to create a sacred space that worked for me. Carving out a private corner in a 1,500-square-foot home shared by two adults and two kids was a challenge, to say the least. I didn’t know what I needed until I tried some things that didn’t work. 

At first, I created a mobile space at the kitchen table. It worked for awhile, but I grew tired of having to set up and take down all of my spiritual accouterments. I also began to feel resentful. My kids have their own rooms with all of their toys, books and gadget that lift them up. They’re not even contributing to the mortgage — lol. Why can’t I have my own space?

sacred space,Space for tarot readings,altar
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Smudge Wellness makes it easy to purchase crystals, room spray and other spiritual tools for your Tarot reading practice.

Next, I created a hybrid space in the office I share with my husband. I surrounded my work station with items I love — a pink Himalayan salt lamp, an array of candles, colorful stones, fresh flowers and books about powerful women. This space worked for a while, but I had trouble disconnecting from work mode to connect with myself. 

These spaces also were just inconvenient. I had to clear the table each time I read Tarot. I was constantly interrupted. I had to wake up before everyone else to have precious alone time. 

Finally, I moved my sacred space next to my side of the bed. I took my time doing research to find a desk, chairs and shelving that I truly liked. I pulled the ultimate middle-aged-mom move and created a Pinterest board to gather inspiration. I knew that I didn’t want a chair on wheels. I wanted something natural that would allow me to connect with earth energies. I wanted small shelving for my favorite Tarot decks and my altar. 

It was fun taking the time to truly consider what I wanted for my sacred space. It was an exercise in trusting my intuition and practicing self-care.

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Create an altar that defines what sacred means to you

Painting of 10 of Cups Tarot Card
My husband painted the 10 of Cups Tarot Card, symbolic of a happy, fulfilled family.

At first, the word “altar” conjured stressful images of growing up in the religious Midwest in the ’90s — giant crucifixes, round wafers and robed men telling me I am a sinner. 

To create an altar, I had to redefine what this meant for me. Instead of something that is rooted in fear and other people’s expectations, I organized items that symbolize what’s important to me — unconditional love, nature, humor, empowerment and clarity.

The items for your altar should have deep personal meaning that tap into unconditional love. On mine, I have a bronze statue of a laughing Buddha that reminds me to seek joy; a rainbow card with a sweet message from a friend reminds me that I am loved; herb bundles or fresh flowers remind me to find beauty every day; rose quartz represents love; beautiful amethyst enhances my connection to universal energies; and black tourmaline clears and repels negative energy. I also have a Wonder Woman playing card that my son gave me that strengthens my connection to feminine empowerment. Recently, I hung a painting of the 10 of Cups from the Rider-Waite Tarot deck that my husband surprised me with at Christmas.

Now, I find myself making little altars all over the house. The bedside Tarot reading nook and my work corner are my main spaces. 

For the sacred work altar, my husband built shelves from metal pipes in our office. I printed and framed photos of my grandparents, great-grandmother and great-great grandmother. I come from a family of entrepreneurs. My grandfather owned and operated service stations in my small hometown. His grandmother (my great-great grandmother) owned a shop that sold furs, bags and purses that she made. I love having that energy around when I am working. I feel like they are protecting and encouraging me.

Honor your authenticity

The broad-stroke lesson is that no one can tell you how to create a sacred space. It’s up to you to identify what’s important and meaningful for you. 

Pull a Tarot card or two and ask: What do I need from a sacred space? How can I feel empowered from my sacred space? What should I look for in items for my altar?

The best advice I have: Don’t strive for perfection.

Instead, look within. After all, that’s what Tarot is all about.

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