Welcome! My name is Professor Swithun, and I am your new professor of Divination here at Hogwarts is Here. Professor Cattercorn formerly led this course; therefore, you will find references to her in Years Two through Five. You may notice some minor edits here and there, but rest assured that you will not be held responsible for any of these small changes on your assignments and exams. I will strive to keep this transition as cohesive as possible. I have exciting plans for Years Six and Seven! I’m working hard to have Year Six prepared and published as soon as possible.


My lovely group of PAs and I are happy to answer any questions or concerns about the course. If you have a question about grading, please send an owl that includes the grade ID for that assignment and why you are appealing. Please be respectful (and remember that we are all volunteers!)


If you have any areas of interest related to Divination that you’d like to learn more about in the upcoming curriculum, now is your chance to voice your ideas! I love to hear from students, and questions, constructive comments, and suggestions are all welcome. My office door is always open to accept owls.


See you in class!



(updated 01/18/2022)

Lesson 4) The Tarot Deck: Storing Your Deck

Professor Cattercorn is standing at her desk when the students arrive.  Her eyes seem to be in a distant place as she methodically shuffles the tarot deck in his hands.  Students in the front are able to see her ornate golden box, laid open on the desk, along with various tools and implements.  A crystal ball, a handful of runes, and a teacup and saucer can be identified amongst the items. After shuffling, Professor Cattercorn turns over the top card and makes a barely audible noise.  Lifting a navy blue square of silk cloth from the box, she gently wraps the deck within the cloth, places the bundle in the box, and flicks her wand causing the box to shut and lock.

I thank you for joining me today as we finish our discussion on welcoming a new tarot deck into your life. Previously, we spoke about choosing, connecting with, and cleansing your deck. Today, we will look at the ways to store your cards in order to get the best magical results.

Storing your Deck
Storing your cards correctly is another crucial factor when considering your deck. I recommend first wrapping the cards in a cloth -- which can also be used as something to lay your cards on during a reading -- and then storing them safely. Having a form of storage provides the cards with a layer of protection from unplanned (and often unwanted) contact with others’ magical signatures. In other words, they keep the cards from accidentally absorbing others’ magical energies and imprinting them on the cards between uses. Storing them and protecting them keeps cards “fresh” for longer and cuts down on the need for cleansings, though certainly does not eradicate the need completely!

One option is keeping them in a wooden box, often one that has been magically imbued. The kind of wood is something to consider and not just pick at random, or base solely on aesthetic preference. Much like how a particular kind of wood is best suited for a witch or wizard’s wand, a box should be carefully considered as well. Of course, the boxes are not pseudo-sentient and able to “choose” you, like wands are. This leaves you with the responsibility of recognizing which wood best suits your needs. Some people find that their wand wood and the wood in their box are identical or related, but just as often there is little to no relation. But, as with all things, knowing yourself, doing your research, and simply trusting your intuition will get you far!

Before we jump into talking about  woods, it is important to note that another method for storing is in a small, drawstring bag. As with boxes, there are a number of materials you can choose, however it is recommended that you choose things that have been magically enhanced.

Now, there are a few different woods that are preferable to keep your cards in, dependent upon your goal for the cards and your own personality and magical strengths. For instance, alder wood is good for keeping your cards waterproof. If you decide to cleanse your cards by burying them, it is a good idea to secure them into an alder box before you do so, in order to ensure they are not damaged by the elements. In the past, ash was believed to help you commune with the gods and goddesses and holds particular meaning for Nordic witches and wizards as this stems from the belief that Yggdrasil (also called the tree of life) was an ash tree.

For those who wish to abandon simple readings and instead focus more on the details, boxes of hawthorn are suggested. It is believed that these trees stand on the edge of the magical and non-magical world, thus allowing for more room for elaborate readings and responses. Below is a chart detailing the most common woods and their benefits, though it is not meant to be an exhaustive list in any way.

Box Woods



This is best for boxes to be kept outside or underwater, as alder is naturally highly water resistant.


This is best for those who specialize in questions about health.


This is believed to be the same wood as Yggdrasil and therefore has popularity and magical significance to those of Nordic backgrounds.


This is best for those that are artistically and musically inclined. It also is known to ward off pets that may be interested in eating your box and pairs well with the Nonperiurabus spell with you have covered in your Second Year of Herbology.


This is known for its ability to increase accuracy for readings about the past.


This is good for holding one’s own magic and keeping the cards from being tainted with others’ magical energies. Consider it a wood that encourages the cards to be more “loyal”, like some wand woods.


This is good for keeping readings grounded and centered, as well as increasing intuition.


This is good for those who have a craving for knowledge. It encourages and reinforces learning.


This has extreme protective properties.


This is good for those who tend to have active imaginations.


This is good for grounding and stability.


Hawthorne is well-suited for deeply troubling questions and people who are going through tumultuous times or facing tough decisions.


This is extremely fire resistant.


This has enhanced protective properties and is good for readings that deal with the Dark Arts while simultaneously protecting the reader.


Mostly used for highly mobile people who transport their cards a lot.


Normally suited to those with fiery personalities.


This is used for magical protection.


This is a generic wood used when all others are unsuitable or have downsides.


Increases psychic energy and helps replenish magic in your deck so you need to cleanse less frequently.

Silver lime

Provides an overall boost in strength. Is widely regarded as the best at enhancing seeing ability in all areas, with few detriments. Unfortunately quite rare.

White sandalwood

Helps to promote spiritual awareness.


Nudges the cards to lean toward uncovering sacred knowledge.


A very empathetic wood that will pick up on the emotions of the reader and put them in the cards. It guards against evil.

No matter what you choose to use to store your cards, please remember that the most important element is that whatever you’re storing them in must be in alignment with you. All the wishful thinking in the world will not make a wood suitable for seeking knowledge mesh well with yourself and your magic. This is not something we encounter when purchasing wands, as they are sentient enough to choose for us, so this process requires much more self-awareness and maturity.

Once your decision on the storage receptacle is chosen, you can turn your attention to accoutrements, though these are of secondary importance. Still, there are some who swear by them. Gemstones and herbs can also be included and stored, whether in a box or a bag, to assist with maintaining the level of magical energy, or the “right” kind of magical signature to be stored in your cards. The stones and herbs you use can vary depending on what properties are important to you in a reading. For example, if honesty at all cost is your goal, you will want something different than the reader who seeks a reading with more detail in order to gain as much perspective as possible. While we do not have time to cover all of the possibilities in detail, I will attempt to outline some basic suggestions here. When you understand more about your own strengths and weaknesses as a seer, as well as a witch or wizard in general, your studies will likely lead you to more specific deck accessories, should that be up your alley.


The flowers or the leaves of this plant are often stored in the box or bag of the seer that wishes to get the most accurate reading on questions regarding tumultuous change or new beginnings. Questions about large milestones in life such as the birth of a child, marriages, moves to far-off places, and new jobs also fall under this category.

While some may prefer a more impassioned look at the future, the use of this herb, whether in smudging your cards or storing alongside your cards, can increase logic and reason in your readings, allowing you to see through multiple possibilities to find the most probable outcome.

The use of this plant can encourage your cards (as well as your magic) to be more receptive to intuition. However, some find that this increases the probability that you cards will require you to use your intuition more often than before, and thus if you are a chronic second-guesser or a beginner, this may not be the right choice for you.

While not used for any particular kind of reading, roses, specifically the petals, are often used simply as a “maintenance” herb, or to ensure your cards retain their familiarity with you and your magical signature between readings. Some believe that thorns are equally or more potent in this regard, but it has been hypothesized that this does the opposite.

Stones… and More
In purely magical communities, the magic of stones and their uses are still under a fair amount of study, particularly in the field of divination and magical jewelry or amulets. While much Muggle information exists, their lack of true magic can muddle their insight and make their deciphered meanings little more than wild guesses. The first thing to note about the use of crystals (as you will be learning about in Defense Against the Dark Arts this year in Lesson Eight) is that they are exceptionally good receptacles for magic. Therefore, nearly any crystal will serve to “absorb” any stray magical interference or other people’s magical signatures that you want to protect your cards from. However, if your goal is to do more than that, there are some prevailing theories.

Often used when the reader knows they will be faced with a challenging reading or question. This is particularly true when a witch or wizard will be reading a situation with which they are not comfortable, or have “baggage” in order to avoid emotional readings.

Best used for questions and readers who seek knowledge over everything. This can be true self-awareness or knowledge of the world at large. Interestingly, it also enjoyed some popularity in the southwestern portion of the United States in various forms, including as a foci for healing rituals.

This stone seems to be well-suited to self-readings as it aids mental clarity. It also has the secondary effect of strengthening your intuition, or making your intuition more obvious so you pay attention to what your Inner Eye is telling you!

For those who seek truth above all else, this is the stone for you. However, be wary. Many do not want to see the truth stripped bare, free of extraneous details. More, sometimes the truth you read can be misleading.

Lastly, while neither an herb nor a stone, there is a dedicated sub-group of seers and tarot readers that swear by dragon’s blood -- the life-giving liquid, not the plant -- saying that it is second to none in increasing accuracy regarding questions about love, relationships, and fertility. There are many ways to use this liquid, as many in other fields have noted, and this is just one more, though it is often overlooked. While quite pricey, not much of it is needed, as a few drops are often burned and the cards are waved through the smoke, similar to smudging. Some prefer to physically sprinkle their cards with the substance, but this has since gone out of fashion, as it wets the cards and can damage the integrity.

Closing and Final Tips
As a final note, while this may be obvious, make sure that no matter how you decide to store your cards, you keep them in a safe place. Getting them soiled with food or dust, exposing them to the elements, or worse, getting them wet is a bad idea even on a practical level. Most decks are made of cardstock, and will not hold up well when exposed to water. If you must keep them in an area where they may be in danger of getting soiled, an Impervious Charm will do the trick.

With that, we will close for the day. I can’t wait to see you next class! We will be discussing the Major Arcana and I look forward to your company!


Original lesson written by Professor Venita Wessex
Additional portions written by Professor Jessica Marrow
Image credits here and here

Open the gateway to the future with your Inner Eye! The magic of the tarot and so much more is waiting to be uncovered in Second Year Divination...
Hogwarts is Here © 2023 was made for fans, by fans, and is not endorsed or supported directly or indirectly with Warner Bros. Entertainment, JK Rowling, Wizarding World Digital, or any of the official Harry Potter trademark/right holders.
Powered by minervaa