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Maybe you bought your first tarot deck and discovered… it’s not so easy to interpret its messages.
Sure, there are tons of resources out there for understanding the tarot deck, but if you’re a beginner to divination or spirituality it can still be overwhelming or even intimidating.
So that brings us to oracle cards! Oracle cards are like tarot cards’ little sister. They’re much easier to read, much easier to use and are a quick and easy way to connect to intuitive guidance on a whim.
This article will go into detail about how to actually use oracle cards.
Learning how to use oracle cards is a great way to start connecting with your intuition.
There are SO many beautiful and creative oracle decks out there, it’s not hard to find one that you’ll love and connect to easily!
If you’ve never used an oracle deck, you may feel intimidated, unsure or maybe just curious about the whole thing.
This guide is here to cover A to Z what you need to know about using oracle cards.
Let’s dive in!
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Oracle Cards VS Tarot Cards
Something I wondered before starting with card decks in general was, “what’s the difference between oracle cards and tarot cards? Aren’t they the same thing?”
And though they do have many similarities- they can be quite different!
Tarot cards have ancient roots, while oracle cards are a newer feat of this era.
Most modern tarot decks follow the style of Rider-Waite tarot, though there are a few different styles too.
Each tarot deck under the Rider-Waite tradition typically includes 78 cards consisting of 4 main suits, a minor arcana and a major arcana.
Wands, swords, cups and pentacles (suits) make up the 56 minor arcana cards. You’ll find varying themes that use different suits instead of the classic wands, swords, cups and pentacles. (Examples: fire, water, earth, air / crystals, feathers, shells, acorns)
The major arcana is made up of 22 “big” or “major” cards that signify more profound messages.
Tarot cards are great for giving more detailed readings and the structure of the cards meanings is helpful for interpreting messages more specifically.
My very first tarot deck The Vision Quest Tarot uses fire, water, air and earth while following a Native American theme. It’s a great beginners deck and has beautiful messages and imagery.
Another favorite deck of mine is the Light Seers Tarot, the cards are diverse, inclusive, not to mention gorgeous and focused on messages of light.
Oracle cards are much more free form and come with a varying amount of cards (most are around 45-50 cards). Each oracle deck has a different theme and overall message.
They do not follow the same minor/major arcana formatting like tarot cards do.
Usually the cards are numbered and correspond with a theme.
For example, theres animal oracle cards, angel oracle cards, flower oracle cards, crystal oracle cards, horse oracle cards…. and so on and so on and so on.
I like to think of oracle cards giving a more “big” or “overall” message, while tarot gets into more specific detail.
Personally, I love the free-form spirit of oracle cards. It’s so fun to try different decks that have varying themes and practice interpreting their symbolism without any pre-attached meanings.
Like the Work Your Light Oracle below- how beautiful is that?!
Oracle decks usually come with guidebooks that the deck creator made to provide an interpretation for each card. These are wonderful for learning how to interpret the messages and for getting intuitive guidance.
Benefits of Using an Oracle Deck
Oracle decks can help you:
- Connect to your intuition
- Gain clarity on a situation
- Help you to make a decision
- Help you clarify the meaning of something
- Connect you to your creative energy and inner voice
- Give you inspiration on a situation you were contemplating
- Give you a focus to begin growing
- Connect you to your angels and guides
- Provide a different perspective on a situation
- Become a deck collector…. LOL, speaking from experience. They say once you buy one deck… the collecting begins!
How to Use Oracle Cards
Once you have your oracle deck you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to use.
I love to cleanse my new decks using sage, selenite, or reiki. (Repeat cleansing every once in a while as you feel its needed)
Suggested Reading: How to Cleanse Crystals: Easy How-To Guide
Before drawing a card- I always knock on the deck 3 times to clear and connect. You don’t have to do this but many of us oracle readers follow this practice as it helps to clear the energy of the deck and prepare it for new messages to come through.
Next I hold the deck in between both palms, close my eyes and begin to draw light from source.
Simply envision white or golden light streaming down from above and entering into your crown chakra.
Allow the light to travel down your arms and out through your hands into the deck.
Set the intention or ask your question at this point.
-“I am open to receive a divine message for the day”
-“What will the outcome be if I choose xyz?”
-“What do I need to focus on today?”
Next, shuffle your deck or spread the cards out onto a flat surface.
There is no right or wrong way to do this.
Okay well… try not to bend your cards like this guy above.
Try to shuffle more like this one:
Or this one:
In summary, follow these steps when learning how to use oracle cards:
- Clear the deck in your preferred way- I like to knock on it three times.
- Connect to source / draw light in from your crown.
- Bring your light into the deck and allow it to be filled with light and good will.
- Set your intention / ask your question.
- Shuffle the deck until you feel the intuitive pull to stop on a card(s).
- Alternative: You can also spread the deck out and pick one from there.
- See which card(s) you picked and proceed to the interpretation.
- Check the guidebook that came with your deck for related messages, or practice interpreting them independently.
Best Oracle Decks
Here area a few of my favorite oracle decks:
Powers Essential Oil Cards (pictured above): beautiful deck with essential oil messages to provide healing and clarity.
Keepers of the Light: one of my favorite go-to decks full of messages from Ascended Masters, spiritual deities and higher beings from various traditions. Perfect for spiritual seekers who want to develop their intuition.
Whispers of Lord Ganesha: a gorgeous deck full of messages from Lord Ganesha. Gentle, honest, and inspiring.
Rumi Oracle: one of the “deepest” decks I own. The messages that come with these cards are sure to stir the soul. They talk of purpose, shadow healing, life path and more. They highlight the truth of what needs to be heard in the moment and provide soulful wisdom to get you connected with your highest self.
Work Your Light Oracle: stunning and ethereal- filled with messages from Lemuria, Akasha, and the Light. An inspiring, motivating and clarifying deck.
Thats just to name a few… there is an abundance of amazing oracle decks out there. Choose the one that calls to you. <3
*Screenshot for your message!
Do you have a favorite oracle deck? Let me know in the comments 🙂