Hello, my loves!
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I have been asked how to read oracle cards and what some of my recommendations are. I have never been taught how to read cards officially, but I have learned a lot on my journey, thus far. I did a couple Periscope sessions on how to read cards while answering a few questions, but decided to do a blog post with the information that has aided me the most.
All of the following are just things that I like to do and that work for me, specifically. But I always tell people to follow their own intuition and do what feels best/right for them. Just because some of these things resonate with me, doesn't mean that you should feel inclined to do the same.
What is Divination?
div·i·na·tion ˌ divəˈnāSH(ə)n/
the practice of seeking knowledge of the future or the unknown by supernatural means.
synonyms:fortune telling, divining, prophecy, prediction, soothsaying, augury;
clairvoyance, second sight
"he looked to divination for guidance"
Your cards are divination tools! Keep this in mind when using them.
How to Choose the "Right" Deck
We are so lucky to have so many available options and choices to find what speaks to us. I currently own 31 various types of decks. I have a couple Tarot decks, a Leonormand deck, and the rest are a variety of Oracle decks. I have eclectic taste, so a lot of my decks are different and unusual (like me!).
Here is my current collection. P.S. Help me, I think I have a problem..
You can find many decks on Amazon, through publishing houses (examples are Hay House, Blue Angel Publishing, Cico Books, US Game systems), at local shops near you, and even popular bookstores. I am a tactile person, so I like to get a feel for the cards before I purchase, and if I don't have the opportunity to find the decks locally, I go to YouTube, or Google and find deck reviews. You would be amazed at the amount of information you can find on various decks out there! You can go to Aeclectic Tarot and see all of the various decks they have with reviews, and pictures of the cards.
Buy a deck that feels right for you! Whether it possesses a lot of your favorite type of images, something that makes sense to you, or just resonates with your knowledge, then use that.
These are my favorite go-to decks.
My highest recommended deck is the John Holland Psychic Tarot Oracle Deck. It is easy to use, multi-purpose, a great transitionary deck for those who are familiar with Tarot, and also has beautiful, gentle imagery. It is just one that I know a lot of people can enjoy, and also love all of the information in the "Little White Book" included with the deck. You can find it on Amazon here. I have found so many decks throughout the years, and as I outgrow them, I find them a new home.
How to Connect with Your Deck(s)
Yay! So you purchased your first oracle deck (or finally are ready to use the one you have). Now what? Well, open your deck!
Here are a few things that I like to do before I start using my deck.
1. Go through each card of the deck.
I study the cards, I ensure that I am familiar with the style, images, and symbolism that the creator has utilized.
This is the Halloween Oracle Deck by Stacey DeMarco. I love the artwork and the messages!
2. Charge your cards/deck. Fill them with your energy.
How do you do this? Easy! You actually have a few options. You can do all or just one. Whatever makes sense for you, boo!
You can charge your cards under the New or Full Moon cycles. You can set them out on a windowsill that receives moonlight. Just remember to remove them in the morning, unless you don't mind a slightly faded deck from overexposure to sun.
You can also use sage to smudge your cards. Or use crystals to clear and cleanse your cards. Selenite is a wonderful crystal to use. All you need to do is simply place the selenite on your deck. You can also call on your Spirit Guides and Angels to help you cleanse and clear your decks. I like to knock on my decks, in addition to a few of these tips.
Hi, my name is Nancy.... and I am obsessed with crystals.
Depending on how often the deck is being used, and how many readings I am doing with that deck, I might do a few of these tricks at the same time. Remember to use whatever you prefer and whatever feels right for you.
3. Ask your Spirit Guides and/or Angels to speak with you through the card/deck.
So you cleared and cleansed that brand spanking new deck that you are just loving? What now?
This is a part of asking your Spirit Guides and/or Angels to help you use this divination tool to communicate with you. Remember the vocabulary quiz above!
If you are at a loss as to who your Spirit Guides and Angels are, I say you need to just reach out to them. Ask for them to help you in your day to day life. Also, have them give you guidance when you can.
What can they help you with? My answer is EVERYTHING! No, really. Start building a relationship with them. All you have to do is reach out and ask them to help and guide you. Hence, their name even includes the word GUIDE, as they are here to guide you. Pay attention to your dreams.
That's it. You're done. Aren't you amazing?
You just need to be receptive to what they have for you. And the connection you build is like a muscle. The more that you use it, the more you can feel their presence and help in daily matters. Their messages will be subtle in your life. They don't want to scare you! So, pay attention to the little things. Bird, butterflies, dragonflies, certain words sticking out, certain numbers that repeat, seeing things or names that stick out to you. These are all meant to help you and give you their guidance.
4. Begin to build a relationship with the cards/deck.
Cards, both Tarot and Oracle, are divination tools. And I always respect them for what they are. I have come to note that they have their own personalities, preferences, and also their own qualities that can aid your reading. How can one build a relationship with an innanimate object such as a deck?
Some people say that you can place the deck in your pillowcase to infuse it with your energy and to understand how the deck works. I personally sleep like a crazy person, so I don't place them in my pillow case. I place them on my nightstand, with a chunk of amethyst (so they don't keep me up). I also respect the deck. If I am getting mixed up messages, if the deck doesn't feel right, or if I am not getting a clear answer to my specific questions, I leave the deck alone. Cleanse it, and just give it some space.
Now, this is an option for me, as I have multiple decks to choose from. If you only have 1 deck and you really would like to start utilizing it for a reading, my next recommendation would be to do a daily card drawing.
This is a card from the Sacred Rebels Oracle from Alana Fairchild.
When I purchased my first oracle deck, I was trying to understand how to read the cards. I would do a daily drawing. This also helped me to become familiar with the deck and how the messages applied to my day to day life. I would do a drawing the night before while asking for what to keep in mind for the following day. I would keep the card out and then revisit it the next day to see what happened that would help me understand the meaning of the card and how to apply the messages.
After a bit of a rocky start, I would become more familiar with understanding what the cards messages had in store for me. This helped me with becoming much more comfortable with the deck. The more I have understood the deck, the easier it was to see the messages and how to apply their guidance daily.
5. Use resources out there and always your own intuition within!
Most decks (if not all) come with a handy little book. These "Little White Books" have a bunch of amazing inforamtion that can help you, not just understand the deck futher, it is also a storehouse of information. Not just with suggested card spreads, but also give you so much information about the symbolism, numerology, and images included in the deck.
These cards came with gorgeous books by the authors.
The authors and creators of the decks add in their own anecdotes and information that can help you understand the deck better. It is beneficial in learning how to read the deck to the best ability. Don't bel afraid to do some research. Pay attention to the images. What do they say to you? Do the colors stand out? Are there shapes or symbols there that make sense to you? These are also subtle things that can help you understand other or extra meanings that the cards may have for you.
Boom! You got this, babe!
How to Do a Reading with Your DecK(S)
So you did all of the above suggestions, but you still want to know how to do a reading or use your deck, right? I mean, that is the point of your deck, correct? To help you use it as a divination tool and allow yourself to understand what is going on for you, so let's get to it!
A simple Three Card is my favorite go-to spread!
Find a spread that you are comfortable with. Like I stated previously, you can look in the book of your deck to help you find one that works well with the deck. My favorite and go-to is the simple Three Card spread. It covers Past, Present, and Future. It helps me understand what is going on and also being able to see what has been going on and what is to come.
The reason this is my most used reading spread, is just the simplicity but also the depth that it gives.
So, that's great and all, but how do I choose cards and get a good reading from the deck?
First, I like to see if the deck is okay for me to use by using the methods above prior to using it for a reading. This might seem a bit like a dramatic or long process, but once you get familiar with it, your cards will be ready for your day to day use and for readings.
Next, I like to shuffle the deck. I also physically knock on the deck and ask the deck my specific question.
Then, I go through and "feel" for the right cards. I try my best to not overthink it too much (and this is something that has gotten easier with practice), but it has been nice to not question it and just allow the cards to come out with the right messages.
I then pull the cards out, lay them out, and just consult the book for the card meanings. I study the cards and see how the messages apply to my question.
If this seems a bit overwhelming to try, another option is a quick one card spread is also a good choice. The answer or guidance is not going to be as easy to decipher if your question is a bit more complicated.
A simple one card is a simple spread that helps find quick guidance.
There are so many wonderful spreads out there. You can make them much more in-depth, or simpler. This is why I love using cards, you can just listen to your own intuition and find what works best for you and your question/situation. Other options are 4, 5, 7, or even 10 card spreads. I have even seen an option of 24 cards! I have a few various options in my Etsy Shop that you can view here.
This is an example of my New Year Five Card Email Reading.
So now you feel (hopefully) somewhat capable and comfortable using your decks and being able to get some great readings. One last thing, boothangs:
And last but certainly not least: Have fun and get down with your deck!
What to do now?!
Like I stated previously, all of the above are just things that I like to do and that work for me, specifically. But I always tell people to follow their own intuition and do what feels best/right for them. Just because some of these things resonate with me, doesn't mean that you should feel inclined to do the same.
I learned these things on my own, taking a bit from here and there, listening to my own inution in a way that I knew would work best for me and how I read cards. Find your own way, as these are simply suggestions.
Yup. You sure are!
So please, always follow your own intuition, it will never lead you astray.
I hope that this little article helps someone out there who is beginning to trust their intuition and who would like to read cards on their own. Anyone can do it! The more you trust your intuition and pay attention to all of the messages the cards have to offer you, the easier all of these things will come to you. It can be a beneficial tool to help you understand your path and find some comfort in their messages!
Get to reading! You are amazing and can do this!