Oracle Cards Vs. Tarot Cards?
Oracle cards are similar to Tarot cards but a bit more free-wheeling in their structure.
- A Tarot deck comes in a standard set of 78 cards, with each one having its own imagery and symbolism. They’re typically studied and interpreted by expert readers as a popular tool for divination.
- Oracle cards, on the other hand, have fewer rules and a more comprehensive range of content than Tarot cards. They don’t follow the structure of Tarot cards, which makes the possibilities endless.
As such, Oracle cards can essentially be whatever the deck’s creator wants them to be.
They pick the number of cards in the deck, the sort of imagery the cards will use, and the purpose it will serve.
Oracle cards come in an array of shapes and with a variety of functions. A basic setup will have images and words, along with a write-up that explains how the reader should interpret them. Some decks even come without a reference book, opening more possibilities for interpretation.
You may find one deck with 30 something cards and another with close to 90 cards. Similarly, there are decks featuring affirmations, plants, angels, archetypes, spiritual animals, and many more choices.
Because Tarot cards are a bit rigid and take some time to study, Oracle cards are gaining more traction with both beginners and professional readers. They’re valuable to anyone looking for answers to some of life’s intricate questions. As opposed to a structured reading, there’s a broader scope to allow your intuition to guide you and truly shape the reading.
Oracle cards are as effective as Tarot cards at providing guidance, clarity and a new perspective. They allow you to tap into your intuition and find answers that are already within you. You can use them to answer any questions you have as they offer guidance.
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Tips on Reading Your Oracle Cards
Store Your Decks in a Sacred Place
They are sacred, so it’s essential to keep them safe. Consider storing them in a designated box or on an altar. You wouldn’t want your kids or pets to spread them all over the floor. Caring about the energy of your deck makes for more accurate readings.
Don’t Overthink It
Intuitive messages are more like guidelines. They may not make a great deal of sense, but the whole point is to trust them. Follow your intuition, be grateful to your soul for the information you receive, and ask for more.
Create Reading Rituals
To get better at Oracle-card-reading, experts suggest incorporating small rituals into your day where you take a moment to relax, engage with your inner self and pull some cards for a few minutes. Intense emotions such as fear and anxiety may block your intuition, so try to focus but take it easy and have fun.
One of the easiest ways to remember is to choose a card every other day and trust that it can guide you on your focus for the day or act as an important message. Pulling cards every day is one of the easiest ways to hone your intuition and divination skills. You can also bring the cards out to play when hanging out with friends or on special occasions to help you level up on your card-reading skills.
6 Steps for Using Them Successfully
Since they are more flexible and can be used for different things, there’s no harm in doing some research on the deck’s author before making your pick. Find out their level of expertise and research their background. Do you feel a connection or alignment of values with the author? Follow your heart and try to keep an open mind.
You may feel particularly drawn to a particular deck. Just use your intuition. Collecting decks over time can also come in handy, as different decks will call you depending on your current circumstances and mood or those of the person you’re reading for.
When using them, be sure to take some time to observe the deck. Since every set is unique, it’s like learning a new language each time you get a deck.
As you explore the cards, you’ll get a better hang of it. You want to let the spirit guide you in whatever ways you need at the moment. Follow your heart.
1.) Infuse them with Your Energy
Your first step is to create a bond with your Oracle cards. Carrying them wherever you go or playing with them are great ways to infuse them with your energy. You can even sleep with them under your pillow. Using your deck often and touching them makes them work better for you.
2.) Know What You Expect from The Reading
Before trying to get a reading, be sure you have a clear idea of what you want to receive guidance on. That will make it easier for you to form a question around it. Ultimately, the advice you receive will depend on how good your question is.
3.) Give the Cards a Good Shuffle and Pick Your Card(s)
Shuffle the cards gently as you reflect on your intentions for the card. Let your hands and energy mingle with the cards as you shuffle. Once you feel like stopping, take as many or as few cards from the deck as you feel.
Many decks have tips on using different spreads, but you can pick a single card to speak to your single or multiple queries. There are many ways to pick cards from the deck so hone in on a method that builds your confidence in the cards.
One way to pick your cards is to split the deck and sort them into one or more piles then select the card at the top of the cut deck. The number of piles will depend on your choice of reading, whether it is a single-card selection, triple-card selection or other.
Another option is to select cards from a fan-shaped arrangement. Alternatively, you can simply scatter them on the floor, faceup or facedown – it doesn’t really matter.
For a single card selection: Ask yourself a few questions such as what you need to focus on for the day or what would be the most nourishing action or response for you that day.
You may then write down the details of the card you’ve picked, place it somewhere visible or carry it with you wherever you go. Listen to your thoughts and pay attention to your feelings as you reflect on the chosen card. Whether the feeling is positive or negative, note that and explore how the card’s essence applies to your current situation.
Two card selection: A two-card selection allows you could explore the theme of a question as well as the theme of an answer or a combination of both to try and establish how something speaks to you and your situation.
Three card selection: This type of selection is quite popular and is often used in traditional Tarot readings. It typically involves dividing the deck into 3 to indicate the past, present and future and using the cards’ themes to tell a story.
Five-card selection: Using more cards provides more in-depth insight into an issue. You can choose a layout depending on the particular deck of Oracle cards you have.
4.) Sit with Them
Once you’ve picked one or more cards, focus on the first thoughts about what the card means for you. Let your intuition guide you before diving into the guide book right away to search for meaning. If you’re not getting any hits when looking at a card, relax and sit with the card for a couple of minutes and see what shows up.
Pay attention to any symbols, words, phrases or themes in the cards. Say, for example, you see a picture of the ocean. Bear in mind that since each deck has its own theme, Oracle cards can have anything on them.
Maybe the ocean makes you think of turning over a new leaf? Or going with the flow? Ask yourself whether any words, sounds, feelings or images came up as you read the cards. Our intuitive hits are usually the most profound.
A card with a picture of a lady may remind you of your mother, or one with a man’s picture will remind you of your father. A card with an image of a particular season might show that a significant change will come in the summer, for example.
5.) Look at the Guide Book
Once you’ve picked up on the intuitive messages from the cards, you can then go ahead and gather additional insight from the guide book, if your deck has one.
Read the description and take note of any similarities with your initial impression.
6.) Sum Up the Main Message
You can write down your original question and surround it with meanings or keywords from the card you chose. Try to put it all together by analyzing what emerges from the words you’ve written down and how those ideas translate to your current situation.
It’s not uncommon for your message to come as a surprise. Sometimes the reading may not make sense right away. If that’s the case, you could return to your notes after a day or two, when your subconscious will probably have worked out a more precise meaning of the cards you picked.
Finally, identify what action steps you can take based on that guidance.
Typical Questions to Ask Your Oracle Cards
Asking the right questions helps you to get more accurate, specific and relevant messages through them. If you’re unsure what to ask your cards or card reader, here are a few ideas to consider.
You may draw one card per question and spend some time analyzing the insights. You never know where your new insights will take your life.
- What is keeping me from moving forward?
- What would help me feel happier in life?
- What is my biggest impediment to my success right now?
- What fear do I need to release right now?
- How can I have a more significant impact on the world?
- What do I need more of in my life?
- How can I have more fun in my life?
- What is influencing me the most right now?
- How can I feel freer?
The trick with questions is to narrow things down and be as specific as you can. It’s also important to keep your questions focused on yourself rather than others.
Rather than dwelling on past events or trying to find out if something in the past could have been different, focus on your present and/or your future path.
Oracle cards will help you in your journey of self-growth and evolution. It’s up to you to take responsibility for yourself and avoid blaming or projecting onto others.
Some cards get a bad rap. While this will depend on the particular deck, they’re often perceived as threatening, depressing or negative.
That’s far from the truth.
Every single card in an Oracle deck has powerful lessons to teach. So, if you get a “negative” card, don’t panic. Use your senses to understand the card and explore its meaning.
It’s also critical to remember that the card is ultimately about you. In the end, you’ll find the silver lining. You’ll find that Oracle cards invite us to be freer, healthier, happier and more in sync with who we truly are.
More Reading on Negative Cards: There's an amazing guide on how to REFRAME negative Tarot and Oracle cards (with examples) at NewAgeHipster.co.
Oracle card readings are all about allowing intuition to steer you in the right direction. There are no hard and fast rules, so you don’t have to apply the information on the card or provided in the guide book. Those are merely if you prefer a little more detail.
Ultimately, go with what you prefer. It’s all about you, your connection and interpretation rather than the cards that shape your reading.
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