All About Oracle Cards

By Julie Litz

Before getting started, a quick note - this is a discussion about oracle cards, not tarot or lenormand.  The difference is tarot and lenormond are more 'future telling' while oracle cards are more 'guidance'.  The first rather gives information based upon current circumstances and most likely outcomes based on that particular moment, while oracle or angel cards offer broader guidance when you feel stuck or are searching for answers; more about your journey and obstacles.  


Now, let's begin at the beginning and discuss how to choose an oracle deck.  There are so many different types of oracle cards, angel cards, shamanic cards, etc that it may be overwhelming to choose or know which deck is right for you.  The reality is, that all these options are a good thing. You will want to intuitively choose your deck.  Choose the one that calls out to you and gives you a definite ‘yes’ feeling when you are looking at it.  I personally have well over a dozen decks that I have collected over time, and am often called to different decks depending on what guidance I or my client is looking for.


Treat it like a spiritual tool or a sacred object.  You should always be the one handling your deck and if you have a deck that you do let other people handle,it is a good idea to ‘clear’ the deck with intention and sage or crystals.  Remember everything is energy and your cards can absorb the energy of the people making it less accurate for you.  Some people like to store their cards away in a box or draw so they are less likely to be subject to the vibration of the surrounding environment.


Before you even begin to shuffle your cards, carefully choose the question you would like to ask. Be careful to avoid yes or no questions as these tend to be disempowering.  Instead you may ask something like ‘What about (the subject) do I need to know that is in my highest good?” or “What guidance to I need to hear most right now?”  Guidance from oracle cards is just that, guidance. It often addresses what is happening now, what block may have caused it or what possible avenues you may take as a result of your current circumstances, and always for your highest good if you intend it.


The first thing I like to do is connect myself to spirit. If I am ungrounded or too distracted by my own thoughts or the environment around me, I find I cannot focus and struggle to find a really meaningful message.  Basically, you are always better off taking the time to connect to the Earth and Spirit, and quieting your mind.  The messages and meanings behind the cards are much clearer and provide you with greater insight if you are in the right state of being. 

Find a quiet space you are comfortable in.  The noisy dining room with 5 other people talking is not a great choice.  I typically take a few minutes to first, ground myself by picturing roots growing out of my feet and wrapping around the Earth’s core 3 times.

Then I feel her energy traveling upwards my roots into my feet and legs, up through my body, drawing a gold glowing light throughout.  Once I feel that light traveling up through the chakras, I focus on my crown chakra, at the top of my head, and picture it opening up to spirit and drawing down and cool bright white light down through my crown, down through my chakras and mixing with the golden Earth energy.  I usually feel lighter and happy when I do this, which is a good indication that you are raising your vibration.  When you feel that you’re where you want to be and can maintain that place, focus on your question.


There are many ways to shuffle and choose your cards, what you really want to do is find what works best for you. Some people like to shuffle until they get a feeling to stop and choose the card on top, continuing that way until they've completed their spread.  I personally like to focus on my question while shuffling and spread them out, choosing cards that I am drawn to.  Sometimes cards will jump out of the deck while you are shuffling.  I typically set these cards aside and view them as nuance cards.  I choose and read my spread as normal and refer to these cards as extra cards that can add important information to my message.

You can choose as many cards as you feel you need to.  There are so many different spreads available on the internet or the accompanying booklets that it might be fun to explore the different options.  If you want to start basic, you can choose just one for general guidance or 3 that from left to right can represent past, present, future or even better, the past (an event or block that caused your current situation), present (what is happening now and what it means) and future, (opportunities you may get from this situation or lessons that are available for you to learn from it).


As you pull your cards, lay them face down.   Turn them over one by one, pausing and reflecting on each one as you go.  Pay attention to your first thoughts. Your intuition is your best friend, don’t over think it especially if you are reading for someone else.  Many times these insights won’t make sense at first, but end up being the most profound insights. Your intuition is largely guidance from your higher self or spirit.  If you are grounded and operating in a higher vibrational space, these insights can be direct information and guidance from spirit that you or the person you are reading for need to know.

Alternately, just about all oracle decks come with a little interpretation booklet that provides information for every card.  When I first explore a new deck, I find it fun to learn all the meanings that have been attributed to the cards and while the creators of these decks put a lot of energy and passion into these books, I would advise not to rely on them.  Thats not to say don’t ever use them.  I have certain decks that I frequently use the accompanying books, but only when I am called to or have a strong feeling about it.  The reason is your intuition and direct connection with spirit can provide more insight with more nuances than a standard message from a booklet. Each card may even develop its own special meaning for you over time.


Get out of your left brain a little bit and ignore the words at first because as they say, ‘a picture is worth a million words’. The imagery on these cards may remind your of something or invoke a particular feeling which is often how spirit communicates with us.  These are all clues to a larger picture.  When you are satisfied you've gotten all you can from the artwork, then look at any accompanying words.


Pay attention to any emotions or associations that you are making because they are giving you a valid piece of information, however, recognize which part of that information is valid especially when reading for other people.  For instance if I were to suddenly recall a traumatic car accident that left me feeling helpless or vulnerable, it might not be the car accident that is important but that feeling of helplessness or vulnerability.  If that is the case you do not want to convey that you see a car accident (because that’s YOURS, that was a opening for you to understand the feeling)  You would instead convey that there is a feeling of helplessness or vulnerability (that could be cause by anything!).  If it is your own guidance maybe these feelings are a reference to a personal block or something you need to acknowledge & work through.


Keeping a journal is great for tracking how accurate your readings are as well as any common themes playing out in your life.  If you pull cards for yourself in the beginning of the week and check back at the end of the week, a journal allows you to reflect back on your interpretations.  It also has the added bonus of allowing you to pick up on what the cards mean for you personally.  If you find you are pulling similar guidance week after week, spend some time reflecting on what patterns are playing out in your life and what lessons you might need to learn from them.

Using oracle cards is a great and empowering way you received guidance.  It not only allows you to develop your intuitive skills and connection to spirit, but can provide you with deep insights and personal growth.

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