Oracle Cards

Guide to Oracle Cards |

What Are Oracle Cards?

The term oracle cards comes from the word oracle. An oracle is a person or entity that provides wise guidance and occasionally prophetic predictions about the future. Oracle cards, are a psychic tool that help you tap into the wisdom of the Universe.

Oracle cards are designed for the purpose of divination and receiving messages from the spiritual realm. They are a deck of cards which are typically theme orientated. You can buy oracle cards, for example, which help you connect with angels, spirit guides, archangels, fairies, animals, witches, goddesses, magical mermaids and ascended masters. Decks may also be themed according to subject matter, such as romance, life purpose or past lives.

Oracle of Visions Cards Review I
What an Oracle deck looks like.
Oracle of Visions by Ciro Marchetti

Each card in an oracle deck will have a picture and individual message. The message may be written on the card or in an accompanying handbook. Perhaps the best known oracle cards are those published by Hay House authors Brian Weiss, Radleigh Valentine, Kyle Gray, Colette Baron-Reid, James van Praagh, Diana Cooper and Yasmin Boland.

What Are Oracle Cards Used For?

Oracle cards are primarily used for receiving guidance from ‘the Universe’, also referred to as the collective unconscious or Akashic records. Essentially, they are a divination tool which help you access information about your life and the lives of other people around you. Decks are also used for fortune telling and predicting the future.

You can ask oracle cards a specific question, or simply leave yourself open to receiving any guidance the oracles wish to provide you.

What Questions Can You Ask Oracle Cards?

Here are just a few of the questions you can ask Oracle cards:

Love Questions

  • Is there any block to me finding love?
  • Is there anyone in my life right now, worth spending more time with?
  • Will I meet my soulmate?
  • How can I improve my relationship?
  • What does my partner feel about me?

Spiritual Message

  • What do I need to know today?
  • What can I do to improve my life right now?
  • What is my spiritual gift?
  • What do I need to release, so I can move forward?
  • What lesson am I learning right now?


  • What is coming up for me next in work and career?
  • What should I learn or study right now?

General Life Questions

  • What can I look forward to happening in the future?
  • Please give me a sign that things are improving.

Example Oracle Card Reading

There are no rules when reading Oracle cards, you can ask any question you like. The only limitation will be the deck itself and its scope of the possible responses. You may need to use a little imagination to join the dots and interpret your answer.

Let’s say you are using the Mystical Healing Reading Cards by Inna Segal.
You ask: What is coming up for me next in work and career?
And you receive, this card: Stop Breaking Agreements

On the face of it, this response does not seem to answer your question.

Yet, you should trust that the card turned up for a reason. Now ask yourself, where have I been breaking agreements? Perhaps you tend to stop and start, and lose interest in tasks too quickly? Or maybe it refers to some other agreements you have made with yourself in the past, like sticking to a diet, new health regime or path of learning.

If so, the Oracle cards are guiding you to address this issue first – because it is holding you back in developing your career. There is no point in your angels sending you more opportunities, if you are not in the habit of seeing things through – or you are not feeling personally confident in your body and mind.

How To Use Oracle Cards

Everyday Reading

If you are a beginner, this is how I suggest you begin with oracle cards:

  1. Choose a deck which appeals to you the most. Many people own several decks.
  2. At the start of each day spend a moment focusing on your day ahead.
  3. Pick a card from your deck. This is your message for the day.
  4. At the end of the day, spend a moment focusing on what happened during the day.
  5. Pick a card from the deck and place it under your pillow. Let the message inspire your dreams.

Year Ahead Reading

At the start of a New Year choose 12 cards from your deck – one for each month. Make a note of each card in your diary. The influence of each card should be felt in the relevant months ahead.

Resolving Problems

If you have an issue you need resolving you can use this 3 card reading.

  1. Pick the first card, this represents the history of the problem – where and how it arose.
  2. Pick a second card, this represents the current energy around the problem.
  3. Pick a third card, this represents the action or advice you should follow.
  4. If you like, you can draw a fourth card to represent the future – how it will pan out should you put the advice of card no.3 into action.

What Is The Difference Between Tarot Cards And Oracle Cards?

Are oracle cards the same as Tarot cards? No, not quite.

Oracle and Tarot are both used for divination, and fortune telling, but Tarot has a more rigid structure. A Tarot deck consists of 78 cards, divided into a Major Arcana (trumps) and Minor Arcana (pip cards), Tarot Suits, Court Cards and a symbolic number system.

The Rider Waite deck, which is one of the most popular decks on the market, will still take months to master because of the complexity of the structure and card meanings.

Less Complicated

Conversely, Oracle decks contain very little structure. They can have any number of cards, in any order, on any theme. In other words, they have no rules and there is no historical system or method to follow. One card typically encompasses one complete message which is either printed on the card or accompanying manual. This makes Oracle decks more user-friendly for the novice cartomancer (card reader).

Another major difference is that you need to place Tarot cards in a spread. Each position in the spread has a special interpretation. For example, the Ace of Wands in position one of the Celtic Spread can mean something totally different than if it falls in position eight.

In contrast, you pick an oracle card directly from the deck so the ‘position’ is not relevant. If you want to learn Tarot but find the task daunting, then you might find it easier to start with an Oracle deck. If you enjoy cartomancy, then don’t be surprised if you find yourself becoming bored quite quickly with Oracle cards. This is because the guidance they can offer is much more limited than Tarot.

As a Tarot reader myself, I often use oracle cards in combination with Tarot. I will set out a Tarot spread, and then draw an angel card for a final inspiring message.

History of Oracle Cards

The history of Tarot cards goes back, at least to the 15th century. In comparison, Oracle cards are a much more modern invention. Some people claim that the 19th century French Lenormand, was the first popular Oracle deck. The Lenormand deck was created by the famous French tarot reader Marie Anne Adelaide Lenormand (1772–1843). Her impressive client list included Czar Alexander, Empress Josephine and the statesman Robespierre. She was even credited with forecasting the rise and fall of Napoleon.

Personally, I think the Lenormand falls somewhere between oracle and tarot. The Petit Lenormand deck has 36 cards, each with a specific symbol, and the cards are read using very specific spreads such as the Grand Tableau. While the Lenormand does not contain the same structure or number of cards as Tarot, it does all the same, contain a rigid structure, which means it can’t really qualify as an oracle deck.

In truth, oracle decks really only became popular in the 1990s with the introduction of Angel Cards by Doreen Virtue, formerly an author with Hay House. Her success spawned an industry of oracle deck writers and illustrators, and today there are literally thousands of options on the market.

Best Oracle Decks for Beginners

  • Angel Answers Oracle Cards by Radleigh Valentine
  • Guardian Angel Messages Tarot by Radleigh Valentine
  • Fairy Tarot Cards by Radleigh Valentine
  • Archangel Oracle Cards by Diana Cooper
  • Ask Your Guides Oracle Cards by Sonia Choquette

Intermediate Decks

Advanced Decks

  • Angel Wisdom Tarot: A 78-Card Deck And Guidebook by Radleigh Valentine
  • Wisdom Of The Hidden Realms Oracle Cards by Colette Baron-Reid
  • Messages from Your Animal Spirit Guides Oracle by Steven D. Farmer
  • Lustrous Lenormand by Ciro Marchetti

Free Oracle Card Readings

All Souls Day Message – oracle deck Talking to Heaven by James van Praagh

Universe has your Back Message – oracle deck Super Attractor by Gabrielle Bernstein

Fools Wisdom Oracle Card Reading – The Fool’s Wisdom Oracle Cards by Sonia Choquette

Free Soul ReadingHeart & Soul Oracle cards by Toni Carmine Salerno

What life lesson are you learning now? Find out.

Animal Dreaming Oracle Cards by Scott Alexander King.

NEXT: Try some free oracle card readings

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