As someone who uses oracle cards daily, reads for others, has a monthly card spread based subscription and uses card spread prompts in her new book, The Seekers Wheel (I wrote an actual book friends!! Eeeek!) You would think I would have written this blog long before now!
However, a follower of mine has reminded me a couple of times that I said I would write one and so, here we are- let's talk oracle cards!
Oracle cards have been big news for a long time, but never so much as right now! You can get decks reflecting just about anything, which is wonderful...but the excess of choice can become overwhelming, running the risk of you never-ending up starting- well don't worry! By the end of this blog, you will be feeling totally clued up and ready to rock!
First off, what the fuck are oracle cards and how are they different to tarot?
Okay, let's dig in.
Oracle cards are a divination (knowing the unknown) tool in the form of a deck of cards that inspire thoughts, feelings, emotions, questions, connection and reflection. They do this through the artwork and words on each card.
Oracle decks can be any number of cards but typically most are around 30-50 cards and can be based on any theme. They might be picture only, words only or a mix of both. They also come in all kinds of shapes and sizes too! Oracle cards rarely have a specific way or system in which to read them.
Traditional tarot on the other hand is a deck of specific cards used to describe the story of human experience. They are a system of divination (a system and tool as opposed to a just a tool) that have specific information, archetypes and meanings ascribed to each card.
That doesn't mean you have to read them in that way, but it definitely helps to learn the tradition and system of tarot before diving in.
Side note- Two of my colleagues Rachael and David are actually running their tarot course again starting 8th Feb, you can check it out here.
Traditional tarot decks are 78 cards and are split into 22 cards called the major arcana and 56 cards called the minor arcana. The minor is then split into 4 groups again (cups, swords, pentacles, wands) Traditional tarot decks are playing card sized and the most famous and popular are the Rider Waite Smith deck.
Short story- Oracle cards are like the Ryan Gosling of the card world ya know "Hey girl, tell me more about those big feelings, I love to listen"
Tarot? Those babies are the Whoopi Goldbergs in Ghost, cards of the world "Molly, you in danger girl!"
So you want to get some Oracle cards...
As I said earlier, oracle cards have become outrageously popular over recent years and you can get a deck for almost anything you can think of. The good news? Is that you can get a deck for almost anything you can think of! There are affirmation style decks, science-based decks, alien decks, question decks and more.
Gone are the days of walking into your local hippy metaphysical shop and using your intuition to choose from the 5-10 decks available. Oracles are in your book shops, coffee shops, online and even on apps! so, how the hell do you choose?
Here's my simple 4 step guide to choosing your first deck.
Step one. Write down all the kinds of things that you enjoy (and don't enjoy). Are you a puppy person? Cat? Hate animals? Do you love nature, the forest, the sea? Do you hate nature but love science? video games? superheroes? What do you love? What inspires you? What are you passionate about?
Step two. write down what kind of information turns you on? Written word? Pictures? Paintings? abstract art?
Step three. Write down what kinds of stuff lights you up or that you feel you relate to. Are you all about Goddesses? Angels? Dragons? Witches? Animals? Yoga? Trees? Feminism? LGBTQIA+? Vampires? Unicorns?
Step four. Put it all together! Grab all the info from the 3 lists above and form a wish list of the type of oracle decks that would be perfect for you based on YOU. Then go google that shit because I guarantee there is at least one deck out there that meets your wish list!
In the past I would suggest people just go and have a browse and use their intuition and I mean, that still works! But with the choices available why not get a deck that feels like it was designed for you and is perfect for you from the get-go?!
Top tip - Don't worry about whether or not your cards come with a guidebook or not. Chances are you'll lose it within weeks anyway and honestly, they can actually be a real hindrance to you connecting with your cards and trusting yourself!
For me, I love animals and nature, prefer pictures with maybe a word or two to guide me a little and love anything mystical and magic-based so The Messenger Oracle deck by Ravynne Phelan was PERFECT for me when I picked them up all those years ago!
Check out Ravynne here. Her work is outstanding and I also have her tarot deck too!
So you've got your oracle deck...What now?
Yay, you have your brand new sparkly oracle deck, you've ripped into the cellophane wrap and carefully lifted the cards out of the box., now what?
Well, firstly if there is a guidebook with the deck, pop it back in the box, close the box and move it to one side. The best way of getting to know the cards isn't through the book, it's by playing with them!