Oracle card decks are a tool for self reflection that can be used on their own or in addition to your favorite tarot deck. When used on their own, oracle decks can give answers or guide you on a very specific question or area of interest. They can also be used together with a tarot deck to hone what you are seeing in your reading.
Are oracle decks the same as tarot decks?
Though they can be used in a similar way to tarot cards, oracle cards are not the same thing. Oracle cards and tarot cards are both used to gain insight into a past, present, or future situation.
Tarot decks generally have 78 cards--22 major arcana cards and 56 minor arcana cards divided between 4 suits. While some decks take a bit of creative license, the names and meanings of these cards are pretty standard.
Unlike tarot, oracle decks can have any number of cards and there are fewer rules for how to interpret and use them.
What are oracle cards used for?
Oracle cards provide guidance in the same way tarot cards do; they help you tap in to your intuition and find the answers you have within you.
Some oracle card decks are designed to answer very specific questions about a particular topic, while others provide more general guidance. Think of oracle cards as an emotional support tool that helps you better understand yourself and your goals.
Most importantly – they let you see if you like where things are heading. Oracle cards allow you the freedom to reflect and change your path if you're not happy with the direction.
Should beginners use oracle cards or tarot cards?
Oracle cards are a great place for beginners to hone their divination skills. Learning the meaning of all 78 tarot cards takes time and patience. Beginners should look for an oracle deck that has explanations right on each card and doesn't need a guide book to interpret.
The Love Deck from Kira's Tarot is one of the best oracle decks for beginners; there are 33 cards that can be understood instantly by users with any level of experience.
How do I connect to an oracle deck?
When searching for an oracle card deck, choose something that you are drawn to and feel connected to. There are decks inspired by the natural world, the full moon, ancient wisdom, spirit animals--there are so many options out there; find something that calls to your soul.
When you get your new oracle deck, browse through the cards and take a moment to look at each one carefully. What card makes you feel really good? What images are you drawn to? What are you turned off by?
The card you feel the most drawn to is your light card. The card you feel the most negative towards is your dark card. These light and dark cards tend to carry a little extra significance when they are drawn in a reading.
It's important to cleanse your card deck before use. It has passed through a lot of hands to get to you. Use palo santo, sunlight, moonlight, whatever feels right to you to reset your deck's energy. After cleansing, store your oracle cards with something that removes energy like black tourmaline or hematite.
Whenever you feel a little out of touch with your card deck or you feel like you are getting conflicting messages from your cards, it may be time to cleanse your deck again. You can also knock on the deck to make sure your energy is instilled in the cards.
How to use oracle cards
Get in the right mindset for your reading
Every time you pick up your oracle cards, it's important to infuse them with your energy. Hold the oracle deck in your hands and clear your mind. Focus on your breath.
When you are ready, think about what you want to ask. If you don't have a specific question, let the universe know that you are ready to receive whatever information you need most in this moment. Don't rush this step; really take a moment to have a clear vision of what you want to learn from this reading.
If your mind is wandering or your question is not clear, your reading could be influenced by other energy.
Shuffle the deck and pull your card(s)
Shuffle until something falls out or until you no longer feel the need to. If cards fall out while you are shuffling, those are the cards you were meant to pull.
If no cards come out and you finish shuffling, pull just the top card.
Interpret your answer
Look at the card(s) that came out. Take a moment to notice how they make you feel. If there are descriptions right on the cards, read through them. If not, consult the guidebook or website with the card meanings. Intuition is an important power when it comes to tarot and oracle readings, so trust your gut here. If you feel like a card means something a little different than what the guidebook says, go with it; just be consistent. How the card makes you feel is just as important as whatever message the creator intended.
It's important not to rush this interpretation. Sometimes the answer is not immediately obvious. Don't reject a reading if it doesn't align with what you are looking for.
Don't repeat the reading. Asking the same question of the deck repeatedly can cloud the accuracy of your oracle deck. Once per day works for some people; Kira recommends no more than once per week.
Meditate on your answer
This is probably the most important step here. The entire purpose of oracle cards is to hone your own intuition, so if you just blindly look at card descriptions and move on, you are missing the point.
Meditating on your result lets you understand more about how you feel about the specific situation and what you think the cards are telling you. You need to create your own solution at the end of the day, so you have to discover what this reading really means to you.
Some of our favorite decks
As you've probably noticed, Kira regularly uses oracle cards in her tarot readings. These are some of her favorite oracle card decks.
The Love Deck by Kira's Tarot
We may be biased, but this is our favorite oracle card deck at the moment.
This relationship-focused deck stresses the importance of self care and balance unlike some other love oracle cards we've seen. Each card features a title, a simple image, and words of wisdom to guide you in your specific situation.
There is enough information on each of the 33 cards to allow users to interpret their reading easily--without the need for a guide book.
Use this deck to confirm your intuition about any relationship in your life.
The reason why I love this deck is unlike most love decks, this takes into account all relationships. It also has people redirect their focus to themselves. This is a big thing that most people miss. You cannot receive the love you desire until you give yourself that same love. The artwork and words are simple and clear; you don’t need a guidebook, which I love.
$33.33 (Preorder Now)
Moonology Oracle Cards by Yasmin Boland
This is one of the most recognizable oracle card decks out there. It draws on the powerful energy of the moon to provide spiritual guidance.
The deck comes with a guidebook that reveals how to interpret the 44 cards and work with them to navigate your life path.
The cards are named after the moon phases and the moon's position in the star signs and houses and show how this moon energy relates to different areas of life, including communication, relationships, health, work, and dreams.
While there is some explanation of the card's meaning on each card, the guidebook is needed to understand the full picture of a reading. This card deck is perfect for anyone who already has some knowledge of astrology.
$19.99 (Shop Now)
The Hero’s Journey Dream Oracle by Kelly Sullivan Waldan
This beautiful deck calls on the power of wizards, goddesses, and sages to guide your hero's journey. Though it may not feel that epic on a daily basis, your search for wisdom, change, and strength holds the same importance as any literary tales you have read.
These cards give you the courage to be the hero in your own story and help you navigate your quest to your best self.
The card images are bold and invoke strong feelings. While the text on each card is minimal, you can read the guidebook for a much more thorough understanding of the intended meaning. Or just follow your heart on how each card makes you feel.
I don’t use this deck a lot, yet I suggest it to almost everyone I meet. I will only grab one card from it as one is more than enough. Each card has a quote, a message, a dream symbol to watch for, and a mantra. I use this for my creative clients who need an extra push to step into their creative field. The artwork is as beautiful as the words.
$34.95 (Shop Now)
The wild unknown Animal Spirit by Kim Krans
Good luck picking your favorite card from this deck; every single detail is absolutely gorgeous. The inner card box features holographic details, and so do some of the cards.
Unlike a lot of other oracle card decks, the cards in this deck are divided into five elemental suits: fire, air, earth, water, and spirit. These collections add a little extra meaning to each animal or mystical creature card.
Like other decks with guidebooks, it's up to you whether to take each card at face value, or delve deeper into the explanations for your divination purposes.
The reason why I’m drawn to this deck is it shows people their potential in one simple card. It uses yogic philosophy to show people how to get out of their own way. I love that they include animals and mystical creatures together. They also tie the animals to different elements and it not what you would assume.
$30 (Shop Now)
Energy Oracle cards By Sandra Anne Taylor
The Energy Oracle is designed to help you understand where you are headed based on your current energy. These cards will help you understand what your energy is manifesting and see any blocks that may be holding you back.
We have seen some complaints that this deck is somewhat gendered and non-diverse, so if you think that may disrupt your energy, try a different deck.
The reason I love this oracle deck is I could do a full reading it without a tarot deck. There are many similarities between this deck and the regular tarot. It also has a mantra for every card. The guidebook is solution orientated, so you don’t need clarity on the steps to take. It hands them right to you. The imagery reminds me of fairy tale stories. This is a great deck for everyone.
$21.99 (Shop Now)