What are Oracle Cards?

Bonnie Jean

Oracle cards are cards that have special imagery, often accompanied by some text to convey a concept or mood to the readers. They are similar to Tarot cards in that they are used as a method of divination and spiritual advice. However, the cards are not as structured as Tarot and tend to be more personalized in style.

How do Oracle Cards work?

Most oracle decks are slightly larger than Tarot cards, making them more difficult to shuffle. While almost all Tarot decks are made up of 78 cards, oracle decks can vary significantly. Some will have as little as 12 cards and others may have up to 80 cards. It’s the creator’s choice.

Oracle cards work in the same way as Tarot – to portray an intuitive message to the reader. However, oracle readings usually have less cards than a standard Tarot reading (Celtic Cross Spread). It’s common to pull just one card and gather a substantial amount of information from it. Tarot cards talk to each other and work hand-in-hand to offer layered messages. However, oracle cards tend to be more upfront and direct. They may hold only one word on them, such as “inspiration” or they may have affirmations or phrases that the reader can offer as divine guidance to the querent. In my personal opinion, oracle cards require less intuition and most decks come with a guide that explains each card thoroughly. Oracle cards compliment Tarot readings as they work to offer advice. Most readers will use them as a secondary source, usually pulling only one card at the beginning or ending of a reading to synthesize what’s being said.

How to Choose an Oracle Deck?

Because there are thousands of oracle decks on the market, some themed with angels, mermaids, goddesses, moon cycles and animals, this makes them much more accessible to the general public. Find one with imagery that speaks to you and with a theme you have an interest in. If you’re someone who is particularly drawn to moon cycles, you may want to choose the Moonology Oracle deck. If you prefer, animals or you work well with the Wild Unknown Tarot deck, you may want to check out the Animal Spirit deck by the same creator, Kim Krans. These days, the reader is spoilt for choice – it’s not uncommon for a Tarot reader to work with a few oracle decks. They are an excellent resource for readings, whether for yourself or someone else.

If you are interested in learning more about Tarot or what to do with oracle cards you have just bought, please review my complete guides on how to shuffle Tarot cards, how to read Tarot for yourself and how to read Tarot for someone else.

Disclosure: Some of the products featured give us a small commission to continue our mission regarding the education of Tarot.

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