Oracle Cards: How to Use Them For A Life Transformation, by Anja Ferk

What are oracle cards? How can they help you in your spiritual journey? And what are the steps, tricks & tips to use them effectively? Read to learn more.

Oracle cards found me when I was looking for guidance. Life was not easy, it was full of struggle. And the pain I felt inside me – I did not know how much more I could take it. I was lost and I knew it. I had to change something, yet I had no idea where to begin.

After signing up for an online woman transformation program, life got better. But real transformation for me happened after the author of the program organized a card reading for attendees.

And the magic happened. There was so much truth in her words – even if she never personally interacted with me before. She was talking about my path, about how much I am struggling and judging myself. 

I could identify with every word she was saying. Up to the point where she told me I am on an adventure, and I can either take it and enjoy my transformation I am going through, or fight it and feel more and more pain.

I cried while she was talking to me through the screen, typing back to her to say thank you for her message and encouragement and my body was shaking. And after that call, I started noticing changes in my life – in moments of struggle I remembered her words and started to take action.

That short 5 minutes cards opening had a big impact on my life. And soon enough, I bought my first deck of cards and started using them myself.

Since then, I own many tarot and oracle card decks, and I am trying to find time to ask for guidance and take a moment for yourself as often as I can.

What are oracle cards?

There are many card decks out there. The first thing to know is that there is a difference between oracle and tarot cards.

Tarot cards have a specific structure, termed as major & minor arcanas. And to read those, you will need deeper knowledge about tarot reading to really unlock the potential of the cards.

difference between tarot and oracle cards
Oracle cards are freer in their structure and allow for more intuitive work. Which means anyone – no matter how much experience – can get guidance by them.

Oracle cards can be used to recognize patterns, connect with your spiritual guides and ancestors, connect with your higher self. You can use them as affirmations, or for daily focus.

What exactly you get out of them depends on your interest and the purpose for which the oracle cards were created.

There are multiple decks you can buy, each coming with a specific intention behind them, and usually coming with a booklet that can help you familiarize yourself with the cards.

How to Use Oracle Cards

Here’s a 7-step process to find an oracle deck that works best for you.

1.     Find the right deck for you

As there are multiple card decks out there, you will need to find the deck that resonates with you.

Even if you are interested in getting into oracle readings for yourself (and others). The more aligned you are with the messages of the oracles, the better experience you will have with it.

For your first purchase, try going to a book store or any place where you can buy the cards so that you can look through the pictures and read the text on the cards, feel them and decide to take home the deck that you feel most drawn too.

bookstore, purchase oracle cards in person

2.     Get to know your deck

After you get the deck, make sure to take time before the first use. Read through the booklet that is added to most of the decks. And also take time to go through all the cards.

take time to read the guide for how to use oracle cards

Observe the pictures, read the messages and pay attention to everything you can see and feel while browsing through the cards. Familiarize yourself with the deck.

3.     Set the environment & select the time carefully

Do reading when you feel calm, and you have enough time at your hands.

Set the environment by lighting a candle, put on calm music and maybe burn some scent. Create a ritual about using the cards and taking that moment to really connect with yourself. Make it a treat for yourself.

woman meditating with candles and incense

4.     Set intention & question(s) and decide on a spread

When using cards, always think of an intention.

What information are you seeking for? Is it a daily inspiration? Maybe something that you need to focus on for the next few weeks. Prepare a question or inquiry that can help you move forward.

thoughtful woman writing in notebook at home

A little word of caution here: Oracle cards are not intended to tell you the future. Future is of your own making.

So, if your question is starting with: “ Will I get married/got a job etc…” the answer will probably be very confusing. The real answer to this is something that you are actively creating every day and it actually depends more on your decision.

For best reading experiences you should ask open-ended questions on what you can do to overcome something, or what you need to pay attention to.  

Depending on what kind of question you are dealing with, you will also pick a spread. Most common spreads are 1 card pick, or 3 card picks on past-present-future. For more information, check your oracle booklet.

5.     Shuffle and pick

Then it is time to shuffle and pick cards.

shuffle oracle cards before use
Shuffle in any way you want, while repeating the question in your mind. Sometimes some cards “jump” out of the deck. If those are 1 or 2 cards put them aside, and interpret them alongside the cards you will pick.

When you feel cards are shuffled, pick as many cards as you need for your spread by taking a deep breath and selecting the cards you are drawn to.

6.     Interpretation

And as you lay down the cards in front of you, observe them.

And observe your thoughts. If needed, write them down. Refresh your mind with interpretations from the book, or follow your intuition based on what the cards are telling you.

note down your thoughts when you interpret the meaning of your oracle cards
Take time to notice the similarities in the messages if you pick more than 1 card.

Quick note: Some of the card decks differentiate between upward & downward turned cards. Upward card (turned towards you) usually reinforces the message, and downward turned card (turned away from you) makes the meaning opposite.

Refer to your oracle deck booklet when in doubt.

7.     Say thanks

After you got the message and you are concluding the oracle reading, do not forget to say thanks!

thank you signage

Say thank you to yourself for taking that time, and say thank you for the guidance you have been given.

Concluding Thoughts

The biggest advice I can give you on working with oracle cards is to have fun and follow your feelings and intuition.

You just read about the 7 guidelines for the best experience, but if something of this does not resonate with you – change it and make it yours.  You can’t go wrong as long as you listen to yourself!

Anja Ferk
Anja Ferk

Anja is a spiritual blogger and psychologist, finding the answers to curious questions and inspiring you to live intentionally. Check out her blog Weaving Life’s Web!

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