In a past post, we looked at seven ways using oracle cards for daily guidance can improve your life. We have also covered how to use oracle cards together with the Tarot. Today, we are looking at how to learn to read oracle cards for beginners.
There are basically five simple steps that you need to take, no matter what deck you have decided to begin your divinatory journey with. I’m not going to go into detail about the bleeding obvious. Step zero is obviously to buy yourself an oracle deck that resonates with you. I’m going to assume you already have one and that is why you are here.
Step 1 – Set the intention for your oracle
This is the ‘deck blessing’ part of the journey. In all forms of magick, divination included, the intention is everything. You could make this step as simple or as formal as you like. A simple prayer will certainly do. You can also call on your spirit team to assist you with messages.
Some people prefer to create a little deck-bonding and deck-blessing ritual. This could be as simple as lighting a candle while you bless your deck and look at each of the cards. Or you could go the whole nine yards, sage your sacred space, cast a circle, and call on the four Elemental Guardians. It’s totally up to you. Personally, I prefer to keep it simple.
The most important part of this step is to set the intent for a connection with your deck for the Highest Good. When we choose to use any divinatory tool in service to the Divine and for the Highest Good, we ensure truthfulness in the messages that are coming through.
Step 2 – Get the bigger picture
Not all decks are created equal, some are part of a system, such as astrology or the runes. Or the deck could be tied to a Pagan pantheon. No matter what the system is, I would urge to see the deck as an invitation to further studies. Going deeper is always better in terms of more accurate and precise information coming through.
Most oracle decks come with a little guidebook. If you are lucky, it will also have a list of recommended reading included. If not, you’ll have to Google and ask around for the best resources.
People often recommend Oracle cards rather than Tarot cards because it’s ‘easier’ — I’d say that completely depends on which type of oracle deck you are working with! The Lenormand system of divination is just as involved and complex as that of the Tarot, albeit with fewer cards involved.
Be a good student of whatever deck you are working with and seek context for it. Context aids synchronicity. Your deck is meant to meld with the world around you, as well as with your imagination/inner world. (As within, so without)
Step 3 – Do a daily draw with your oracle
This is how you get to know your cards. This is also how you begin making those all-important connections between the cards and your inner as well as outer world. Start by pulling a random card first thing in the morning. A good intention/question for the cards is to seek guidance general guidance from Spirit for the day ahead. You could ask ‘What do I need to be mindful of today?,’ for instance.
It’s important that you write both your question and your answer down. Trust your gut and write that down first. Just see what you get from the card image. Then have a look in the guidebook.
Step 4 – Evaluate your daily draw and other readings
In the evening, make some notes on how the oracle guidance was relevant to events of your day and to your emotions. If this deck is one that you got for the purpose of aligning yourself on the spiritual path you are on, you should also make notes on how the daily oracle helped (or not) with this.
Keeping an oracle journal is absolutely essential.
Other than the common way of doing a daily entry for the card of the day, you may wish instead to fill a ring binder with empty sheets. Use one or more sheets of paper for each card, placed in the same order as the cards in the guidebook.
This way, you will have several entries for the same card gathered on the same page. If you choose this way of keeping an oracle journal, you may wish to write some of the keywords for each card down at the top of the page. Don’t forget to date your entries!
Parallel with doing your daily draw, you’ll no doubt start doing readings for yourself about things happening in your life. These also need to be carefully documented. Always write your question down before you do the reading.
Step 5 – Practice reading oracle cards for others
Once you have mastered the deck you have been learning with, it’s time to offer readings to others. (Unless you only want to use the cards for yourself, of course.) How long it takes to get to this stage varies depending on how much you practice with your daily draw and note-taking. You will know when you are ready.
You will probably find no shortage of willing ‘guinea pigs.’ Most people love to have their cards read and will be more than happy to do it for feedback. However, keep your expectations low of receiving feedback if you extend this offer online in a forum where you don’t know the people personally.
Some people will take without giving anything in return, unfortunately. This can easily become a drain on your energy so have some strategies in place for coping. A good way of avoiding this issue is to join a reading exchange group, where you exchange both readings and feedback with each other.
Gather your feedback in a separate notebook or file on your computer. It may come in handy if you are on track for reading professionally one day!
Always trust what comes through, even if it doesn’t make sense immediately. Do not try to ‘modify’ it so that it makes better sense. Write down what you pick up on intuitively if the reading is for yourself. It may make sense as soon as later on the same day or it could be weeks. If you have it in writing, you can always refer back to it.
The same goes for if you are reading for someone else. Tell it to them straight, just the way it comes through. If they can’t take the message straight away, ask them to sit on it for now and explain that it will become evident a bit further down the line.
Because you set the intent to channel information through for the Highest Good, everything you do get through is relevant in one way or another. Trust this and believe in yourself.
If you are drawn to work with oracle cards or other divinatory tools, it’s because you have a gift and a calling. May you be blessed on your oracle journey!
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