5 Ways To Use Oracle Cards

You don’t have to be a Witch to be familiar with Oracle Cards.  Cousin to Tarot Cards, these decks tend to be thematic, artistic and intended to use as a divinatory tool that allows for more personal interpretation and exploration.  Often because of how gorgeous so much of the artwork can be in different Oracle Decks, it’s not strange to have a collection build up over years.

Oracle Cards Vs Tarot Cards

But they are different than Tarot Cards. Though they can be used in much the same way, tarot cards have more structure, a specific archetypal story that is depicted in each of its cards and even though there is a large variety of Tarot Decks featuring different artwork, the story is still the same.  That is to say that every single Tarot Deck you find out there will always have 22 Major Arana cards the depict the Fools Journey and it will also have the 36 Minor Arcana cards grouped into the 4 different suits.

In contrast, Oracle Cards will be themed according to their makers choice, inspiration and intention.  Some are focused on spiritual exploration, or affirmations, or shamanic journeying to name just a few examples. And where a Tarot Deck is always 78 cards, an Oracle deck can vary wildly with no dictating reason for the variance other than the creators choice.

Both types of cards serve their purpose well and there really isn’t an instance, in my opinion, where one is better than the other.  It’s really a matter of what speaks to you most at the time.  Tarot cards are fantastic for readings and the structure, once you become familiar with it, only deepens in meaning.  So there is definitely the comfort and familiarity with what each Tarot Card represents, so over time you can pick up just about any Tarot Deck and be able to do a reading.

Using Oracle Cards

Oracle Cards give you an opportunity to get to know each deck intimately and broadens the language of your internal symbolic terrain.  Each deck you buy presents it own language that over time you become acquainted with.  However, some of the power of an Oracle Deck rests in the fact that you can very quickly explore what associations come up for you when you look at each card.  In this way too, it helps strengthen your intuitive muscle.


Using Oracle Cards for divination is perhaps the most common use of them.  It’s easy to use them in a similar way you would use the Tarot.  Set a question in your mind, choose a card layout that would most appropriately address the question you have and then deal the cards.

Oracle cards allow for a loser interpretation of a reading, in that each oracle deck comes with it’s own theme.  That said, because oracle cards have the meaning or them written on the face, it can also provide the reader with an easier time of discerning the answers, given that tarot requires a much deeper memory of what each card represents.

Meditative Focus

I say it in a variety of ways across all places where The Witches Box posts – meditation is one of the most foundational practices a Witch can engage in. 

Meditation creates quiet inside.  Over time it creates space between stimulus and response, bypassing our reactivity and allowing for wisdom to inform how we make choices in our lives.  It weaves a stronger connection to our intuition, inner knowing and the ability to sense that which is beyond common sight.

There are many forms of meditation, sitting in silence while focusing on the breath and allowing distractions to melt away is the most common.

To build on this, Oracle Cards can serve as a lens through which to focus your ’sight’.  That is to say, before you sit down to meditate, you’d pull a card and have that be the lens through which you enter your meditation.  This creates an opening for a specific type of information, wisdom or exploration for your meditation.  

An example of this would be pulling a card like The Beloved card from the Mystical Shaman Oracle deck and then allowing that to be the space you fall into when you enter into your meditative state.

This is a great practice for internal exploration and inquiry.  A meditation like the one in the example can lead to deeper understanding of things like who are you as the beloved?  What is the beloved? What is the vibration and experience of the energetic frequency that is the archetype of the beloved?

In this way, you can pick cards at random each time you sit for meditation or you can go through an entire deck over the course of months in order to really dive deep into the entire transformative theme of that specific deck.  It’s a beautiful way to really get to know specific decks.

Self Inquiry Practice

Similar to using oracle cards as a meditative focus, using them for a self inquiry practice means that you let whichever card you pull be a guide for journaling.

Self Inquiry is a process by which you ask yourself probing questions in order to excavate hidden motivations, deeper wisdom and you truest voice.  Pulling an oracle card for this, can give you insight into what questions most want to be asked by you at this time in your life.  

This is particularly helpful if you want to start journaling as a way to creating deeper knowing but don’t quite know where to start.  The cards are a wonderful way to pair divination with inner question such that you are not only consulting your higher self, but also then seeking to understand that higher self more through a particular set of questions.

Spell Work

This simple practice is one in which you have an intention and set about to do a spell, but add a matching oracle card to help support that energetic intention.  Typically, if I’m doing a spell for healing, I’ll choose an oracle card that matches the intention and prop it up to the glass jarred candle that is burning for said spell.  

The imagery and energetic of the card help support the intention being manifested in a beautiful way that also lends deeper understanding of what you’re asking for, because of the meaning assigned that card by the creator.

Intentional Altar Anchor

Altars are living work spaces.  It’s not only where we place those things that hold sacred meaning for us, but they also serve as a visual trigger for the things we are spiritually highlighting and wanting to transform in our lives.

Refreshing my altar or setting a specific one up for a particular focus and working is one of my most nourishing practices.  I’m a highly visual person and the what is on the altar, each particular item, serves a deep purpose for me. All together, everything that gets placed there is not just a visual reminder, but it’s also a multi layered message of exactly what I’m intending and seeking to access and open.

Oracle cards, with their artwork and themes can serve as a gorgeous way to add complexity and intention to an altar.  The imagery adds a tie to your subconscious for alignment with your intention.  It’s a visual anchor that helps tie all of it together in a beautiful way.  

For this use, I will go through the entire deck that I’m working with at the moment and pick the card that most fits the intention of the altar and working I am setting up.  Then it gets a prominent place on the altar so that it’s easy to see when I’m at my altar meditating, working at it, or even just passing it by.  

5 Oracle Decks We Are Working With Right Now

This list changes over time, of course, but I tend to stick to specific visuals and themes for easily a good year or so.  I’m attached that way. Below is a list of the decks I’m actively working with and really love at the moment:

  1.  Sacred Rebels Oracle
  2.  Mystical Shaman Oracle
  3.  Earth Magic Oracle
  4.  Halloween Oracle
  5.  Soulful Woman Oracle

Do you use Oracle cards in your personal practice? I’d love to hear about all the ways you do! Please share down below in the comments section!

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