Many spiritual folks are drawn to card decks as a way to get clear guidance from God/Source, Higher Self, angels, etc. There are decks for dragon lovers, unicorn enthusiasts, crystal junkies…it goes on and on. I love all kinds of decks, and I’ve had to show restraint over the years as new ones were released. I currently own 27, and I use two or three a lot more than the others. I like to do readings for myself, and I’m trying to work up the courage to do readings for others. Admittedly, I still question my skills from time to time. I’ve nearly completed an online training, and I’ve practiced on myself extensively. Typically, I’ll do a one-card reading and call it a day. I don’t like to fuss with 7-card spreads, especially with a toddler around. Sometimes, I watch YouTube intuitives give detailed card readings, and I’m in awe of their extensive spreads and even more awed by the accuracy of their readings. I go through periods when I would rather not lean heavily on the cards, and I go into my Akashic Records or use my pendulum for guidance instead. I eventually end up coming back to my nice stack of decks on the bottom of the bookshelf, and I remember the thrill of picking a card with beautiful and relevant symbols that instantly resonate with me.
I’ve thought about how others like me might be curious about certain decks before buying them. That’s why I am going to start reviewing them on my blog. I have a sincere desire to share my feelings and impressions about the decks that I work with regularly. Hopefully, fellow deck users will get a better idea about these special tools from my words and graphics, and they will be able to make informed decisions. If you’re anything like me, buying a new deck is almost as significant as adopting a new pet! You really want to connect with it!
Many people raised in religious households feel hesitant to explore decks, especially those labeled ‘tarot’. The word ‘oracle’ might also sound a bit witchy to some. There is an underlying feeling that these cards can somehow curse us — that there is a sinister force working behind the scenes to scare and disempower us. It is important to remember that when you call on your guides to assist in the reading, you are always safe. Some cards are not ‘fun’ to pull (believe me, I have groaned a few times), but they are not designed to fill us with dread. They are tools that serve as gentle disclaimers for likely scenarios headed our way. Our reactions and responses are entirely up to us. For example, let’s say we are looking for validation for our hard work. As we shuffle our deck, we hope to get a sign that great success is imminent. Then, we pull a card that says ‘sacrifice’. This is a mild example of something that can disappoint us. We were hoping for the image of the pot of gold. What do we do? Toss the card in disgust and wonder why we can’t finally get our lucky break? Do we stuff it back in the deck and attempt to pull a better card? Or – be a total nutcase like me, and choose an entirely different deck? (I’ve done that a few times. Full disclosure: You won’t get ‘nicer’ cards.)
Picking a challenging card is a bit like receiving a disappointing weather report. You had been planning on a sunny day for your cookout, and now the report says there will be thunderstorms. You have to consider how you’ll make the most of that day and keep everyone entertained. Perhaps, instead of angrily tossing your steaks into the freezer, you’ll come up with a fun theme for an indoor party and use the steaks differently. OK, so there won’t be any cornhole. That’s ok – you can whip out the ping pong table and the Wii! There are ways to work around it. The day comes. Ominous thunder in the morning along with light showers. But, before you know it, things clear up! You decide that you can have the cookout as planned, although the grass is still a little wet. Maybe something different happens that day. Torrential rains and wind. You still end up having a good time indoors, and you keep your vibration high rather than worry about hail damage. You still mourn the cookout a little bit, but you pat yourself on the back for your ability to cook new international dishes with the steak and potatoes! You responded well to the weather report. You were prepared for the day, and you had a good attitude. As it turns out, you can weather any storm valiantly! Now, let’s move past the metaphor and consider a soul event. Perhaps your challenging card is about a relationship breakdown. You have to admit that you have seen it coming for a while now. On some level, you are relieved that your guides are acknowledging this issue that’s been brewing. You might want some additional guidance for this topic, so you pull another card or two. Oftentimes, you’ll be able to take a deep breath and remember how much you have grown on your spiritual path. This relationship transition will not be the end of the world. You will know what to do when the two of you have a difficult conversation and there is no choice but physical separation. The card reading prepared you to handle the event with grace and dignity.
It is worth noting that a ‘formidable’ card is not a guarantee that something melancholy is around the corner for you. In the moment you pick that card, it is the thing you most likely have to deal with soon – but any number of variables can change that minute to minute. Be easy about it. Respond to it with gratitude. You have just been given a ‘heads up’, and you are more empowered than you would have been without the card. Journal about it. Reflect on the different ways you can approach this situation. Remember that your guides are with you not only during card readings, but during all of your joys and trials. Call on them when you experience the challenge coming to meet you. It will not feel like a curveball. You will have the golden glove to catch it like the rockstar that you are! Got that??
Affirmation cards are much more light-hearted and ‘safe’ for many deck users. Sometimes, tarot and oracle cards can seem too heavy and daunting for those who are ultra-sensitive. No judgment here. I will be the first to admit that I cling to a tarot deck that has a strong following among people who need ‘gentle’ guidance. My affirmation decks have consistently brought me happiness and relief. A positive affirmation will never leave you scratching your head and wondering why the universe has to be a prick. There are no major or minor arcana cards, or suites, or triggering symbols. I recommend affirmation decks to those who are attracted to the idea of getting loving reminders from Source every day. They can really set the tone for the day if you take a solid two minutes to sit with one and say the affirmation several times.
Anyone can be a card reader. You don’t have to rely on psychics or YouTube personalities to get accurate readings. Of course, their experience and skills might be valuable from time to time, but you can also gain great insights from your own simple readings. I recommend beginning each card reading with a stroke of a Tibetan singing bowl or any other type of chime you prefer. It establishes that you are in a sacred space ready to connect to your guides and accept the wisdom available to you. Don’t worry if you struggle to understand the meaning of a card, even after consulting the deck’s accompanying guidebook. You might have an ‘a-ha’ moment later in the day, and a co-worker will catch you chuckling about it!