I have recently noticed that many people come to my blog searching for the instructions how to use the cards. This is why I decided to write a couple of separate entries about the art of working and using different types of decks so that you can avoid common mistakes and enjoy their beautiful and magical world. I am not a professional card reader but since five years I have been regularly spreading various sorts of cards for myself and my friends and I learnt a lot about them. Remember this is my personal understanding and you don’t have to agree with it.
THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN DIVINATIONARY AND ORACLE CARDS
If you take a closer look at the offer of esoteric shops, you will notice there is a division into divinationary and oracle decks.
Divinationary cards follow a certain structure which has been developed throughout years (or even throughout ages); they are put in a certain order, there is the same number of cards in each deck, there is an inner division, the symbols and meanings are more or less constant and so on. Therefore they are destined for answering specific questions and often used in spreads. If interpreted correctly, they provide very adequate and exact answers.
The most popular divinationary systems are Tarot, Runes, Playing (also called ‘Classical’) Cards, Lenormand Cards, Gypsy Cards etc.
Oracle cards don’t follow a strict structure and are composed solely in accordance to the visions of their authors who often claim they receive messages from spirits. They are diverse by nature and you probably never come across two identical oracle cards decks. They aren’t generally designed to provide very detailed answers and are used mostly for guidance of the supernatural forces they are dedicated to.
The most popular oracle decks are angel cards, ascended masters cards, gods/goddess cards, power animals cards, druid cards (based on trees), unicorns cards, fairies cards etc.
WHICH TYPE OF CARDS SHOULD YOU CHOOSE?
I think it depends mainly on what are you searching for. If you have a specific question such as ‘When I get the job?’ or ‘Will me and Mr/Ms X be together as a couple?’, I suggest divinationary decks like Tarot or Lenormand cards. However, if you feel connected to the Higher Forces (no matter if it is God, Mother Earth, nature spirits or your Higher Self), you can always ask them for opinion and advice and for that purpose I recommend oracle decks. However, I must make a certain distinction between angel/unicorns/faeries cards and the ones connected with ancient history and mythology such as gods/goddess, power animals and plants oracle cards.
TYPES OF ORACLE CARDS
ANGEL/UNICORN/FAERIES ORACLE CARDS
First of all I want to stress that you can ask Tarot or other divinationary decks for guidance and you will get full and exact answer. Personally I think that angel oracle cards have been created because Tarot has undeservedly had such a bad reputation. The Christian leaders have considered the cards to be ‘the devil’s tool’ for so long that others started to believe it. On the contrary, angel oracle cards confirm the Christian vision of the world (angels are oh! so arch – Catholic after all) and therefore they are often used by the people who are scared of Tarot and other divinationary decks.
Or to be more precise: those who are scared of the potential negative answer. Pay attention that you will not get any negative news via angel cards. You will be constantly assured that you are taken care of, provided for and protected from any harm just trust angels, give all your worries to Heaven etc. My point is that angel (or faeries/unicorns) oracle cards are for comfort while divinationary cards are for growth. If you stay in your comfort zone, you will not develop. Just like this anegdote says: A child is climbing the tree. What will the mother say? ‘Don’t go higher!’ What will the father say? ‘C’mon! Go higher!’. Translating this attitude into the world of cards I would say that the angel oracle decks are mother-like while Tarot and other divination cards are father-like. Sometimes you need mother more and sometimes father is the most important. But you don’t stay with mother your whole life anyway…
I suggest not to use divinationary cards if you are not ready for any answer even the one you don’t want to hear. Remember there are no good or bad cards. They are all destined to teach us sth. Sometimes what initially seem to be a disaster, in the end turns out to be blessing in disguise.
Some don’t respect that simple knowledge and fail miserably. I have recently been terrified looking at the Tarot deck issued according to the vision of Doreen Virtue. Let me quote the announcement:
‘My new Angel Tarot Cards are finally available at bookstores everywhere! This is the first deck of 100% positive, gentle, and effective tarot cards which retain all of the traditional accuracy and details of tarot. The deck is filled with beautiful paintings of archangels, fairies, mermaids, friendly dragons, and unicorns’
With my whole respect to her all I can say is: Doreen if you perceive Tarot this way, it means you understood NOTHING about these powerful and magical cards. And if you understand NOTHING, it is not fair to sell it to people.
GODDESS/POWER ANIMALS/PLANTS/GEMS/NUMBERS ORACLE CARDS
On the other hand such decks as power animals, gods or goddesses, gems, numbers and trees oracles have their source not in author’s personal visions but in a longer and deeper traditions. They belong to the area of myths and symbols and therefore they convey deeper message, perhaps even as deep as the divinationary cards. If you follow my blog you can see that I interpret each card of goddess on a deeper level and I always try to provide as much mythological background as I can. Same goes for animals and plants, they have been present in the culture of tribes all over the world and studying them will reveal the divinationary layers you have no idea of.
ASCENDED MASTERS ORACLE CARDS
This type of oracle cards comes from the esoteric tradition which claims that some mythical and historical figures have achieved such high level of enlightenment that they have become the natural teachers. The cards represent men and women from different cultures and traditions, eg. Jesus, Siddhartha Gautama Buddha, Moses, Isis, Krishna, Merlin, Athena, Melchizedek, King Solomon and St. Germain. If you want to work with these cards, you have to accept this mixture of different times and places and to believe that the heroes and heroines have achieved the highest level of spiritual growth. If you don’t, you better find a different deck.
In fact I am a bit scared when I look at the search results that lead the readers to my blog. Apparently many people confuse types of cards and do not distinguish the differences between them. Here is one of the examples:
Avalokiteśvara is a BUDDHIST bodhisattva of compassion and therefore is not included in EUROPEAN cards of Tarot. There is no such thing as ‘tarot reading of Avalokiteśvara’. I suspect the reader was searching for a further explanation of Tarot reading based on the deck where Avalokitesvara was attributed to one of the cards. But still I would rather concentrate mostly on the Tarot meaning of that card and then I would search for additional info about this particular bodhisattva himself.
Another examples of merging DIFFERENT energies:
That is wrong. Goddesses have nothing to do with angels. I know that New Age simply love blending everything into one but this is not fair. You should never merge egregores. Do not get me wrong, I do not say you should always live according to the set of virtues, beliefs and myths which you have been brought up in. On the contrary, I stongly encourage you to search for your own way. However, I believe you should first examine carefully the egregore in which you have been brought up in, be it Christianity, Islam, atheism or any other set of beliefs. If it does not suit your inner needs then search and find the one which does. But do not mix them into one. Taking a bit of this and a bit of that from any religion or spiritual beliefs which you have come across will not lead you far on your path. Children often enjoy really surprising mixtures such as a cheese, ketchup and chocolate sandwich but as they grow up they usually come to the conclusion that they prefer these ingredients separetly.
TO BE CONTINUED…