Oracle cards, also known as wisdom cards and tarot cards, are cards used for divination, fortune-telling, astrology and spiritual guidance.
Oracle cards and wisdom cards are a modern version of tarot cards. Tarot card readings have been used by people across the centuries to find meaningful answers to questions about their lives, spiritual path and future. Tarot cards are a useful tool for anyone who is a spiritual seeker.
Tarot cards are part of an ancient tradition of divination. One of the earliest surviving tarot card decks – the Tarot of Marseilles – dates back to the 15th Century, and they have been used throughout history for many different purposes.
Oracle cards are useful for anyone looking for answers and meaning. They differ from tarot cards in that they do not necessarily follow the traditional suits of tarot cards. Wisdom cards provide powerful messages to encourage positive thinking.
Marie Anne Adelaide Lenormand (1772–1843) was a French professional fortune-teller of considerable fame during the Napoleonic era. In France Lenormand is considered the greatest cartomancer of all time, highly influential on the wave of French cartomancy that began in the late 18th century. “It is known that Mdme Lenormand used tarot decks in her early work. If she did indeed develop the very first oracle cards out of her understanding of the tarot then she should rightly be regarded as a true visionary in more ways than one. Sadly we'll never know if the history of oracle cards begins with Mdme Lenormand and whether her oracle card deck truly was the first of its kind, or whether she was drawing inspiration from other, now lost, oracle cards.
Whatever the truth, there’s no doubt that oracle cards reached their 19th century high watermark with Marie Anne Adelaide Lenormand.” “The Lenormand oracle cards remained and remain popular and gradually other oracle cards centred on specific themes began to evolve. The latter half of the 20th century, and the new millennium, has seen an explosion in the numbers of oracle cards and their influences. Angels, Archangels, Love, Fairies, Flowers and more now offer the oracle card devotee an oracle card deck for all occasions and all moods.
Many people ask how oracle cards work and there are many answers to that question. Some believe that tarot, oracle and wisdom cards give the user the means that understand their own thoughts and decisions. Others believe that tarot cards give the user the means to access the guiding spirit of the universe. Others feel that they operate by the Law of Attraction, seeing the answers of the cards as the magnetic pull of the universe.
An Oracle deck is more free-form and can be anything – there are no rules that must be followed. They are useful for anyone looking for answers and meaning. They can have any number of cards, with or without a reference book and can be designed around any theme. With less structure to an oracle card deck, there is more scope to allow your intuition and the connected universal guidance of life to truly shape the reading. It is about you, your intuition and your interpretation being left to its own devices to guide you, as opposed to a structured reading from a tarot card.
For example with a one card reading, you may ask
‘What shall I call into focus today?’ or
‘What do I need to know right now?’ or
‘What action or response would be most nourishing for me right now?’
You may then flow-write in a journal about a card selected, simply carry it with you during the day, or prop it somewhere you can see. Notice what thoughts and feelings crop up as you mull over the card that has been selected. The feelings may be positive or negative. Note that and see if you can unpick the reaction/response a bit more. You may want to explore how the essence of the card applies in your life right now.
For a 3 card reading
The order in which you divide the deck into 3 could indicate:
Past – Influences from the past related to the card theme
Present – What is occurring positively or negatively in the present related to the card theme
Future – Insight or guidance into what lies ahead.
Tell a story with the themes of the card such as:
If I act on card 1 + card 2, I may create card 3.
Write a free-flow story that starts with the sentence ‘ Once upon a time there was a woman who was learning to love herself…’ Once you have incorporated all three cards into the story, substitute ‘the woman’ for ‘I’…then re-read the story and see what crops up for you.
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