Tarot cards seem to get all the attention, don’t they? A quick Google search will pull up all sorts of tarot spreads and resources. But let’s not forget about the other kind of magical cards—oracle cards! It tends to take a bit more effort to find quality, insightful spreads to use with your oracle cards.
Still, there are many benefits to using these versatile card decks. For one, you’ll find a huge variety of themes, images, and card meanings outside of the seventy-eight card structure of a traditional tarot deck. With so many options, you may be able to gain a new perspective on a situation that you’re dealing with. Another reason to love oracle decks is that many times they hone in on one area of your life, like romantic relationships, finances, or emotions. An oracle deck all about love can give you the straightforward guidance you’re looking for regarding your new relationship.
The challenge you may face when working with oracle cards is knowing how to use these cards in a spread. Often times, you only pull one oracle card per reading. Some readers consider it a bit unconventional to draw multiple oracle cards as a spread, but it’s definitely doable, and it can deliver some meaningful and complex messages from your intuition, your deities, your spirit guides, or your higher power.
So if you’re looking to explore new ways to use and create spreads for your oracle cards, here’s everything you need to know to get started!
Understanding The Two Types Of Oracle Decks
Most oracle decks fall into one of two categories: Character-based decks or topical decks. Character-based decks have cards that feature people, personalities, animals, gods and goddesses, spirit guides, or other “characters”. Most other decks can be classified as topical. This includes oracle decks with quotes, phrases, guidance, adjectives—things like that. Because of the differences between these two kinds of decks, I’ve separated these oracle spreads between these two categories, as well as spreads that combine the two.
Character-Based Oracle Spreads
Character-based oracle decks are great for getting answers regarding the energies and intentions of the people in your life, as well as yourself. These are particularly helpful with you’re looking for answers to your love and relationship questions.
Healing Insights Oracle Spread
Card #1: What energy brought me to my current situation?
Card #2: Who do I need to be to move through my current situation?
Card #3: Who in my life can help me out of this situation?
Card #4: Who do I need to release to move out of this situation?
Job Interview Oracle Spread
Card #1: What is my current energy?
Card #2: What is the current energy of the interviewer?
Card #3: What energy do I need to embody to nail this job interview?
Card #4: What qualities should I highlight?
This spread also works well for business meetings, schmoozing at parties, first dates, or anytime you want to make a good first impression. The focus of this spread should be on presenting your best self, not trying to be a different person. Make sure you stay true to who YOU are when interpreting these cards. Celebrate your awesomeness.
Long-Term Relationship Oracle Spread
Card #1: Who do I show up as in this relationship?
Card #2: Who does my partner show up as in this relationship?
Card #3: How do I view my partner?
Card #4: How does my partner view me?
Topical Oracle Spreads
Topical oracle decks are excellent for getting more information about a situation, and how to move forward.
Getting Unstuck Oracle Spread
Card #1: What is my current situation.
Card #2: When did I become stuck?
Card #3: What caused me to become stuck?
Card #4: How am I keeping myself stuck?
Card #5: How can I move forward?
Decision-Making Oracle Spread
Card #1: Why am I having trouble making this decision?
Card #2: What can I expect to experience if I choose option #1
Card #3: What can I expect to experience if I choose option #2
Card #4: What fears do I have around this decision?
Card #5: How do I really feel about this decision?
Spreads That Combine Character-Based & Topical Oracle Decks
Here’s where things really get fun. To do these spreads, you’ll need one character-based oracle deck and one topical deck. Team up with another card-loving witch if you don’t have the decks you need.
Moons of the Year Oracle Spread
Ideally, you should pull this spread on the night of the first new moon of the year. It’s not necessary that you see the moon as you’re doing this reading. The energy of the new moon will be all around your regardless of the weather or clouds in the sky. That being said, you might find that being outside or by a window when you pull this spread strengthens your connection to the moon.
Shuffle your two decks of oracle cards separately as you ask the moon, “What can you tell me about each moon in the coming year?”
Draw two cards for each moon—one character-based oracle card and one topical card.
As you draw the character-based card, ask the moon, “What is the energy or personality of this moon?”.
As you draw the topical card, ask the moon, “What can I expect to experience during this moon?”.
You can do this for all twelve (or sometimes thirteen moons) of the year, or you can shorten it to the next three moons to make this a seasonal spread, or the next six months to make it a bi-yearly spread.
Note the cards you pull in your journal or grimoire, or snap a picture of the spread so you can refer to for guidance moving forward, or use it to look back on each moon to check the accuracy of your interpretations.
Five-Card Hidden Message Spread
Perform a grounding meditation before you dive into this spread. It can be challenging—and exhilarating—to decipher the messages you receive through this spread.
Draw your first card from a character-based deck.
Card #1: Who will I be receiving messages from?
Draw your second card from your topical oracle deck.
Card #2: What area are you communicating with me about?
Now draw a combination of five more cards from either deck. As you do this, say (aloud or in your head), “Tell me what you need to say and what I need to hear in five cards.”
Cards #3-#7: The message from this spirit
Move these five cards around in whatever order feels right to you. Look for the story that the cards tell when combined. Look for connections between the cards such as similarities or opposites.
Because you set the intention that you’d only be pulling five cards, try to find the message in those five cards. However, if your intuition (or the spirit/energy you’re communicating with) seems to be calling you to draw more cards, do it.
If this happens, you can ask (aloud or in your head), “How many more cards should I pull to complete this message?”
Listen for the answer. Then draw that number of cards, and add them to your spread.
When you’re done, thank the energy you were communicating with for being present and put your cards away. Cleanse the card decks you used in this reading by placing a clear quartz crystal and sprinkling a handful of sea salt on the stack of cards for at least a day to get rid of any residual energy.
Stream of Consciousness Oracle Spread
Select one character-based deck and one topical deck. Do this quickly and without thinking too hard. You’ll intuitively pick the decks that will most benefit you in that moment.
Start your reading by shuffling both decks and setting your intention. You can say something like, “I desire a real-talk conversation with my inner wisdom.” This spread is all about accessing the answers you already have inside of you.
Place both decks in front of you, and begin asking questions. You can do this in your mind, or say your questions aloud. Don’t prepare any questions for this spread beforehand. Simply go with whatever you happen to think of. After you ask a question, choose a character card or a topical card based on what the question calls for.
“What can I expect to experience today?” can be answered with a topical card because it’s more “situational”.
“What qualities should I embody to make the most out of today?” can be answered with a character card.
Performing this ritual will also give you practice making up your own oracle spreads.
Oracle Spreads To Use With Spells
You can use your oracle cards (character or topical) to figure out what kind of magic to perform on any given day. To do this, shuffle your deck as you normally would and ask the following questions as you draw your cards.
Card #1: What issue do I need to address today?
Card #2: What magic should I perform to help with this issue?
Card #3: What can I expect as a result of my spell?
Or try this witchy oracle spread:
Card #1: What spirit, element, or energy should I invite to co-create magic with me?
Card #2: What issue can this entity or energy help me with?
Card #3: Are there any messages that this spirit or energy has for me?
Shuffle the cards before you pull the third card. Shuffle until you feel it’s time to stop, or until a card falls or “jumps” out of your stack. If you shuffle for a while and you don’t feel any kind of nudge to pull a card, it could mean the energy or spirit you’re working with doesn’t have any messages for you at this time. Conversely, if several cards fall out of the deck, or you feel called to pull more than one card, follow that instinct.
Just like with your tarot cards, if you aren’t getting clear messages from your oracle cards right away, take some time to journal about the cards or simply sit with the cards until a message comes to mind. It might also be helpful to do another meditative activity while you ponder the meaning of your cards such as cooking, walking, or drawing.
Making Up Your Own Oracle Spreads
The more you work with your oracle cards, the more confident and creative you’ll become when combining decks and creating spreads. Keep in mind, you can never mess this up. Every oracle card you draw, whether it immediately makes sense in a spread or not, is meant to serve you. Trust your interpretations while staying open to unexpected messages. Enjoy this exciting magical practice.