Guest Blog Post by Morgan Genevieve
It seems that almost everyone is being drawn to tarot and oracle cards lately! Although these practices have been around for so long, the buzz around them just keeps getting louder. And the pull that people are experiencing to play with divination, magic, and manifestation has become much more acceptable, and therefore more mainstream.
So if you’re experiencing the pull to use these tools now and are feeling a bit spiritually curious, let’s explore it together!
I myself have been practicing tarot reading for over a decade and I am constantly discovering more things about the craft and about myself through the art of it.
So what is tarot, anyways?
Tarot is one of the most popularly used tools of divination in the world today.
The origin comes from a 15th century Italian playing card deck, known as “carte da trionfi”, or “cards of triumphs”, which had 70 cards, although modern decks now have 78. This is also when the term “cartomancy” was born. Cartomancy is the term for fortune telling through divination using a deck of cards.
A brief history of Tarot…
Jean-Baptiste Alliette, aka Etteilla, was the first to design a tarot deck specifically for occult purposes in 1785.
He was the first to popularize tarot readings, and also published the ideas of the connection between tarot, astrology, the four elements (earth, air, fire, water) and the four humors (blood, phlegm, yellow bile and black bile).
He was also the first to create the reversed meaning of the cards – which is when the tarot cards come out of the deck upside down and therefore have a slightly different meaning than if they were to fly out of the deck rightside up.
In 1909, Arthur Edward Waite published the most popular tarot decks with Rider, a publishing company under the umbrella of Penguin Random House Publishing, known as the Rider-Waite Deck, which became the most popular and widely known tarot deck.
This deck is what ended up sparking the love of tarot and made it mainstream, leading to just about any style of deck you could imagine.
Now you can find countless styles of tarot decks in online shops, small businesses, mystic and spiritual shops such as modernmysticshop.com or theabundantsoulshop.com (PS Not a sponsored post!), and even in major bookstores now!
But now that we’ve brushed up on our history… let’s cover the common question that people want to know when they are first exploring the world of divination.
What’s the difference between tarot and oracle decks?
Tarot decks traditionally stick to two parts of the deck; the Major Arcana and Minor Arcana, and within each part, in standard decks, each card has an upright and reverse meaning.
The first part of the deck is the Major Arcana, made up of the first 22 cards which represent life’s karmic and spiritual lessons. The Fool is the first card of the Major Arcana, who set the whole tone for the entire deck.
As the person seeking advice from the deck, you are stepping into this new outlook, a new awakening, much like the Fool, who represents innocence, naivety, and beginnings. The Fool is typically represented as a young man, embarking on a journey with one foot about to lead him off a cliff; a leap, step, faith, into the unknown. Much like what happens with any sort of Tarot reading.
The second half of the deck is the Minor Arcana, which is made up of 56 cards that reflect daily trials and tribulations.
Think of this as your typical deck of cards containing suits, and instead of clubs and hearts, the suits are represented by Cups, Swords, Pentacles, and Wands. Each Suit has ten cards in each, as well as four additional court cards known as the Page, Knight, Queen, and King.
Each suit represents different levels of consciousness.
The Cups represent the emotional side of consciousness, as well as relationships, love, feelings, and connections.
Swords represent the mental side of consciousness, and the thoughts, attitudes, and beliefs.
Pentacles represent the physical and external level of consciousness, as well as our health, work, finances, and creativity.
Wands represent energy, intuition, spirituality, ambition, and expansion.
When you shuffle and use the deck, each card represents a lesson, feeling, or an embodiment of an archetype, so when you give or receive a reading, there is an overall storyline to the reading, represented by each card’s meaning put together.
All of the cards have such a strong powerful meaning on their own, illustrated by powerful imagery.
It takes some time to understand each card and its full meaning, but having a cheat sheet is super helpful! You can find the one I created here! – My freebie master class for an intro to Tarot can be found at the end of this post!
Oracle decks are a bit more open to the creator of the deck’s interpretation.
They normally have their own storyline and are more theme-based, where the creator comes up with a concept that is easy to digest and speaks deeply to the cardholder.
Tarot also requires more study, skill, and memorization, where oracle is easy for anyone to interpret upon first use.
How do you know what to buy or which style of deck is right for you?
To be honest, which deck you buy depends on what you’re looking for!
With owning a tarot deck, you have more to memorize and deeply interpret the cards, which can take years to deeply grasp.
Using a cheat sheet is super helpful, as well as getting into the habit of pulling one card, noticing the imagery, and seeing what your intuition believes to be its meaning. Then to see how connected you are to the message by referring back to the cheat sheet to see if you’re right!
There are so many resources online that have helped me become super knowledgeable on reading tarot.
I especially love using Biddytarot.com, Learntarot.com to understand The Fool’s Journey, as well as watching endless YouTube channels of Tarot readers to get the feel of different styles of Tarot readings.
It’s definitely something up for each reader’s interpretation on how they pull cards and explain readings or set up their cards.
When you’re doing a reading for yourself or someone else and you’re just getting started, do what feels most aligned and comfortable and you won’t go wrong!
Also, my free Mini-Course, Intro to Tarot is a great resource and can be found at the bottom of this article!
With oracle cards, they normally have a clear meaning printed right on the card, and within the deck box, there is normally a book that describes each card with an in-depth interpretation.
When I first started readings, I was introduced to Tarot, mostly because they were easier to find and oracle decks weren’t as big back then.
However, if you’re just starting out, I recommend getting both!
They both have so much to offer and can really tell you so much about how to deal with situations you’re in.
Most decks, both Tarot and Oracle, come with a guidebook within the deck to help you understand the way to use the deck properly, the different spreads they suggest, as well as the deeper meanings behind each card.
I personally love The Wild Unknown Deck by Kim Krans is a great beginner deck. The visuals are so simple and easy to understand. Also, instead of each card have a reverse meaning, her deck only has a simple, to-the-point explanation within her guidebook. It’s great when you’re first starting out and want to familiarize yourself with the standard meaning of each card.
I’m also obsessed with The Sacred Self-Care Oracle Deck by Jill Pyle. It’s so helpful when you want to connect with your emotional, mental, and physical needs when you feel overwhelmed.
I also really love the Daily Crystal Inspiration by Heather Askinosie. It combines my love of crystals and mindset work!
As far as choosing the “right” deck for you, sometimes the deck chooses you.
Spend some time in a metaphysical shop or do some research online and you’ll most likely feel yourself being pulled to a particular deck. You’ll feel connected to a certain deck’s theme, artwork, or description.
Trust yourself and your intuition when you’re seeking out a deck. Don’t get too caught up on what deck you “should” get or which one is the “best” or most popular.
Tools like card decks, crystals, and pendulums are very spiritual and very personal to us, which is why we typically feel drawn to them on a spiritual, emotional, and intuitive level.
How do you use them?
Now let’s get to the juicy part, shall we? How do we use the decks now that we have them?!
Well, that’s easy! You go with your gut!
You trust yourself and you own intuition!
Read Blog Post, “5 Ways to Connect to Your Intuition,” to help you reconnect.
There is literally no wrong or right way to use your cards. The power lies in how you become attuned with them. The more you lean into your intuition, the more connected you become to each card.
You don’t have to follow a specific way to shuffle them, nor do you have to have a specific way to read them. Any way your heart calls you to use them is how you should do your readings.
Personally, I love to mix my tarot cards and oracle cards in my readings. I normally shuffle both decks, hold the deck up to my heart, and ask the deck simple questions like, “What does my soul need to hear?” or “What’s my next big step?”
I then cut the card in half and take the top three cards and the one on the bottom.
I lay each out in front of me and repeat with my next pile.
Sometimes I add more decks to my mixture to get even more insight. But again, there’s no wrong or right way! This is what feels good to my soul.
I truly suggest following your gut but start off simple.
If you’re just starting to read cards, maybe only pick three cards at random. Or maybe only pick one at a time.
The right card will find you and you will feel deeply connected to it at that moment, as long as you follow that intuitive heart you have beating inside you
Here is a simple card spread idea to get you started and help you to start interpreting your cards. Again, you can choose what each card placement represents to you.
Is there a special way to take care of your cards?
I try to protect mine as much as possible by returning each to their deck box as soon as I’m finished.
I also always smudge them with sage or palo santo in between readings, especially for clients, and try to shuffle the energy off of them before I start with a new reading for myself or a new client.
I also tend to put all my cards away with the backs all facing the same way, however, if you want them going in different directions, that’s totally up to you!
Additionally, I often set my cards on my window sill before bed the night of the full moon to charge them with my crystals, but it’s not something I do every time. However, I always set them under any full moon in the sign of Gemini, since Gemini is the sign of communication!
Overall, when you lead with heart, excitement, and pleasure, you can never pull a wrong card. Even if you’re having a moment of uncertainty and doubt, I promise that your cards will help guide you as long as you show them respect and gratitude.
And as a gentle reminder, the cards don’t dictate your life.
Just because you pull the Death card or the Devil when using your tarot deck, it doesn’t mean that death and destruction are your fate, it truly means you are able to transform any negativity into a positive!
Many people interpret those cards in a negative way and as a result, tend to be scared or anxious to use them, however, they’re only showing you the opportunity to grow and move through without judgment.
When the “troublesome” cards show up for me, I always like to remind myself that this is a reminder to pause, set boundaries, and do what my soul is craving most. Whether it means I need to end a habit and start a new ritual to love myself more deeply. It’s my soul and intuition gently nudging me to do so.
All in all, I use tarot and oracle decks to help me to connect with my spiritual team and my soul’s alignment.
I love using it as a tool to help me channel my inner Divine guidance and get quiet and drown out the outside noise that sometimes influences us far too much on a daily basis.
If I could leave you one last piece of advice: Just have fun with your cards! They’ll never let you down!
For some added bonus content, you can find a free guide to tarot download here with each card meaning that I keep handy on my phone for a quick reference, as well as a video to my Mini Masterclass on the intro to tarot that you can find here!
I love to do readings, help guide those to access their intuition through spiritual practices, provide Reiki healing, teach EFT, Emotional Freedom Technique tapping, for anxiety, and so much more.
I’m also welcoming those who want to get deeply connected with their Soul Craving in my new Mentorship, here!
I share lots of mini pick-a-card readings on my Instagram: @morgangenevieveb. I can’t wait to connect with you!
Guest Blog Post by Morgan Genevieve.
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