How to Read Oracle Cards + Create Spreads

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Oracle cards are a tool to read the energy around a person, event or situation.
Beginner's Guide to Reading Oracle Cards

What are oracle cards?

The word “Oracle” comes from the Latin word “orare” which means to speak. Some definitions of oracle include priest, priestess or medium who shares guidance. Oracle decks are a collection of cards, typically 30-60 cards, with illustrations and text. Most see oracle cards as a tool to read the energy around a person, event or situation. They help us to see a situation differently, and refresh our mindset. They do not predict the future, and should not be used to make decisions.

What are oracle spreads?

An oracle spread is a series of cards that are chosen with an overarching theme, but each card also has a specific point of focus. For example, the New Moon Oracle Spread in my eguide 22 DIY Oracle Spreads to Exercise Your Intuition is a series of 4 cards that helps understand how the New Moon may be influencing us. The 4 cards represent Beginning, Obstacle, Renewal, and Commitment.

New Moon Oracle Card Spread - New Moon Ritual

How can I create a spread?

When creating a spread, readers energetically clear, shuffle, and then pull card(s). The reader and recipient then interpret the cards. Oracle decks often come with meanings and explanations for each card. However, I created this workbook that offers journal prompts, along with each spread, to help you connect to your own intuition. One card can have infinite meanings, depending on your perspective and interpretation.

Many people find that as they develop a relationship with the deck, they begin to develop their own interpretation of the cards. As the reader holds the card, they often channel more information. As the reader enters into a meditative state with the intention to be led by the truth, they begin to feel, sense or read the energy surrounding the card.

Why Create an Oracle Spread?

When choosing a card or spread, you may ask for guidance around a specific relationship, pattern, or circumstance. You may also ask for a general card to speak to you in the present moment.

My favorite way to use oracle cards are to let them reconfirm what I already know. I often ask myself a question in meditation, jot down the intuitive hunches that I receive, and then pull a card to see the common thread between my answer and the oracle message.

Oracle cards serve as…

  • Whispers from a greater presence
  • Inspiration, guidance and a fresh perspective
  • Encouragement
  • Support
  • Sources for reflection and introspection
  • Confirmation of what you already know
  • Fun, exploration and curiosity
  • An illumination of the energy around a person or thing in the present moment

And they’re not meant to…

  • Predict the future
  • Make decisions
  • Bypass self-awareness, alignment, and inner work
  • Passively seek the answers outside of yourself

Why should I practice free writing with oracle spreads?

Free writing is a process of allowing yourself to connect with your heart, higher mind and intuition, and then letting a stream of consciousness write through you. It’s giving the loving and faithful voice inside of you a chance to express itself.

As a teacher of Reiki, self-healing and self- awakening, I look to share ways to empower the healer within. My aim is for you to hear your own nudges, trust them and be led by your heart. For this reason, I have created the 22 DIY Oracle Spreads to Exercise Your Intuition workbook. It’s a space for you to introspect and seek the guidance within.

Followed by every oracle spread, awaits a worksheet with soulful writing prompts.

For every card that you pull, the worksheet gives you space to jot down:

  • any visions, channeled messages, emotions, or bodily sensations you experience as you pulled the card
  • anything that stands out to you in the illustration of the card (expressions on a face, scenery, colors, shapes etc.)
  • why the card’s title might catch your attention
  • messages from the book associated with your oracle deck, that speak to you

How can I read cards?


When working with oracle cards, the energy that you bring to the reading determines the quality, interpretation, and joy of it. You are encouraged to move into a relaxed, and receptive state as you prepare to read cards.

Begin by drawing your attention inwards. Breathe deeply into the belly. Lengthen the spine, drop the shoulders, and open the Heart Chakra. Take as much time as you need to find your center. You may practice breathe-work, Reiki, chanting or any other practice that helps you enter a meditative state.

2. Set an Intention

It’s important to clarify from whom you are seeking. You may wish to call in your guides, Universal wisdom, or your Higher Self.

You may experiment with creating your own intentions or reciting the following ones:

  • May I be a clear channel for the highest truth.
  • May I be guided by love and light.
  • I welcome the guidance of my soul.
  • I allow the Universe to show me the way.
  • I am open to receiving wisdom.

3. Ask your Questions

Clarify what you are seeking a message around. Clearly state the question that you have in mind, which may be the overarching theme of the spread. You may ask for quick guidance that will support you, or a more focused intention such as:

  • Please reveal to me the energy around my relationship with…
  • Help me to see my purpose.
  • I wish to understand how the moon’s energy is influencing me.
  • Please show me how I can support myself in what I am experiencing.
Oracle Spreads for Love, Relationships, & Career

4. Clear the energy of the deck

Oracle decks can pick up the energy of the reader and recipient with every use. It’s common practice and ritualistic to clear the energy of the deck. It’s an intentional practice of releasing the old and allowing the truth to prevail.

Here are some ways in which you can clear your oracle deck:

  • Hold the deck between your two hands, and allow yourself to breathe your awareness into your hands. Ask for any old energies to be released and transmuted. Ask for energies that aren’t yours to step away. Once you feel the deck has been cleared, visualize light surrounding the deck. You may ask for the light to illuminate the truth.
  • Burn sage, incense or palo santo near the deck.
  • Leave a crystal on top of your oracle deck with the intent to clear energy. Selenite, black tourmaline, and smoky quartz are excellent choices.
  • Place your oracle deck on an altar with your adored Dieties, ancestors, or angels. Ask them to bless the deck.

5. Shuffle + Choose a Card

Begin to shuffle the cards in your hands. State the intention of the first card in the spread. When you feel called, go ahead and pull your card. Continue the process for the remainder of the cards in that spread. If a card jumps out when you’re shuffling, it’s yours! It wants your attention.

6. Interpret

Take a few moments to gaze at the card. Enjoy the illustrations. Connect with your senses. Notice what catches your attention and write it down on the accompanying worksheet.

Are there any colors, or shapes that stand out?

Are there any expressions on someone’s face?

What does the landscape or scenery mean to you?

Also, take note of how you translate this card.

How does this message speak to what you are currently experiencing?

Hold the card to your heart and consider the intuitive hunches you receive. Did you feel any bodily sensations as you pulled this card?

Did you have visions, hear a message, or feel an emotion while connecting with this card?

Finally, jot down any messages from the book associated with your oracle deck, that speak to you. What parts of the explanation resonate with you?

7. Invoke trust and gratitude

Trust that you have received the exact messages that you needed for today and surrender any last bits of doubt, or fear. Thank the oracle deck, your guides and yourself for the love and light that you received. Take a moment to feel gratitude and trust in your heart.

Highest Self Alignment Spread - How to Read Oracle Cards

What decks do you recommend?

The Work Your Light deck by Rebecca Campbell features some of the most beautiful artwork, alongside messages for modern mystics. You’ll dig this collection if you’re open to the Akashic Records, Pleiadians, and Mintakans!

The Wild Unknown Animal Spirit Oracle Deck is such a fun way to connect with our spirit guides! If you’re constantly seeing butterflies, birds, and animal spirits in your meditation, I recommend this deck for you.

The Whispers of Lord Ganesha deck is the first oracle deck I ever worked with! It holds a special place in my heard. The messages in this collection are grounding and optimistic.

What do I do with the oracle messages that I receive?

Continue to commune with the Earth and Heavenly planes with the information you receive. Perhaps you continue the conversation the next day, or you let the messages guide your other spiritual practices. You can take the information from your oracle spreads to your meditation, journaling or channeling practices for further clarity.

Don’t overanalyze or overthink the messages. You may not be able to see the next 10 steps, but see if you can show up for the first one. The rest will be revealed in divine timing.

Trust yourself. Your body, intuition, heart, and Higher Self are all guiding you towards alignment and growth. Get out of your own way and let your soul lead the way.

Release your ego’s judgement around messages. Know that the Universe has a plan far greater than yours. You may not understand the messages that are being revealed to you right now, but it may make sense in the future.

Let yourself interpret the cards and messages in your own way. Let your interpretations evolve and unfold over time. There is no right or wrong way to read oracle cards, as long as you’re coming from a place of compassion.

Keep a dated journal of your spreads, either in this workbook or another diary. From time to time, you may want to look back at previous spreads to see how the cards and your intuition spoke to the energy of that time. This practice will help you trust in your own readings.

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