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How to do a simple oracle card reading.

Updated on November 14, 2014

The purpose of doing card readings is not to tell the future, or to tell you how to live your life. It is an ancient art that has been passed down through the years to gain an insight to the power that exists withing us all. Some would say that oracle cards are a mirror to your own life and can give you peace of mind, clarification and acceptance to what is.

I believe that the cards are just one of many tools you can use to tap in to the power that we all have within us. This energy exists with or without the cards, whether you use tea leaves or do palmistry, it is the same energy that you are tapping in to in order to gain the universal truth and knowledge on a spiritual level.

You don't need any special powers to read cards, just an open mind and a positive outlook.

There are many different card decks to choose from.

The most popular oracle cards on the market would be Doreen Virtue's angel cards.
The most popular oracle cards on the market would be Doreen Virtue's angel cards. | Source

The earth magic cards are my favorite to work with.

The earth magic oracle cards by Steven D. Farmer
The earth magic oracle cards by Steven D. Farmer

Step one. Choose a deck!

It can take some time before you find the right deck for you, but the best way to find out is to try out different ones. When you buy a deck of oracle or Angel cards they nearly always provide a book with the meanings of each individual card. This is just a guideline and i would suggest not looking at the book and jumping straight in to familiarizing yourself with each card and what the cards reveal that is personal to you!

You don't necessarily have to memorize each card because on different days, the same card can have different meanings depending on your own state of mind. There may even be times where you are not sure what a card meant but realize a few days later why it came to you and its meaning.

The one card reading is good practice for confidence.
The one card reading is good practice for confidence.

Step two. The one card reading.

A one card reading is a good place to start and to get you used to working with oracle cards. It is just a simple reading for yourself on things that are happening in your life. You can also practice a one card reading on friends and family to build up your confidence in working with your cards.

Begin by shuffling the cards about in your hands and think about what it is that you need advice, clarification or help on. Keep shuffling until you get an inkling or just that feeling that you should stop and then turn over the top card. Each card can mean something different every time you do a reading because everyone is different and have different things happening in their lives. The trick is to focus on the individual card and clear your mind and whatever information jumps out to you is key. Study the card, look at every detail. The colors, the shapes, the image. What does it mean to you?

In the example shown i got the Lotus flower card. You can ignore the writing and just focus on the image but in this case i believe the writing has a lot of meaning to me. The flower represents me opening up to new things (ie. beginning my journey with online writing). I am going on a journey in this vast ocean which is the internet to leave my petals of knowledge as i go. This is my "unfoldment" so to speak. The color blue to me signifies communication and so i can't do it alone, i need to communicate with others to learn.

I could go in to more detail but that is just an example of what i got from the card but to someone else it may mean something altogether different. A pink flower could represent a mother or sister and because it is alone in the picture it could signify loneliness. What does this card mean to you? Please feel free to comment below.

Step 3. Doing a simple three card spread.

Common superstition

There are many card readers out there who believe that when working with cards you must do certain things, such as:

  • Give the cards to the person getting the reading to transfer their energy.
  • Tap your cards three times before shuffling.
  • Don't let anyone else touch your cards, they are sacred.
  • Bless your cards with sage.
  • Light a candle when working with cards.

The truth is that they are just superstion. They are your cards and it is your practice. They are personal to you. You can do whatever you want and whatever feels right to you. If you want to keep your cards wrapped up in cloth then go ahead, just do what feels right to you.

Past, present and possible future outcomes.

This is the most basic yet most effective and widely used card spread and it is very simple. Just like in the one card reading shuffle the cards in your hands and focus on what you would like the cards to reveal. Only stop shuffling when you get that feeling that you must and lay out the top three cards face up from left to right.

The card on the left is the past, the middle is the present and the right is possible future outcomes. Look at the cards individually, starting from the left and take the time to study it before concluding its meaning. Sometimes the more you look at a card then the more you see. Here is an example of the spread that i got, but remember think about what it means to you!

  • Mountain.This card could represent a past awakening to all things spiritual. The orange signifies passion and the deep purple is spiritual awareness.
  • Lightning. This card is the present and to me it could mean hostility or a break up of communication. The different shades of blue accompanied with the raging storm could mean a shaky relationship with a friend or colleague.
  • New moon. The possible future i see in this card is an engagement of lovers. A promise to start a new life together.

When reading for other people take your time and try to give as much information as possible. If even something silly pops into your head while looking at the card then say don't hesitate to say it because it may seem silly to you but could have a tremendous amount of meaning for the person you are reading for.

I believe this is the best way to start if you want to begin doing card readings. I also think it is better to practice on work colleagues as opposed to family members, because your own tuition will come into play more when it is someone you know less about. The more you practice, the better and more confident you will get.

The same technique can be used for working with many different types of cards. An you can also mix two or three decks together to create your own personal deck.

Thank you for taking the time to read. Enjoy.

Earth Magic Oracle Cards: A 48-Card Deck and Guidebook
Earth Magic Oracle Cards: A 48-Card Deck and Guidebook
Here are my favorite cards for sale on amazon!

3 Card spread meanings

Possible future outcomes
Represents past experiences in life such as partners or work
represents the present and where you are now
It is not a prediction but more of a possibility for your future if you keep going down the same path

What do you think?

Can anyone do a card reading?

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    • ladyguitarpicker profile image

      stella vadakin 

      5 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

      Hi Kevin, I have never done a card reading. It sounds like fun, but I think you are right it would take much confidence to be a reader. Interesting, stella

    • kevin murphy-87 profile imageAUTHOR

      kevin murphy 

      6 years ago from Ireland

      Hi debbie, thank you. I agree with you there it does take confidence but the more you practice the more confident you get. :)

    • Debbie Snack cake profile image

      Debbie Villines 

      6 years ago from Iowa

      Hey thanks for the very useful tips, I have learned reading cards, awhile back, some have a different way of teaching how to read them, but I do know one thing it takes a lot of confidence in the reader. I gave you a likes, useful and interesting;)))

    • kevin murphy-87 profile imageAUTHOR

      kevin murphy 

      6 years ago from Ireland

      Thanks jandee. Im glad my hub gave some meaning to you. You should give them a go yourself.

    • jandee profile image


      6 years ago from Liverpool.U.K

      Very interesting! Although I scoff my daughters use of the cards,I now get some meaning from your write,thanks.

      best from jandee


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