Monday, August 19, 2013

The Omily Tarot: But My Ticket Was for California! And what the hell are these weird cards??

There are so many different tarot decks out there, and I love drooling over them at different crystal shops, book stores, and that cute, witchy spot in Alphabet City.  Many of them are modeled off of either the Waite-Smith deck, or the old French tarot styles.  It's easy to experiment with those, since the only deciding factor with whether you can use them is how the imagery resonates with you.

There are many many thousands of card decks though, and more of them proliferating every day, that are made for the same purpose as the tarot: for spiritual growth and/or fortune telling, but without following a familar tarot format.  Not even close.  Sometimes these are called 'oracles', ie, the Angel Oracle, the Flower Oracle, the Virus Oracle...ok, I made that last one up.  But I'm copyrighting the name because it would probably be a big seller.
Sometimes a novice reader, or someone who hasn't tried to read yet at all, but is curious about it, will pick up one of these decks, and have no idea what to do with it, or how to interpret it.  If you've never seen a tarot deck before, you don't percieve the lack of order that a tarot aficionado does, and will likely just sort out of your own method of using the oracle, but if you have a method down for using the tarot structure, and are suddenly faced with a complete lack of that structure, you may feel strangely cheated, or like you meant to fly to California and ended up in Japan.  Oops.

And then you may ask me questions like, 'Do these weird oracle decks work?'  'Are these real tarot cards?'

Well, for the first question, let me refer you back to this post about how the tarot works.  And for the second, I'll just say that you can use any everyday playing card deck you can get your hands on for all the same things you can use a tarot deck for.  In a word, yes.  Find a deck, or five or ten, that work for you.  Use them.  Use them all the same, use them all doesn't matter.  The tarot only stands in as an interpreter and amplifier for a conversation that's happening between your subconscious wisdom and your consciousness.  As long as you can understand your interpreter, it doesn't matter what it looks like or if there's a book telling you what it means.
There.  There's your short answer.  That said, I do feel your pain.  I, too, have had that landing-in-Japan experience, and it's not fun.  I like structures. I like routines.  I don't like having a deck that feels and works totally differently from my other decks.  So I don't have any of those funky oracle decks.  But that's not because there's anything wrong with those funky decks.  It's because they don't resonate with me.  And, there's no reason to think I'll never stumble across one that I'll really like (THE VIRUS ORACLE!!!).  As I grow and develop as a reader, and my technique becomes more internal and fluid, I may find that I really like abandoning the familiar tarot structure.

Do you have, or have you used oracle, or different funky card decks that you love?  Have you ever tried working with regular playing cards?  Make sure you've got your elemental and numerical significances down first! 


P.S. Scroll to the top, look at the right column, click 'Get Omily E-Mails!', then fill out the form to get Omily E-mails! Simple, no?  I'll be sending out my first Omily Update in the next week or so, and I can't wait to share my teaching schedule, latest blog posts, important updates, and special deals with all my favourite little get your asana on the list!  Ready, go!


  1. I love two oracle decks:
    Wisdom of the Hidden Realms by Colette Baron-Reid
    Archangel Oracle Cards by Doreen Virtue

    I turn to the angel deck when I know I need an uplifting reading, because all of the cards are encouraging in one way or another.
    I turn to the Hidden Realms deck when I want to connect to the magical in my day to day existence in the specific beautiful way that this deck does that.
    I also find oracle decks helpful when I don't have time to do a full on reading, but just enough time to contemplate on a few cards.
    Thanks Omily! You writing always inspires me to live so fully :) ~ XO

  2. Yay! I'm so glad to hear that!

    I do really like the idea of an Angel oracle...and connecting to the magical in every day. I'm sure I'll fall in love with an oracle deck sooner or later...