The 7 Best Oracle Card Decks For Beginners, According To Experts
Plus, what to expect from your divination experience.
Like the tarot, oracle cards are great tools you can use to learn more about yourself on a deeper level, gain a better understanding of a situation that’s troubling you, or get advice on what to do moving forward. According to Dawn Marino, expert tarot and oracle card reader, these cards can be inspiring, motivational, and insightful. “The messages from an oracle card allow the reader to contemplate a scenario, and can even offer the opportunity to shift one’s perspective,” she says. If you’re new to oracle cards, experts share some key things to look out for in the best oracle card decks for beginners.
While you can use both oracle cards and tarot to ask similar questions, they’re structured very differently. In fact, Tasia White, EdD, intuitive coach and tarot reader, says that’s the biggest difference between the two.
“Oracle cards don’t follow the traditional tarot structure,” White says. “There aren't any major or minor arcana oracle cards. The number of cards is less (or sometimes more, but that's less common) than the 78 cards in a tarot deck. They typically don't have the five suits (majors, cups, swords, and pentacles) like a tarot deck. However, some oracle decks might use some variation of a tarot deck. For example, the Work Your Light Oracle Deck has five suits with different names and meanings.” Oracle cards are designed by individual artists, and will follow the theme of the artist’s choosing.
While some readers may use both tarot and oracles in their readings, White says oracle cards can actually be a great substitute for tarot cards. “I know several people who find traditional tarot decks to be too dark, so they only use oracle cards. You can use the same spreads you’d use in a tarot reading.”
What To Consider Before Buying
How Do I Get Started With Oracle Cards?
One key thing to know about oracle cards is they’re typically themed, says White. For example, there are decks for angel messages, animal spirit messages, love, and so on. When you’re trying to decide which oracle deck is best for you, consider what kinds of questions you’re looking to answer. Like tarot, it’s important to choose a deck that resonates with you.
Since you don’t have to be familiar with what specific cards mean before you start reading, unlike with tarot, oracle cards can be great for divination newbies. You can use them to get better at listening to your intuition and picking out the messages that are for you.
How Do You Read Oracle Cards?
Once you have your deck, start shuffling the cards while thinking of your question, situation, or area of focus. Once you feel like you’re ready, draw a card from the deck. Flip the card over and observe the imagery, and any text written on the card.
“Use your intuition as well as the overall message of the card,” Marino says. “Notice the colors, the symbols, and the feeling the oracle card has evoked within you. Connect to the card and gain your own personal understanding of the message. You may even journal about the reading to reference and reflect on afterward. You may also pull more than one card, such as three, to give additional insight into your query.”
What Oracle Cards Should A Beginner Use?
When you’re a beginner, the most important thing is to find a deck that you’re most comfortable with. “For most people, the main requirement when choosing an oracle deck is to have it be visually appealing,” Amy Zerner and Monte Farber, tarot readers and creators of the best-selling The Enchanted Tarot, tell Bustle. “The deck you choose should resonate with you in some way and stimulate your imagination.”
If you look at the images on an oracle deck and start daydreaming, that’s a good sign it may be the one for you. According to Zerner and Farber, “Daydreaming is a good thing when you’re trying to listen to your intuition.”
With that in mind, here are the best oracle card decks for beginners.
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1. This 44-Card Deck That Radiates Positivity
If you feel like you aren’t living the life you truly want, this oracle card deck by Rebecca Campbell may help you figure out what you need to do to get unstuck. As White mentioned above, this deck features five tarot-like suits with different purposes. There are confirmation cards, inquiry cards with more in-depth guidance, activation cards for healing, and transmission cards that connect you to supportive energies. It also comes with a guidebook so you can get more meaning out of each card.
Helpful review: “I’m very pleased with my first deck of oracle cards. They’re very sturdy yet easy to shuffle. The backside design is stunning and each card has a lot of helpful information on it, the illustrations are calming and encouraging. The booklet is very informative and includes several different ways to lay the cards as well as additional information about the cards that you pull. I think this is a wonderful first deck because it is positive and affirming.”
2. This Best-Selling Deck That Uses The Phases Of The Moon
If you’re someone who uses the moon to manifest, this oracle card deck can be a great addition to your ritual. This oracle card deck by astrologer Yasmin Boland gives you the opportunity to “work with the moon’s power to gain clarity and make better decisions.” The cards themselves have images as well as a short messages for you to interpret. It also comes with a guidebook that can help you make the most out of the deck. Over 100,000 copies of this deck have been sold, and it has over 20,000 five-star Amazon reviews.
Helpful review: “From revealing the box, to reading the booklet cover to cover, I was blown away by the artistry in the pictures, quality of cards, and profoundness of the wording...The cards have brought me comfort, foresight, and preparedness in response to my inquiries, both long term and short term.”
3. This Deck That Activates Your Cosmic Energy
If you love the aesthetic of the Work Your Light oracle deck above, you’re going to love this other deck by Rebecca Campbell. The Starseed Oracle deck features 53 gorgeous cards with imagery and messages made to connect you with the cosmos. It’s a deck that’s focused on your soul’s purpose and the journey you’re meant to take in this lifetime. It’s very imagery-heavy, so it’s perfect for anyone who prefers using their imagination to interpret the cards.
Helpful review: “The imagery drew me in and immediately I was able to see the story within them, beckoning me to soar higher. Anyone who consistently uses this stunning deck will sharpen their intuitive abilities and elevate their vibration and frequency levels. I applaud Rebecca Campbell and Danielle Noel for creating a deck of this calibre for this new decade!”
4. This Deck That Offers Answers On Timing
One question that’s commonly asked during readings is “When?” When will my ex come back? When will I start to see positive change in my life? Any reader will tell you that timing questions are hard to pinpoint exactly and that nothing is set in stone. However, if you want to some peace of mind, the Angel Answers oracle deck has specific timing cards like “within the next few months” or “a year from now.” It also has quick answers like, “yes” and “no.” There’s even a guide book that gives you further information on each card.
Helpful review: “This deck gives off of a sense of love and warmth, and the messages are very easy to interpret and understand. I would recommend this deck for both beginner and seasoned oracle readers or intuitive empaths that utilizes card decks for clients.”
5. This Deck That Uses Color To Tap Into Your Intuition
If you’re looking for guidance on a big decision that you have to make, the Prism Oracle by Nicole Pivirotto was made to help you tap into your intuition to find the answers you’re looking for. The deck features 45 colored cards that each have “unique energetic states.” You can pull a card, meditate on the color and word provided, and then read the guidebook for further insight. It’s a very straightforward deck that’s perfect for beginners.
Helpful review: “Color is light and vibration, which is what everything is made of. This deck taps into that energy in a simple and highly effective way. I love the concept. The graphics are beautiful, simple, clear, clean, concise and modern. The guidebook is also straightforward, simple and to the point. Very easy to use. The cards themselves are high quality; very nice weight card stock, vibrant colors, gilded edges, and easy to shuffle.”
6. This Modern Deck With Attitude
This 60-card oracle deck is described as not-so-typical. It’s straightforward, to the point, and offers unfiltered tough love advice you won’t find in other decks. Think of it like a friend who’s just giving it to you straight, not being negative. It is meant to be empowering and helpful, with a lot of positive affirmations.
Helpful review: “I love this deck for its raw and honest truth. It shakes me up and puts me in my place right when I need it to. I am a tarot reader and I like to use this deck in conjunction with my tarot cards, to helps pull a little more insight into my readings. This especially works well when you are looking for a specific answer, but the cards are trying to tell you something else. I have worked with a lot of decks, and the cards are sturdy and easy to shuffle. The deck works well with my personality because I am not overly sensitive to direct messages. I appreciate a kick in the butt, and the truth.”
7. This Oracle Deck From The Creator Of The Wild Unknown Tarot
The Wild Unknown Animal Spirit Deck and Guidebook works great on its own or as an accompaniment to The New York Times best-selling The Wild Unknown tarot. It features 63 full-colored cards with animals representing the messages you need to hear. The guidebook is also hand-lettered and easy to understand while providing deeper insight into the questions you have.
Helpful review: “I read the guidebook and was surprised at how much I understood the cards. The first card I ever drew from this deck is possibly the most beautiful card in the whole deck. The Dragon. I looked up the dragon in the guidebook and read ‘seeing ones true self,’ ‘to not forget to see the beauty in the world,’ and I was almost in tears. I have been going through a rough time with my mental health for some years now. This is exactly what I needed to hear. I was so moved by my first interaction with this deck. Highly recommend.”
Dawn Marino, expert tarot and oracle card reader
Tasia White, EdD, intuitive coach and tarot reader
Amy Zerner and Monte Farber, tarot readers and creators of the best-selling titles include The Enchanted Tarot and The Wild Goddess Oracle