Tarot cards have been used since the 15th century for everything from getting more guidance into your life and helping you make tough decisions to telling fortunes for people and giving them insight into their futures.
There are 72 tarot cards in total when you look at standard tarot decks, with each card having a different meaning based on symbolism and representations.
You can also use Oracle cards, which come in many colors, styles, shapes, and sizes. As opposed to the tarot decks, there are no “rules” to oracle cards and what each represents. It is entirely up to the artist and creator of the deck, and of course the user in using their intuition.
These cards can be used for so much more than you think, from divination rituals like doing tarot readings for yourself and others, to simply using them to break writer’s block or help you focus on something while you meditate.
The fact is, there are many magical components of tarot and oracle cards, but there are also so many practical uses. And what is magic? You can find magic in everything around you, in the earth and the moon, in other people, in yourself. You can find magic in the mundane, which is why we feel strongly that even the more tangible and practical uses of these cards are still pretty magical.
Here are some practical and magical uses you can use tarot and oracle cards.
1. Set Your Daily Intention
The first way to use your tarot and oracle cards each day can be seen as both a magical and practical method, which is setting your intentions. Each day has a new energy, based on planetary alignment, your environment, and what you are going through in your human experience.
You can start strengthening your intuition by using tarot cards each morning to pull at least one card and tap into your intuition. This allows you to see what you should focus on, which then helps you set the intention for the day.
Pull One Card a Day
To set your daily intention with tarot or oracle cards, all you need to do is pull one card. You want to first choose your deck, by following your intuition. If you only have one deck, use that one of course. But if you have multiple decks by this point, just go with the one you feel the most drawn to or that you thought of first. Sometimes, this changes based on your energy, where you simply feel pulled to one more than the other.
Choose your deck, then clear its energy by setting an intention to cleanse it of any previous energies. You then want to shuffle it well, and then pull a card. People have their methods for pulling a card. Sometimes you fan them out on a desk and grab one at random, other times a card jumps out on its own or flips over naturally, and that’s the one you go with.
It’s ok if more than one comes out, you can combine them to create a more personalized message for the day.
Set Your Intention
Look at the card or cards you pulled, and then consider what you are feeling while looking at the card. Maybe you are drawn to the colors or symbols, or the meaning behind the card is calling out to you. You might be drawn to one single detail on a card, that is making you think of something you are working on.
The point here is to create an intention based on the energies of the cards you pull. For example, if you were shuffling the cards, and pulled the Moon card, maybe you intend to open your eyes and become more aware of what might be hidden from you. Or if 3 cards flew out and you kept all 3, and they are all pentacle cards, maybe you want to focus on your money and career that day.
2. Tarot For Personal Growth and Self-Discovery
If you are on a path of personal development and self-discovery, using tarot cards is perfect for that. There is no reason you can’t use divination tools to help expand your horizons and learn more about yourself. Tarot is not always seen as a spiritual or divination tool, but often just a way to focus your mind on one particular thing.
When you pull a tarot card, you not only look into the meaning of that card, but you apply it to yourself and your life. Many times, this allows you to be more introspective and learn more about yourself while on this personal growth journey.
You can first use these cards for more introspection. This is done simply by using your intuition when pulling a card after shuffling. Often, the first impression you get of a card, or where your mind goes when looking at it and considering how it applies to your life, is what gains you the most clarity.
A group of 10 people can look at the same card and come up with 10 different meanings behind it. Why? Because everyone is going to apply it to their own lives. While one person might see the Sun card and think of how happy and grateful they are, another person can pull this same card and instantly be transformed into a memory that made them happy, while someone else feels inspired to find what fulfills them.
What the cards mean to you, and what you think or feel when looking at cards is often enough to make you more self-aware and introspective.
Areas to Focus On
Another way you can use tarot cards for personal growth and self-discovery is by helping you to know which areas of your life to focus on. Sometimes, you feel lost or overwhelmed and are trying to change so many things in your life. If you are someone who always has a long list of things to improve in your life, and then end up not doing anything because you don’t know where to start, tarot is perfect for you.
What tarot does is give you an area to focus on. If you set an intention when doing a tarot reading for yourself that you want to gain clarity on what area of your life to work on improving first, then the cards you pull will help guide you in the right direction. This could be friendships or love, your self-concept and working on yourself, communication with others, starting your own business, or your happiness and fulfillment.
3. Choose a Path
Any time you are having trouble choosing a path or direction in life, tarot and oracle cards both come in handy. They won’t immediately answer it for you (though there are some yes/no oracle cards), but instead, they offer you guidance and allow you to follow your intuition when making the right decision.
Tarot and oracle cards work great at helping you choose a path, based on your intuition, and sometimes cards that give you a yes or no answer. For example, if you want a simple yes or no answer, here are some cards that give you that answer:
“Fool card – Yes”
“Death card – No”
“Sun card – Yes”
“Hermit card – No”
“The Magician – Yes”
“The Devil – No”
“2 or 10 of Cups – Yes”
“10 of Wands or Swords – No”
If you pull these cards, then you have a simple yes or no answer to whatever question you are asking.
On the other hand, you can use a spread to help you choose a path by following more of your intuition. For example, if you are asking about 2 different career paths, and aren’t sure which one to follow, set up a spread. You can do this however you want, but some things to ask the tarot for these 2 options include:
“What you need to know.”
“The likely outcome.”
“The potential for success.”
“The possible challenges.”
If you are trying to add more spiritual habits to your daily routine, such as meditation, why not utilize tarot and oracle cards as part of that practice? The cards help tremendously with what to focus on during your meditation if you struggle with just staring at the same thing every day.
This is for people who do more of a mindful meditation, where you aren’t trying to clear your mind, but instead have something in the present to focus on. Shuffle your tarot or oracle cards, and try to pull just one card or let one card fly out during shuffling. Flip the card over so you can see what it is, then focus on its images, symbolism, colors, and how it makes you feel.
Use these emotions for your meditation session. Any time your mind wanders and thinks about something else, bring it back to the center by focusing again on your card.
5. Pull Your Daily Affirmation or Message
This is where your oracle decks come in handy, though you can use this with tarot as well. But for more of a straightforward approach, you want to use Oracle card decks with positive messages or affirmations on them. This allows you to choose randomly a daily affirmation or message that the universe is trying to send you.
Who this is good for:
“If you want to use affirmations but struggle to choose the right one.”
“When you are manifesting more than one thing at a time, and need help on your daily focus.”
“When you need a little boost in positivity.”
“When you feel overwhelmed and need guidance.”
6. Get a Journal Prompt Through Tarot
If you want to journal more but get stuck on what to write about, you can use your tarot cards for inspiration. Since you are shuffling the cards and picking one at random, you will just go with the first card or multiple cards you pull. This allows you to follow your intuition and go with the first thing that comes to mind, then you can journal about it.
What Emotion or Feeling Came Up?
When you do a daily tarot card pull, you can first consider what emotions or feelings you felt. Go with your intuition and gut feeling. Your feelings and emotions don’t only change based on what the card is and its supposed meaning, but what you currently feel the meaning is for your particular situation.
One day, the Star card might make you feel like you are on the right path. Another day it might remind you of Aquarius energy, and that you should be more authentic to who you are and represent that to the world.
What First Came to Mind?
Another way to use them for a journal prompt is less about how you feel, and more about your internal thoughts. Did a card make you think of a memory? Or did multiple cards fly out of the deck and land upside down, and it gave you a thought that you should rethink a decision in your life? These can also quickly turn into reflective journal prompts.
7. Inspiration For Your Writer’s or Artist’s Block
Similar to giving you ideas when you are journaling, your cards can also help you to find more inspiration if you are struggling with writer’s block or artist’s block. Every card is different, not just in its meaning and symbolism, but in the images, colors, styles, words, and so much more. You feel differently when you pull cards during different energies, even if you are pulling the same card.
All of this can help you to feel inspired, get new ideas, and follow your instincts when it comes to choosing something to write about or something to create.
When you pull cards, follow your intuition, and use that to find inspiration. You might do a 3-card spread and create a fictional story based on those cards. If you get the Fool card, the 10 of Cups, and the 10 of Swords, that can certainly create a very interesting story of someone going on an adventure after a major challenge in their life, but it ends up leading them to their wish fulfilled.
You can use this same method when you want to create art or have artist’s block. This is through what you visually see with the colors and patterns of random cards you pull, to how you feel when you look at certain cards.