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Bonding with Your Oracle: You, Me, and Us

May 11, 2017 0 Comments

I’ve been giving a number of talks and presentations, as of late, and the topic has been the same: I’ve been sharing ways to bond with oracle card decks.

You may recall that I got into oracle card reading by having a dream in which I was reading playing cards for myself. I never used playing cards in that manner in my waking life (the most dangerous thing I did with a deck of cards was play the game “War”), so I knew the dream was significant, and I needed to give it attention.

Me working with my first Tarot deck, the Crowley Thoth.

I read in the dream dictionary I had at the time that playing cards were related to Tarot cards, and reading that entry got me to research Tarot (I’d never heard of Tarot at this point) and get my first deck.

For the first couple of years reading Tarot, I read for myself (just as I did in my dream), so when I give my talks and presentations on bonding with an oracle deck (and I consider Tarot to be an oracle), I share my experiences from those beginning years, and what has been helpful to me.

One of the things I do with a new oracle deck is to conduct an initial reading with it, as a way to get to know it better.

When I first started doing these readings, I used what is known as the “New Deck Interview Spread,” created by Fire Raven, which I found over at Aeclectic Tarot, in its community forum.

Over time, when I started picking up other types of oracles (like playing cards, Lenormand, Kipper, Angel cards, and Sibilla), I kind of took that layout and modified it for my talks; I found that most people in attendance were new to oracle cards, and it’s easier to start off with smaller layouts as a beginner.

Since I’m sharing this in my local community more and more these days, I thought I’d share this layout with my online audience, as many of you are also just starting out with reading oracles (most notably Lenormand and Kipper, I’ve found).

I call this layout the “You, Me, and Us” reading, and its intention is for you to explore the possibilities of forming a relationship with your deck.

Getting to Know “You, Me, and Us”

The “You, Me, and Us” reading consists of three cards.

Card 1 (You) represents the deck. The card in this position tells me something about the deck; I sometimes personify the deck and imagine this card giving the deck a “voice,” and it speaks from a first-person perspective.

Card 2 (Me) represents you, the person working with the deck. The card in this position says something about you as a partner to the deck. This card can suggest something the deck wants to teach you/wants you to learn, or possible ways for you to use the deck (For example, I’ve had decks specifically tell me they wanted to be used for public readings, as well as others who told me they only wanted to be my personal deck, for my use only.).

Card 3 (Us) represents you and the deck as a partnership. The card in this position suggests the possibilities for the relationship going forward.

“You, Me, and Us” in Action

I thought I’d demonstrate this reading with a deck that literally arrived in the mail this afternoon, in time for this very post. The deck is the newly-released The Illuminated Tarot, by Caitlin Keegan (and published by Clarkson Potter).

What drew me to the deck is that it has a playing card deck structure, and I’ve been reading with playing cards a lot more these days. In addition to that, each playing card corresponds to a Minor Arcana card in Tarot; but what makes this deck innovative is that Keegan took the Major Arcana and incorporated them with some of those Minors.

So, for me, the cards can have layers of meaning: one layer from the playing card association; one from the Minor Arcana association; and then another from the Major Arcana association (if applicable).

After shuffling the cards, focusing on the question, “What will our relationship be like?” I drew the following cards: Queen of Spades (You); 4 of Spades/Death (Me); and Queen of Clubs (Us).

The Queen of Spades is the deck in our relationship. The suit of Spades can point to the mind and mental activity, and the Queen is a “face” card, which I tend to read as approaches we can take regarding the situation being explored. So, the deck is suggesting it tends to approach things from a logical, rational, analytical standpoint.

Looking at the image, I was struck by the Queen’s eyes; and then, I noticed that it looks as if she’s wearing armor, which then gave me a “Joan of Arc” kind of vibe. Joan of Arc was known for having visions, so this makes me feel that it has “visions of the future” regarding our relationship.

Spades can be a suit of challenges, blocks, and obstacles; seeing the Queen like Joan of Arc can suggest self-empowerment, and that the deck wants to empower me to cut through any challenges with strategic precision (the sword).

The 4 of Spades is how the deck sees me in our relationship. Again, we have a card from the suit of Spades, suggesting mental activity. The 4, when attached to Spades, can indicate a form of limitation and restriction.

I tend to read this card as a break, and taking a time out, and that can mean meditation. So, here, the deck can be suggesting to meditate on the deck’s images as I work (the 4 is a number of work as well) with the cards.

This card also has Death connected to it, which is a Major Arcana card, and Majors suggest important issues and events, so this is significant to see.

When Death appears, it suggests a period of transition, that a major process of change is being undertaken. To some degree, the deck might be saying that working with it is going to be “a big change” for me, “breaking away” from what I may have been accustomed to up to this point.

The skull is a reference to the intellect, and here it can suggest a “change” in thinking that allows new ideas to bloom and blossom (symbolized by all the flowers on the card).

The final card, the Queen of Clubs, represents the relationship itself. The first thing I noticed was there was now another “face” card on the scene, suggesting another type of approach, as well as being another Queen.

In cartomancy, Queens are valued at 12, which reduces to 3 (12 = 1 + 2 = 3); 3 is a number that indicates increase and expansion, so it’s nice to see that, along with all the flowers on this card, which symbolize growth and development (like the flowers on the 4 of Spades/Death).

3 is also a number that suggests growth and development as a result of making a commitment and being productive.

For me, the suit of Clubs can indicate work and business, being social, and making progress. In terms of the relationship, this card can suggest a “working” relationship, and the Queen of Clubs can be a collaborative type of personality, so the deck is seeing us collaborating together in the future—perhaps doing “business” together, meaning working together socially, doing public readings together.

Another tell is the lioness on the card holding a cat in her hand; in traditional Tarot, this can be considered her “familiar,” which suggests we’re going to become more “familiar” with one another in the future; and Clubs, as a suit, suggesting progress, reinforces this idea.

Being a card of confidence and strength, the Queen of Clubs is saying, “Don’t worry, we’re only going to become stronger.”

Over to You

And that’s my “You, Me, and Us” reading on my relationship with my newest oracle, The Illuminated Tarot.

Do you have a deck you’d consider trying out this reading with? It could be a brand-spankin’ new deck, or even one you haven’t used in a while and thinking about picking it back up.

If you give it a go, circle back and tell me how it went; I’d love to hear all about it!




About the Author:

I am passionate about dreams, Tarot, Reiki, personal growth & development, and self-improvement. I work with people, helping them understand the messages of their dreams, as well as read the Tarot professionally.
All the work I do has the same common thread: to get people to become more self-aware, so they can improve themselves and live their best lives. My favorite quote is by Socrates: “The unexamined life is not worth living.”

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