Yes, you can use a tarot spread with oracle cards. However, you should consider how large the spread is and how complex the reading is. Tarot cards are better for larger and more complicated spreads. Oracle cards tend to do best in a one to three-card spread.
Using Tarot Spreads With Oracle Cards
There’s nothing stopping you from using tarot spreads for your oracle readings. In fact, I use most of mine interchangeably and find it’s more often the specific deck that makes a difference rather than the type (oracle or tarot).
The only thing you should watch out for are large spreads. I wouldn’t use an oracle deck for a Celtic cross for example as I found the cards aren’t specific enough to derive meaning from in a more complex spread. For oracle cards, I like to keep the spreads at three cards or under and five at most.
Using Oracle Cards Alongside Tarot Cards In Spreads
Just as you can use oracle cards alone in a spread you would otherwise reserve for tarot readings, you can also incorporate oracle cards into your tarot readings. If you want to combine tarot and oracle cards in one spread then I recommend using only one oracle card alongside tarot cards or using only one tarot card alongside oracle cards.
What you decide on will come down to your reading and your oracle deck of choice. Use your intuition to determine which deck is right for the reading you’re preparing to do.
Using Oracle Cards As Signifiers
Another way to incorporate oracle cards into a tarot reading is to use only one oracle card as a signifier. For more complex reading this is the best way to use oracle cards alongside tarot. A signifier is a card you physically and consciously pick to represent yourself as the questioner or the focus of your question (a person or situation).
Using Oracle Cards In a Spread With Tarot
When you’re deciding on your spread and plan to use both tarot and oracle, you should aim to use spreads that use oracle cards to highlight the energies and emotions and tarot cards to help you make actionable plans toward the situation or plan in question.
For example, a relationship spread using both oracle and tarot cards might look something like this:
- Oracle Card: The current situation
- Oracle Card: The resolution I want to move toward
- Tarot Card: What energy should I approach the situation with?
- Tarot Card: What challenges might I face?
- Tarot Card: What first steps can I take?
What Type of Oracle Card Decks Should You Use With Tarot Cards
From my personal collection, I would reach for Nature’s Wisdom Oracle by Mindy Lighthipe or Earth Magic Oracle Cards by Steven D. Farmer when looking to use them alongside tarot cards. These two decks work really well for establishing a signifier in your readings as they have very clear meanings and visuals connected to each card. Other decks like the Work Your Light deck are more nuanced and ‘feely’ making it less ideal as a signifier.
For example, from the Nature’s Wisdom Oracle I might select the Rose – Love card to represent my relationship as a signifier or the Pine Tree – Survival card to represent myself going through a rough situation.
How to Pick an Oracle Deck to Pair With Your Tarot Deck
When you’re shopping for an oracle deck to pair with your tarot deck, you’ll want to start by taking stock of the tarot decks you have on hand. If you only have one even easier or simply pick your most used deck. You should consider the deck itself, taking account of its theming, who the author is, and how the deck approaches tarot. Some decks tend to be softer in nature while others can be more blunt and brutal.
Recommended Author Pairings
In some cases, an author will recommend a pairing for their deck from their personal collection. Even if they don’t come out and recommend the decks be used together, you’ll often find that oracle and tarot decks from the same author will work quite well together.
Theming is something else you should keep in mind. Matching decks with similar theming and focus will result in better reading outcomes. By this, I mean pairing decks that focus on using nature imagery at the core, decks that use cosmic imagery, and other focuses of theming.
Focused and Simplistic Decks
It’s best to find decks that are simple and focused in their imagery when doing combined readings. Karma Cards, for example, would never work as they have a specific and intricate structure that must be used to read them.
It’s All Trial and Error
You’ll find that not every match you think is going to work ends up resulting in a good pairing. Just as I sometimes believe I’ll mesh well with a deck only to find that I don’t feel drawn to it or connected to it in the slightest. So much of oracle and tarot reading relies on your using your intuition and what feels right. There’s no wrong answer, so get to reading!