Spirituality · Wicca · Witchcraft

Using Oracle Cards for Intention Setting

The New Moon is upon us, and as it’s prime time for intention setting, I thought I’d talk about one of the ways I do it. Hopefully, you’ll find something here to take away.

My Oracle Deck: The Enchanted Map Oracle Cards

The Process

After getting in the right head space (call this what you will: meditation, cleansing, casting the circle, erecting the temple, etc.), I shuffle my cards with a simple question in my head: what do I need to know about the coming week/month/year/etc.?

Then I draw 3 cards:

  1. What is going to happen–this is an actual event or problem that will arise during the time period I have asked about. This is what I consider a fixed card, which will be important later.
  2. What my reaction will be–this is my raw, unfiltered reaction to the event or problem. This is what I consider a changeable card.
  3. What the outcome of the combined event/problem and present reaction will be–this is what it says it is. If I react to the problem in a habitual way, this is what the end result will be. This card is also changeable.

So I’ve determined what’s coming (in broad terms), what my reaction will be, and what the outcome of the two will be. But we’re not done. I use my oracle cards as a tool for personal growth, and a big part of this is setting intentions moving forward. So let’s play this out:

I drew Sad Embrace, Stuck in the Mud, and Making a Choice. This is where knowing your deck is important (if you don’t know your deck very well yet, you can still do this exercise but may need to adjust it as you learn more about yourself and how your deck speaks to you).

My interpretation of these cards:

  1. I will experience an unexpected loss. This can be big, but it’s most likely smaller, much like how drawing Death in traditional tarot cards almost never means someone will die. But it will matter to me, and it will probably hurt.
  2. I will be stuck in the state of my experience, feeling like there isn’t a way out. I will need to be present and acknowledge how I feel there.
  3. I will be forced to make a choice. This choice can lift me up or shoot me down, but it will lie with me.

While not the worst reading I’ve ever had, the real magic is in the power of being an active character in your own story. So I look at the cards I consider changeable: my reaction to the problem and, by nature of cause and effect, the end result. These are cards 2 and 3.

Revisiting the cards I’ve drawn:

  1. I can’t change the event. Even if I’m not sure what it will be, it will come to pass. Instead, I will have to accept it as it comes, even if it hurts.
  2. I can change how I react to what will occur. I have an advantage: I know something’s coming. Now is the time to set an intention to grow and become a better version of myself. So instead of wallowing and feeling stuck, I turn back to my deck, knowing that there are better ways to react to loss. This is not a random draw, just like I don’t want to react randomly to the situation: I am actively seeking to become better. Look at your cards. Consider your options. If a few stand out to you, pull them all out. Mull them over, and pick the one that your intuition reaches for. In the end, I choose Magic Stream: recognizing how connected I am to others around me and reaching out for help.
  3. By changing my reaction, I automatically change the endgame. That is true power of transformation. What do I want my outcome to be? I can leave it as it is, but if I reach out for help when I need it, what will I be able to achieve? Go back to the deck. Once again, this is not a random draw. You are actively shaping your new reality. Find a card that represents your wildest dream outcome. I choose Come Together: an outpouring of love and support from those around me that I am more than happy to return.

What if I Draw 3 “Good” Cards to Start?

I can choose to leave them as they are, but remember, this is about transformational growth. Can I dream bigger? Should I be gracious in the wake of the gifts I’ve been given? Am I able to share my light with others? Is there a way I can actively align myself with my higher self? Spoiler alert: always. I find those cards and use them!

What if I Have Trouble Deciding How I Should React?

If I struggle determining my best reaction, I jump to the outcome, or card 3. What is my biggest, craziest, best, wildest dream outcome given the situation? Once I answer that, I can usually determine how I will need to change to reach that point.

Making it Stick

Now that I have an idea of what I would like my future to look like, I swap out the cards. I leave the first one the same, and exchange the second two for the ones I have actively chosen to be my new reality. I leave the sequence of 3 cards on my altar. That way, every time I sit down to meditate, they are right in front of me to focus on. Sometimes, if I feel like an extra boost is needed, I find a rune or tarot card I want to channel to help me change my course and lay it on top of my reaction card. For you this could be a crystal or a handwritten spell. If you need a reminder, take a photo of the cards and look at them when you begin to feel lost.

Don’t have an altar? Tape the cards to your bathroom mirror, tuck them in your daily agenda, use a magnet to stick them on your fridge, or find another place to put them where you’ll see them often. The point is to keep your intentions in the front of your mind. We can’t always choose what happens to us, but we can always choose how we react to it. Be active, not just reactive. You decide what your future looks like.

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