How to read Oracle Cards
(even if you have never tried)

By Lili Acuña Bozzo

Oracle cards are a magical tool to listen to life.

They bring to the light of your consciousness valuable information that is hidden inside you.

What will happen is that in a reading there will be a dialogue, a communication with our subconscious mind, from which we will be able to reveal relevant information for our personal processes.

We will communicate with this part of our mind through images and symbols, the language of the unconscious mind.

These symbols appear in the cards and we can unfold the reading through active listening and intuition.

Let's go step by step breaking down the information...

How to communicate with the Unconscious Mind

Our subconscious mind is a part of our mind that we do not see clearly, and it holds valuable information about ourselves.

It's like an iceberg, where we can only see one eighth of its height. There are seven other parts submerged underwater.

What is submerged is our subconscious mind. As if it was the hard disk of the mind, where all the information that we have received throughout life resides, be it conscious or unconscious.

This is why we want to communicate with the information that is there, because even though we believe we are making decisions freely all the time, it is not so. At the subconscious level, our mind is progammed, and it has been recording information since childhood. That programming has been modified or consolidated over the years.

These unconscious programming has created deep structures in our personality and they are often unconnected to our true essence.

The powerful subconscious mind does not understand scientific language, its language is artistic, made of images and metaphors.

That is why through the cards we become allies with our subconscious mind, because we communicate with this space of our interior in the same language with which this space speaks to us.

This space speaks to us constantly: in dreams, people who appear in our lives, it sends us messages without words and it uses symbols...

That is why symbols are very important to make a reading that opens us to our true and wonderful essence.

Each card is then an inner mirror, which reflects important information that is inside you.

In the card there are symbols, symbols that we put in front of us, brought from that hidden side... And they are also personal symbols, that will resonate differently for each person.

"Once I did a reading to someone who worked with clay. And one of the things that he saw, was someone working with clay... Another time, I read the cards to someone whose partner was seriously ill. She only saw death."

What the cards help us to then is to understand and listen to our interior. Each person has his own particular universe, his own history.

When you see your story and see your internal information reflected in the card, it helps you to have a deep understanding of your life, to align yourself with your real priorities and it also brings you guidance to your life.

A guidance that your own innner teacher gives you.

What is synchronicity and why is it essential in a reading

This is an essential point in a card reading and it's related to surrender, trust and open to mystery.

Well, what will happen is that the card that a person draws will always be the right card for that person.

Always, the card that comes out is the card for you.

It's in this way that life, when you give it the opportunity, speaks to you and manifests itself.

I like to understand it under a concept proposed by Jung, the idea of synchronicity.

"André Bretón, a French writer, described it in a very nice way as: 'The unexpected or random confluence between what a person wants and what the world offers him or her as an experience' "

That is when I imagine 2 rivers running separately.  At a certain point of the valley, or of life, these rivers converge. That point where they come together I imagine it to be just like the moment a person draws a card.

It's a moment of an encounter: on the one hand there is life waiting to be heard and on the other side ithere is a person looking for life... You take a card and Tah-Dah!, they meet.

Start by knowing your deck. How?

First I think it's very important to make a personal trip with the oracle or another cards deck that you have.

Integrate it with yourself. Getting to know it well means to embark on a personal journey, in which you look at each card and you incorporate its information in your life.

You can immerse yourself in its images and its energy, you can take a card every day, every week, or every month and look at it, feel what it evokes you and reflect on it. That reflection will accompany you in your processes and your life journey...

When you start to know your cards and make them part of you, you create a coherence, a harmony with their energy, their images and their details.

Knowing them will help you to know yourself better, because you what they say: as it is outside it is inside.

The necessary space

Create a quiet space to do the reading, a space in which you can connect.

Make it a quiet place to listen to yourself, a space where you rest upon the time of no-time as the Mayans said...

The time of art, of the natural rhythm, the time in which you forget if seconds or hours have passed.

This is the time in which intuition manifests itself with gifts. Here, intuition appears naturally as the channel through which your inner self manifests itself with the most assertive messages and those that need to be heard.

The rol of intuition in a card reading

Now let's look at intuition, and we will talk about it as the ability to know, understand or perceive something clearly without the intervention of reason.

In the East (from the perspective of Hinduism and Buddhism) and in America (for the ancestral knowledge of the Amazon), intuition is considered as a high state of consciousness. It is achieved through concentration and meditation, it is what they call in many parts of the world: the third eye.

Usually we do not talk much about intuition, because somehow the culture of which we are part of is very rational and relies more on what is "verifiable" or what can be put into words.

So it tends to take away the value of this knowledge, or simply deny it. Even when it has accompanied us since the time of our ancestors.

It is a knowledge that has always been. It's our first approach to knowledge, it's an understanding that comes through dreams, images and sensations.

Listening to your intuition is an ancient knowledge that resides within you, is within each and every one. For some people it is a voice that they hear very quietly, or that they may have silenced, and for others it's a voice that guides their journey.

Regardless of which side of the road you are at, at the end, all of us know what it means. It is an internal voice that at some point has guided us.

The central element in a card reading

It's something very simple and at the same time under-developed in our society, and that is: To Listen.

So, once we are in a quiet place we can get into the mode of 
active listening. This way of listening is very important to develop a rich, honest and profound reading.

Active listening is different if you do a reading for yourself or if you do a reading for another person.

We will analyse this concept deeper down below.

How to do a reading for yourself

It goes hand in hand with learning to listen...

But, How can you listen to yourself in a personal reading?

Well, very simple, this is one of the reasons for the very existence of the Spiral Oracle, it will help you to listen and you will be able to generate an honest dialogue with your interior.

I feel that life speaks to us constantly, in all its movements, in the wind, in a conversation, in a text I read, in a leaf that falls...

But the truth is that nobody taught us to listen to life, to listen to ourselves. Therefore, learning to listen is an exercise that requires practice. Like everything ;).

For example: You draw a card and the first thing you do is observe the image. Once you look at it, you can ask yourself: What do I see?

You simply answer yourself out loud, with all the detail you want. It does not matter if you think that what you say has no coherence, it is important that you do not put any judgment on what you are saying.

Just express what you see as you see it, say what you feel.

You can also describe the image, or you can talk about the sensations that the image evokes in you. You can pay attention to your body and maybe perceive some sensation.

In what part of your body do you react to this card?

Just take your time and observe yourself, express yourself out loud. This is part of learning to listen to your inner voice.

Each present is different, so in this present you can look at the image of the card and see "A sun", for example, but maybe tomorrow you will take the same card and you see "A triple universe".

Open yourself to listen to each present, do not feel that the card is the same, it flows with what you feel in each moment.

Each person sees something different, because each person is a different universe. Then,  the information that you will bring from this active listening will be valuable information that resides within you It is your inner guide who will now be in command of the ship and who will help you understand.

How to do a reading to another person

If you are doing a reading for another person, it works from the same main focus: active listening.

The most important thing is to listen to the other being completely. Listen actively, without interrupting and paying attention to several aspects:

Observe the body language of you and the other person. It is important that you are comfortable and that you make eye contact. Open your body to consciously listen to the present moment.

Observe the other person's way of speaking, the tone and the words they are telling you. Listen not only with your ears, but also with your eyes and with your heart. Put yourself in the shoes of your interlocutor for a better understanding. Do not focus on what you will say later, focus on the present.

If there is something you do not understand or something in which you need clarification, you just ask the person.

To listen actively is to be there for others without projecting your topics on them. It means being there 100% listening, and guiding them acting like a mirror, so that they can see themselves reflected on you and work with themselves.

Being a mirror

How to be a mirror for the other person?

Well, first, You already are one even without wanting to... The outside acts as a mirror for our mind, in it we see reflected different qualities or aspects of our own being.

I personally emphasize this idea in my readings as a way for the person with whom I am working to be able to see, literally, herself or himself.

Let's look at it with an example, someone takes a card and you ask:

 -What do you see? The person can tell you:                                                   -I see a violet tornado and illuminated eyes.
 -And what do you feel?
 -I do not feel anything.

It is very important that at that moment you hear closely how and what they tell you, so you can repeat that information in the most accurate way.

Then, while you reflect on the movements and the emotion that the person transmitted to you, you can answer, for example:


“So we a scenario where there is a violet tornado, illuminated eyes and you do not feel anything.”

Acting as a mirror you help the person to see their reflection in you. You help them see their own symbols, without your judgments or ideas,They manage to receive through you the information they have given you.

How to interpret the cards

The card of an Oracle Deck are windows to your interior.

They are images that speak to us in a deep language, a visual language that manifests itself as an internal mirror.

They show you a map so you can read that living world inside of you.

Our mind shows us every night, through dreams, a wide catalog of symbols that may seem confusing, but that are anchored in our subconscious.

You can always travel to the world of your dreams to know your own inner symbology, here you can find information to connect with your dreams.

These symbols serve as guides to show us desire, fears or other perspectives.

This is the so-called "symbolic language".

Access to the symbolic world, to the spiritual world, to the unconscious world is part of magic. The oracle then becomes an instrument, a key to access the sacred world from which movement and creation originate.

You open a door to your soul, your spirit and mystery.

To interpret the cards it's important to understand that in them there are symbols that the subconscious understands in its own symbolic language. It is important to pay attention to the meaning that those symbols and metaphors may have.

Think of where almost nothing is literal, everything is symbolizing something.

Symbolizing what?

It's on your hands to discover it.

The symbols can be personal, related to culture or universal ones.

For example: Let's imagine you take out a card that has a blue flower.
Let's take the hypothetical case that you had a specific story with a blue flower when you were little, in which when you saw it for the first time your belly hurted.
Now imagine that another person takes the same card with a blue flower but her memories with a blue flower are of joy and love.
And if you look at a universal symbolic language, a flower may mean something that is blooming and maybe the blue color will be connected with the sky, the divine, spirituality.

Then, when viewing and interpreting a symbol, we must consider that each observer is different and that the experiences and interpretations will be different for each one, and that therefore they will speak to the person who is interacting with the cards.

My favourite method

A card reading follows certain steps.

I imagine that for each oracle it's different and that each reader also has its own style.

Here I will describe in a very personal way what I do and describe it with a specific oracle that is the Spiral Oracle Deck (which I created, so I know it very well).

The first step is then to create a quiet place and connect with that peace of no-time.

Now, depending on whether I am doing a self reading or a reading for another person, I ask the person or myself to hold the cards for a while. So the energy of who will be drawing the cards will be transferred to the deck and the space. You can also offer to shuffle the deck, whatever you feel at the moment.

When the person, or me, feels that deck is already charged with energy, it's time to spread the deck of cards on a surface.

This is the moment when I use a symbolic act to traverse the portal of the oracle, and this act is "knocking on its door"...

How to do it?

Well, you ask the person to knock on the deck, with the fist on the top card of the deck.

This is part of the language that the unconscious understands, it's a symbolism with which I am saying mainly 2 things to that hidden part of my mind:

  1. I am asking for permission to look at what is there.
  2. I'm telling it that we're going to open some doors.

After having "knocked the door" the person is asked to extend the deck as he feels it, so to have access to as many cards as possible.

Once the deck is extended it means that we have reached the moment of the encounter, the synchronicity, the moment to choose a card.

Usually when I choose a card I use my left hand, because it's the one that is closest to my heart, and I use my ring finger, because symbolically it's the finger connected to the heart.

This moment is personal and the person can take all the time they need and choose as they feel.

Some people need to touch the cards, others prefer to scan with their hand from a distance, there are people who feel a magnetism that tells them which card to choose, others feel cold or warm. There are some that are simply more visual and just choose the card they want.

All the ways of choosing are fine, it is the wonder of diversity.

Then, we put our radar in attentive mode, because when the reading begins we give ourselves to observation, to active listening and to our intuition.

The first card that the person chooses, when working with the Spiral Oracle, usually refers to its current scenario.

However, we don't tell the person that, so we do not make it prone to anything, but rather let her listen to herself.

Once a card is chosen, the question would be:

-What do you see here ? or -What do you feel with this card? How would you describe the image?

You can try which questions flow with you, or create your own questions.

At this moment we are 100% for the other person or 100% for yourself. Then the person can unfold all their vision, emotions, sensations, silence.

If it is a self-reading, try to speak clearly and with all the details that emanate from within you, express what comes to you in the form of words without judgments and follow your curiosity so that you are able to listen to that inner guidance.

Now is the time when you act as a mirror for the other person by repeating the information they gave you, so that it can be seen.

Now (this part is specific for a reading with the Spiral Oracle) you ask the person or you ask yourself to integrate the information that you has come out with the information that is in the text.

You will read the text out loud.

Why should you read out loud

I wrote the text in the first person, so when reading aloud you create a decree, a manifesto.
Each text contains words of love and processes of profound transformation, so that by raising a conscious and determined word, it soon gives way to action, an action in favor of a life more connected with our essence.

Also, there is a difference between reading aloud or reading silently.

On the one hand when you read silently, this reading takes place on a mental plane. When you get your voice out, it comes to our material plane, which is the plane of concrete things, where you concrete things.

That is, by reading aloud and in first person you are bringing those words to your material reality, and thus you access the first step of your transformation.

Then you can integrate both understandings, the one that emerged from observing the card with the text.

Here you could mention that the first card could be revealing a scenario.

In a reading, I usually take 3 cards. And with each card the process is repeated in which the person talks about the image and then reads the text aloud. What changes is the understanding and the integration that is made with the information you have received.

It usually occurs like this:

  • The first card as I said before will be the scenario.
  • The second card will represent a challenge, or something to keep an eye on. A task to be done.
  • The third card closes the circle of understanding.
  • The fourth card is optional, it will depend on the person, if they feel that everything is already clear or if there still are some doubts, a specific question, or a specific situation that they want to solve.

There is no need to say that question out loud, but rather it's important that you bring its energy to the space and that with that intention you draw a card.

Then the same process is repeated for the person to look at the card and then read.


At the end of a reading a summary is made integrating the most relevant aspects of what has been spoken. Then you ask the person, or yourself, to turn the chosen cards, return them to the deck and taking the deck between the hands being grateful (internally) for that space they allowed themselves to inhabit.

It is important to mention that what happens in a cards reading must always be taken care of, protected and its privacy respected, so that doors open and trust and communication with the inner self grows.

I feel that each person following their inner guidance can create their own way of interacting with the cards, creativity is unlimited and the connection with our inner world is of infinite nuances.

So I invite you to create and share your own experience in the comments ↓↓↓

How do you do it?