Why I Don’t Read Oracle Decks

Jack Chanek

I’m a Tarot purist. I have never liked oracle cards, and even Tarot decks that veer too far from what I consider traditional (i.e. RWS, Thoth, or TdM) make me squirm in my seat like a four-year-old who doesn’t want to eat his cauliflower. However, my reasons for disliking oracle decks are not the same as those I most often hear expressed in the divination community.

I don’t think I’m misrepresenting when I say that most Tarot people, upon hearing the phrase “oracle cards”, think of Doreen Virtue. There are, of course, hundreds of non-DV oracle decks on the market, with themes ranging from colors to herbs to Celtic mythology, but–for better or for worse–Doreen Virtue is the name that has come to be synonymous with “oracle”.

This means that oracle decks get a bad rap from the outset. They are perpetually maligned as “fluffy”, “sugarcoated”, or “love-and-light”. Even though…

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