How to Use Oracle and Tarot Cards For Deep Inner Work

Here are some ideas on how we can use Oracle and Tarot cards for deep inner exploration:

How to Use Oracle and Tarot Cards For Deep Inner Work

Here are some ideas on how we can use these bits of card for deep inner exploration:

1. Inner Child Work
Inner child work is the practice of connecting with, exploring, understanding, learning from, and healing your inner child. We all have a vulnerable place inside of us that sees the world with childlike wonder and an open heart. Many of us have lost touch with this soft part of ourselves or have suppressed the inner child due to trauma or early life abuse. Reconnecting with your inner child is one of the most profound forms of inner work you could ever commit to. It truly creates deep transformation if you stick with it.

What I love about using tarot and oracle cards for inner child work is that it can be so eye-opening, yet nurturing and supportive. Depending on the deck you use, inner child work can be no-nonsense and in your face, or it can be subtle and gentle. Your inner child will be very responsive and sensitive towards the pictures of the cards, so consider working with a soft deck (perhaps with an angelic, storybook or animal theme). Consider working with decks such as the Inner Child Cards, Shadowscapes Tarot, Wisdom of the Oracle or Alice: the Wonderland Oracle.


To begin using your tarot or oracle cards for inner child work, think of three questions you would like to ask your inner child. Examples may include:

  • What would you like to tell me?
  • How can I nurture and support you more?
  • What hidden gift do you carry?
    Once you pull your cards, pause and reflect on them. I recommend journalling briefly (or in depth if you have the time) about the cards you pull and what feelings, thoughts, and memories they trigger within you.

2. Shadow Work
I adore using the tarot and oracle for shadow work – they go hand-in-hand like peanut butter and jelly. The whole point of these wondrous cards is to draw up unconscious knowledge, and as you may or may not know, the unconscious is also conveniently the realm of the shadow self.

Is it possible to directly communicate with your shadow self through tarot and oracle cards? Yes, I believe it is so long as you have a clear intention and focus.

Decks I recommend looking into for doing shadow work include Deviant Moon tarot, Ceccoli tarot (if you are merging shadow work with inner child work), Dark Mirror oracle, and the Halloween oracle.

To begin, consider creating a section in your journal that is dedicated specifically to your tarot shadow work. (You may even like to consider setting aside an entire journal by itself as tarot shadow work can draw up a lot of intriguing content, believe me.) There are many shadow work tarot spreads on the internet that you can draw inspiration from, but it’s best to start simple. Think of some questions or topics you would like to explore. Examples may include:

  • What is my major blind spot right now?
  • What hidden motives are behind
  • What is my relationship like with sexuality?
  • What is my relationship like with power?
  • What is my relationship like with other people?
  • What truth am I currently avoiding?
  • What am I currently clinging to?
  • What is my greatest fear?
  • What is holding me back that I don’t want to face?
  • What am I projecting onto others?


I could go on and on, but these questions will give you a good place to start. Once you have pulled a card or two, write down the cards you got and your reflections. Notice whether any anger, disgust, shame or fear is triggered within you. If so, this is a clear sign you’ve touched on shadow material. Hooray! Now it’s time to do some digging and introspection.

3. Meditation
Tarot and oracle cards are also wonderful ways to develop single-pointed concentration. Simply draw a card for the day, put it in front of you, set a timer (e.g. for 10-20 minutes) and gaze at it. While you are observing the card, focus simultaneously on your breath going in and out. Don’t try to interpret the card, simply notice the colors, faces, forms, emotion, shapes, etc. Let everything you see go in and out of your mind like clouds passing through the sky.

Meditating with your tarot and oracle cards also doubles as a wonderful way of ‘getting to know’ your new deck (or deepening your relationship with an old one).

4. Pathworking (or inner journeying)
Pathworking is essentially a technique that involves mentally projecting yourself into the picture of the card. This is done to gain wisdom, self-knowledge or solutions to problems.

Pathworking can be used in conjunction with meditation (see above) or as a technique by itself. To begin pathworking, sit in a dark room, light a candle, and place it at the base of your card (but not too close as you don’t want it to become all crispy like a piece of bacon!). Breathe deeply, ground yourself, and focus on the card. Let your focus become gentle and soft. When you are ready, imagine yourself stepping into the card. Spend some time walking around in the landscape, noticing what the atmosphere feels like, and touching objects within the card. If a person, animal or other being is within the card, approach them and start a conversation. What information do they have to share with you? If they wish to take you to another place, listen to your gut and let yourself follow if you feel comfortable. Remember that you are in complete control and you can cease your pathworking whenever you feel the need to.

Pathworking is a fascinating and effective way of gaining deep self-insight. While for some people this technique is difficult, for others (more ‘imaginative’ or dreamy types) it comes naturally. So experiment and discover the power of this practice yourself!


5. Self-Love
Some of the most loving messages I’ve ever received have come through tarot and oracle cards – and many people have had the same experience. What I love about using tarot and oracle cards for deepening my self-love is how often they align with synchronicity. For example, I tend to pull the precise cards I need to learn from at the exact right time. It is these cards that give me goosebumps, make my heart burst open, and my eyes swell with tears. Again, this is not an experience unique to me, almost everyone who uses tarot/oracle cards will have at least one magical moment of heartfelt epiphany about themselves.

To use tarot/oracle cards for self-love, choose a nurturing deck like Crystal Visions Tarot, Whispers of Love Oracle or Universal Love Oracle. Do a daily draw in which you pull a card each morning and reflect on it. You can even create a formal daily self-love practice in which you pull a card for the week and reflect each day on the various layers of the card and what messages it has to offer you.

Here are some questions you may like to ask when pulling a card:

  • What do I need to appreciate more about myself?
  • How can I be more gentle with myself?
  • What do I need to nurture in myself right now?
  • How can I protect myself more?
  • How can I be more self-compassionate today?
  • What do I need to forgive within myself?
  • How can I feed my soul today?
  • What do I need to release?
    As with all inner work practices, keep a journal and record your reflections. Also, ensure that you practically apply the advice you receive. There’s no point pulling cards if you aren’t willing to make conscious changes in your life. Be practical and seek to ground the discoveries you make in your daily existence.

I hope I’ve inspired you to explore this wondrous inner work tool – or apply it in a different way. There are a multitude of ways to use tarot/oracle cards so don’t see my suggestions above as the be-all-and-end-all. But I do hope the above practices help.

Source: Please Note: this article is the second part of a full article originally written by Aletheia Luna and published on lonerwolf.
Original title What is the Difference Between Oracle and Tarot Cards?
The first part of the article has been re-published here under the title What is the Difference Between Oracle and Tarot Cards?
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