It’s always good to get a visual element into personal development, and using Tarot or Oracle cards is a good way to do that.

There’s a difference between the two of them, and I’ll be discussing that in another article. Right now I want to give you a few specific ways to use them in your own personal development process. You can use any deck that has images that speak to you and give your intuition room to move around in. While card meanings are useful, you don’t want to be confined by them, so sometimes cards without keywords printed on them can be useful. Most decks come with guidebooks, so you can always find the “meanings” there.

Pick a card as a daily focus

Often we want to grow as a person but don’t really know how to do this. Tarot and oracle cards are a perfect way to let us do this a little at a time. Oracle cards usually have a few words or a theme about them, so you can pull one in the morning, spend a minute reading the guidebook description or thinking about what the card means to you, and try and keep it in your attention during the day. Say, for example, your card is “patience.” Maybe you get stuck in line and the card can be a reminder to practice being patient instead of getting angry and frustrated.

Use them as journaling prompts

One of the best ways to work through your problems is to journal. But often we write about our problems we end up telling the same stories over and over and not getting anywhere. Try picking a card and writing about what it makes you think and how it makes you feel. Chances are, you’ll learn something about yourself or discover a new inroad into a sticky issue. At the very least, the more you write the more you learn, and anything that makes it easier and more fun to write is going to give you lots of mileage.

Let them give you a new perspective

If you’re stuck in a situation, think about what you need to know, pick a card at random and see what wisdom it has to offer you. A card can help you make new connections or see something from a new perspective. You can also ask your deck “What do I need to know?” before you pick one and see what the new information adds to your approach. The biggest problem we often have with our problems is that WE are the problem. It’s too hard to get out of our own heads to come up with new ideas or approaches. Cards are a great way to help with this!

Use them for evening reflections

Socrates has said “The unexamined life is not worth living,” and while that’s a little harsh it does have a lot of wisdom to it. It’s ok to make mistakes, or to fee stuck, but if you don’t ever think about what you did or what you could do differently, you’re not going to get anywhere. Cards can help you open up the discussion and offer you possibilities that you might not think about; especially at the end of the day when you’re fed up and tired. They also let you write about your experience in a non-judgmental way. Ask your cards things like “what could I have tried differently?” or “why did that happen?” Keep in mid that there is nothing predictive about this. The cards don’t have to be “right” in order to prompt you to eventually figure new things out.

Choose a card deliberately

If there is a specific quality you want to develop, there is probably a card that you can carry around to remind yourself of that intention. Whether it’s the Lovers card or the Sun from the tarot, or an oracle card with a specific keyword, choosing one of them deliberately can keep your goal or intention in mind. Cards are also a great way to add some support in your life. Whether you stick one on your mirror or in your planner, you can easily find a deck that will uplift and encourage you.