Everybody loves an oracle deck.
Whether you’re a newbie witch or a professional cartomancer, a devout monotheist or an experimental pagan, oracle decks offer a concentrated dose of unbiased and often uplifting wisdom. But choosing an oracle deck is no simple task. They can be expensive, and sometimes even though they look pretty they never seem to “click”. That’s why it’s essential to understand how they work, and preview how they will really resonate with you.
Oracle decks generally function in one of two modes: archetype or mantra. An archetypal oracle deck presents you with images, concepts, or figures, and links them to emotional and psychological realities we all experience so we can dip into our internal waters. A mantra-based oracle deck offers blurbs of encouragement, reflection, and support, helping you reorient your mind back to self-love. I’ve collected a few of each kind, but all of them are modern and bold, because an oracle deck is nothing if it’s not stunning to look at.
So if you’ve ever seen the plethora of gorgeous decks scroll by on your feed and thought—Maybe I should get one of those—you should, and I’ll help. I’ve compiled the 8 most lovely and unique decks for the oracle first-timer, giving you a glimpse into whether or not they’d work for you.
1. Moonology Oracle Cards.
This 44-card deck by astrologer Yasmin Boland is a complete love affair with the moon. Every card in this mantra-based deck displays the moon under different astrological signs, in different phases, and is accompanied with a core message to reflect on. If you are a moon-devotee, this is definitely a deck for you. It’s also a no-nonsense deck that offers very direct mantras and messages, which makes it an excellent tool for quick and true answers to what ails your heart. It invites you to approach it with a question in your heart, so it’s a good divinatory deck as well.
2. The Universe Has Your Back.
If you’re a spiritual seeker and already love the words of Gabby Bernstein, her 52-card deck will not disappoint. Don’t worry if you’re unfamiliar with this modern-day guru, you’ll also love this deck for its empowering and grounding mantras, as well as its impeccably beautiful, flowery design. Keep in mind that Gabby Bernstein writes with a Course in Miracles faith background, and so the messages on her cards have the slightest Christian flavor. There’s no Jesus talk or anything, but it’s very common to see terms like “faith”, “miracles”, and “prayer”, which can turn some people off. But overall the mantras in this deck are some of the most powerful and reflective I’ve seen in any oracle deck, and if you’re ready for some serious spiritual opening, go get it right now.
3. The Wild Offering Oracle.
If pretty, rustic, bohemian things are your jam, this 52-card deck is for you. The incredible, vibrant design of the cards does so much to enhance the lovely words of creator Tosha Silver. What’s unique about the Wild Offering Oracle is that while it is a mantra-based deck, it doesn’t offer a single meditative sentence as much as a short paragraph of reflection. It’s essentially a deck of prayer, and if you’re spiritually centered but struggle with how to express it, you couldn’t choose a better deck. It also has an archetypal edge, as many of the cards address more abstract concepts like “change” and “clarity”, and presents a prayerful meditation that helps integrate the concepts into your heart with simplicity. This is a great deck to make part of a morning ritual, or a routine of daily deepening and checking in.
4. The Moon Deck.
I first discovered this deck by Aarona Lea Pichinson and Andi Keh in a yoga class, when the teacher invited us to pull a card to focus our intentions for the class. When my eyes landed on the soft, warm artwork of the card I’d selected, and then read the even softer, warmer mantra it offered, I knew this deck was meant for me. The 44-card Moon Deck is not only super pretty, it’s super simple. It doesn’t try to dive too deep or get too brainy. It presents a simple declarative mantra to cultivate inner awareness and a sense of peace, and it’s an amazing tool for dropping in. This is another deck great to incorporate into a daily practice, but it really shines as a tool of re-centering. When you begin to wander away from yourself, this deck offers truly lovely reminders of how to cherish ourselves.
5. Work Your Light Oracle Cards.
This utterly breathtaking 44-card deck by Rebecca Campbell marries the archetypal and mantra-centered approaches. Each card offers either a symbol (such as “Mirror”) or a statement (such as “Dance”) to engage a particular energetic idea, along with a short recommendation or bit of advice. This is the most woo-woo of the decks I’ve compiled, and doesn’t shy away from very new-agey terms and sentiments that sometimes turn people off. It’s a tad wild, and a tad earthy, and a tad profound, but all together it feels like an ecstatic manifestation of the modern soul-seeking aesthetic. So if you’re a true starseed, this deck should vibe with you perfectly. And seriously, it’s beauty alone is enough to lift you to higher planes of consciousness.
6. The Wild Unknown Animal Spirit Deck.
A true archetypal deck, these 63 cards by Kim Krans is for the animal lovers and spiritual seekers alike. One of the more popular and intuitive decks in this compilation, the Animal Spirit deck pictures both real and mythical animals, but does not offer any mantra or statement for reflection. Instead it depicts the animals in their stark wild nature, suggesting their significance implicitly rather than explicitly. The guidebook provides a deeper understanding and experience of the cards, but the deck’s true beauty lies in choosing a card and allowing its intuitive archetypal meaning to ring through you silently. This deck is a great addition to a spiritual practice, but not as easy to use for specific answers or divination. If you’re journeying inward, and you connect strongly with the animal world, this deck will be perfect for you.
7. Rumi Oracle.
This is definitely the most abstract of the decks I’ve selected, but also the most poetic. Created by well-known deck author Alana Fairchild, this 44-card oracle transforms Rumi’s mystical and meditative poetry into chunks of powerful wisdom. You don’t need to be familiar with the medieval poet’s work to appreciate the exquisiteness of this deck, and to feel Rumi’s particular sense of passion for the human heart and the divine. The art of this deck is richly colored and round and meditative on its own, and the long explanations of the archetype it’s relating is written as if in Rumi’s own awe-inspiring voice. The one downside of this deck is that it’s really necessary to refer to the guidebook to understand each card’s significance, but the messages are so profound it’s well worth the effort. This deck is for the poet at heart, who’s utterly in love with the divine.
8. The Divine Feminine Oracle.
This is my daily go-to deck, and a beautiful updated version of the tradition goddess decks that have been around for decades. Theologian Meggan Watterson’s 53-card deck highlights not only the most important goddesses in history, but also real and legendary women who have embodied aspects of the feminine divine. In addition to introducing you to these archetypal figures, the Divine Feminine deck offers a mantra they each inspire. This deck is super pretty, super feminine, and super empowering. It’s essential for any spiritual feminist looking to connect to the divine feminine in herself. This is the perfect deck to make part of a new moon or full moon ritual, or to bring to a get-together of spiritually-minded friends.