How to Read Angel Cards - A Guide by Jacky Newcomb
Angel Cards are the perfect way to connect to your celestial friends; they’re easy to use, safe, and I’m going to show you how.
What are angel cards?
Angel cards are oracle packs full of inspirational and motivational words and phrases. Inspired by the angels themselves, your pack may consist of anything from 36 to a hundred or more cards. Your pack may be illustrated with pictures of angels or beautiful spiritual images, sometimes referencing the words on the card.
Less scary than tarot cards, the angel cards need no special training and can be used within minutes of opening the pack. Most packs have a leaflet or booklet of information describing further information about each card or simply suggesting a variety of ways you can use them.
Your cards may have affirmations, inspirations or straightforward words of guidance. Messages on angel packs are always positive and uplifting. They are suitable for people of all ages and experiences and are completely safe for children to use. My own children and granddaughter have all used my cards from the age of about 2 (even if they only looked at the pictures). My granddaughter loves them and I recall one day about a year ago when she swirled a pack around on the floor and carefully selected one for each of those present. I asked her, ‘what did the angels want to say to me today?’ She considered it carefully before shouting out, ‘snap!’ and we all burst out laughing. Children are brilliant with angel cards because they have no fear of them.
How to choose a pack
Angel cards are available from book shops, new age and crystal stores, and on-line shops. If you are lucky enough to attend a mind, body and spirit festival you’ll usually find a much bigger selection than you’d come across in a normal shop.
You might choose the pack purely from the images or maybe the words are particularly poignant. Try asking a question and select a card at random. Does the card speak to you? Don’t worry if you can’t get to touch the cards in person. On-line shops often show a selection of images so you get a feel for how the cards work. Even the cover image will give you a lot of information about the personality of the pack.
Don’t panic if you buy some cards and you don’t like them. Second-hand packs of angel cards sell quite well on the internet or you might even pick a pack of angel cards based on their sale value; including buying a pre-used pack. If you want to build a collection then you’ll probably acquire them in many different ways. I even ask for them as gifts from friends. They are so popular now that many angel authors and experts have created their own packs. You’re bound to find something which suits your personality and style.
Storing your Angel Cards
I have several baskets where I store my angel card packs and use them all at different times depending on my mood. The basket makes it easy for me to rummage though and find what I want. Most of the packs I own come in strong packaging but other packs come in flimsier boxes. You can buy special card bags (draw-string pouches) to keep them safe, or look out for decorated wooded boxes to keep them safe. I display some of my smaller packs in open dishes so I can select a card as I pass by. One pack nestles in a pair of ‘open pottery hands’, another in a cut glass dish. One of my favourite packs is housed in a dish of glittery angel wings and another in a plaster basket held by an angel figurine. Have a look at what you already own; the more personal the better. One thing is for sure, if you store your cards in a cupboard you probably won’t use them!
Where to start
Once your pack arrives, open it up and have a look at every card. Get a feel for them by shuffling them in your hands. Simple instructions might appear on the box itself or on one or more cards or a leaflet inside. Some books have a whole booklet of instructions.
Angel cards work by drawing down guidance and intuitive thoughts from your guardian angel. You might find the booklet helpful at first but with practice you’ll probably find you pick up your own messages from the cards. The image might suggest a different meaning to you than the explanation in the pack; always go with your own instinct because this is what we are trying to strengthen.
Preparing to read the cards
If you visit a psychic you might be amazed to see how the reader set’s out their reading table. You could do this at home if you wanted to expand the fun of using them. Here are some suggestions with the spiritual meanings for each.
- Many cover their table top with a fringed or glittery table cloth or layers of fabric like silk or velvet. You might have a treasured, inherited table cloth which would work beautifully or perhaps you could adapt a shawl or velvet bedspread. How about adding a few silky or jewelled scarves layered over the table? You can easily pick these up in sales or rummage around your own wardrobe for scarves you no longer wear. The cloths are grounding but the different fabrics and colours you use will help to let your personality shine through.
- How about adding a few crystals to your reading table? I have a fabulous, giant piece of rose quartz I picked up from a garden centre in the aquarium section. It was much cheaper than buying from a store. Smaller tumbled stones look wonderful in a dish on the side and you might want to hold one as you do your reading. You can also place one or two special stones in front of you to give ‘power’ or empower the reading.
- Fresh flowers are nice; just a small, low arrangement (so it doesn’t get knocked over). This will bring ‘life’ to the reading. White or pink flowers are perfect but if you prefer other colours use these.
- I always have at least one figurine on my reading table. Naturally I prefer angel figurines but you might like faeries or whatever feels spiritual to you. Your figurines will represent your guides so if you feel close to a particular type of animal (like a cat for example), add one of these. Many people have animal guides! You might prefer to add something from nature like a shell or pebble. Your figurines can be made of any type of material; carved wood, modern or old, plaster, painted or simply something you have made yourself.
- A candle is a ritualistic way of bringing ‘light’ to your reading; lighting a candle on your display immediately adds some glamour. White candles are suitable for all types of card readings but you might prefer a more angelic pink, blue or lilac or perhaps a special gold or silver candle (I stock up in the sales after Christmas!). Candles scented with aromatherapy oil can be lovely; flower scents are great for working with angels or try a frankincense oil candle (helps to draw the angels close).
- You can also add scent using an incense stick. I favour the natural ‘nag champa’ scent (smell it and you won’t ever want to burn any other), or frankincense again. You can also search for special incense which has been created specifically for angel work.
- Finally, if you prefer a natural candle and don’t like incense you can place an aromatherapy oil burner on your display. Just add a few drops of your favourite scented oil to the water at the top and it will infuse the air around you as you work.
Once you’ve created your display, your cards on the table in front of you. You might wish to use several packs at once. You can place a dish of the smaller cards out too.
Reading angel cards
I like to open all the boxes of cards before I start, stacking them up in piles in front of me. If you like you can do a little ritual before you begin reading; and this can be something entirely personal to you. How about saying a little prayer before you start? If you work with Reiki healing you could draw your Reiki symbols over the top of each pack. Another idea is to place a crystal on top of each pile before you start.
- Clear quartz amplifies the energy of the pack and helps to bring about a clear reading
- Rose quartz is wonderful for readings about relationships, especially relating to love and family
- Amethyst is a very psychic stone and may enable you to see more in your reading
Of course you’ll also want to ask your angels to help you. Say the following words (you can replace the word ‘me’ for ‘us’ as appropriate). Light your candle and off you go. You can hold each pack in turn as you say the following words.
Angels please keep me safe; surround me with your light
Bring me insight with this reading; guidance clear and bright
‘Shuffling’ the cards
Mixing up the cards – play around with the following methods. Smooth the cards around on the table in front of you, mixing them up with the palm of your hand. Or shuffle the pack in the traditional way. Select the cards from a basket or cut the pack, literally taking half of the pack from the front and putting it to the back. You can do this one or more times; whatever feels right to you.
Then select a card – you can choose one or two and read the messages right off the card. Try and expand a little saying what you feel and see as well as what you read. If you are doing the card for yourself, make a note of your reading. If you are reading for a friend, speak quickly and say whatever comes to mind. The faster you speak, the easier it is.
A traditional way of reading divination and oracle cards is using a spread. A spread is when you make a pattern of the cards face down on the table. In advance you select the meaning for each card and turn them over and read them one at a time. You can create your own patterns and your own meanings but here are a few to help you.
- A three card, past-present-future reading. Three cards in a row moving away from you – the card in front, closest to you is the past, the card in the middle is the present and the card furthest away from you represents the future. Read the card which represents the past first of all. It shows what has happened to you. Then read the middle card; it will talk about what you are going through in the present moment. Then select the card furthest away. It will show you where your future path lies.
- A two card everyday reading. Place two cards down on the table, both face down with one card crossing over the other. Ask a question then pull out the bottom card first to seek your answer. The second card will be additional guidance or help you discover where or how to find more answers.
- A four card general reading. Lay the cards space out in a square pattern. Starting from left to right on the top row, card 1 represents love, card 2 family, card 3 career and card 4 money. You can either ask a question and turn the card for the meaning or simply select the cards one at a time and read them using your gut instinct.
- Finally, keeping a dish of cards on your worktop or reading table means you can select a single card each time you pass by. If you are reading for others, ask your ‘client’ to select a card at random and ask them to tell you what the card means to them (thereby empowering them too!)
It’s useful to record your readings either on the computer or in a traditional notebook (which I prefer). Remember to write the date and the time as well as leaving a little space at the end for follow-up notes. Always check back to see if your messages were helpful.
Finally at the end of every reading, remember to thank your angels and blow out the candle. You can pack away your reading table (if you used one) or leave it out if you have room. You may add to your display or change it around from time to time keeping it organised and dust free.
Using cards might seem difficult at first but there are no real right or wrong ways to use them. If your intent is clear and you use the cards with good intent and love, you can’t go far wrong. The instruction booklet is useful to give you ideas but in the end, the best way to use the cards is the way which brings you the most enjoyment. Why not have a go at creating your own rituals and spreads?
© Holisticshop - First published 2003. Completely rewritten 2014. All rights reserved
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