Are Angel Cards Wimpy?

The other day I was perusing a Tarot forum and I came across a lot of negative comments regarding Angel Cards and Oracle decks that are totally positive and uplifting.

The problem that many of the forum commenters had was that all-positive decks do not accurately reflect the reality of life, which is a balance of light and dark.

angel tarot doreen virtueTo quote one commenter: “I’m not into the totally light and fluffy stuff. Life is both darkness and light–both are useful and both have their places. Denying one or the other is cutting oneself off from a whole realm of human existence.”

Another commenter was a bit harsher – unfortunately I couldn’t find the original quote, as the comment thread for this topic was huge – but he thought that Angel Cards appeal to people who don’t want to think and that these types of decks were dumbing people down.

While I LOVE gentle and uplifting decks with Angels and Fairies and cheery phrases, I thought these commenters had an interesting point.

Personally, I have quite a range of Tarot decks in my collection, although I have noticed I tend to gravitate toward the more uplifting decks, like the Crystal Visions Tarot.

Since I read with both “edgy” Tarot cards and Angel Oracle cards, I can honestly say that I don’t really find one to be superior to the other when it comes to getting insight and guidance. But I prefer the happy, sunshiny decks.

I do think that reading Oracle cards that have a full message written right on the card is way easier than reading Tarot cards that may just have a number and picture. But you know what? Who cares? There is enough things in life that are hard, doing readings doesn’t have to be struggle.

healing with the angels oracle cards

Healing with the Fairies Oracle Cards by Doreen Virtue

I think people are attracted to all-positive decks like Fairy Oracle cards and Angel Tarot because there is enough disturbing shit in the world and people don’t necessarily want to feel disturbed when they turn over The Devil or Ten of Swords. And that’s okay!

Studying Tarot is wonderful if you want a challenge and there is real value in understanding the “scary” Tarot cards, simply because once you shine a light on them they are no longer scary (a topic for another blog post!). But if simply getting higher guidance and comfort is what you want, Angel cards do the job amazingly well.

Tarot and Oracle cards are simply cards with pictures and words on them. They are designed to trigger our intuition, imagination and creativity. Go with the method that works best for you.

What do YOU think? Do you prefer Tarot cards or gentle Oracle decks? Or both? And do you worry that the all-positive decks are turning people into morons? Are Fairy and Angel decks too fluffy or do they have their place?

Join this juicy discussion in the comment section below! Can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

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38 Responses to Are Angel Cards Wimpy?

  1. Sunshine says:

    Hi Kate,

    I know I’m a bit late joining this discussion, but I am one of those who isn’t too keen on Angel Cards. However, I would say that they do not dumb anything down, I think on the contrary, each deck, whether Oracle or Tarot has it’s own language, and it’s a question of whether that language speaks to the individual or not. We all need some form of spiritual nourishment, and I find that the Tarot makes you really dig deep, but Angel cards are kind and supportive to one who could be feeling a little fragile and doesn’t need to be made afraid of anything, but needs to feel protected in some way. It’s a good way to channel some positive energy into one’s life, maybe feel the reassurance of having a guardian angel lifting us up a little. I use the Alana Fairchild Oracle decks for that purpose, but I wouldn’t begrudge anyone loving the Doreen Virtue decks or any other kind of Angel deck (be it Tarot or Oracle).

  2. Michele B says:

    I haven’t read all the comments here but I feel that both types of decks have a place. I also feel that you can deliver pretty much the same information from the Angel Tarot as the traditional tarot. After all, isn’t it how the words are said and the message delivered that really sets the tone for the reading? That’s what I feel anyway.

    I like all types of cards, tarot, oracle, etc…there are so many choices and styles. 🙂

  3. Teresa says:

    There are many decks, and it is just a matter of preference. I am a person who really understands cards like the Tower and the 10 or swords in the RWS deck, and do not find them frightening but a natural part of life. However, some people are more sensitive. I do use the Angel Tarot cards, and it depends on my mood. Sometimes I find them too fluffy and sometimes just nice and uplifting. Since they are a RWS based deck, I tend to read them like that with standard meanings that appropriate for the spread I am working on–sometimes it is a gut feeling which direction to go in plus something on the actual Angel card. I often will actually flash the RWS equivalent in my mind when using the Angel cards as often I just do not get enough from the Angel cards by themself. The same for most oracle cards, but they are wonderful supplement to a tarot reading. I also do not read reversals, I believe there is light and dark in every card and go with what the reading calls for. I get the best results when I use multiple decks, and I generally like 3 decks (one card from each deck for each position) and a spread that is appropriate for the need/question somewhere between 3-7 cards, but I vary all of this too. I particularly like using John Holland’s Psychic Tarot Oracle deck (a nice cross between oracle and tarot, on the tarotish side), the Angel Tarot deck, and an appropriate Oracle deck for the topic–and find these play really nice together and I get accurate information with a focused message. I particularly like these cards when reading for someone I don’t know well because there is not much that can offend people such as nudity and the cards are not scary: for example, the Death is often scary in the RWS to many but it is renamed as Release in Angel Tarot and Transformation in John Holland’s deck. If I am doing a blessing spread or that great Angel guidance spread on this site, then I really like the Angel deck or John Holland deck for that kind of reading. For myself, well I never know which deck I am going to reach for until it is in my hand. I like them all, although some I connect to better than others. For example, I have the Wildwood deck and I love the art, but just cannot connect to that deck, but still I enjoy looking through it on occassion and I am still have not given up on it. So it is all personal preference and what works for each individual–and your taste will change too as you develop as well. But for some people who have a negative or sterotypical idea of tarot from the movies, Angel Tarot cards and oracle cards are not scary, if they are open minded enough to give them a try. Angel Tarot have their place in the world, and if they are not for you, there are plenty of other decks that you can choose from, and there is sure to be a deck for you out there. 🙂

    • Kate says:

      Thanks for joining the discussion, Theresa! You make some awesome points here. I agree that if you really understand the “negative” card in the Tarot, then you don’t need “gentle” cards, but they are still fun to use. I use the Angel Tarot deck too and I also find myself flashing back (in my mind) to what the rider waite equivalent looks like! But I do this with almost all Tarot decks – just a funny habit. I will have to look into the John Holland deck – my mother in law has it and it and really likes it, too. I feel the same way about the Wildwood Tarot, although I haven’t actually used it enough to really connect properly with it.
      Happy Tarot Reading!


  4. Angela says:

    Hi. I have a friend who does readings and draws from two decks for each card.So she draws from a tarot deck and an oracle deck at the same time.It always astounds me how both cards will either say exactly the same thing or compliment each other.I have tried this myself and you get a very indepth reading every time.For instance I used the Angel Tarot and the Goddess oracle cards and did a “Spiritual progress” spread.Card one is “where the querent is in the current spiritual cycle”.I drew the Star/Archangel Jophiel, and Green Tara cards.Aparently Tara means “Star” in Sanskrit! Very interesting.Cheers Ang

  5. Agata says:

    Hello Kate,

    I am also very drawn to positive and uplifting decks.

    I do not think that angel cards are wimpy… I actually believe they’re the total opposite of wimpy. I think it takes balance, wisdom, and strength in order to see the light in every dark situation.

    Life is undeniably a balance of light and dark. But at the core of it, the only thing that is true in life is love, and so any darkness (fear, hatred) is an illusion… Life is all about choosing between love and fear.

    With that being said, I actually find that brighter, positive decks can often be more efficient and to-the-point as far as bringing one into clarity. And for that reason, I think they can, indeed, carry a more apparent vibration of healing…. But really, there is not a big difference… because **there is always an equal amount of understanding to be found, regardless of the deck used.**

    To say that one kind of deck does not honor a whole facet of human experience is very much ignoring the fact of what a tarot deck is in the first place. Tarot is a mirror; a tool for awareness… our reactions say everything about how we feel and think. Its a medium for leading one to understanding through the pathways of the mind.

    It does not matter what deck you use… you either see truth, or you fall under illusions. In a way, there is no such thing as a light and fluffy deck. They are all the same. It is the reader who responds and creates the energy.

    Thank you for giving this space to share opinions!! 🙂

  6. pooja says:

    hi kate !!!!!! i think ANGEL tarrot cards is the best supports you guides you ..motivates you ..and it has not atol changed the true meangs and aspects of life ….and for me oracle cards also do well
    alwayss gives me accurate readings ..
    i always to multi card reading with angel tarrot and oracle ..
    we all know ..LAW OF ATTRACTION …and even you agree with this kate that we create our own future…..
    so specially with DOREEN’S decks it motivates us to be on positive track …..and to heal our negative THINKING patterns…
    yes we all know know life is filled with LIGHT AND DARK ….but we are the creator ..
    ANGELS and gods ..are about to help and support us get peace in our hearts
    thats what we want that our clients to understand THE LAW OF ATTRACTION and share the love and peace ..
    and for the people who believe in healing others ….
    also for beginners ANGEL tarrot and ORACLE cards are the best

  7. Mel says:

    Great topic, Kate! I have been up and until recently, mostly a Tarot kind of person. Tarot is my go-to for indepth insight into issues, etc. I had only used my Goddess Guidance Oracle Cards on occasion for daily messages/draws but I just never really branched out into Oracle decks for spreads and complete readings until recently. I discovered the Messenger Oracle and my opinion and attitude about Oracle decks changed. This deck just speaks my language and honestly, I think that if a deck pulls you in and you truly gravitate to it, “fluffy” or “dark”, cheery or serious, it is meant to be in your life. Those energies want to work with you and in my opinion, that’s what I want- to work with energies that want to work with me too. So, I think it doesn’t matter what “personality” in decks you are drawn to, find what works for and speaks to YOU!
    I personally do not feel drawn to work with Angel decks and that’s fine and ok for ME! In my opinion, to each their own! Rock on! 🙂

    • kate says:

      Thanks Mel, for sharing your insights – I agree! I have seen pictures of The Messenger deck and it looks amazing (its on my list of Oracle decks to get!)

      • Mel says:

        It is a great deck, Kate. The more I work with it the more in love with it I become! Also, I recently purchased the Wild Wisdom of the Faery Oracle as well, what a lovely and wonderful deck! I really look forward to getting to know it soon, it has such an inviting personality! 🙂

  8. This is a great topic thank you Kate! I already joined the discussion on your fb page, but I’ll write here as well. I hear you too! I don’t think any kind of deck preference can define intelligence or intellectual levels. Those who think like that must be careful, since most of the mundane-oriented serious people think that divination itself is a dumb thing! :/ Life is truly a balance of light and dark, but darkness is the lack of light, another aspect of it, so I don’t think there is something wrong with seeking uplifting guidance, actually, this is the real deal in my opinion, how can we ascend to our better selves if we don’t get uplifted? Some oracle and Angel decks really seem unserious and fluffy, but this isn’t because they are “oracle” or “angelic”, I’m pretty sure about that… I have an example, the Angel Oracle by Ambika Wauters is the most serious angel deck I’ve ever seen, it is so regal and serious, I never touch them unless I have an important matter about healing myself or others! And the Earth Magic Oracle by Steven Farmer has some scary cards like Tsunami as well. So, I think this is all about seeing half of the glass full or empty, or completely full (since the empty space is filled with energy and air :D), I’m glad I’m one of those %100 full types who love uplifting “sunshine” decks, like you said Kate, there is enough shit in the reality. Love to all!


  9. Wulfie says:

    I like both tarot and oracle decks. I know some oracle decks are fluffy bunny but so are some tarot decks. I think oracle decks can go deep if people go past the word on the card, if there is one, and intuitively let the image talk to them the same way they would let a tarot card talk to them. Most people see the word and stop there; get past the word – heck, sometimes the word is wrong – and allow the image to speak.

    • Jamie Morris says:

      Yeah, Wulfie. I think this is such a smart approach. Images can speak so directly to our inner selves–more so, sometimes, than the words.

      I have a couple of oracle decks which I really love but which I’ve found, when consulting them, that consistently I must ignore their booklets’ meanings. The images themselves, along with the key word(s) on the cards, are where I derive my meanings. The more expanded text always takes me in the wrong direction!

    • kate says:

      Absolutely! Its how our intuition interacts with the picture and not the picture itself that really matters.

  10. Jamie Morris says:

    Hey, Kate–

    Like so many of those making their excellent comments on this topic, I use both. But I will say, it took me a while to get a sense of the depth that oracle cards can contribute.

    With tarot, I always feel the depth is a given. Or at least the mystery! But with oracle cards, their surface meanings (written on the cards themselves or in their accompanying books) have always seemed too pat to add any layers to my understanding of a situation.

    However, I’ve been experimenting with a few oracle decks lately, incorportating them into tarot readings or referring to them separately, and I think that I do best with them if I use my intuition in my reading of them–looking carefully at the images and associations I make from them–rather than just taking their pre-digested meanings at face value.

    However, having thought about this a bit more while I was typing, I’d have to say that, in the long run, for me, I think tarot offers more nuance and subtlety–and maybe more information.



    As long as I do this, I don’t know if “light vs. dark” oracles make any difference. (Though I would like to give a dark little shout-out for The Oracle of the Shapeshifters!!) I don’t have any angel decks, preferring a wee fairy, myself (LOL), but I am very happy for a light message, especially as I know I can trust my intuition to pull me to see any slightly less positive message a particular image might contain for me.

    • kate says:

      I totally get what you mean about oracle cards being overly simplistic at first. I felt the same way – when I first started reading with oracle cards, I would read the card’s message and then that would be it…I wouldn’t know where else to go with it. But over the years I have overcome this and I think oracle cards are a bit easier to read with now (for me, anyway). Thanks for adding to the discussion, Jamie!

  11. valerie says:

    I adore both. While I feel that Oracle/Angel cards give us truth, I personally feel that Tarot gives us honesty. Like if you ask two friends about the new dress you are thinking about buying. Friend One may say, wow the color looks amazing on you, and Friend Two might say, yea the color looks great, but the cut is a bit unflattering, let’s keep looking. When I am feeling low and I need an uplifting boost, I choose my Oracle decks, when I need some down and out honesty, I’ll pull out my Tarot. And sometimes when I get an unsettling Tarot read, I will back up the reading with some Oracle cards, for some perspective. They all have a purpose. <3

  12. Dianna says:

    Hi Kate,
    I do free online email readings for practice and worry that the querent is alone and vulnerable when they read my response. I try hard to soften things and leave them with a positive feeling but I still worry. I’ve decided to buy an oracle deck to draw that last, reassuring card to leave them with a positive message that comes from the cards rather than me. I feel that may carry more weight. So in my opinion, both kinds are useful and needed.
    Great article.

    • kate says:

      Dianna, I had the same worries when I was doing readings. And that is the exact reason why I began drawing an oracle card at the end of the reading 🙂

    • Jamie Morris says:

      Dianna (and Kate)–

      What a generous, sympathetic, FANTASTIC idea. And a great way to make the positivity of a deck work in your and your querents’ favor.

      I’ll be adding this to my bag of tricks.


  13. Erica says:

    I agree with you as well. I like to use both in my readings for myself (haven’t tried it for others but do plan on it). I feel oracle cards do lessen the blow. Intuition will let you know regardless if the oracle card is trying to doing so. I’ve done readings for myself where the oracle card gives a positive meaning yet intuition is giving me a word or phrase letting me know the not so positive side. I love using both and feel that for some people hearing the positive thru either oracle or tarot is better off but I would say what intuition is telling me regardless just in a more less frightening and blunt way. Go with intuition.
    Years ago my mom had gone for a reading and was asked if my bro lived far. Which he does. The reader told my mom “remember these words ‘he WILL be fine.'” About a month or 2 later my brother fell asleep at the wheel and was flew out of his car while it flipped over. Dr’s said he wouldn’t make it but he did thank God. If the reader would’ve told my mom exactly what he saw my mom with her heart conition would have probably ended up in the hospital or worse. She told me when that the day it happened and I told her the terrible news she remembered what the reader told her. His reassurance made her faith even stronger.

    • kate says:

      Erica, that’s an incredible story ~ thanks for sharing it 🙂
      And that is such a good point – intuition will always let you know what’s going on anyway, regardless if the card is super-sugary.

  14. Sage1966 says:

    Interesting point, however, I grab whatever deck suits me for that particular day. Sometimes people ask for the darker decks when I doing readings; others don’t care. I personally choose whatever my eye goes to. I absolutely LOVE the Vampire Deck by Nathalie Hertz and I love the Gothic Tarot, as well – both dark decks. I also love Morgan Greer and the Hanson Roberts! I would just say, “go with the flow for the day.” Have a wonderful weekend!

    • kate says:

      Sage, I feel the same way – I also have different decks for different moods. I haven’t seen the Vampire Deck…going to check it out tonight!

  15. Antonio says:

    The cards are not the message. A “scary” card may have a positive, uplifting message. It is the reader’s interpretation, how the message is relayed that is important.

    I have read your interpretation of a “scary card” made in a very positive manner. 🙂

    I believe that part of the reader’s endeavor is to intuit what deck would better express to the person being read what they need to know at that moment.

    • kate says:

      That’s an interesting point, Antonio – I often find myself drawn to the strangest decks when I am reading for others (like decks I rarely use) – I think that is an important part of the reading process…choosing the right deck for the client!

  16. Cher Green says:

    How Funny! I was just looking at these card two days ago. Added them to my Amazon wishlist and plan to purchase soon.

    I like both types, but I do tend to grab the Tarot first. I was intrigued by these because they combine both and the messages, on images I found, worked for me against the chosen tarot card. I also like certain types of art on my cards, these go well with my style.

    Hope everyone has a good Friday. Off to deliver the mail. 🙂

    • kate says:

      Cher, are you a mail-lady?
      You will enjoy the Angel Tarot – especially since you already have a great understanding of Tarot, its fun to see how its been re-interpreted.

  17. mary says:

    Hi Kate l use both in my readings, and how you say l always try and give a positive message to lift myself or others. I love the way you do things, so keep on going. You help a lot of people and l enjoy your tips. Hugs.

  18. EG says:

    Hey Kate.
    First of all, I think that the negative commenters are just sceptical people who didn’t understand (and maybe don’t want to understand) the issue: angel cards give us messages based on the law of attraction.
    I totally agree with you, tarot reading must not be a struggle… People are strange…I remember the time I started learning and doing readings for myself: my goal was to know myself, my life, my past, my challenges better. The sceptical people just don’t want to evolve.
    Personally, I don’t have any preferance between oracle and tarot decks. I frequently use both, depends on the issue, on my daily mood etc…and I do love both! And both work very well!
    Thank you again for your amazing readings, articles and tips; don’t listen ever to sceptical people, just keep up the good work, it benefits all of us! 🙂 Cheers!

  19. alice chesler says:

    I think they all have their place. ‘dumbing down’ is really unfair. there is none of that. perhaps a different point of view, but they don’t away from any other tarot decl. they are an added layer.
    thank u for ur beautiful work.

  20. kaia says:

    I love oracle cards. What I often do is combine them with the Tarot cards. I do a reading with the Tarot and then use an oracle cards for guidance or to sum up.
    For myself I use often only oracle cards to tap into the energy of the day.

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