I know some people don't like to use Oracle cards - they find them a little too restrictive in meaning, that they don't draw on common symbols and imagery to convey the message but rather use words. Or they simply prefer to use other methods. For myself, however, I find that they are a great tool. The fact that I can simply draw a card each day for guidance is something I enjoy. Yes, I acknowledge that you could also do this with Tarot - but for me I find that and understanding of the tarot becomes easier when you can do a spread to get more detailed guidance. Even my runes I often end up drawing several of to get the complete message.
Picking the Decks:
I pick my oracle decks much like I do my tarot - they need to call to me. There needs to be something in the imagery that draws me. I don't look at the words on the cards, I look at the visuals and whether for me they tell a story, or that they tug on that inner core where intuition and gut feeling lies. I have tried it other ways. I've purchased decks before because I thought they sounded cool, they were cheap or I've liked some of the artists work and each time I've quickly ended up passing the deck on or selling it again.
Getting to know your decks:
Obviously with messages written on the cards it is easy to take the words as the only way to understand the message coming through but there is more to it than that. If you're lucky you'll find your deck accompanied by a great book that offers further depth without being prescriptive. ( I know some people just cringed at the idea of using 'the book' but lets face it, if you're a novice, getting to know the deck or a little unsure its a great way to start. And sometimes I've been amazed at how accurate it all is). Of course as with all card readings take the time to analyse the pictures first and see what you get from them. In fact do this before you consult the book. Just try and find the story and symbols in the work, how does it make you feel, can you see some of yourself in it? Then link it to the words on the card. And Finally, read the book if you wish.
Record your readings:
I think this is invaluable. You will begin to find patterns. Are you pulling a certain card on a regular basis? If so, perhaps there is something you're failing to address. Is there a pattern or connection between the cards you are pulling? I know there have been weeks when I've felt like my cards are a 2x4 to the head from the universe to let me know that I'm simply not paying enough attention or that I really need to listen to their advice.
And of course, my decks