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  • Jun, 10 , 20

This week’s guest author is Michelle Motuzas, creator of The Shamanic Healing Oracle and The Empathic Oracle (with Steve Wilson).

How to Use Your Empathic/ Intuitive Skills in Card Reading

by Michelle Motuzas




Are they the same? Are they different? Do they overlap? 

Does it matter?

When Red Feather asked me to write a blog article on using empathy to read oracle cards, I jumped at the chance, mostly because I thought it would be easy and because I know people get confused and can be intimidated reading Oracle cards.

Using Empathy to Read Oracle Cards

 Then I started to noodle it around.

Can I talk about empathy in a vacuum? Intuition plays a big part in reading cards. People would want to know the distinction between intuition, which is an ability most if not all people have, and being psychic, which is thought of as this mystical ability, as if you had been kissed by the gods.

Suddenly , this task I agreed to was not so simple. And I had not even got to the reading of the cards!


Deep breath.

What is Empathy? Are you Empathic?





the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.

The KEY here is you feel what others feel. Empathy is based in the body. Similar actions, such as sympathy and compassion are a combination of mind/ emotion/ spiritual acts.

I use this example often:

Have you ever walked into a room and you just KNOW that the people there have just had a fight?

Card 10 Fire
from The Empathic Oracle

You feel the tension. The anger you feel in your body has your heart beating a little faster. Your shoulders hunch up.

Yea, this is empathy.

When someone tells you about a fight they had with their significant other, you can remember a similar fight you have had with someone close to you and you remember how you felt.

This is thinking and showing sympathy.

When you can go deeper into your heart chakra and imagine how they must be feeling due to their own special set of circumstances, you are showing compassion.

When you know about the fight before you have even walked into the room, then you are showing psychic abilities.

This is a simplified explanation, but I wanted to get it out of the way before discussing reading oracle cards as an empath.

Whether you are reading for friends, family, strangers, or yourself, you should employ your empathic ‘superpowers’ to assist in the reading.

If you are new to recognizing your empathic abilities and haven’t quite got the hang of differentiating between your own emotions/feelings and ones you feel all the time all around you, a good practice would be to learn some grounding techniques that work for you. By grounding, you can tap into both the divine and the Earth’s energy. This helps move the sometimes-overwhelming energy of others through you instead of getting stuck and engulfing you.

To read empathically, pay attention to what you are feeling in your body.

Are you feeling a pit in your stomach when your attention turns to a certain card? If you are reading for someone else, you are probably picking up on a resistance on their part to the message in that card.

Card 18 Strength
from The Empathic Oracle

Do your feet start to tingle and itch when you get an ah-ha moment with a card? You are spontaneously grounding out, which is an indication of a flow of energy in your body. You may have just shifted into a higher vibration, PAY ATTENTION to this! It is an important part of your healing.

Another example would be a feeling of pressure or blockage in your throat. This would indicate that there is a feeling/ situation/ history of not being allowed to speak your/ their truth.

All these examples are unique to the people and their situations.

Another aspect of reading cards empathically is the conversation you are having with the person you are reading for.  If you are trying to be the ultimate psychic who needs no input from the person sitting across from you, you go gurl!  But, that is not what this article is about.

Card 13 Shielding
from The Empathic Oracle

There is absolutely nothing wrong with getting input from the person you are reading the cards for!

The cards are just a tool, or vehicle to help facilitate conversations that will enable and empower a person on their healing journey.

How would you rather a physician go about healing you:

  • Have them walk into an exam room and without talking with you, announce what is wrong with you and tell you what to do to make it better? –or–
  • See a physician who sits down with you and talks to you about what exactly is going on with you personally and all the factors that are in play and then thoughtfully come up with a plan of action?

Me too.

If you are using more than one card in a reading, look at the whole picture. What jumps out at you? Lots of birds? Predominantly one color? What are you experiencing in your body when you first look at the layout? If you are reading for yourself, please, PLEASE keep a journal. This serves a few different purposes. One, it reminds you what messages you were given a month or so ago. When we get immersed in our day to day lives, we tend to forget, especially if we are practicing often.  Second, it acts as a validation that can help you build confidence as you move forward as an empath and a reader.

Card 51 Validation
from The Empathic Oracle

Keep it simple. 1-3 card pulls are all effective and informative. More than that, when you are beginning it can be just too much information to process in one sitting.

When I teach the Shamanic Healing Oracle and The Empathic Oracle cards to people, here is a list of do’s and don’ts I give them:


  • Get rid of preconceived notions
  • Stay in the present
  • Ground
  • Trust your gut
  • Find cards that resonate with you
  • Keep a journal
  • Practice
  • Learn how to ask effective questions


  • Be attached to outcome
  • Always go by the book
  • Worry about being wrong
  • Ask the same question over and over
  • Doubt yourself

A note on doubt. Early on when I was reading at psychic fairs (and honestly had little confidence), I was doing a reading for a woman who was very closed off. What I was feeling in my body was horrendous. I felt small, inconsequential, powerless, abused, and scared. (Empathy.) My thought was that this woman looked too much in control of her life for these to be her feelings. So, my mind told me, it was me. I was a fake, I didn’t know what the ‘ef I was doing — blah blah blah.  (Ego and mind and my own wounds.) I then heard a very loud voice that said, “Just spit it out!” (Psychic.) So, I did. I told her what I was feeling, and suddenly this very poised, imperious woman started to cry and spoke at length about past ritual abuse she lived through as a child growing up in a cult. We were then able to have a healing conversation about her path moving forward.

Card 34 Light at the End of the Tunnel
The Empathic Oracle

Whenever I doubt myself, I have learned I am doubting what I am seeing or thinking because it isn’t jiving with what I am feeling. I know now that I have to shift completely into my empathic self and trust.

Lastly and quite crucially, if you are reading for others, learn to disconnect at the end of each reading, or at the bare minimum at the end of each day.

Card 15 Clearing
from The Empathic Oracle

Using oracle cards are a wonderful tool to focus your empathy, learn about yourself, help people heal, connect with your higher self and your spirit guides, and to live the highest and best life possible. Have fun, empower yourself, and be open as you continue to learn.

The Oracle Decks of Michelle Motuzas:
Shamanic Healing Oracle
The Empathic Oracle (with Steve Wilson)
and (coming later this year) The Wild Elemental Oracle

Guest Author Bio:

Michelle A. Motuzas

Native New Englander Michelle A. Motuzas started painting in answer to the requests of her fellow students of shamanism, which led to the drawings that are used in her first deck, The Shamanic Healing Oracle Cards. In her art, nature mirrors the human condition. Exploring our spiritual and human existence within the bounds of natural imagery, and drawing on her background in shamanistic studies, Michelle learned the importance of symbolism in the human psyche. The root of these symbols helps her identify what she wants to create with her art, a connection between the energy of the physical and spiritual being. The proud mother of two boys, Michelle also has her masters in shamanic Reiki and is a certified healer and medium. Find out more information about Michelle at: www.michelleamotuzas.com.

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