Difference Between Tarot and Oracle Cards

Difference Between Tarot and Oracle Cards

Diving into the world of divination can be both exhilarating and daunting, especially when faced with the choice between tarot and oracle cards. Each deck offers its own unique insights and methods of guidance, catering to different aspects of spiritual exploration and personal introspection. Let's embark on a journey to uncover the fascinating differences between tarot and oracle cards.

What are Tarot Cards?

Tarot cards trace their roots back to 15th-century Europe, originally used for playing games before evolving into a tool for mystical divination. A traditional tarot deck consists of 78 cards divided into Major and Minor Arcana, each card imbued with rich symbolism and archetypal meanings. The Major Arcana delves into significant life themes and spiritual lessons, while the Minor Arcana reflects day-to-day experiences through four suits (Cups, Pentacles, Swords, and Wands). Tarot cards tend to have a “traditional structure” to the deck and common meanings. Most tarot decks are based on the original Rider-Waite deck. As a result, most tarot decks share common themes and messages. Depending on the art or theme of the deck however; the images and the pictures may vary, but often the messaging behind that card is very similar.

What are Oracle Cards?

Oracle cards are a more modern creation, drawing inspiration from various spiritual traditions, mythology, and personal intuition. These decks vary widely in structure, ranging from 30 to 80 cards or more, with themes that can include angels, fairies, animals, affirmations, and beyond. Oracle cards offer flexibility and creativity in their interpretations, making them accessible for both beginners and seasoned practitioners seeking intuitive guidance. Oracle cards are really “free-flowing”. Oracle cards tend to be very broad and can be interpreted in many ways and can contain many different types of content.

The Meaning Behind Tarot and Oracle Cards

Tarot cards are renowned for their depth and complexity, providing detailed insights into past, present, and future events. They require study and practice to master the symbolism of each card and their relationships within a spread. Tarot readings often involve structured layouts (spreads) that explore specific questions or aspects of life, offering clarity and guidance through a blend of intuition and traditional meanings.

On the other hand, oracle cards focus more on intuitive messages and personal reflection. They offer gentle guidance and support, addressing current challenges or emotional states with affirmations, insights, and empowering messages. Oracle card readings encourage trust in one's inner wisdom and spiritual connection, fostering personal growth and emotional healing through intuitive interpretation.

Choosing a Tarot Deck

When selecting a tarot deck, consider the symbolism and imagery that resonate most deeply with you. Traditional decks like the Rider-Waite-Smith or Thoth Tarot offer foundational teachings, while modern variations provide diverse interpretations suited to contemporary spiritual seekers.

Choosing an Oracle Deck

For oracle cards, explore themes that align with your spiritual interests and intentions. Whether you're drawn to angelic guidance, animal spirits, or affirmations for self-empowerment, there's an oracle deck designed to meet your unique needs and preferences.

FAQ About Tarot and Oracle Cards

Which deck should I use?

⦁  Use whatever deck calls out to you! Don’t worry too much about rules and logistics. Just use your intuition to guide you in choosing the right deck for you

Is one type of deck better than another?

No, both tarot and oracle decks are great! Honestly, it is just preference. Some people like to have a specific setup that is included with a tarot deck whilst others enjoy the free-flowing set up of an oracle deck.

Can I use both?

⦁ The short answer is yes, you can use both either simultaneously or separately. Some people choose to draw a card from an oracle deck at the end of a Tarot reading. The Oracle card can be pulled to understand the underlying theme or even a parting message to give one a sense of closure at the end of a Tarot reading.

What is a good Tarot deck to start with?

The Rider Waite Tarot Deck
This is a great deck to start out with not just because of the simplicity of Rider Waite but also because many decks that came after this one are actually based on this set up. All in all if you understand this deck, other tarot should come easily to you! The art work on each card is easy to interpret and understand.

What is a good Oracle deck to start with?

The Elle Qui Oracle
This deck is easy to understand and the artwork is beautiful! The deck allows you to build a connection between your heart and your mind, creating a divine union between the two. The deck comes with 44 cards as well as a helpful guide book.




Why are the explanations of the cards in tarot decks so different? For example the king of wands in the murder of crows deck ( one of my favourites) has Ann entirely different meaning than king of spears ) or wands) in the legend of theArthurian Tarot? Why?



Roxanne, the cards pictured are Rider-Waite Tarot cards.



I feel people/things and intuit. Would an Oracle deck be best for me?



That’s good to hear! I’m actually drawn to oracles and not tarot, i don’t why, but i thought i had to stick to tarot but im glad to hear i can only use an oracle so thank you!! it resonates with me :’) <3

Roxanne Marchand

Roxanne Marchand

Hi, I was wondering which deck it is on the picture. Thank you xx

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