Difference Between Tarot and Oracle

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There are various types of divination tools available to help individuals gain insight and guidance in their lives. Two of the most popular options are tarot cards and oracle cards. While they may seem similar at first glance, there is a distinct difference between Tarot and Oracle.

What is an Oracle Card?

An oracle card is a deck of cards that are used for divination and spiritual guidance. These cards usually feature images and symbols that are open to interpretation. Unlike tarot cards, there are no set rules or systems associated with oracle cards.

Meaning and Purpose of Oracle Cards

Oracle cards are intended to help individuals connect with their intuition and receive messages from their higher selves or spiritual guides. The cards can be used to gain clarity, insight, and guidance on various aspects of life including relationships, career, and personal growth.

Types of Oracle Decks

Oracle decks come in a wide range of themes and designs. Some are based on mythology, angels, animals, or specific spiritual traditions. The diversity in oracle card decks allows individuals to find a deck that resonates with their personal interests and beliefs.

How Many Cards are in an Oracle Deck?

Unlike tarot decks, which usually have a set number of 78 cards, oracle decks can vary in the number of cards they contain. Some oracle decks may have as few as 20 cards, while others may have more than 100.

What is Tarot?

Tarot is a tool of divination that uses a specific deck of cards to gain insight into various aspects of life. Tarot decks are structured and follow a specific system and symbolism.

The Structure of a Tarot Deck

A standard tarot deck consists of 78 cards, divided into two main categories: the Major Arcana and the Minor Arcana. The Major Arcana consists of 22 cards that represent major life events and archetypal concepts. The Minor Arcana consists of 56 cards divided into four suits: Cups, Swords, Wands, and Pentacles.

Major Arcana vs Minor Arcana

The Major Arcana cards in a tarot deck are often seen as more significant and carry deeper meanings compared to the Minor Arcana. The Minor Arcana cards focus on the everyday experiences and challenges that individuals face.

Using a Tarot Deck for Divination

Tarot cards are used for divination purposes, allowing individuals to gain insight into their past, present, and future. They can be used to explore different aspects of life, including relationships, career, spiritual growth, and personal development.

What is the Difference Between Tarot and Oracle?

Different Types of Decks

One of the key differences between tarot and oracle cards is the variety of decks available. Tarot decks generally follow a specific structure and symbolism, while oracle decks can be more free-flowing and open to individual interpretation.

Number of Cards

As mentioned earlier, tarot decks have a set number of 78 cards, while oracle decks can have varying numbers. This difference in the number of cards allows for more flexibility and customization in oracle readings.

Card Meanings and Interpretations

The meanings and interpretations of tarot cards are often more defined and specific compared to oracle cards. Tarot cards have a long history and established symbolism, making them easier to study and interpret. Oracle cards, on the other hand, offer more fluidity and openness in their meanings.

Difference Between Tarot and Oracle

Which Deck Should You Use: Tarot or Oracle?

Choosing Based on Intuition

The choice between tarot and oracle decks ultimately depends on individual preference and intuition. It’s important to select a deck that resonates with you and allows you to connect with your intuition and receive guidance effectively.

Using Tarot and Oracle Cards Together

Many individuals choose to use both tarot and oracle cards in their practice. Combining the two can offer a more comprehensive and holistic approach to divination, allowing for a deeper exploration of different perspectives and energies.

Benefits of Using Each Deck

Tarot decks provide a structured system and in-depth guidance, while oracle decks offer more flexibility and creative interpretation. Using tarot can provide specific answers, while oracle cards can provide broader guidance and inspiration.

How to Read Tarot and Oracle Cards

Understanding Card Meanings

When reading tarot or oracle cards, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the meanings associated with each card. Study the symbolism and traditional interpretations, and also trust your intuition to develop your unique understanding.

Using a Guidebook

Many tarot and oracle decks come with guidebooks that provide additional insights and interpretations for each card. These guidebooks can be valuable resources, especially for beginners looking to deepen their understanding.

Interpreting Card Spreads

Card spreads are layouts or patterns used to interpret the meaning of multiple cards within a reading. Different spreads offer various insights, allowing you to dive deeper into specific questions or themes.


What is the difference between tarot and oracle?

The main difference between tarot and oracle lies in their structure and purpose. Tarot decks are based on a set number of cards, usually 78 cards, and follow a specific system like Rider-Waite. On the other hand, oracle decks have no set number of cards and are more flexible in their content and theme.

How are tarot and oracle decks different?

Tarot decks are structured with specific cards representing different themes and energies, including court cards and major arcana. Oracle decks, on the other hand, can have varying cards based on different themes or intentions and may not have court cards or a fixed structure like tarot.

What is the purpose of tarot and oracle cards?

Tarot and oracle cards are tools for divination, providing insights and guidance. They can be used for self-reflection, seeking answers, or gaining spiritual guidance.

How are tarot and oracle cards used?

Both tarot and oracle cards can be used in a similar manner. They can be shuffled and drawn in different spreads to answer specific questions or provide general guidance. Some people prefer to use tarot for more structured readings, while oracle cards are often used for intuitive readings or as a supplement to tarot readings.

What types of decks are available for tarot and oracle cards?

There are numerous different decks available for both tarot and oracle cards. Tarot decks can vary in artwork, symbolism, and interpretations, with popular ones like the Rider-Waite deck or Thoth deck. Oracle decks often focus on specific themes like angels, animals, affirmations, or chakra healing, offering a wide range of options to choose from.

How do oracle cards tend to be different from tarot cards?

Oracle cards often have simpler imagery and messages compared to tarot cards. They may carry a more specific and direct meaning, making them accessible and easier to interpret for beginners or those who prefer a straightforward approach to divination.

Can tarot and oracle cards be used together?

Yes, tarot and oracle cards can be used together. Some readers combine both decks to enhance their readings, using tarot for deeper insights and oracle cards for additional guidance or specific messages.

Is there a guide book for oracle and tarot decks?

Many oracle and tarot decks come with guide books or companion books that provide interpretations and explanations for each card. These guide books can assist new users in understanding the meanings and symbolism of the cards.

What happens at the end of a tarot reading?

At the end of a tarot reading, the reader may summarize the main messages and insights received. They may offer additional guidance or suggestions based on the reading and answer any questions the querent might have.

Are oracle cards free to interpret?

Yes, oracle cards are free to interpret as there are no fixed meanings or traditional interpretations associated with them. Unlike tarot, where certain cards have specific meanings, oracle cards allow the reader to trust their intuition and interpret the cards based on their own insights and feelings.

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