Tarot and Oracle cards - what's the difference?

on November 17, 2023

Try to choose cards, but you are not sure which of them tarot or oracle you need to have? Tarot cards and Oracle cards are both types of divination tools, but they have some key differences.

Tarot Cards:

  1. Structure: Tarot decks have a standardized structure consisting of 78 cards, divided into the Major Arcana (22 cards) and the Minor Arcana (56 cards). The Minor Arcana is further divided into four suits - Cups, Wands, Swords, and Pentacles.

  2. Meaning: Tarot cards often have specific meanings associated with each card, and many decks come with a guidebook that explains these meanings. The interpretation of Tarot cards can be influenced by the card's position in a spread and its relationship to other cards.

  3. Tradition: Tarot has a long history, dating back to the 15th century in Europe. The cards were initially used for playing games before evolving into a tool for divination and self-reflection.

  4. Symbolism: Tarot cards are rich in symbolism and often depict archetypal images that represent universal themes and experiences. The Major Arcana, in particular, is known for its deep symbolic meanings.

Oracle Cards:

  1. Variety: Oracle card decks are more varied in terms of structure and number of cards. They can range from 30 cards to over 100, and their themes can be diverse, covering topics such as angels, animals, fairies, and more.

  2. Structure: Unlike Tarot, Oracle decks do not adhere to a standardized structure. The creator of an Oracle deck has more flexibility in designing the cards and determining their meanings.

  3. Interpretation: Oracle cards often rely on intuition and personal connection rather than a strict set of meanings. Users may interpret the cards based on their feelings, images, or the messages they receive during a reading.

  4. Purpose: While Tarot cards can be used for a wide range of purposes, including divination, self-reflection, and meditation, Oracle cards are often designed with a specific purpose or theme in mind. Some may focus on providing guidance, inspiration, or affirmation.

In summary, while both Tarot and Oracle cards are tools for divination and self-exploration, Tarot decks have a standardized structure and a long history with specific meanings, while Oracle decks are more diverse, flexible, and often have a more intuitive approach to interpretation. Choosing between them depends on personal preferences and the specific insights or guidance one is seeking.