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Tarot vs. Oracle Cards… What is the Damn Difference?!

Updated: Apr 21

A question I often get asked is What is the difference between tarot and oracle cards? To be honest, there are a couple subtle, but substantial differences.



1. The Deck Itself


Tarot cards are made up of 78 cards. Within the tarot there are 22 Major Arcana cards and 56 Minor Arcana. The Major Arcana is made up of picture cards with imagery and symbolism that represent specific principals, concepts and ideas. The Minor Arcana is made up of 4 suits: Wands, Cups, Swords and Pentacles. These cards are more like a standard playing card deck- they run from 2 all the way up to Ace and include the court cards (king, queen etc.)


Oracle card decks have no specific number of cards. Decks can range from as little as 22 cards to 144. There are no suits or Arcana cards and come in varying shapes and sizes. Most oracle decks have images and words right on the card and come with a booklet that outlines what the author of the card meant for each card. The pictures, words and the meanings of a card is very specific to the creator of the deck, whereas in tarot, there are specific images and symbolism behind the cards.


2. How Do I Read The Cards?


As I mentioned earlier, Tarot is a more rigid system. Due to the symbolism, imagery and the number of cards it takes a bit of time to study in order to learn to read. Oracle cards, however, are more fluid. Because each card is different and do not have set symbolism (other than that of its creator) and the keywords that are on the card, it therefore is much easier to read for those just beginning. Tarot is steeped in tradition, whereas oracle cards are the free spirit of the divination world.


3. Which Are Better Cards For Me?


This is entirely up to preference. If you are a beginner, I would suggest starting with oracle cards. This will get you used to playing with the cards and bonding with them. (If you would like a separate blog with ways to bond with your tarot/oracle decks, leave me a comment saying so!) If you want to take the time and study and really learn the art of tarot- then by all means do that! Both are lovely to work with but they have very different energies and reading methods.


4. Can I tell the future?


No. The cards cannot tell the future. Although they have been associated with fortune telling for many years, they do not actually tell the future. What the cards do, is simply show possible outcomes based on the trajectory that your life is on right now. There is no solid outcome because we have free will. The cards help you to connect with your higher self, your intuition and unlock messages from yourself you need to hear at that point in time.


5. Which Is Better For Me To Have In A Reading?


Both sets of cards are great to use in a reading individually. If you are choosing one or the other, I would suggest getting a Tarot reading. They are usually a bit more in depth and are specifically designed to get personal and into a person’s life story. However, my favorite type of reading, is a combination of both tarot and oracle. These cards work together to give you the most in-depth and accurate messages that you need to hear.


There you have it, the differences between tarot and oracle cards! Like I said, the differences are subtle, but they have completely different energies and different impacts. If you would like to book a reading with me, head on over to my booking page at Authentic Truth Within and go for it!! Thank you so much for stopping by today!

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