The Differences Between Tarot and Oracle Cards

Tarot Cards and Angel (Oracle) cards have a lot of overlap. Both types of cards are used for divination, to give people readings about their future, and to provide guidance in their life. While they do have many similarities, especially because Oracle cards are derived from Tarot cards, there are numerous differences. In this guide we will outline the differences between Tarot cards and Oracle cards, which include Angel cards.

Tarot Cards

Tarot cards are older and more structured than Oracle cards. When giving readings with Tarot there tends to be more rules and certain procedures you should follow than when you’re using Oracle cards. Tarot cards also have a stronger sense of tradition and history associated with them.

Almost all Tarot card decks have 78 cards. These cards are then broken down into 22 Major Arcana cards and 56 Minor Arcana cards.

The Major Arcana cards are numbers 0 – 21. These cards represent major themes and life events. These cards are archetypes and when they are pulled in a reading they carry a lot of weight and importance. The Major Arcana provides answers to big questions. In every Tarot deck, the Major Arcana cards are the same and include The High Priestess, The Fool, The Emperor, Death, and The Magician.

The 56 Minor Arcana cards are further broken down into 4 suits. Each suit has 14 cards; cards numbered 1-10 with a King, Queen, Knight, and Page. The suits of the Minor Arcana are Cups, Pentacles (Coins), Wands, and Swords. Each suit may also be associated with the elements air, water, fire, and earth. The Minor Arcana cards reveal insights into your daily life. This includes things like the material aspects of your life, your innermost feelings, you beliefs, your intuition, and original thoughts.

According to popular belief, Tarot cards are scary because they deal with both the negative and positive aspects of life. For many people the Death card of The Hanged Man causes apprehension and fear toward Tarot. While Tarot may have cards that illustrate darker imagery, there is actually nothing evil about it. Just like with Oracle cards, the meaning of Tarot cards is up to the reader or the person seeking answers. However, unlike Oracle cards, Tarot cards do have a more traditional meaning associated with each of the cards, so the interpretation isn’t as loose as it is with Oracle cards.

Oracle Cards

Unlike Tarot cards, Oracle cards have no strict rules or structure. Due to this Oracle cards can be based on anything from Mermaids, Fairies, Flowers, and to the most popular theme Angels.

Oracle card decks have no set number of cards although most contain 44 and have at least 30 cards. They often contain guidebooks to help the reader along with their interpretation since each author and illustrator of an Oracle deck has different views on each card. The cards may contain words, names, and even messages on them. Oracle cards are lighter, more uplifting, and positive than Tarot.

Oracle cards have no Archetypes and don’t usually have separate suits. However, each deck usually does focus on a certain theme. The most popular theme for Oracle cards is Angels and Archangels since these divine creatures are the embodiment of Heavenly guidance and light.

Since Oracle cards have such loose interpretations, the tone of a reading is really set by the person providing it. This looseness also allows the reader to really tap into divine guidance. With Oracle card readings, you have to rely more on your own intuition than you would with a Tarot reading.

The guidance of Oracle cards is more straightforward, empowering, and gentle than Tarot cards. Unlike Tarot decks, Oracle cards don’t contain “scary” cards, especially because most of them are Angel themed. Oracle cards are usually easier to understand than Tarot cards and they allow you the freedom to tap into your intuition and call upon your spirit guides, such as your Angels.

In the end, neither card type is better than the other one is. It really just comes down to personal preference. Tarot card readings are more intense, thorough, and provide deeper insights. Using Tarot also requires more energy and has heavier results. Oracle cards, particularly Angel cards are much lighter and gentle. These readings provide guidance in a more spiritual and loving way.

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