What Is The Difference Between Oracle Cards And Tarot Cards?

Photo: getty
Person holding the Sun tarot card

If versed in divination and tarot cards, you may have heard about "oracle cards." And you may not realize that there are some key differences between the tarot and oracle cards.

Even if you aren't in any tarot-related groups, you may have heard the term oracle cards being used in various contexts. What is the difference between oracle cards and tarot cards?

RELATED: How To Clean (& Shuffle) A Used Tarot Card Deck Of Energy

The basic differences between oracle cards and the tarot.

Tarot decks are comprised of 78 cards and have a specific story-telling structure. Tarot cards also have a common theme, even though there are many decks with various designs.

But the rules, the themes, and the structures are the same. Tarot cards also provide you with several messages in each card.

As you can see, the tarot offers you an opportunity to dig deep into your intuition to get answers. Oracle cards don’t do that.

Oracle cards are not structured the same way as tarot cards are.

Oracle cards are good for answering broader and more basic questions that don’t involve having to dig deep within your intuition, whereas tarot cards do.

There is also a variety in type of oracle cards, such as angel cards, spirit animal cards, and Lenormand cards. Some oracle cards come in decks of 40 cards or 36 cards, as the Lenormand deck does, depending on which type. 

Tarot decks have 22 cards in the Major Arcana, which represent life events and situations. There are 56 cards in the Minor Arcana, representing more mundane events that affect us on a smaller scale.

There are four suits in the minor arcana that represent the elements, including wands (fire), pentacles (earth), cups (water), and swords (air).

Oracle cards do not offer that at all, since there is no theme or story-telling structure. There is no division of any type in oracle decks.

RELATED: What Is The Fool's Journey & Meaning Of Each Major Arcana Tarot Card

Tarot is not black and white like oracle cards are.

Oracle cards either have positive, neutral, or negative significance, like you see in the Lenormand deck. Tarot cards are not labeled that way.

Even in cards that are seemingly negative, like The Tower, The Devil, and 10 of Swords can represent positive issues as well that come out of challenges.

The The Mountain in the Lenormand deck, for instance, is negative, and represents delays and obstacles. There are no positive sides to this card.

If this particular card comes in a spread, even alongside positive cards, such as the Fish, which represents money, this means that money will come, but it will not come right away and it will be a struggle to get it.

There is no other way to dig deeper within that with the Lenormand deck.

However, tarot cards offer you a variety of messages, as well as way to find solutions around an obstacle.

Advertisement Are you ready for a relationship? Click here to get clarity with a psychic reading!

Finally, with tarot cards, you have the option to read "reversals." A reversal, or a tarot card in reverse, is when that card shows up in a reading upside-down.

 With oracle cards, there are no reversal readings. Therefore, you can see the major differences between oracle cards and tarot cards.

How can you tell if oracle cards or the tarot is right for you?

That really depends on the type of readings you do and what you feel is right.

Sometimes, readers can use both tarot cards and oracle cards. Some prefer to read one over the other. That really all depends on your preference.

Why not try testing them both out to determineof what is fitting for you? Only you will know in the end.

RELATED: 12 Brilliant Tarot Card Quotes From Expert Readers On How To Do A Reading

Miriam Slozberg is a Canadian author, freelance writer, social media consultant, and a mom to three children, two human and one furry.

Get your horoscope delivered to your inbox daily!

This article was originally published at Miriam Reads Tarot. Reprinted with permission from the author.