Oracle Cards vs Tarot Cards: What are the Important Differences

Oracle Cards vs Tarot Cards: What are the Important Differences

It doesn’t matter if you lean towards tarot or oracle cards, it’s not really the cards themselves that affect the reading, but the reader.

Both tarot and oracle cards act as a tool or encouragement to help guide the reader; they should serve as a gateway to counseling and foster a deeper connection and understanding of counseling, rather than having a power of their own.

Ultimately, it is the reader – their connection, intuition, and interpretation – that shapes the reading, not just the cards. This is also why there can be a reading from two people that are so different, even if the same cards were drawn. If you’re looking for someone to do a reading for you, you want to resonate not only with the stimuli they use (if any) but also with the energy and integrity of the reader themselves.

Pulling the cards is a great way to build your intuition, psychic abilities and connection to Universal knowledge – but ultimately the guidance comes from a higher power, not the cards.

So, if you want to build your psychic ability and trust your own intuition, which is better: tarot or oracle cards? Again, this is up to you and where you land. The structural differences between tarot cards and oracle cards can help you decide.

The differences between tarot cards and oracle cards

Tarot cards

In a traditional tarot deck, there are 78 cards that are divided into 22 major arcana and 56 minor arcana. The minor arcana are divided into suits, typically pentacles, swords, wands, and cups. Each suit has a meaning, as does each card placed within the suit, and of course each of the major arcana has its own meaning as well.

For beginners, there is clearly more to learn in tarot reading and remembering the meanings of the cards. Remember, however, that it is not so much the defined meaning that matters as the reader’s interpretation of the cards. This may mean that if you like structure in your learning, tarot may be for you – however, my experience has been that when it comes to building intuition and connection with my guides, less structure is better.

There are a number of tarot decks available and each will have its own energy, possibly from its tradition, the designer, or the printing process itself. You should always work with the deck that speaks to you (knowing that it can change over time).

Personally, we find tarot energy much heavier and darker than the energy we like to work with. To us, it was something with the structure and archetypes represented that felt too rigid, too old, and maybe a little too foreboding for our personal taste.

Oracle Cards

Unlike tarot, there is less tradition and structure to a deck of oracle cards. They come with any number of cards, with or without a reference book, and can be designed around a particular theme, such as romance or healing, or call upon particular deities, such as angels or ascended masters.

With less structure to a deck of oracle cards, there is more scope to allow divine guidance to really shape the reading. It’s over for you, your intuition and your interpretation. Your intuition is left to its own devices to guide you, as opposed to a structured tarot card reading. Depending on what you want from the reading, this may or may not be helpful.

We personally used oracle cards to develop our intuition and connection with our spirit guides and angels. That was more important to us than the cards themselves; the cards are a stimulus for your connection, not the response itself.

Ultimately, it is not a competition between the two types of cards. Both have merit and it all comes down to what appeals to you to work with them. That can change from day to day or year to year. Each will help build its intuitive muscle, maybe just differently.

How to choose between tarot cards and oracle cards?

When trying to decide whether you want to work with oracle or tarot cards, these tips can help. They all come down to your own intuition, of course.

Questions to ask:

  • Where they throw you first, is it the tarot or the oracle cards?
  • How does the deck make you feel – do you respond to the energy of the deck, the art, the message? Even a strong reaction out of a deck is important, as resistance shows areas of growth.
  • Does working with a particular deck make you feel more positive, uplifted and empowered or does it feel less than this? Remember that change and surprise turns in your life do not have to be omens. It shouldn’t feel heavy, scary, or like a death sentence.
  • Whether you crave structure for your readings or not. Why? Do you trust that your guide exists even without the presence of a guide or even the cover itself? Be honest with yourself and your needs.
  • How do your feelings change? Today you can want the tarot; oracle cards tomorrow.

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