What is the difference between a Tarot Deck and an Oracle Deck?
The differences between Tarot and an Oracle decks are way more than their similarities. Both serve a divinatory purpose, but aside from that, they are their own thing entirely!
Tarot has its own system, a language if you may. A Tarot deck consists of 78 cards, divided between Major and Minor Arcana. There are many layers to master in order to be a proficient reader. There is the basic key to Tarot that comes from studying the cards and knowing the meanings. Beyond that we must learn to tap into our own intuition and unlock the stories hidden in the combinations and spreads, recognize the interaction between the cards on an elemental level, the patterns, and of course the context. Learning Tarot requires time, patience, study, practice and dedication.
On the other hand an Oracle is a much more “freestyle” way of divining, and it taps directly into the readers intuition without taking a system or tradition into account. This is a very direct way to divine, and it is fantastic to gain insight, but it can sometimes be broad and more open to interpretation than the Tarot.
The great news is that these two tools work amazingly well together in combination, helping the reader dive into the matters at hand and reach much needed answers and guidance using one tool or the other depending on convenience.
So… When Do I Use Tarot And When Do I Use Oracle?
I have my personal preferences, and you will certainly find yours! There’s no rule of thumb for this. Only experience will tell you what is the way in which you can optimize your tools more effectively. I have found the use of Tarot to be way more effective in situations where I want to obtain a prediction as well as to gain insight on the situation, while Oracles have proven to be more useful to me when I need a new perspective, advice, guidance or confirmation that I am heading towards the right direction. It is a completely personal choice which you prefer. There is no one rule for everyone.
In general Tarot offers more concrete and less cryptic answers than an Oracle, but an Oracle will help you think outside the box and increase your awareness to the opportunities that surround you because of its open interpretation.
I would use Tarot to find out about the dynamics of a relationship, the feelings of a person or the future prospects of the connection, but I would use an oracle to read about my personal blockages with love, how can I open myself to love and let my partner fully in or to enquire if we are moving into the right direction together.
As you have probably noticed, the questions that I have assigned to Tarot are more practical and detailed, while those that I have assigned to an Oracle deck are more open and meant to open an inner dialogue.
Pros And Cons Of Tarot
As it happens with mostly everything in life, there are pros and cons and Tarot is no exception! The purpose of this list is to help you identify which tool works best for you!
– Tarot is more popular than oracle decks and mostly everyone will know what you’re talking about.
– Tarot decks are usually smaller than oracle decks, which makes them easier to carry around.
– There are plenty of resources out there to learn Tarot and you can dive into it as in depth as you like.
– There are Tarot groups, meetups, courses and the like so you can build community around your Tarot practice.
– Tarot requires time, for it’s a system that needs to be studied and practiced. Some readers use Tarot as an oracle deck and read entirely freestyle with great results, but in order to extract the most out of Tarot it is really important to study and be familiar with the meanings, symbolism and the like.
– Even though the myths that surround Tarot are more and more dissipated every day, you will probably find the person who needs to come tell you that Tarot is the Devil’s work and you’re going straight to hell. (Bonus: No it isn’t, no you’re not!)
Pros And Cons Of Oracle Decks
Despite being a great option as well, there are also some pros and cons to the use of oracles. However; this list is not comprehensive or mandatory! You’re free to make up your own mind on this subject and decide for yourself what method is better for which purpose.
– It is a readily available method of divination that only requires for you to be able to tap into your own intuition.
– It can be a tool to increase your intuition, awareness and connection, since many people insert oracle draws and oracle cards into their daily spiritual practices.
– It is socially perceived as way more innocent than Tarot and it is therefore, less likely that you encounter an unpleasant situation derived from using these in public.
– Oracle reading provides a more personal divinatory practice.
– It is more difficult to discuss your journey reading oracle cards for each oracle has a system of its own or none at all, so in this aspect, you’re more “on your own”.
– Answers tend to be more cryptic and the interpretation resides in your intuition over anything else, making it difficult to ask for a second opinion.
As you can see, both Tarot and Oracle decks can be a fascinating way to delve into your own psyche, connect with spirit or tap into the future. Feel free to explore both methods and find how each responds to you so you get the most out of your practice.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it dangerous to use Tarot or Oracle cards?
The greatest danger that comes out of reading Tarot or Oracle cards is a paper-cut! It is by all means impossible to conjure the Devil, bring bad luck, seal your fate or to bring any other doom and gloom that you have heard about!
Can I purchase my own decks or do they have to be a gift?
You can totally buy your own decks and they will work just fine! There’s a legend that says that a divination tool can only be gifted, but in the practice, it doesn’t really matter and your readings will be just as good with both a gifted or a purchased deck.
Who can read Tarot / Oracle cards?
Anyone with an interest can read Tarot or Oracle cards! Some may be more naturally gifted at it, as some are more naturally gifted at Math! However, with enough interest and dedication, anyone can become a reader.